What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is widely known as the hormone that helps you sleep. The body naturally produces melatonin, but those who still have trouble sleeping resort to using over-the-counter supplements to further enhance their sleep. Melatonin not only helps with the quality of sleep but also with sleep latency.

The Science Behind It

We may know why we take melatonin, but exactly what goes on in your body when you do?  Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and is used by the body to regulate sleep patterns. The production of melatonin is impacted by the light surrounding us. Essentially, the melatonin production is halted when white light hits the eye, whereas when it is dark, the production speeds up again, therefore controlling how we sleep. Certain health conditions can affect how our bodies produce melatonin and therefore impair our sleep.

Hidden Benefits of Melatonin

In addition to improving our sleep, melatonin also can help our bodies in many different ways that are not widely known. Below, we explore the many different roles of melatonin.

  1. Antioxidant
    • Melatonin helps the DNA within our cells fight against potential harm. This helps enhance the immune system greatly as it is one of the few agents that can actually go into the nucleus.
  2. Anti-Aging
    • Melatonin has been shown to increase lifespan due to the help with the immune system. Additionally, melatonin helps the mitochondria, therefore minimizing the aging process.
  3. Inflammation Prevention
    • When exercising and participating in other physical activities, you may feel a lot of oxidative stress and muscle damage. This is caused by the overexpression of inflammatory mediators, which is significantly reduced by the presence of melatonin.  
  4. Pain Reducing Agent
    •  Melatonin has been suggested to be used as an analgesic drug to help alleviate pain due to the potent effects that melatonin has on those with pain. Melatonin could potentially aid those with serious chronic pain or even surgical procedures.
  5. Brain Support
    • Melatonin helps with cognitive function as it helps slow down damage over time. Not only does it help protect the brain but it also helps improve its existing functionality,  making it a suggested method for brain treatment.
  6. Cardiovascular Disease & Cancer Fighter
    • Studies show that cardiovascular disease and melatonin levels are inversely related therefore making melatonin an upcoming, novel treatment for the disease. Melatonin has also been observed to help fight against cancer cells and also prevent the formation of cancer cells.

While also being able to improve sleep quality, Melatonin has many other hidden benefits, so implementing it into your daily life will help with the quality and duration of your life.