A good night’s sleep is a blessing in its own right. Just one sleepless night can make the following day awful with grogginess, low productivity, and a cranky mood. If you have sleepless nights for a few days continuously then your health gets affected negatively. If you are having problems with your sleep then maybe melatonin might just be the thing you need.
Natural Sleep Aid Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the brain. It gets released from the pineal gland. It is your body’s natural sleep aid that sets the tone for a restful night’s sleep. Deficiency of melatonin can cause some serious repercussions as your circadian rhythm gets out of whack and your body can’t sleep on time.
So before we delve into the benefits of this essential hormone, let’s find out a bit more about it. Melatonin is derived naturally from a neurotransmitter called serotonin and an amino acid called tryptophan. It is produced in very small quantities as it is already a very potent hormone. The stomach also produces a bit of it which is why many people feel sleepy after having a heavy or high sugar based meal.
Melatonin plays a crucial role in maintaining your circadian rhythm so that you feel refreshed, full of energy and be alert in the morning. It also makes you feel sleepy in the evening which is your body’s way of signaling you that it’s time to hit the sack and get energized again for the next day. Melatonin depletes in the morning after you have slept well and it starts to increase back again in the evening to prepare you for sleep.
Melatonin might be just another sleeping pill but it is much more than that. It has many benefits and one of the main ones is getting your sleep back on track. Sleep is the body’s natural maintenance system that repairs the wear and tear of the cells that happened during the day. Your brain needs to rest and release certain chemicals and neurotransmitters that ensure the health of the body and that can only happen during sleep time. The brain needs to capture everything that happened during the course of the day in its memory and learn and retain the important information. Whenever your brain learns something new, new synapses and nerve endings are created and you can’t have that if your body doesn’t go into a restful sleep mode.
It is not just sleeplessness but poor and disturbed sleep that causes your mind and body to start losing control and goes haywire. Why do you think intelligence people and the police deprive the criminals of sleep when they want to find out something from them or make them submissive? It’s because lack of sleep breaks a person down mentally and physically. The mind starts hallucinating things and the only thing it wants so desperately is some solid hours of shut-eye.
These are just some of the problems:
Poor or lack of sleep can cause the following problems
Loss of concentration
Makes one susceptible to diabetes and effects glucose metabolism
Linked to depression
Anxiety and stress
Moodiness and emotional instability
Increases the risk of inflammation
Skin problems such as breakouts and dryness
Note: Always consult your doctor or health care professional before taking any supplement or medication. Do not take higher than the recommended dosage or us it to treat a disease or condition with it unless instructed otherwise.
Top 10 Impressive Benefits Of Melatonin
Anyone suffering from insomnia or disturbed sleep can benefit greatly from the use of melatonin supplements. Here are some advantages if it’s taken regularly or until your sleep cycle improves:
1. A Powerful Antioxidant
Your body needs antioxidant enzymes because it needs to prevent oxidative stress in the cells and healthy mitochondrial function. It protects against toxins and prevents cellular atrophy that could cause problems with mitochondrial function. An unhealthy mitochondrial function can cause degenerative diseases and progressive damage to the nerve cells in the body.
2. Boosts Immunity
Melatonin is one of the main hormones that support healthy immune function. It helps your body fighting against infections, diseases and signs of aging. Melatonin works as a stimulant for immunorepressive conditions by working as a powerful antioxidant. Since it is very potent, that is why your body only needs just a little to get it kick-started.
3. Cures Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Melatonin has the power to change and reverse any circadian rhythm sleep disorders. It can shift the biological rhythms and helps to improve delayed sleep phases, shift work disorders and even jet lag. When you travel to other continents and feel really tired and jet-lagged, melatonin levels in the body adjust according to the location and melatonin can help you fall asleep on time. It might take a day or two to get your cycle running according to the time but it eventually doesn’t all thanks to melatonin.
4. Cardiac Health
A lack of sleep can put you at risk for developing cardiac issues in the long run. Thankfully, melatonin supplements can provide you with cardio-protective benefits because it’s a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory hormone that prevents free radicals from causing cardiac problems such as hearts attacks and strokes. Melatonin supplements, if taken regularly for a certain period can help you with your heart health immensely.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure
People with hypertension and blood pressure can greatly benefit from melatonin supplements. It works in such a way that it keeps blood pressure levels at bay and not let it spiral out of control that could lead to other problems. Optimum blood pressure levels protect your other organs and also help in controlling blood sugar levels that could be caused due to stress.
6. Improves Gut Health
Besides the brain, melatonin is also produced by the stomach to aid in digestion and let the digestive juices flow easily. Ti is a crucial process without which many people can suffer from problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diarrhea, stress-induced stomach damage, ulcers and even constipation.
