Article Categories
» Arts & Entertainment
» Automotive
» Business
» Careers & Jobs
» Education & Reference
» Finance
» Food & Drink
» Health & Fitness
» Home & Family
» Internet & Online Businesses
» Miscellaneous
» Self Improvement
» Shopping
» Society & News
» Sports & Recreation
» Technology
» Travel & Leisure
» Writing & Speaking

  Listed Article

  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Supplements » Article

Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates sleep

By Rosa parks


Melatonin is a hormone (N-acetyl-5 methoxytryptamine) produced especially at night in the pineal gland. Its secretion is stimulated by the dark and inhibited by light. During the day the pineal is inactive. Sleep is an important activity to all of us. It allows the body to repair its tissues, rejuvenate other body parts and revitalize the brain. It gets us ready for the next day. Why we sleep at night is linked to pineal gland, a pea-sized gland located in the brain. It secretes a neurohormone melatonin. At day the pineal gland is inactive, but at night it secretes high levels of melatonin, which makes sleep all the more inviting to all of us.

The amount of melatonin released at night varies among individuals, but it is somewhat related to age. Children on average secrete more melatonin than adults, which decreases further with age. However, research has shown that older people with sleep problems do not always have lower melatonin sleep levels than people who experience normal sleep.

In the United States, melatonin is used in connection with a variety of conditions including sleep disturbances often associated with jet lag. Although it is not recognized as a prescription drug, melatonin supplements has been assigned a special designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an orphan drug.  Melatonin is used in connection with blind individuals who suffer from sleep disturbances caused by interruptions in daily rhythm. As such, melatonin can be purchased without a prescription.

Melatonin Benefits

Melatonin products are usually synthetic versions of the hormone made naturally by the pineal gland. Melatonin users claim many health benefits, such as a sleep aid to help relieve insomnia, fighting jet lag, and helping other problems.

Menopause And Melatonin
Melatonin supplements may benefit menopausal women by promoting and sustaining sleep. Melatonin is also one of the hormones that controls the timing and release of female reproductive hormones. As a result, melatonin helps determine when menstruation begins, the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles, and when menstruation ends (menopause). Peri- or postmenopausal women who use melatonin supplements to regulate sleep patterns should do so only for a short period of time since long term effects, as indicated earlier, are not known.

Sleep Disorders And Melatonin

Anti-aging benefits of melatonin are becoming well known. Melatonin influences our biological clock, affecting the way we age, and controls sleep patterns including Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS), a condition in which people have trouble falling asleep; insomnia in the elderly; and sleep disturbances that result from neurophychiatric disorders such as dementia, depression, Alzheimer's disease, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), autism, and epilepsy.

Eating Disorders And Melatonin

Excessive levels or daytime melatonin can cause depressive disorders. Medical research confirms the relationship between melatonin and mood disorders. Melatonin levels may play a role in the symptoms of anorexia. For example, abnormally low melatonin levels may cause depressed mood in people with this condition. However, it is not known whether supplementation will change the course of the disease. Some researchers speculate that low melatonin levels in people with anorexia may indicate who is likely to benefit from antidepressant medications (a treatment often used for eating disorders).

Cancer And Melatonin

Because melatonin supplements acts as an antioxidant, it is being studied as a possible treatment for cancer. It is thought that melatonin supplements may have immune-enhancing, anti-inflammatory, and even cancerous-cell-killing effects in the body. The antioxidant effects of melatonin may enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs and reduce their side effects, but studies in this area are preliminary, and far from conclusive

More Detail About Melatonin
About the Author
Author By Rosa parks

Article Source:
If you wish to add the above article to your website or newsletters then please include the "Article Source:" as shown above and make it hyperlinked.

  Some other articles by Rosa parks
Resveratrol as a substitute of aspirin for Heart Health
Resveratrol - Resveratrol as a substitute of Aspirin for Heart Health Resveratrol, an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory substance created by a variety of plants, starting from vines to peanuts and pine trees. ...

Geranium has been used for centuries in skin care
Geranium Geranium also called Cranesbill (genus Geranium) any of a group of about 300 species of perennial herbs or shrubs in the family Geraniaceae, native mostly to subtropical ...

Propolis boost immune system
Propolis Propolis, also known as Bee Propolis or bee glue occurs naturally in honey, bees make propolis from tree sap and wax to help seal off their hives. Propolis has ...

Graviola supplements has been shown to have an effect on cancer cells
What Is Graviola? Graviola is a powerful tree that grows deep within the Amazon rain forest in South America and throughout the Caribbean. Graviola various parts, including the leaves, roots, fruit, fruit seeds, ...

Hyaluronic acid is well known for its skin care and anti aging benefits
Hyaluronic Acid Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG). Hyaluronic acid  is a component of connective tissue whose function is to cushion and lubricate. In ...

Shea Butter Benefit For Skin & Hair
Natural shea butter is extracted from the pit of a fruit that grows only on the magnifolia tree in Central and Western Africa. Pure shea butter is a fat made from the seeds of the ...

  Recent Articles
Hoodia Diet Supplements Work With Regular Exercise
by Ron Edwards

Hoodia Gordonii - A Miracle Plant?
by Ron Edwards

Understanding the Essential Importance of Chelated Minerals
by Steve Johnsen

Why body building supplements?
by Ken Wilson

Friendly Bacteria - Probiotics
by Steve Johnsen

Can Diabetes Be Managed By Supplements?
by Ng Peng Hock

Injection Procedures?
by Mark henry

Tingle, Tingle - Where's My Blood?
by Evelyn Boichuk

Make 2007 the Year to Get Healthy
by Robert Maguire

How Herbs are Used
by Charles Browne

Pregnancy Nutrition
by Jacqueline Courtiol

HGH Supplements - Facts and Fiction
by Sudha K

Can't connect to database