Research Shows That Melatonin:
Promotes healthy sleep in children and adults
Improves sleep patterns without morning grogginess
Reduces effects of jet lag
Provides immune system support
Supports hormonal health in menopause
Melatonin is a hormone synthesized in the pineal gland in the brain. It is involved with receptor binding of gamma-aminobenzoic acid (GABA). There appears to be little difference in secretion of melatonin between men and women.
Natural production of melatonin is influenced by light and darkness. People produce less melatonin with light, and more during darkness. Melatonin production declines with age. Toddlers have the highest levels. Low levels of melatonin can occur in individuals with sleep trouble and in individuals for whom certain factors may interrupt sleep. Research with melatonin supplementation began over 2 decades ago.
Melatonin has been shown to be effective at supporting circadian rhythm and healthy sleep patterns. Seniors report significant improvements in sleep quality; this is believed to be related to the natural decline in melatonin production with age. Melatonin can improve sleep-wake cycles and time to fall asleep in children with disrupted sleep patterns. Improvements with jet lag are better alertness, cognitive and sensory coordination. Best results are realized when melatonin is taken during the travel period, not before. Melatonin appears to be involved with supporting hormonal changes in menopausal women without adverse affects on stress levels or the heart.
Melatonin is being researched for many additional uses, including its role in certain health conditions, ability to improve response to some medications, pre and post surgery benefits, immune wellness, sexual performance and healthy bone mineralization. Melatonin has valuable anti-oxidant benefits.
In general, melatonin is taken in the evening or just before bedtime. It may cause initial drowsiness. During travel, it is usually taken at bedtime in the new location. There is typically no morning grogginess.