Melatonin Supplements – Health Benefits and Side Effects

Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone found inside the human body; specifically it is produced by a specific gland found in the brain called the pineal gland. Melatonin is produced on a regular basis everyday and on a set interval. The pineal gland secretes melatonin based on the body’s internal clock or circadian clock. Scientists have discovered that the peak hours when melatonin is produced is during the night. A healthy individual will produce melatonin at a rate of about 5 – 25 micrograms every night.

Melatonin for Jet Lag

Melatonin Supplements - Health Benefits and Side EffectsThe use of supplements containing melatonin has been proven to help prevent as well as cure jet lag. Studies have shown that using melatonin supplements on the day of your flight and continuously taking them for a couple more days can help the body adapt to the shift in time zone quicker. East bound and west bound travelers will have different dosage recommendations though. For those traveling westward it is advisable to take melatonin supplement for 4 days before bedtime. For east bound east bound travelers it is best to start taking melatonin supplements early before the flight during the bed time of your destination and continuously take one each night for 4 days once there.

Melatonin for Sleep Disorders

Melatonin supplements have been found to be quite effective for people who are suffering from sleeping disorders such as insomnia. Several studies conducted showed a huge percentage of people who took melatonin had far better results in terms of sleep quality than those who were given placebos. The recommended dosage is set at 30 to an hour before bedtime for best results. Research also suggests that melatonin supplement were more beneficial to people who are around the age of 50 and above, the age when melatonin production in the brain is significantly decreased. Melatonin also has a huge benefit for children that have certain developmental, intellectual or behavioral delays.Melatonin Supplements - Health Benefits and Side Effects

Miscellaneous Uses of Melatonin

Melatonin is currently being studied for use in other health cases and issues. While there is still no solid conclusion it is being seen as a possible treatment for several age specific conditions. One such case is with hot flashes during menopause. It is also being tested in muscle degeneration and pre-operative anxiety.

Melatonin also seems to be a good source of anti-inflammatory agents and has actually been used for treatment of several types of cancer. Melatonin is mainly used for treating chronic ailments such insomnia but this alone can help in preventing other negative conditions from developing such as obesity and diabetes.

Precautions in Using Melatonin

As with all types of medications, melatonin supplements must be used as the doctor instructed. Overdosing can lead to several unwanted side effects such as headaches, dizziness, depression and nausea. Melatonin has a number of health benefits that are still being unlocked by scientists today. This can be the key to beating sleep disorders and it can also lead to other health benefits. Time will tell on what part melatonin will play in the future of medications for sleep disorders but it seems that it will play a significant one.