Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces. It plays a role in controlling your sleep cycle. It also contains laboratory-produced melatonin, which is available as a supplement. Some people use Melatonin to help with sleep problems, such as jet lag and insomnia.
How do Melatonin work?
Natural melatonin is widely produced in the human pineal gland, located in the brain. Exposure to light inhibits melatonin production and, conversely, darkness stimulates it. Melatonin levels in the human brain begin to rise in the darkness fall. Its level peaks at midnight and begins to decline as dawn getting closer.
Melatonin acts to block signals in your brain to stimulate wakefulness. This stimulates sleep by making you feel tired or drowsy near bedtime. Due to the sleep-promoting effects of this drug, it is used to treat various sleep problems. These may include:
• jet lag
• shift work sleep disorder
• delayed sleep-wake phase disorder
• sleep problems in children with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Are there any risks associated with taking Melatonin every night?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Complex Health (NCCIH), short-term melatonin supplementation is safe for most adults and children. However, information on the long-term effects of this drug is less limited.
Long-term use of Melatonin in adults may cause mild side effects compared to placebo. And studies on the effects of long-term Melatonin use on children are still limited.
Because Melatonin levels naturally decline at the onset of puberty, there is some concern that long-term Melatonin use in children may delay their onset of puberty. However, more researches is needed to confirm the effects of Melatonin.