Melatonin – Helping to Signal the Brain that it is Time for Sleep

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone found in all mammals. Melatonin helps signal the brain that it is time for sleep.

How melatonin sleep aid works

Melatonin is produced in a small endocrine gland known as the pineal gland.  This gland is located in the brain and is responsible for producing melatonin and then distributing it throughout the body via the bloodstream.

The production of melatonin is part of what signals the human body that it is time for rest and sleep.  This, in turn, is what helps to regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle known as the circadian rhythm.

Unfortunately, as we age the natural production of melatonin by the body declines dramatically.  Children and teenagers have much more of this hormone and as such suffer from far fewer sleep disturbances.

The declining rates of melatonin in the body can lead to a variety of sleep related issues.  These include middle of the night wakefulness, episodes of insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and many other variations.

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How Melatonin Works

Melatonin, known chemically as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a hormone produced in the pineal gland located in the brain.  The pineal gland is an endocrine gland and is responsible for the production and distribution of melatonin in the human body.

The production of melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and is responsible for the entrainment of the circadian rhythm in humans and animals.  What this means is that it helps to generate sleep at the appropriate time, namely as a result of lower light levels.

How melatonin works

The pineal gland secretes melatonin at varying rates during the day and night. Melatonin receptors in the body receive this hormone as it is released from the pineal gland and into the bloodstream.

Levels of both light and dark are received by the retinal photosensitive ganglion cells in the eyes.  These cells are different from the primary image receptors of rods and cones and make up only about 2% of the retinal ganglion.

These photosensitive receptors are then responsible for delivering information to the brain about the levels of light and darkness found in the external environment.  These neural signals are then associated with the production of the specific hormone melatonin.

Continue Reading “How Melatonin Works”

Signalling the Brain that it is Time for Sleep

what is melatonin
What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone found in all mammals.  Melatonin helps signal the brain that it is time for sleep.

Melatonin is produced in a small endocrine gland known as the pineal gland.  This gland is located in the brain and is responsible for producing melatonin and then distributing it throughout the body via the bloodstream.

The production of melatonin is part of what signals the human body that it is time for rest and sleep.  This, in turn, is what helps to regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle known as the circadian rhythm.

Age causes a melatonin shortage

Unfortunately, as we age the natural production of melatonin by the body declines dramatically.  Children and teenagers have much more of this hormone and as such suffer from far fewer sleep disturbances.

The declining rates of melatonin in the body can lead to a variety of sleep related issues.  These include middle of the night wakefulness, episodes of insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and many other variations.

Jet lag and insomnia

Insomnia affects an increasingly large amount of people.  Fortunately, melatonin for insomnia is an extremely safe and effective treatment for many.

Melatonin has been conclusively shown to help with those suffering from jetlag.  It has been shown to restore balance to sleep cycles and to help with the adjustment to a different time zone.

Melatonin supplementation

Melatonin supplementation has also been used to treat other forms of insomnia.  In particular it is helpful for those who have difficulty falling asleep.  Some circadian rhythm disorders can be greatly  helped with the use of melatonin.

Melatonin has a relaxing effect on the body and is also therefore useful for helping to reduce anxiety which may lead to insomnia.

Taking melatonin sleep aid before bed can help induce sleep and improve sleep quality without the negative side-effects associated with prescription sleep medication.  Melatonin pills will not leave you feeling drowsy or groggy the next day.

Buying melatonin

Melatonin is banned in a lot of countries, especially in Europe. Over the years I have bought from various online retailers of melatonin. One website which has constantly been offering a 5 star service is: buy melatonin uk . You can follow the links in the last sentence you read.

Melatonin – The Video

Check out this YouTube video on Melatonin.