Melatonin is also known as the hormone of darkness. This is due to the fact that production of melatonin hormone can only be done at night. This can be found in human beings, animals and in several other living organisms such as the algae. There is evidence that this hormone can help in improving sleep. In the United States, melatonin contains products which are available as nutritional supplements since 1993.
According to scientists, sleep provides our body with the chance to maintain and repair both the body and mind. While we are sleeping, cell growth and cell repair take place to fight against the different effects of the harmful UV rays and stress. Sleep deprivation has a negative effect on human functioning.
The hormone melatonin is produced by a tiny gland situated near the center of the brain. This gland is termed the pineal gland. Melatonin plays a role in controlling the circadian rhythm which is the 24-hour body clock. This controls our urge to sleep. The release of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and will not be allowed in the presence of light. For several people, this is the primary cause of sleep deprivation.
Shift workers usually work against their natural circadian rhythms since they have the tendency to sleep during the day while their levels of melatonin are low. Also, frequent travelers suffer from the same issue since changing time zones will confuse the body clock. As a consequence, this will have a negative effect on the person’s sleeping patterns.
Typically, most persons have sufficient melatonin in their bodies. However, the elderly could lack this hormone considering that melatonin production will decrease with growing age.
Consuming melatonin supplements can make it possible to reset our body clocks. In fact, melatonin can be your best bet if you happen to be a shift worker. Starting with a low dose of 1 mg can be wise if you feel the need to take melatonin. After some time, you may work that up to 3 mg. But if you still have difficulty falling asleep, then it might be a good idea to try other alternatives. Take note that melatonin can also act as a mild contraceptive that is why you need to avoid using it.