During these trying times getting enough shut eye is not always feasible with many minds on overdrive with constant worries. Poor sleep depletes the body’s energy, lowers productivity and could increase a person’s risk of dangerous health complications including high blood pressure and diabetes. Studies suggest taking melatonin could help for a better night’s sleep.
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Melatonin is a hormone which tells the body when it’s time to rest.
It has become a popular supplement among people struggling with shut eye or insomnia.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain but also found in areas such as the eyes, bone marrow and gut.
It has been dubbed the “sleep hormone” due to its high levels which aids in a person falling asleep easier.
It’s worth noting that melatonin itself won’t knock a person out instantly to fall asleep but rather simply lets the body know when it is night-time so the body can relax easier.
The supplement is also a powerful antioxidant which provides the body with a myriad of other health benefits.
In fact, it may help support eye health, treat stomach ulcers and heartburn, ease tinnitus symptoms and even raise growth hormone levels for men.
What the studies say
In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, melatonin’s effectiveness in aiding a good night’s rest was investigated.
The study noted: “We examined effects of very low doses of melatonin or placebo, administered on sleep latency and duration, mood, performance, oral temperature and changes in serum melatonin levels in 20 healthy male volunteers.
“Subjects completed a battery of tests designed to assess mood and performance.
“The sedative-like effects of melatonin were assessed, and subjects were asked to hold a positive pressure switch in each hand to relax with eyes closed while reclining in a quiet darkened room.”
The study concluded that all melatonin doses tested significantly increased sleep duration, as well as self-reported sleepiness and fatigue, relative to placebo.
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In an analysis of 19 studies on people with sleep disorders, scientists found that melatonin helped reduce the time it took to fall asleep by an average of seven minutes.
In many of these studies, participants also reported significantly better quality of sleep.
It was also found that melatonin helped to reduce jet lag by syncing the internal clock with the time change and proved that taking melatonin could help with both jet lag and temporary sleep disorder.
How melatonin can help with sleep
The supplement works together with the body’s circadian rhythm.
The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock and signals when it’s time to sleep, wake and eat.
Melatonin helps by binding receptors in the brain to help reduce nerve activity and signals to the body when it’s dark outside and time for sleep.
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