Melatonin decreases in the body when light levels increase, leading to wakefulness at dawn . For this reason, in nature most animals sleep at night and wake up during the day, some predators and nocturnal species come out.
What is melatonin for?
The presence of melatonin in the body can be favored when eating cereals and foods rich in tryptophan, which is the amino acid that functions as its chemical precursor.
Melatonin is used to:
- Remedy sleep disorders
- Counteract depression
- Prevent premature aging
Remedy sleep disorders
Melatonin is essential for sleeping. Therefore, low levels of this can cause insomnia, both temporary and chronic. It denotes treatments of this hormone synthetically to treat these disorders, especially in presentation of sublingual tablets , because melatonin can be absorbed better under the tongue.
Sleep can be induced with melatonin supplements, with success in cases of mild to moderate insomnia. They also work when schedule changes unbalance people’s lifestyle , to adapt the sleep cycle to this condition.
Blind people who suffer from sleep problems can be treated in this way, to get it fixed.
Depression is related to low levels of serotonin and melatonin, so many treatments include this neurohormone as part of therapy.
Prevent premature aging
Lack of sleep encourages cellular oxidation. Therefore, having normal levels of melatonin and getting enough sleep to rest, cell repair occurs more easily . Melatonin is believed to help prolong life, but there are no categorical studies on this. What is proven is that the elderly who have good levels of melatonin live healthier.
Contraindications of melatonin
The consumption of melatonin as a dietary supplement should be monitored by a medical professional or completely avoided, in people such as:
- Pregnant women (it is not advisable)
- Young children (only under strict observation of the pediatrician)
- People who work operating heavy machinery
- People who work driving large cars
Side effects of melatonin
Melatonin can have side effects, which are generally temporary and not very dangerous; even so, it is recommended to ingest less than 800 milligrams per day, and only under medical prescription.
The most common side effects of melatonin are:
This article is informational in nature and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.