Not being able to sleep is a hugely unpleasant situation and is often one of the worst feelings you can experience. It leads to poor concentration the following day, and can result in irritation and frustration, poor emotional control, and, in the long term, can have serious impacts on your health and wellbeing. Melatonin is often touted as a solution to short-term sleep issues and is usually suggested as a way of solving jetlag and resetting your natural sleep rhythms. It is often supplied as a supplement, from suppliers such as chosen vitamins.
What Is Melatonin?
Although it is usually advertised as a supplement, melatonin is a substance which occurs naturally within the body. It is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain, though it may also be found in the bone marrow, gut, and eyes. Often referred to as the ‘sleep hormone,’ in high levels it can aid you in falling asleep, telling your body that it is now time to rest, and helping you to relax and fall asleep. This makes it a useful substance for those with disrupted sleep, such as people suffering from jetlag or insomnia.
In addition to assisting with sleep patterns, melatonin can also be beneficial in other areas, such as:
Supporting Eye Health
A healthy level of melatonin can help to support the health of your eyes. It contains antioxidants which are thought to lower the risk of eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Helping With Heartburn
The antioxidant properties contained within melatonin can also be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of heartburn and treating stomach ulcers.
The condition tinnitus involves a constant ringing in the ears, and symptoms are usually aggravated in situations with less background noise, such as trying to fall asleep. Melatonin is thought to help relieve these symptoms, aiding sleep and reducing stress.
Help With Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder (or SAD) is more commonly known as the ‘winter blues,’ and is thought to be caused by the changes in light and sleep cycles which occur as a result of the changing seasons. It is estimated to affect 20 percent of all adults in the US. Melatonin’s power to help regulate sleep cycles is believed to play a crucial part in helping to treat and manage the symptoms of the condition.
Increase Growth Hormones In Men
When we sleep, our bodies naturally work to produce growth hormone. Studies have shown the melatonin can help to make the pituitary gland—the organ which releases this grown hormone—more sensitive to signals which trigger the release of growth hormone, especially in healthy young men. This can increase the levels of the growth hormone in the body.
As with any supplement or addition to your diet, it is vital that you conduct thorough research into melatonin, and the different ways in which it may affect you. If you have any doubts or confusion, it is worth consulting with a medical professional before you start taking it, and be alert for any side-effects.
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