Effects of Melatonin

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This post was originally published in (November 2018) and updated on (May 13, 2019).

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland occurring naturally in the body which is associated with sleep regulation and feelings of sleepiness. Ordinarily, melatonin is produced when it gets dark, which your body-clock takes as a cue that it’s time to sleep.  The effects of melatonin are regulation of your natural sleep patterns.

Nowadays, it is known as one of the most important anti-ageing supplements on the market.  It is known as well to imagine prove cognitive functions that are related to memory, alertness, and even creative thought.

When we age our Melatonin levels begin to decline.  Some people have lower amounts of melatonin, to begin with so by sleeping less and with poor quality, we see deterioration in our cognitive health.

Melatonin is produced by our Pineal gland deep in our brain.  Scientists believe the Pineal gland produces Melatonin when low levels of light are detected.  Conversely when light is detected the pineal gland stops producing Melatonin.

Read about L-Tryptophan, an amino acid connected with Melatonin here

 

How Does Melatonin Work

Our body works on a clock called the circadian rhythm which melatonin works together with.

Melatonin has other functions as well.  It regulates our body temperature, our hormone levels and blood pressure and we will look at some of the benefits it has on these.

When it gets dark outside the levels of melatonin rise, therefore telling or bodies it is time to go to bed [1].

Melatonin binds to the MT1 and in Mt2 receptors that help you relax.  It also reduces dopamine levels that promote wakefulness [2].

When it becomes light outside, the light decreases the production of melatonin and we become awake again [3]

 

Effects of melatonin

Melatonin and Circadian Rhythms

Often referred to as the “body clock,” the circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat—regulating many physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature, and determines whether one feels wide-awake and energized or tired and depleted at different times of the day.

Because melatonin is the hormone your body uses for sleep and darkness tracking when you take it orally you can tell your rain it must be time to sleep. Normally we have a hard time sleeping when it is light outside because of our natural melatonin, but when taking more you essentially tell your brain that it is time to sleep.

Benefits of Melatonin

 

May Reduce Symptoms of Tinnitus

Simply speaking Tinnitus is a ringing in the ears and is quite pronounced when it is quiet, like what it is when we try and fall asleep.  Quite annoying.

What researchers have found is that melatonin may reduce the symptoms of tinnitus, ultimately helping you get to sleep [4].

Here’s a study with interesting results.  Participants, 61 of them were given 3mg of melatonin for 30 days always before bed resulting in very much improved sleep quality [5]

 

Melatonin for Jet Lag

Effects of melatonin

I first started reading about melatonin shortly after meeting my wife. At that time she was a huge business traveller being on the road a third or more of the year. She is now part of the million miles club of our points club so jet lag has been something she has never been able to get control of.

Then came our discovery of melatonin and things changed. Melatonin can help you completely overcome jet lag. How do we achieve this? I did a lot of research and found this formula.

To prevent jet lag at your destination, the day before you are to travel take your melatonin about 30 min before the time you would normally go to bed in the new time zone.

Melatonin for Insomnia

You have trouble sleeping, maybe a little or maybe you toss and turn looking at the ticking clock all night. This is insomnia. We’ve all had it from time to time and it is very frustrating. Whatever is causing your insomnia and there can be a million reasons, melatonin can help. Just take the small .3 mg dose about 30 minutes before you want to sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep get up and take it then and the melatonin will help you adjust.  Melatonin and l-theanine have been known to work well together

 

Melatonin for Shift Work

I consider shift work being in a constant trap of jet lag. It really is! You have to stay awake when your body wants to sleep and sleep when your body is normally awake. The effects are pretty much the same as jet lag.

So working at night when you are under lights, your body may think it is day time and prevent the melatonin production you would normally need. Now, when you go home and it is light outside, the low production of melatonin will continue which will make it hard for you to sleep.

This doesn’t happen to everyone including me. I can sleep in the day after working all night and have been able to for many years.

If you are one of those that finds it hard to sleep after being up all night, take melatonin when you get home and it will trigger your body to get ready for sleep.

 

Melatonin May Support Eye Health

Melatonin has very powerful antioxidant benefits.  These benefits can help lower your risk of getting eye diseases such as AMD (age-related macular degeneration [6].

One study consisting of 100 volunteers who had AMD were given 3mg each night at bedtime for at least 3 months.  It was found that melatonin helped to protect the retina of the eye and delay or slow the damage caused by AMD and without any significant side effects [7].

 

Melatonin and Seasonal Depression

Seasonal depression is commonly known as the “winter blues” or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It may affect up to 20% of adults in the US (8).

Some evidence shows that seasonal depression is affected by changes in light and sleep cycles (9).

In turn, melatonin could possibly help reduce symptoms of seasonal depression by helping with the sleep cycle (10, 11).

However, the evidence is not entirely clear. Future studies will help clarify if melatonin could be useful for treating seasonal depression.

 

Melatonin May Reduce Symptoms of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a very annoying condition where you suffer from a constant ringing in your ears.  It can be particularly bad when there is low background noise and when you are attempting to fall asleep.  It has been discovered that supplementing with melatonin may reduce the symptoms of tinnitus [12].

A study involving 61 adults who experience tinnitus showed that giving 3mg of melatonin per day at bedtime reduced the effects of tinnitus and allowed the patient to sleep better.

 

May Help Treat Stomach Ulcers and Heartburn

Melatonin having great antioxidant properties may help with stomach ulcers and alleviate heartburn [13].

