Have you ever wondered why you tend to fall asleep as the clock strikes 9-12 at night? Or why you face difficulty sleeping in daylight? The answer is Melatonin!
In layman’s words, Melatonin is nothing but a hormone. It helps induce and maintain regular sleep habits. The hormone is produced from the pineal gland, situated above brain’s cerebellum. Production of this hormone starts when it is evening. The secretion increases with the progress of night. With sunrise, its level decreases.
Role of the Hormone
In the human body, this hormone proves highly important. It synchronises sleep with darkness and dawn. It also has similar functions for other mammals. Some naturally occurring foods also contain melatonin. People also take it in the form of a supplement. It helps in sleep regulation.
- Regulates circadian rhythm – This rhythm synchronises human body with solar timing. It is controlled from a specific region of the hypothalamus. The rhythm matches body’s time with the solar timing. Melatonin primarily works to maintain this rhythm. This gland is active during night producing melatonin. Its activity reduces during the day. The SCN establishes communication with the gland accordingly.
- Relieves heartburn – Studies suggest it also cures epigastria and heartburns.
- For Autism – It is effective for children who have autism. Their sleep patterns can also be treated by this naturally occurring compound.
- Protection from radiation – Radiation damages cells. This hormone helps reduce damage caused by radiation.
- Other regulations – Its release helps control fat cells. And, it protects the human body from the development of pancreatitis. It also protects from other diseases that lead to degeneration of neurons. It contains antioxidant properties as well.
(Note: Avoid using artificial light during the night, after darkness. It confuses the brain. And signals for this hormone’s release are disrupted. This leads to sleep disorders.)
Detection of the Hormone and its History
Discovery of Melatonin was in 1958. Aaron B. Lerner was a professor at the Yale University. He and his few colleagues were researching for a cure of skin disorders. This search focused on the pineal gland. They tested cows for melatonin’s effect.
Melatonin: A Supplement
Medical science advanced. This helped in developing Melatonin supplements for regulating various issues related to sleep gained success. Today it is used as a medication for treating various disorders of sleep.
Some Sleep Disorders Cured by its Supplements
- Sleeplessness – Regulated hormone release can cure sleeplessness or insomnia. It is a highly effective treatment for old people dealing with sleeplessness.
- DSPD – For people who deal with unregulated sleep, this hormone is an effective cure.
- Shift-timings – Those people who have jobs with different shift times also find it difficult to maintain a regular sleep habit. The hormone, when taken in the form of supplement, induces sleep even at irregular hours.
- Seasonal depression – This disorder is known as SAD. It causes depression at regular yearly intervals or during fixed seasons. When you buy melatonin these melatonin supplements help patients showing symptoms of SAD.
- Prolonged airlines traveling – Regular long-duration travels by flights lead to jet-lag. This leads to difficulty in sleeping. The hormone also helps in regulating sleep in these people.
The hormone plays an important role in the human body. But, the disrupted patterns of melatonin håndkøb lead to its irregular secretion. The main cause for this disruption is lifestyle changes. With medical advancements, the supplements for the hormone are easily available. It ensures a naturally healthy lifestyle again.