Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. It helps regulate our sleep patterns and has anti-inflammatory properties. What does it mean for your health?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the body at night, and its levels fall during daytime hours. It regulates circadian rhythms (our internal biological clock) and influences mood and energy levels. In recent years, research into melatonin’s benefits has increased, leading to growing interest from consumers who want to take control of their sleep cycles.
Melatonin supplements have become very popular as they offer natural solutions to improve sleep quality. They also provide other health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and improving cognitive functions.
What are the health benefits of taking melatonin?
The benefits of melatonin are below:
1. Improves sleep: Melatonin is an effective sleep aid because it regulates the release of hormones that help you relax and prepare for bedtime. Studies show that people with insomnia can benefit from taking melatonin before bed.
2. Reduces stress: Research shows that melatonin reduces anxiety and depression. This means that if you suffer from these conditions, you may find relief from your symptoms when you take melatonin.
3. Protects against cancer: A study published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry found that melatonin protects cells against DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Since sunlight exposure causes skin cancers, melatonin could reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
4. Promotes healthy ageing: Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, studied mice that were given melatonin through drinking water. After six months, scientists found that the animals had healthier brains than those that did not receive melatonin.
5. Helps prevent heart disease: A study at the University of Texas showed that rats with high cholesterol who received daily melatonin had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t. Scientists believe that melatonin’s ability to protect the cardiovascular system may be due to its antioxidant effects.
6. Supports brain function: Melatonin is known to support memory and learning. According to some studies, it may even increase the size of the hippocampus — a part of the brain associated with memory formation.
7. Fights Alzheimer’s: Some researchers think melatonin fights Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that rats with Alzheimer’s disease had higher levels of oxidative stress (harmful free radicals) than normal rats. However, their activity decreased significantly when the rats were treated with melatonin.
8. Lowers blood sugar: Another study showed that people with type 2 diabetes who took melatonin experienced reduced insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is linked to elevated blood sugar levels.
9. Boosts immunity: People who experience seasonal allergies know how frustrating it is to go to bed only to wake up with runny eyes or sneezing. But new research suggests that melatonin may help relieve allergy symptoms.
10. Slows down ageing process: Melatonin promotes cell growth and regeneration, which slows down the ageing process. This means that older people who supplement with melatonin may have better physical performance than others who do not take it.
Does melatonin work for shift workers?
Yes! Shift workers often experience poor sleep quality, which leads to fatigue—taking melatonin before sleep helps them stay awake throughout the day without feeling tired or dizzy.
How much do I need to take?
The recommended dose of melatonin varies depending on whether it is taken orally or through topical application. For oral consumption, experts recommend between 0.5 mg and 1 mg per kg of body weight. However, there is no limit to how many milligrams you can consume. Topical applications should contain between 10 mg and 20 mg of melatonin.
Are there any side effects?
No. Although melatonin is considered safe, pregnant women should consult their doctor first if they are considering using melatonin. The American Pregnancy Association recommends avoiding melatonin during pregnancy unless prescribed by your doctor.
What about other supplements?
Studies have shown that melatonin works better than other sleep aids such as Valerian root extract. It also has fewer side effects than prescription drugs like Ambien and Lunesta. Melatonin is so safe that it is often used as a natural alternative to sleeping pills.
Effect on circadian rhythm
You might take melatonin if you’re having trouble falling asleep because you feel too wired during the day. Studies show that people who regularly use melatonin tend to fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently than those who don’t. In addition, melatonin sleep aids concentration and memory. We strongly recommend melatonin in this embedded link from one of our amazon affiliate store.
However, according to the Mayo Clinic, “melatonin cannot make up for lack of sleep.” If you struggle with insomnia, try getting more restful sleep instead. To learn more, visit our page on the best sleep tips.
People under 18 should not take melatonin because it could interfere with growth and development. Also, pregnant women should avoid melatonin because it can cause congenital disabilities. People with certain medical conditions, including kidney problems, liver disease, diabetes, and thyroid disorders, should consult their doctors before consuming melatonin.
Melatonin Levels testing
The importance of melatonin in regulating sleep patterns and alertness has been recognized for decades. It has the highest level of endogenous production in humans at night when we sleep. However, it is still unclear why some individuals produce high melatonin while others produce low levels. Researchers are currently looking into measuring melatonin levels to understand its role in health and disease. Several methods are available for measuring melatonin levels in blood or urine samples.
To sum up, melatonin may help you get a good night’s sleep and improve your overall well-being. While you can purchase melatonin over the counter, it is essential to remember that it is only effective when consumed consistently. It is equally important to get your melatonin levels checked. If you are experiencing issues with sleep, you can talk to your doctor about melatonin supplements.