There was a study that took 21 volunteers and had them supplement with either melatonin, tryptophan, or omeprazole did help in the healing of stomach ulcers that were caused by the bacteria H pylori much faster [14].

With regard to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD as it is known as, a study with 36 people showed that given either melatonin, omeprazole (a GERD medication) or both to treat the GERD.  Melatonin was a great help in reducing heartburn and much more effective when combined with omeprazole.

 

Children and Melatonin

I have always had an issue with medicating children with something they really don’t need unless necessary. In the case of Effects of melatonin

melatonin, I would have to speak to their physician first.

Melatonin is studied to death with adults, but not with children whose brains are developing. We simply do not know the long term effects on the growing body of children as with most medication.

In conclusion about giving it to children? Don’t unless you talk to your physician first.

Pregnancy and Melatonin

I take the same stance as in children because there is a developing child involved here as well. Many medications are heavily discouraged for pregnant women. Just as those medications, illicit drugs, smoking, and drinking, the infant shares the same blood as the mother and therefore the melatonin will circulate through the infant’s body.

 

Side Effects of Melatonin Use

In itself, melatonin is very safe to take. It is very well studied and has been used for many years giving researchers plenty of data to work with. However, I have always said, no matter what you take, listen to your body. The most common side effects are headaches although very mild, and in some cases’ dizziness that is also very mild.

How Much Melatonin to Take (Dosage)

Now that I’ve talked about using it synthetically to regulate your sleep, we need to talk about how much to take. According to the study, the optimum amount of melatonin to take is 0.3mg If you are reading this and saying, wow that’s a really small amount, you would be right. The study found that melatonin works better if you take less of it, and taking higher doses will be much less effective.

 

Where to Buy Melatonineffects of melatonin

There are many brands of Melatonin on the market so you will need to do your research on which brand to buy.  One great place with a Nootropics Depot.  Click on the Melatonin bottle to the right and it will take you there.

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16 thoughts on “Effects of Melatonin”

  1. Thank you so much for a very simple and easy to read blog on a product that is very important to understand fully should you begin to use it.

    I have a question, does this product get your sleeping pattern back on track therefore you get to a point where you no longer need to use it or do you end up relying on it. I.e  can this be addictive. I hope that makes sense.

    • It makes perfect sense.  

      If your sleep patterns are off, just take it a few hours before you should be going to sleep and repeat this for a few times.  Stop and see how you are doing. 

      For regulating sleep you don’t need to take it all the time.

      No, there is no addictive properties 🙂

  2. For someone who gets open eyed all night which by my world sometimes iis scary, I totally llove this post. If you don’t mind, I saved it up. Yes, we get jet lags but mine is off sometimes.

    How can I get the product in Nigeria? Can it be shipped or can I get it at a pharmacy?

    • Thanks for the comment on this article.

      In Nigeria I have no idea if it is in a pharmacy, but it just may be.  It is popular and doesn’t require a prescription pretty much anywhere.

      Otherwise Amazon has the products.

  3. I’m the one who struggle to sleep, so I have an option to take melatonin. I like that there’s no hard side effects of taking it. Benefits are great, like full refreshing sleep. It is not expensive it cost less money, I think paying $24-99 for solution of the long time problem is nothing.

  4. I agree that children shouldn’t take medicine like this. The side effects for them can be a lot more severe, and since they can’t handle pain as adults can, you’ll never know what they’re actually experiencing or if theyre just over reacting because of their young age. 

    Is there perhaps a children’s version of melatonin meant specifically for kids?

    • No there is not.  Children’s brains are developing very rapidly and In recent years many over the counter children’s meds have been removed because we don’t know the long term effects yet.

      I always recommend staying away from unnecessary  meds for kids

  5. I have been using melatonin for quite along time, I have never gotten headaches or anything.  I usually use it about a half hour before bed.  It makes me feel at ease and not too strong.  It doesn’t knock you out.  Just a gentle feeling and you start to drift off.  I would recommend it to my clients or anyone.  I use it when I have those sleepless nights and I need to wake early.  I just take the suggested dose and I fall asleep with in the hour.  

    • Ahh, that experience is exactly what you should get from Melatonin.  Glad you benefit from it Nancy.  Thank you for the great user experience in your comment.

  6. It was so good to see such a positive article about the wonderful effects of Melatonin. Have found with age that my sleep patterns changed so bought some and tried it out and was delighted with the result.

    I hope more people will give this a try, before going onto pharmaceuticals. Naturally, it is always a good things to discuss this with your doctor first, and especially when pregnant.

    Is it safe for lactating mothers?

    • Yes, we don’t need Speepeze or any other drug that can mess with our lives more than we think.  A natural supplement  that is not foreign to our body and works is far far better.

      Melatonin is relatively harmless, but for lactating women, I would speak to a doctor first.

  7. Thanks for the interesting article. In the busy world we live in it is not easy to shut off your mind at night. Melatonin is a good alternative to the habit forming sleep aids your doctor will prescribe. I totally agree about the children and pregnant women, you should consult the doctor. I have used melatonin in the past and was very satisfied with the results. 

  8. Thanks for the informative post! Kudos for emphasizing so much on the benefits of Melatonin! I found it so interesting to learn that Melatonin is the hormone for our body’s natural sleep and wakefulness and within 30-40 minutes of taking it, one can begin to feel naturally tired and sleepy. This is amazing.

    Thanks for analyzing that the melatonin can also circulate through the infant’s body just as some drugs, certain drinks, smoking and all of that are discouraged for pregnant women!

    Israel Olatunji

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