If you suffer with occasional sleepless nights, you probably know all about the importance of melatonin. This natural hormone is sold over-the-counter as a "sleep supplement," and it's listed as an ingredient in many sleep aids.
But, as you continue to read here, you may be quite surprised at how melatonin can help you - in many other ways.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Unfortunately, its levels can be adversely affected by smoking, drinking too much caffeine and alcohol or staying up late at night.
It's important to understand that the pineal gland releases melatonin when you are in a dark environment - and it is
suppressed by light. In other words, checking emails or watching T.V. - late at night - will inhibit your ability to product adequate amounts of melatonin.
Melatonin helps us to maintain the circadian rhythm - the body’s internal clock. That's why being under artificial light during nighttime hours can adversely affect your sleep rhythms overall.
Discover the 5 surprising benefits of melatonin
Hot flashes and hormonal changes can wreak havoc on a menopausal woman’s sleep. In addition to helping them get a good night’s rest, melatonin has been shown to improve mood in menopausal women between 42 and 62 years of age.
Melatonin naturally suppresses the
type of inflammation that is caused by an immune response. It is also a source of
powerful antioxidants that boost the immune system to help the body protect
itself from all types of unwanted health issues.
For example, the types of bladder leakage related to aging and some bladder disorders may be decreased with melatonin use. In addition, melatonin helps prevent the rise of oxidative stress in the prostate and bladder. Simply put, less stress means a more relaxed bladder and better control of bladder contractions.
Stomach burning may be reduced with the use of melatonin. One study, from the Department of Gastroenterology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland, revealed that a combination of omeprazole,
tryptophan and melatonin healed H. pylori-related stomach ulcers faster.
One of the most surprising benefits
of melatonin may be its ability to reduce tinnitus symptoms and help those
suffering with the condition to get a good night’s sleep. Tinnitus is
characterized as ringing in the ears. It can be severe and nearly debilitating
for some people.
Therefore, supplementing with melatonin (just 3 mg) before bedtime can reduce symptoms and improve sleep significantly.
Should you use melatonin?
Melatonin is affordable, widely available and considered safe when taken in proper (suggested) amounts. However, before taking melatonin for something other than occasional sleeplessness, it’s a really good idea to consult your integrative healthcare provider - especially if you are experiencing any of the health concerns listed above.
Sources for this article include: