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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 7th, 2023

The impact of stress is so immense in managers that they often wake up in the middle of the night and then, find it impossible to sleep. Other managers experience difficulty in falling asleep due to the stress and anxiety related to their job. As a result, they wake up in the morning feeling tired and unrefreshed.

Sleep deprivation or lack of adequate sleep due to stress is a common precursor to the declining work performance of executives. Mental stress linked to job pressure or other factors has been found to be the trigger for the disturbed sleep pattern.

A research study published in the Behavioral Sleep Medicine has proven that mental stress can have an adverse impact on the quality of sleep and affect the body’s circadian rhythm.

A research published in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment has indicated that sleep deprivation can affect the memory and decision-making skills of a person. As a result, corporate managers, and CEOs, who are often sleep deprived due to their hectic lifestyle, experience a reduced memory, attention span, and concentration.

This leads to a decline in their cognitive performance thereby resulting in errors of judgment, lack of ability to conduct a SWOT analysis, and several other problems that can have an unfavorable impact on their work performance and the profits of the organization.

The quality of the executive sleep depends among others on the level of melatonin (a sleep-promoting hormone) in the blood. The studies showed that stress may negatively affect the melatonin level and significantly decrease the sleep quality.

Find out how the appropriate use of melatonin for sleep can restore a healthy sleep pattern and improve the work performance of managers while promoting your health and fitness.


1. What Does Melatonin Do?

Melatonin plays a major role in improving the quality and duration of your sleep. It is a hormone naturally produced in the Pineal gland in the brain.

The secretion of this hormone varies at different times of the day. The melatonin production is regulated by the amount of light your body is exposed to, as well as other factors such as your daily schedule, emotional health, and seasons.

For example; as darkness approaches during the late afternoon and evening hours, the body starts to prepare itself for sleep by stimulating the production of melatonin. On the other hand, during the early morning hours, the melatonin production is lowered to prepare the body for wakefulness.

The changes in the melatonin production, thus regulated by the light exposure, are governed by the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It passes the signals to the pineal gland to release melatonin at night and suppress its release during the daytime.

The higher levels of melatonin at the night can help you sleep well while the reduced levels of the same in the day can keep you alter and wakeful.




2. The Importance Of Using Melatonin For Sleep By Busy Executives

Executives have to juggle between multiple responsibilities at their workplace and they are under constant pressure to excel at each of them.

Whether it is making a presentation about your product range to a new client, or attending meetings with an existing client, you are expected to crack the deal for your business each and every time. And these expectations form the basis for immense stress that executives have to bear with.

Apart from this, managers also experience anxiety due to job insecurity, fluctuating business profits, and competitive market conditions. These factors can create an imbalance in the melatonin production by contributing to their stress levels.

A research conducted at the International Journal of Tryptophan Research has indicated that mental stress can not only lower the melatonin production but also make this hormone less effective. This can further worsen the quality and duration of sleep of managers as a result of which they often spend their daytime feeling drowsy and unrefreshed.

Hence, the use of melatonin for sleep is recommended for managers. It can restore the healthy melatonin levels and help them get a sound sleep every night.

Also, a research conducted at the Revista Médica De Chile has shown that melatonin pills can help managers to get a sound sleep by lowering the production of the stress hormone called cortisol.

Hence, managers who find it difficult to go back to sleep after getting up in the middle of the night due to stress are advised to use melatonin. Also, busy executives who tend to be restless in the bed for several hours before they can fall asleep due to the stressful thoughts about work can also benefit from using melatonin for sleep. These pills can lower the cortisol production in the nervous system thereby providing relief from mental stress and the resulting sleep deprivation.

The use of melatonin for sleep can provide several other benefits as discussed beneath.

Click on the image to see a full infographic (opens in new tab)

3. What Are Melatonin Benefits For Executives?


3.1. Melatonin for Sleep Improves Focus And Alertness

A research published in the Biological Psychiatry has shown that the use of melatonin for sleep can enhance your work performance by improving your focus, and alertness levels.

This would allow you to provide quick, yet constructed replies to the queries of the client about your project or proposal and help you win their confidence without feeling stressed due to the lack of sleep or other job-related factors.


