Melatonin is naturally produced in our bodies. It is produced my our pineal gland. It’s nickname is the gland of darkness. Why? Because it is the hormone that helps regulate our body’s sleep cycle. Recent research has even suggested that melatonin may help protect our cells against the harmful effects of free radicals within our body.
Our bodies produce melatonin at night, usually around 2 am is the peak time for the production of mealtonin. As morning approaches, it slowly subsides production.
Melatonin is also present in some of the foods we eat. It is found in meats, fruits, vegetables, rice and in grains.
Children produce the highest amounts of melatonin. Then when puberty hits, the levels slowly begins decreasing and continues to decrease as we age. By the time we reach the age of 80, the amount of melatonin in our bodies can be very slim. That could definitely be why many older people have trouble sleeping.
Many people are taking melatonin in supplement form to help them sleep. These supplements have been found very beneficial for those who have to work nights and sleep in the day, or those who work the swing shift and have to change their sleeping habits on a continually basis.
By taking these supplements, when you need help sleeping, they benefit your body because of the sleep you will be getting in return. By getting enough sleep, your body has enough energy to do all the jobs it needs to do to function correctly.
It doesn’t matter if you take a melatonin supplement on an empty stomach or a full one. Melatonin is not known to cause stomach upset.
If you are taking tranquilizers, antidepressants or sedatives or have an autoimmune disease or a hormonal imbalance, you should not take melatonin. Melatonin is also not recommended for children, pregnant woman or women who are breastfeeding.
Studies have also shown that high doses of melatonin (75mg to 300 mg daily) may prevent ovulation, which can prevent woman who wants to have children from becoming pregnant.
Are there any differences in the companies who manufacture melatonin? Yes, there is some differences. You can buy melatonin in natural form (produces from animal or plant sources) or synthetic (non-animal origin). The synthetic melatonin supplements are the ones most recommended because they have not be exposed with substances that could cause allergens, or other contaminants.
Could melatonin help you get a better night’s rest? Possibly. As always, you may want to discuss this matter first with your doctor, before taking it.