Melatonin is a hormone that is synthesized in the brain by the gland called the pineal gland. First of all, it has a significant impact on the regulation of circadian rhythms of the body. This means that too low concentration of melatonin in the blood may result in sleep disorders, continual fatigue, irritability, impaired concentration and apathy. Of course, there are both modifiable and non-modifiable factors that cause the organism to decrease its secretion. How to improve the quality of sleep in a healthy way? Is it worth to supplement melatonin? At what doses is it best to take it?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is melatonin?
- Melatonin properties
- Factors affecting melatonin secretion disorders
- How to use melatonin?
- Availability of melatonin supplements on the market
- Contraindications to use and possible side effects
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is an organic chemical compound. This is a hormone synthesized by the human body, specifically the small gland located in the brain – the pineal gland. The main function of melatonin is to coordinate the work of the biological clock. Interestingly, it is synthesized by our body only during the night hours, which is why it is often called the hormone of darkness.
Melatonin is primarily responsible for the regulation of circadian rhythms, including sleep and waking. The proper concentration of melatonin in the blood positively influences the acceleration of falling asleep and significantly reduces the number of awakenings during the night. People who have sleep related problems say that taking melatonin significantly improves the comfort of night rest.
It turns out, however, that in addition to the aforementioned properties, melatonin also has a number of other health benefits, among others
– slows down the aging process of the body, mainly thanks to the neutralization of free radicals,
– improves the overall immunity of the body,
– improves the functioning of the heart,
– helps in the treatment of depression,
– may limit the incidence of various types of cancer.
Factors affecting melatonin secretion disorders
The production of melatonin by the pineal gland largely depends on the intensity of light.In the dim light, when it is quite dark, the concentration of melatonin in the blood is greatest.It is considered that the peak of melatonin synthesis falls into the night hours – between 2400 and 0300. The situation is the opposite when exposed to light.When it is clear, melatonin production is halted.Another factor affecting the secretion of melatonin by the body is age. Production of the discussed hormone decreases with age, which causes considerable difficulty in falling asleep and insomnia.
How to use melatonin?
There is a large group of people suffering from problems related to sleep. Unfortunately, they often reach for sleeping pills, which in most cases do not improve sleep quality at all. After taking such tablets after waking up, you can often feel tiredness, irritability and visible problems with concentration and reflexes.Insomnia can be a deeper disorder, associated with disturbed hormone production by the body. To speed up falling asleep and to significantly improve the quality of sleep, it is worth to supplement melatonin. In addition to improving sleep, it will significantly improve general well-being and reduce the number of awakenings overnight. Of course, melatonin should only be used by people struggling with insomnia and sleep disorders.There are no indications for its use by people without such problems.
The dose of melatonin to be taken should be determined individually. However, it is usually recommended to take 1-3 mg melatonin per day.In some cases, it is recommended to take up to 5 mg.In order to regulate the circadian rhythms of the body, it is recommended to take melatonin regularly, about an hour before bedtime. What is equally important, it is not advisable to stop using the day-to-day treatment, but gradually reduce the doses.
Availability of melatonin supplements on the market
Of course, many preparations with melatonin are available on the market, but unfortunately the use of most of them does not bring satisfactory results. The safest way to reach for melatonin available in pharmacies or in proven stores or online stores.Prices of individual preparations may differ from each other. Of course, when choosing the right melatonin, it is also worth paying attention to the capacity of the packaging, the manufacturer and the dose level.If you want a product of the highest possible quality, it is also worth finding out if it has the appropriate certificate.
Contraindications to use and possible side effects
Despite the many positive properties of melatonin, there are also contraindications to its use. The preparation of melatonin preparations for pregnant and nursing women is certainly not recommended. Of course, it should not be taken by people suffering from hypersensitivity or allergy to this hormone. Particular attention to the use of melatonin preparations should also bring back people struggling with autoimmune diseases, cancer or liver disease. Melatonin supplementation is also not recommended for children and people under the influence of alcohol and intoxicants.
Of course, it is also possible to overdose melatonin, but unlike sleeping pills, this happens much less often. The discussed hormone does not disturb the sleep phases, it does not addict and does not cause irritability.Nevertheless, there is a low probability of adverse side effects such as
- – dizziness,
- – headaches,
- – nightmares,
- – nausea,
- – slight depression.
However, these are not disturbing symptoms, and in comparison to the many health properties of melatonin, they are almost imperceptible.
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