What is melatonin? What are melatonin benefits? Are there any melatonin side effects?
Melatonin is a chemical compound found in all forms of organic life. That means animals, plants, and yes, human beings. In humans, this chemical is mainly produced by the pineal gland or also referred to as the third eye. Melatonin may also be created by the bone marrow cells, lymphocytes, epithelial cells, retina and the gastrointestinal tract.
Melatonin aids in performing a number of biological functions. One of these functions involves regulating your wake and sleeping patterns. So, the benefits of melatonin include the ability to help you fall into a deep and restful sleep.
Thought melatonin can serve a number of purposes, the most common reason people purchase melatonin supplements is to help with insomnia or to restore their sleeping patterns. Taking a few milligrams of melatonin before bedtime will help you slowly drift into sleep. Compared to taking sleeping pills, melatonin supplement does not produce any side effect. And you get quality and decent night's sleep.
Another melatonin benefits is to help relief jet lag. Travelling at different time zones can disrupt the circadian rhythms of the body, which may cause disorientation, fatigue and sleep disturbance. Researchers have indicated that melatonin may also improve mood swings and SAD or seasonal affective disorder. People who do shift work may also benefit from taking melatonin supplements.
In 1993, research showed that melatonin has antioxidant property. But unlike any other antioxidants, the antioxidant in melatonin is about ten times more effective in absorbing free radicals. And according to more studies made, melatonin may lessen impairment caused by some types of Parkinson's disease. It may also help in preventing disturbance or irregularity of the heartbeat and may increase longevity.
There were also studies made to determine melatonin benefits on the female reproductive hormones. And some of the findings showed that melatonin may help women determine when their menstruations begin and end and the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles.
Studies have shown that short-term use, or about three months, and low doses of melatonin supplements produced minimum side effects. However, high doses of melatonin intake may lead to headaches, nausea, irritability and hormone fluctuations.
Before you decide to take melatonin supplements, consult your doctor especially if you are on medication or have a disorder of the autonomic nervous system.