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Most of us are familiar with melatonin and its use as a natural sleep aid. It is included in most all sleep formulas, and also sold as a sleep tablet on its own. Melatonin has many more benefits that are lesser known, but important none the less. Read on to discover these wide ranging advantages.
Melatonin is a man -made form of a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland that helps regulate your sleep and wake cycle. It is produced in response to darkness. It is also found in very small amounts in meats, vegetables and fruits we eat.
Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.
Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affect disorder. Melatonin production is affected by bright light such as a TV or computer screen. Using these bright screens before bedtime can actually delay melatonin production and cause sleep difficulties.
Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all. It is a powerful antioxidant and research is on going in the area of anti-aging with promising results.
There are some positive results in the area of migraine prevention and shortening the duration of migraines. Other studies show positive effects on lessening heart burn and GERD syndrome. Melatonin seems to offer some cardiovascular protection, lessening the possibility of a heart attack in persons who have suffered a prior attack.
With type 2 diabetes on the increase, some studies are showing a link to melatonin levels. Scientists took a close look at 740 women enrolled in the landmark Nurses’ Health Study between 2000 and 2012. Half developed type 2 diabetes during that time and half did not. Blood samples revealed that the 370 women who remained diabetes-free had markedly higher blood levels of melatonin. This led the researchers to conclude that low nighttime secretion of melatonin nearly doubles the risk of developing diabetes. Other studies however, seem to show that diabetes medications are made less effective with higher levels of melatonin causing higher blood sugars in those who already have the disease.
Melatonin seems to be beneficial for those who suffer from tinnitus, offering a lessening of symptoms. Macular degeneration or deterioration of eyesight appears to slow with higher levels of melatonin.
Cancer research is showing promise and reveals that blood with higher levels of melatonin slows tumor growth. More research is on going in this very exciting area.
Want less PMS? Some European studies are showing good results. Positive results are shown with increasing thyroid function, and improved mood, possibly resulting from better more restful sleep.
Overall, the positives of adding melatonin to your regimen seem overwhelmingly good, and worth a try. It is not without risk or side effects, however, and caution should be used. We recommend consulting your medical professional with any concerns or questions.
RMB Naturals offers melatonin in our Restorative Sleep Formula, a well rounded formula with benefits beyond just great sleep.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.