What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is known as a neurohormone, whose primary function is to help you fall asleep and to regulate your daily sleep-wake cycles.
It’s known to be sensitive to light/dark therapy, meaning that melatonin secretion is blocked by light, and it is promoted by darkness.
This is why looking at a bright blue-light coming from a cellphone or laptop at night can make it so you have insomnia. Because your brain, seeing the light, thinks that it is sunlight, so it stops the production of melatonin to make you fall asleep.
What does Melatonin do?
To put it simply, melatonin is the hormone that your body uses & relies upon to help you fall asleep at night. It is also utilized to help you wake up in the morning.
A properly function release & absorption of melatonin in the brain is necessary for someone to have a healthy sleep-wake schedule.
Other benefits of melatonin include bountiful antioxidant properties, anti-cancer properties, and potentially fat burning properties.
What are the benefits of Melatonin?
- Helps you fall asleep at night
- Increase mood
- Helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle
- Provides antioxidants
- Anti-cancer properties
- Increased fat-burning potential
How do you use Melatonin?
There is a wide-range of opinions on how to properly supplement with melatonin.
Generally speaking, dosages from 0.3 mg – 5 mg daily have shown to help promote sleep and reset the sleep-wake cycles for people who are having trouble falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning.
Some people state that you only need as little as 0.3 – 0.5 mg of melatonin per day to help fall asleep and that taking any more is messing up your sleep cycles even further.
There are other people that state you should only use high doses of melatonin (3 – 5 mg) when you are jetlagged, adjusting to a new timezone, or recovering from a work-shift situation.
Other people swear by taking 5 mg of melatonin a night to help them fall asleep.
It’s up to you. Start low and see what works.
Side effects of Melatonin?
There is little to no side effects for taking melatonin. Aside from increased drowsiness, sleepiness, and relaxation.
It has shown in scientific studies that melatonin is not addictive, does not cause withdrawal symptoms, and tolerance does not build up to it over time.