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The Sleep Hormone Melatonin - A Sleep Solution?

Updated on June 6, 2021
Sam Shepards profile image

I'm Sam. I enjoy writing about sleep and mental health-related topics as well as ways to prevent stress and to relax.

The sleep hormone Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland that is responsible, among other functions, for inducing and controlling sleep.

Melatonin also possesses other qualities, such as being an antioxidant. It assists in the fight against cancer, is a potent reproductive hormone regulator, UV protector, glucose control mechanism, Alzheimer’s disease prevention aid, and anti-inflammatory as well.

Although many features touted by melatonin are theories, there is no doubt that it plays a key role in sleep regulation.

Melatonin Sleep Hormone Production in the Body

Melatonin production is carried out from a substance called tryptophan (found in foods like soybeans, pumpkin seeds, brewer’s yeast and almonds).The amount of melatonin we produce depends on how dark the place is in which we find ourselves. As our eyes are exposed to less light, we produce more melatonin. That’s why covering your eyes creates an ideal sleeping atmosphere and is a good remedy for sleep.

It’s been found that factors such as alcohol and some drugs can affect melatonin production, which reduces the quality of sleep. It was also presumed that the amount of melatonin decreases with age, but new research suggests that this is not so.

Sleep Supplement Melatonin

Melatonin sleeping pills are available at most markets and pharmacies. Its use can have side effects, although they are minimal if consumed for short periods of time and in controlled doses. Still, there are suggestions that the doses available in the pharmacy are up to 30 times higher than the body needs. Yet, why purchase something that the body can produce simply by turning off the light?

Controversy and Inconclusive Findings

Potential therapeutic effects of melatonin are controversial among scientists and researchers.

On one hand, caution is recommended regarding melatonin use due to possible unknown implications. This group says that further research should be conducted on melatonin dosage, interaction with other drugs, and interaction with foods. On the other hand, many experts encourage its use for sleep. They theorize that if taken appropriately, it could also be useful for disease treatment and prevention. Induces Sleep

Melatonin is lauded both for its sedative achievements and its ability to coordinate and regulate the biological rhythms of the body. This is why it is used to treat different situations that are present due to sleep disturbances and difficulty falling or staying asleep. In the case of insomnia, for example, it was found that melatonin takes only an hour to take effect in 90% of people. These people were found to enter a natural sleep with better quality than that induced by sleeping pills.

Melatonin also resynchronized the circadian cycle and fostered a greater chance of waking up refreshed and rested. A particular case in which melatonin has been particularly effective in insomnia is nursing. The case stated that it is common for elderly people to have problems sleeping because the pineal gland calcifies after the age of 50. Because of this occurrence, only a minor amount of melatonin is secreted. Small doses of this hormone-of no more than 3 milligrams help the elderly to sleep properly.

Do Melatonin Sleep Supplements Help You?

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Melatonin for Sleeping - A Solution?

If you are considering melatonin as a part of your sleeping routine, you may find that its ability to inhibit insomnia, accelerate sleep induction, and perform without harsh side effects is a very inviting proposal. Melatonin is backed by a plethora of research and its costs are accessible to almost anyone. As an alternative to prescriptive sleep medication, with the sleep hormone melatonin, you may find that a good night’s rest is an easier goal to achieve than you ever thought prior.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2016 Sam Shepards

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