There are many melatonin benefits to our health. And it its not just for sound sleep.
The pineal gland in the brain produces and secretes melatonin. This gland is responsible for our sleep-wake cycle. We all have an internal clock that's located in the brain. This clock is set or kept in rhythm by regular exposure to light and dark.
This hormone is a sleep regulator or "clock setter."
Darkness stimulates the secretion of melatonin and conversely it is inhibited light. The secretion of this hormone drops in the early morning hours.
This is why it is beneficial to reduce your exposure to light as the evening progresses. Melatonin hormone levels are low during the day and peak at night which induces the feeling of sleepiness and lowers our body temperature slightly. However, as we age the brain secretes less of this hormone.
Melatonin Benefits as an Antioxidant
As a nurse I constantly remind patients, friends and family, well anyone who will listen to me, the important role of sleep in maintaining one's health. There are many chemical and physiological processes going on during sleep that help to repair and restore health. Another benefit of the natural production of the hormone melatonin is its role as antioxidant.
Look at this research published by Molecular Medicine in the article called, Melatonin: An Established Antioxidant Worthy of Use in Clinical Trials. And I quote:
"A number of studies have shown that melatonin is significantly better than the classic antioxidants in resisting free-radical–based molecular destruction. In these in vivo studies, melatonin was more effective than vitamin E, β-carotene, and vitamin C, and superior to garlic oil.
Beneficial antioxidant effects of melatonin have been recently shown in clinical settings for several chronic diseases, including patients with rheumatoid arthritis, elderly patients with primary essential hypertension, and females with infertility."
Mol Med. 2009 Jan-Feb; 15(1-2): 43–50.
Melatonin Benefits and Cancer
Did you know that there is research that links exposure to light at night to cancer? People who consistently work night shifts may be at an increased risk for developing cancer according to the research of Dr. Eva Schernhammer, M.D.
"Exposure to light at night suppresses melatonin production, and night-shift work (a surrogate for such exposure) has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer."
The conclusion of her research states:
"These prospective data support the hypothesis that higher melatonin levels, as measured in first morning urine, are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer."
Journal of the National Cancer Institute 005 Jul 20;97(14):1084-7.
This is not a paper to support melatonin supplements, but rather the importance of increasing natural melatonin production by reducing exposure to light at night.
Melatonin Benefits and Jet Lag
Jet lag is a sleep disorder that affects travelers who have gone through different time zones. The natural circadian rhythm is disrupted by the changes and the brain gets somewhat confused about it being day or night. The farther one travels the more one's sleep is disturbed by early wakefulness or difficulty falling asleep.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
"As a jet lag remedy and sleep aid, melatonin has been widely studied, and it is now a commonly accepted part of effective jet lag treatment. The latest research seems to show that melatonin does indeed aid sleep during times when you wouldn't normally be resting, making it of particular benefit for people with jet lag."
It is recommended that one take your melatonin supplement about 20 minutes before you want to fall asleep.
Natural Sleep Aid
Melatonin: A Natural Way to Fall Asleep
Do you have trouble sleeping at night? If so, you probably know how stressful it is to lye awake at night when you know that your body needs sleep. Many people struggle with sleep and find themselves turning to different medications in hopes to find a way to fall asleep more quickly. You may have tried a variety of medications and may have found that nothing seems to work. If you are looking for a natural way to aide in sleep, you may want to consider taking melatonin. There are many advantages to this product.
Melatonin is natural. Humans already produce melatonin naturally. This hormone helps to regulate many aspects of the body. Many people benefit from taking extra melatonin supplements. This can help you maintain a more normal sleep pattern and can aid in decreasing feelings of restlessness. Many people with sleeping problems find that this is a great tool to aide in sleep.
Melatonin can help stimulate the immune system. If you are looking to feel healthier overall, melatonin can be a beneficial supplement to consider taking.
If you experience jet lag, your sleep schedule is probably all out of control. It is a good idea to take melatonin about an hour before bedtime, in order to help tell your body that it is the correct time to fall asleep. This can help your body learn to get back on the right time zone.
These are just some benefits that melatonin has to offer. It is beneficial to take melatonin for insomnia, and other health reasons. If you find yourself missing out on sleep for various reasons, consider purchasing melatonin supplements in order to get your sleep more regulated. If you are having trouble sleeping, melatonin for insomnia can be beneficial. It is also important to discuss your health problems with a doctor. With the help of a professional, you can better understand your body and its particular needs. With the right tools, you can begin your way to a healthier lifestyle full of proper sleep.