Melatonin is a hormonal agent produced by the pineal gland that might help regulate a person’s circadian (roughly 24-hour) rhythm, including the sleep-wake cycle. Darkness stimulates the production and release of melatonin, and light reduces its activity. The normal circadian melatonin cycle can be disrupted by any number of factors, consisting of excessive light during the night, too little light during the daytime, fast travel across time zones, and shift work. Melatonin also appears to manage other cycles, including the menstruation in women. It appears to influence when menstruation begins, the frequency and period of the menstrual cycle, and when menopause takes place.
Synthetic melatonin supplements have been used for sleep disorders and a number of other medical conditions. The condition for which melatonin use has the most clinical assistance is jet lag. Several randomized, managed human trials have actually recommended that taking melatonin orally the day of travel (close to the preferred bedtime at the location) and continued for a number of days, can minimize a few of the symptoms of jet lag. Specifically, melatonin use appears to decrease the variety of days had to develop a normal sleep pattern, decreases the quantity of time it requires to fall asleep, enhances alertness, and reduces daytime fatigue.
There is also reasonably good scientific evidence that melatonin can improve delayed sleep-phase syndrome (in which the private goes to sleep very late and wakes up very late), sleep disruptions in children with neuropsychiatric conditions, and sleeping disorders in the elderly, and can enhance sleep in healthy people. One study published in the journal Sleep revealed that taking melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime enhanced sleep efficiency (total bedtime divided by the scheduled time in bed) in experimental subjects whose bodies weren’t making melatonin at the time. Melatonin has actually been touted as a treatment for a host of other medical conditions based upon minimal clinical data.
See also: Diabetes and Aspirin
Taking melatonin over the short term seems safe, but the long-lasting safety of taking melatonin supplements is unidentified. Since the United States Food and Drug Administration does not need supplement makers to test their products the way drugmakers must, there is no assurance of their safety or effectiveness. Some people experience brilliant dreams or nightmares while taking melatonin. Other frequently reported side effects consist of stomach cramps, dizziness, headache, irritation, and lessened sex drive (libido). Melatonin might communicate with a number of prescription drugs, including fluoxetine (brand names Prozac, Sarafem) and other antidepressants, zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist) and other sedative drugs, and specific high blood pressure drugs.
Individuals with Type 1 diabetes taking melatonin have experienced high blood sugar, and melatonin has actually also been revealed to minimize glucose tolerance and insulin level of sensitivity. Individuals with diabetes taking melatonin should consult their diabetes care team to identify whether the dose of their diabetes drugs has to be adjusted.