Melatonin also prevents the inflammation of the stomach lining and gut dysbiosis. If these conditions are prevented then stomach cancers and colitis are also stopped dead in their tracks as well. So when you feel sleepy after a heavy meal, it is probably thanks to melatonin taking effect and making you relaxed. Melatonin is also useful for treating GERD which is an acid reflux problem and a digestive disorder. It strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter. Patients with this disorder usually have low levels of melatonin; therefore, melatonin supplements are important.
7. Treats Migraines
If throbbing headaches and migraines are a part of your daily life then your savior can be melatonin. They reduce the intensity and frequency of these headaches and migraine attacks drastically. Just 3gm of melatonin is good enough to fight that debilitating migraine away and make you feel great again. Although chronic headaches always have an underlying problem and are linked to other mental or physical conditions, it is best to find out what is triggering your migraines.
8. Eye Health
Melatonin promotes healthy vision by preventing the death of cone cells in the eyes. These cells help one to identify colors and their various shades and hues. It also promotes the healthy function of nerve cells in the eye that plays a vital role in good vision. Since melatonin has blood pressure lowering properties, it can also prevent high blood pressure in the cells of the eye that can lead to problems such as glaucoma.
9.Improvement Insulin Function
If your melatonin levels are low at night then it can double the production of insulin in the body. This could lead to diabetes, insulin resistance, weight gain and other problems such as PCOS. Excess production of insulin can cause cell death and cause other debilitating problems for you but melatonin can fortunately, prevent all that if taken with proper dosage.
10.Prevents Brain Related Diseases
The powerful antioxidant can improve the healthy functioning of the brain because as a person ages, so does the brain and its cells. Brian diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are one of the most debilitating diseases affecting older people. It stops them from functioning properly and to perform even the most basic day to day activities.
Effects Of Melatonin
Melatonin works by working with your body’s internal clock. Your brain senses that it is dark outside and it releases melatonin accordingly signaling that your body needs rest. If taken by supplements an hour or two prior to bedtime, it can stimulate your brain to signal the body for sleep time and regulate your circadian rhythm. Melatonin Supplement helps you to relax your body. When it binds to the receptors of the brain, it reduces the nerve activity and dopamine levels.
Dopamine is an endorphin that makes a person stay awake. Although it is considered a happy hormone, it can indirectly make you unhappy the next day by not giving you a restful night’s sleep. Ever wonder why you can’t fall asleep when you are happy or excited about something? It is because the happiness hormone dopamine is kicking in and not letting you sleep. Melatonin cams your system down and relaxes you to start falling asleep.
Another hormone cortisol is also responsible for sleepless nights for many. This is known as a stress hormone and is released when the mind and body are under some kind of pressure or pain. People with stress, anxiety and depression usually have trouble sleeping getting a shut eye as cortisol takes control and gives melatonin a backseat. After taking melatonin supplements, this can be reversed and you can end sleeping like a log.
Research shows that taking melatonin supplements can help people fall asleep. It takes as little as 10-15 minutes for it to kick in and before you know it, you will be deep asleep. Melatonin is also prescribed to travelers so that they can sleep easily on the flight or even when they are in a different country to avoid jet lag.
Mike was diagnosed with insomnia due to elevated stress levels after he moved to another city for his new job. The new environment and pressure of work triggered his body to lose sleep for many nights. This, in turn, started to affect his work and caused him even more stress. In order to break this vicious cycle, doctors prescribed him melatonin and within 10 days his sleep problems were resolved.
4 Common Side Effects Of Melatonin
Melatonin is generally considered to be a safe drug. It is usually taken by mouth in the form of a pill or injected. People have used melatonin for up to 2 years without any side effects however some rare and slight side effects do pop up as is the case with any other drug.
It is best to always consult your doctor before taking to avoid any adverse side effects and never to overdose on it to get maximum results. It is considered to be unsafe for pregnant and lactating mothers. Do not take melatonin prior to handling any heavy machinery or vehicle as it can cause serious accidents. Keep away from children.
Doctors generally prescribe 3gms of melatonin supplements to patients just to be on the safe side. They can increase the dosage if there aren’t any significant changes in the sleep pattern. The maximum amount is 10 mg and it is not considered safe to take it higher than that.
You don’t have to compromise on your health anymore because of sleep deprivation when you have a safe and effective supplement to help you fall asleep. Try melatonin and see what a difference it makes.
MECHANISM: Melatonin increases the ability of GABA in binding to the receptors. As this happens, the nervous system undergoes an inhibitory effect. It also controls sleep cycle, sexual functions, secretion of various hormones.
DOSAGE: 0.3 to 5 milligrams per day.
SIDE EFFECTS: It is safe to have it orally in controlled doses for a short-term. Rare side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, headaches. For children with neurological disorder, it may trigger seizures.
INTERACTIONS: May interact with supplements and medications that are anti-coagulants and hypotensive. May interact with caffeine, Vitamin B 12, Vitex Agnus-Castus, St, John’s Wort.
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