How does melatonin work?

You have probably heard of melatonin before but do you know what it is or what its function is?

You are in the right place then! In this article, we will be telling you everything you need to know about melatonin and the way it works.

Besides, we will also let you know if it is a good idea to take melatonin as a supplement and in which conditions it will be helpful.

Melatonin is a hormone that can be naturally found in the body.

It contains the pineal gland and it is located above the middle of the brain.

Melatonin is being produced by the suprachiasmatic nucleus and released into the blood.

However, you can find it in the eyes, the bone marrow, and the gut as well.

The hormone is also a medication, most often in the form of a pill.

The way melatonin works

Melatonin is also known as the “sleep hormone”.

The latter is due to the fact that melatonin is responsible for your sleeping pattern.

It works with your circadian rhythm which is your body’s internal clock.

Thanks to it, your body knows when it is time to wake up or fall asleep.

Melatonin starts being produced after sundown because of the darkness.

As melatonin levels become higher, you feel less alert.

This leads to sleepiness. Melatonin levels stay high for up to 12 hours – or all night long – until the light of the new day lowers them.

Precisely for this reason, people know melatonin as the “Dracula of hormones” – it gets more active in the dark. 

In fact, light suppresses melatonin production.

Therefore there is some advice you may want to follow in order to achieve a good night’s sleep. 

Such are:

  • lower the lights in the whole house two hours before bedtime;
  • stop using electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed – the blue light emitted from their screens confuses your circadian rhythm since it is naturally emitted by the Sun. If you have work to do, want to watch a movie or scroll a bit more, then you can download Iris. Save yourself a lot of trouble not only in terms of insomnia but also of future health problems. Iris is a software that blocks the blue light of the device’s screen. You can use it in a few different regimes, depending on your needs. Download it now and thank both yourself and us later;
  • listen to quiet music, read a book or relax in your own way.

Melatonin supplements

However, in recent years there is an increasing number of people suffering from insomnia.

Whether be it because of too much blue light exposure in the evening, depression, stress or something else, melatonin production suppresses.

Lack of melatonin can also have an impact on other conditions like jet lag, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, anxiety before surgery.

In such cases, you can take melatonin as a medicine.

It is advisable to take 0,5 to 3 mg doses for 1 to 4 weeks.

If you want to ease jet lag, you can start taking melatonin a week before your trip.

After you arrive at your new destination, simply stay awake until it is your usual bedtime according to the new time zone.

Getting some natural sunlight can also be helpful.

It has been proven by a couple of studies that melatonin helps a lot with improving jet lag.

If you have difficulty falling asleep but need to wake up early, take melatonin 30 minutes before going to bed.

Going to bed earlier can be possible by taking a pill 2 hours before your desired bedtime.

If you fall asleep early and wake up quite early as well, you can take the supplement in the morning.

In these cases, you have to take the lowest possible dosage of 0,5 to 2 mg.

Taking melatonin can have a positive impact on a few different conditions.

Researchers have found that melatonin is very useful in preventing eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration for example.

You can treat stomach ulcers and heartburn with melatonin.

Tinnitus and seasonal depression are two other conditions that melatonin can help you with.

What is more, melatonin can increase the growth hormone levels in men.

You should not take melatonin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have an autoimmune disorder, a seizure disorder or depression.

People with diabetes and high blood pressure should be careful with melatonin supplements as well.

Even if you are a completely healthy individual have in mind that some mild side effects may occur.

Such are headache, dizziness, nausea.

Of course, before going for this option, you should consider it with a professional.

He or she will recommend you the right kind of therapy for your problem, without putting your health at risk!

Conclusion

Melatonin is a hormone naturally found in the body.

It controls our sleeping pattern because it works together with the circadian rhythm.

Melatonin production starts after sundown and lasts until the next day.

This way our bodies know it is time to relax and sleep.

If you want to optimize your melatonin production, it is advisable to dim all the lights at home 1 to 2 hours before bedtime, as well as to set all electronic devices aside.

However, if you have a condition that needs medication, you can try taking melatonin as a supplement.

The recommended dosage is 0,5 to 3 mg for 1 to 4 weeks.

 

 

 

 

Author: Ilina Stoyanova
Publisher: Kalina Shushlina

 

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