Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, also known as epiphysis cerebri, a tiny gland located near the center of the brain. Melatonin regulates and controls our biological clock. Because it is photosensitive, melatonin secretion is inhibited during the day, on the other hand, it is stimulated by dark, hence enabling a good sleep.
JETLAG AND NIGHT SHIFTS
Jet-lagged travelers and night shift workers are more prone to insomnia due to the altering of their melatonin levels. Research and clinical studies on insomnia are all unanimous in recommending melatonin supplementation in order to help prevent or reduce the effects of jetlag. The same recommendation applies to night shift workers in order to help them restore normal sleep patterns, although this may not be the case for everyone.
DIFFICULTY FALLING ASLEEP AND INSOMNIA
For those who have a difficult time falling asleep, clinical studies have revealed that melatonin reduces the delay period prior to sleep and improves the quality and of length of sleep. Melatonin is definitely noteworthy for elders, often afflicted by poor sleeping habits
For those suffering from insomnia, the use of melatonin is effective only in cases where insomnia is associated with low levels of melatonin production. If this is not the case, one must look for other reasons causing insomnia.
In 2005, a study involving 139 women revealed that the use of 3 mg of melatonin before bedtime During a period of 6 months had reduced menopause-associated depression while improving their sleeping habits. Furthermore, it is quite possible that hormonal imbalances caused by menopause can also impact the sleep hormone!
MIGRAINES AND HEADACHES
Migraines and other types of headaches can also be caused by unbalanced circadian rhythms (night/day). In this instance, Melatonin is also effective.
DIRECTIONS AND CAUTION
Melatonin can be used in conjunction with benzodiazepine (sleep medication) and calming herbs. It can help reduce the dosage of benzodiazepine or at the very least prevent a need for increasing its dosage. With calming herbs, its synergetic effect can be helpful. It is recommended not to drive four hours following the use of melatonin.