3.2. Melatonin for Sleep Promotes Cognitive Skills

Mental stress and lack of sleep can have an adverse impact on the cognitive skill of managers and prevent their ability for logical reasoning. A scientific investigation conducted by the Eksp Klin Farmakol has proven that the use of this hormone can improve the cognitive skills that hold high importance for the managers working under stress and job pressure. It can promote their decision-making skills, memory, and concentration levels thereby allowing them to contribute to the growth of the organization.


3.3. Melatonin for Sleep Boosts Job Performance

A research conducted in the Medscape General Medicine has shown that the use of melatonin for sleep can have a positive impact on the social interactions of a person.

Melatonin supplements can also prevent the stress-linked deficiency of this hormone thereby restoring their ability to interact in the social and professional settings with higher confidence.

This effect can be beneficial for the managers who would like to improve their professional network and reach across countries to expand their client and consumer base.


4. When Should I Take Melatonin?

Since melatonin is a sleep-regulating hormone, it is imperative that managers use the supplements at the right time to suit their routine and the time they need to sleep in contrast to the time they need to be more productive.

If you often have to struggle to fall asleep due to the stressful thoughts crowding in your mind, you can take melatonin for sleep about 30 minutes before bedtime. This will allow you to avoid the long hours for trying to fall asleep thereby ensuring you can wake up early feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

You also need to consider your sleep habits, particularly if you are a night owl to an early bird. These are basically chronotypes, which determine the rhythm the body follows for performing and maintaining various functions.

Night owls are the people who tend to stay awake till late hours in the night and hence, also have a tendency to wake up late in the morning.

Early birds, on the other hand, are the people who prefer to sleep early like by 9 pm and wake up at about 5 am or so.

If you are an early bird, it is advisable to take melatonin supplements in the morning. This will allow you to stick to your healthy sleeping habit.

However, it is important to note that early birds may take melatonin pills only if they have a tendency to wake up two hours before the time to get up. Using melatonin for sleep, in that cases, can delay the sleep phase and allow managers to sleep for the next two hours. Otherwise, it is best for the early birds to avoid using melatonin pills.

If you are a night owl, you can still manage to get sound sleep and maintain your body’s circadian rhythm by taking melatonin pills 2 hours before the expected bedtime. This can advance your sleep schedule and allow you to fall asleep earlier.


5. What Is The Recommended Dose Of Melatonin?

The usual recommended dose of melatonin for sleep is about 2 to 5 mg once a day. A scientific study published in the Pharmacy and Therapeutics has indicated that the administration of melatonin supplements in a dose of about 3 mg can promote sleep.

However, it should be noted that the effect of melatonin for sleep can vary among different users. Also, the time of onset of action of melatonin and the extent of its sleep-inducing effect can also vary among different managers. Hence, it is advisable to start using it in a lower dose of about 1 to 2 mg a day.

Also, it is not advisable to start taking melatonin for sleep before an important day at the office, like when you have an important meeting scheduled. Managers are advised to begin using melatonin on the days when getting up a bit late or early due to the varying effects of this hormone would be manageable.

For example; starting the use of melatonin on weekends would be a viable option as it won’t interfere with your workplace performance. Also, it will give you a chance to assess the effect of the supplement on your sleep pattern so that you can adjust the dosage as well as the time to take melatonin for sleep at night and a better productivity during the daytime.


6. Is Melatonin Safe?

Since Melatonin is naturally produced in the body, it does not cause any serious side effects. However, in rare cases, melatonin has been reported to produce some mild side effects, according to a research published in the Clinical Drug Investigation. These side effects are nausea, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, and irritability.

In rare cases, it may cause skin pigmentation and increase the risk of thrombosis (abnormal clotting of blood), especially when the supplement is taken in a very high dose.



The importance of sound sleep of 8 hours every night for improving your work performance cannot be emphasized enough. It is particularly more important for the managers who experience severe mental stress since the melatonin production in their body is lowered.

Hence, the use of melatonin for sleep is highly recommended for executives to restore the quality of their sleep. It can enable them to focus on their meetings and other tasks with an improved alertness, memory, and cognitive skills.

The use of melatonin pills can also be beneficial for the executives who suffer from a loss of sleep due to melatonin deficiency. For instance, managers who have to travel frequently to different time zones have melatonin deficiency. Due to the repeatedly changing schedule, their body fails to regulate and maintain their internal body clock.




If you have any queries about the benefits of melatonin or better ways to use this supplement, please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.


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