Heard of melatonin? Well, science says, it’s the hormone naturally produced in the pineal gland present in your brain. Simplifying it, this hormone is responsible for making you fall asleep as it is synced with your internal body clock and controls biological processes. Now, besides this, the sleep hormone is also known for various other benefits.
Before benefits, know how it works
Melatonin works like an elixir to many souls who suffer from sleepless nights. Being sleep deprived can be detrimental to one’s health. With depletion of energy, it can cause fatigue, drowsiness, etc. This problem can be cured by boosting melatonin levels in the body.
Under normal conditions, secretion of melatonin takes place during the night; during the day, its level remains quite less. Also, with increasing age, the production of melatonin reduces. That is why; most of the elderly people suffer from insomnia.
Curing this lack of melatonin is simple, but identification of melatonin inadequacy is the tricky part. Majority of people aged over 50 are likely to lack melatonin; much like other hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, levels of which decrease as people grow older. Those who are young usually don’t lack this sleep hormone secretion in their body unless they have any health issue.
How to identify melatonin deficiency?
The most widely recognized symptoms of melatonin deficiency are insomnia, sleep disruptions, light rest, fatigue during daytime, etc. Also, some signs of melatonin inadequacy include cancer (breasts and prostate), PMS, eye problems, abnormality in heart rates, fluctuation of blood pressure levels, etc. Medical professionals can diagnose the same by testing sample of body fluids like urine, saliva or blood.
Why Melatonin is so influential to our health?
Melatonin being an endocrine hormone has minimal side effects and a plethora of benefits. It works as an antioxidant and helps to curb the health problems caused by hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals.
Apart from curing sleep disorders, it also helps our body to be in a state of wellness in many areas. Some of those are –
- Maintaining proper level of melatonin can help in keeping the blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.
- Melatonin can help in fighting cancers and other kinds of tumors in the body. Sometimes, it is also used to negate the side effects of chemotherapy and recover from sore mouth, anemia, and fatigue.
- It helps to reduce the effects of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Proper dosages of melatonin 5mg supplements can help those patients in organized movements and lessen the chance of brain damage and stroke.
- Sleeplessness can cause anxiety and depression too, which usage of melatonin can easily eradicate. Depression can also happen due to abnormal day and night concentrations of melatonin.
- The sleep hormone stimulates the pineal gland to secrete sex hormones which, in turn, can enhance sex drive of an individual.
- Decrease in melatonin level can also trigger bipolar disorders.
- It helps in regenerating the nerve cells and keeping the brain healthy.
- It also helps to cure Tinnitus, i.e., the continuous noise in the ears.
#Do you know?
Also known as a magic hormone, melatonin is present in the retinas of human eye. It helps in not only keeping up a good vision but also in decreasing the pressure in eyes. Disruptions in melatonin functions can cause glaucoma too.
It is a fact that the level of melatonin decreases with the increase in age. When we reach the age bracket between 50 and 60, the level of Melatonin falls even further. That is why most older adults suffer from sleep deprivation.
Treatment & Dosage
Like there are countless other benefits when you take melatonin tablets of which there are significant effects of its deficiency too. However, the remedies are not so complicated, and can be cured with proper medication.
The primary dosage can vary from 1 mg to 3 mg; it can help in curbing sleep disorder or general health problems. For more complicated issues, one should take the dosage only after consultation with a doctor.
However, the doctor or pharmacist must know about the other medications an individual is consuming, if any. The reason being, those may interfere with the dosage of melatonin and create an adverse effect on the body. Also, when on melatonin supplements, consumption of alcohol or sedatives is strictly prohibited.
One can increase the melatonin intake by in taking foods which have a high concentration of this hormone like tart cherries. There are some other melatonin rich foods like turkey, broccoli, grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, spinach, chicken breasts, milk, apples, grains (wheat, barley, rice), etc. to try.
Though melatonin is mostly known for its positive impacts, over usage of the same can prove detrimental to one’s health. So, controlled intake under proper supervision is always recommended.