Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally and is taken to help treat insomnia and to improve sleep quality. It is tied to your circadian rhythm and can put it back in balance making you easier to fall and stay asleep. Moreover, Melatonin is known as a powerful anti-oxidant, protecting both lipids and proteins against free radicals that may cause damage. With thus, it promotes overall brain health condition. It is generally dosed at 1 to 3mg.
Melatonin is categorized under Hormones.
It is also known as N-Acetyl-5-Methoxytryptamine, Melatonine, Melovine, Melatol, Melatonex, Circadin.
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Benefits and Effectiveness
- Adrenaline - Neutral 
- Alertness - Decrease 
- Anxiety - Neutral 
- Attention - Neutral 
- Blood Pressure - Decrease 
- Cortisol - Increased 
- Gastrin - Increased 
- Growth Hormone - Increased 
- Heart Rate - Neutral 
- Inflammation - Decrease 
- Insomnia - Decrease 
- Insulin Sensitivity - Increased 
- Leptin - Increased 
- Memory - Increased 
- Muscle Damage - Decrease 
- Noradrenaline (aka norepinephrine) - Decrease 
- Plasma Melatonin - Increased 
- Sleep Quality - Increased 
- Stomach Ulcers - Decrease 
- Symptoms of Tinnitus - Decrease 
- Cancer Mortality - Decrease 
- Symptoms of Jet Lag - Decrease 
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a substance that primarily controls your sleep and wake cycles, and helps regulate other hormones and maintain the natural circadian rhythm within the body. It is made by the pineal gland, a small organ in the brain. Melatonin can likewise be purchased as a supplement. Small measures of it are found in foods, for such as, grains, meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Numerous analysts have hypothesized that long term disturbance in our natural Melatonin generation cycle could prompt unfavorable impacts, possibly life-threatening diseases like cancer and a shortened life span. Typical Melatonin creation and discharge cycles can be disturbed by outside elements, like stress, aging, particular meds, supplements, and even light introduction during night can meddle.
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How does melatonin work?
Your body has its own natural internal clock that controls your normal cycle of sleeping and waking hours. To some degree, your body clock controls the amount of melatonin your body releases. Regularly, melatonin levels start to ascend in the mid-to late night, stay high for the vast majority of the night, and after that drop in the early morning hours.
Changes of the amount of production of melatonin can prompt symptoms of winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Since light influences the amount of melatonin your body produces, during the shorter days of the winter months, your body might create melatonin either prior or later in the day than usual.
Additionally, the amount of melatonin our body release is strongly influenced by age. The older the person gets, the lesser the amount melatonin is released, or, in some cases, none at all.
What are the benefits of Melatonin?
Melatonin secures both lipids and proteins against harm, and can scavenge the most dangerous free radicals in the body—including hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, that is why it is known to be an effective and flexible antioxidant. Furthermore, Melatonin effortlessly diffuse into all cells, and can even cross the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain, that is why it is considered to be much better than any other antioxidants.
Aside from what has being said that melatonin is an effective antioxidant, is also known to be an anti-aging therapy and has been shown to help prevent or treat multiple medical conditions.
Some of the other benefits of melatonin are:
- Helpful for heartburn and GERD : Experts have found out that one of the advantages of melatonin is its momentous capacity to suppress stomach acid and shield the esophagus from the harsh impacts of gastric acid. One study concluded that melatonin is beneficial to individuals with moderate to serious indigestion. They divided their respondents into two groups. One group was given an acid blocker Prilosec, and the other group was given 6 mg supplement of melatonin. Within a week, positive effects were observed by those who took melatonin, and they reported to have complete resolution of symptoms after forty days.
- Diabetes Prevention: Somewhere around 2000 and 2012, researchers investigated 740 ladies enrolled in the landmark Nurses' Health Study, half who did not develop type 2 diabetes during that time and half who did. Researchers where drove to presume that low evening time production of melatonin almost doubles the danger of developing diabetes since blood tests uncovered that the 370 ladies who remained free from diabetes had severely higher blood levels of melatonin.
- Cardiovascular Protection: Experts believe that melatonin is also a cardio-protector. For six months, Spanish researchers measured the nighttime melatonin levels of patients who suffered from heart attack in a coronary care unit. They discovered that there was a significantly lower levels of melatonin in those patients who suffered from sudden death or subsequent heart attack than those who fared well.
Melatonin as a Sleeping Aid
Melatonin has the ability to promote healthy sleep, it reduces the amount of time that takes to get to sleep, and increases the total sleep duration and sleep quality. That is why this supplement is exceptionally helpful to those who can’t get some natural sleep and to those who have irregular working schedules.
Night time urination is a big factor to those who are suffering from irregular sleeping patterns. Studies have shown that one of the benefits of melatonin is the reduction of night time urination. This supplement is also helpful to those who have abnormal sleeping patterns, especially to those who engage in working shifts and do a lot travel since their body clock is usually disrupted. People who are suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome reported that melatonin has become a help to them in achieving good quality of sleep.
One of the reasons why melatonin was grouped with nootropics and cognitive enhancers is that, when you wake up the following day, you might feel more keen with more clarity of thought and possibly enhanced mental performance.
Usage & Dosage
1 to 5 mg per day or/and night is the generally accepted dose for melatonin; it would be best to take it during the night or about 30 minutes before going to sleep. When taking this supplement, it is wise that you should consider a few things: taking melatonin together with alcohol or other sedating drugs could over exaggerate its effects; these substances could furtherly increase the level of relaxation and sedation, therefore, this practice is strongly not advisable. Drugs such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), aspirin, and beta-clockers could decrease melatonin’s overall production.
What are the Side Effects?
Some of the side effects of melatonin are: daytime drowsiness, feeling irritable, depressed mood, dizziness, stomach pain, and headache. Some male patients would report experiencing breast enlargement, decreased sperm count, and decreased sex drive. It is advisable that you should consult your doctor when these symptoms appear.
What other factors should I consider when taking this supplement?
It is vital that you should not use melatonin supplement as a replacement for a prescribed medication by your physician. Some supplements in the market have been found to contain toxic metals and other drugs and there are no regulated manufacturing standards used as a replacement for many of the herbal compounds that are available.
Reviewer: Kathleen R. RN, PT
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Wiki Last Updated: 2016-02-13
Reported side effects related with Melatonin usage include daytime sleepiness, headaches, and dizziness.
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