In 1994, Dr. Richard Wurtman finally discovered the mechanism that caused the human body to resort to sleep as a medium of rest. A few laboratories in MIT formulated supplements that helped older people sleep, since melatonin synthesis in their system had grown rusty.
Eventually, usage of melatonin as sleep supplement garnered a widespread fan following. However, Dr. Wurtman himself was averse to self-medication with melatonin.
In other words, since melatonin supplements are easily available at your nearest medical stores, reaching out for them is extremely easy. The higher the convenience, the greater the risk associated with its intake.
Melatonin is secreted by pineal glands which are situated just above the center of the human brain. The center that signals the glands to release melatonin is known as Suprachiasmatic Nucleus or SCN. Blinkers for secretion go up during times when natural light levels decrease, thus asking the body to rest for the day. This is also a reason why melatonin is called ‘Vampire Hormone’.
This is how circadian rhythms work to keep our bodies in sync. The entire process occurs organically. Yet, there are exogenous reasons that impair natural secretion of the hormone. Increased exposure to devices like smartphones, computers, tablets at late hours, hectic work schedules, etc., are the most common causes for impaired melatonin secretion.
The biological clock keeps itself regulated as a result of secretion of a hormone, that we call melatonin. This hormone is released when the brain receives a signal from its central signaling unit, known as Suprachiasmatic Nucleus or SCN.
Hence it is important that we clear our perception of melatonin. Circulation of this hormone in our bloodstream acts as a regulator of rest and activity cycles. Also, since, melatonin is a hormone, it is impossible to have a deficiency of melatonin, per se.
Nevertheless, the misconception surrounding melatonin as cure for insomnia or sleeplessness is erroneous. Herein, we must also have clear idea as to what causes insomnia.
Updated on March 5, 2019
Research conducted reveals almost 20% people globally suffer from sleep deprivation. Sound sleep is vital if a body is to maintain its overall health. Lack of sleepiness can cause irritability, mood swings, improper motor functions and focus issues.
On a larger scale, sleeplessness can result in major issues like heart diseases, diabetes, and insomnia which can affect body’s immunity. Now, melatonin a hormone produced by the pineal gland normally helps in regulating sleep-wake cycles. But, often due to external factors like stress and old age, jet lag or irregular routines, the hormone production can fluctuate.
Updated on March 5, 2019
The most basic question that one must first ask is: What is jet lag, and how does it interrupt one’s sleep schedule.
Again, the answer deals with disruption of the biological clock. While one travels from one time zone to another, it is this clock that gets disoriented, which in turn results in sleeplessness.
Hence, we must bring our biological clock back in sync. To do this, melatonin, or the sleep-inducing hormone has to be induced. In this situation, sleep is necessary at a time when the gland that produces the hormone, called the pineal gland, is normally inactive.
Which is why, we use medicinal supplements of melatonin. Here are the two basic ways in which melatonin proves helpful in sleep-induction.
Melatonin peptide is now gaining a lot of popularity among people who are looking to get their skin pigmented. The idea of getting tanned skin has been present all over the world, mostly where people tend to have whitish skin tone. Before Melatonin, people usually used to opt for either sun tanning which is a natural process or by using chemical mists and body spray.
Why not go for other Melatonin methods?
Now, we all know that chemicals are really harmful to skin, expensive as well as stay for a very less time. Basically, one will pay for ruining the dermal layer by getting it tanned chemically. So these are not even an option one should consider. But, while sun tan is a natural process, why are people not using it any further?
Did you know that sleep has not only advantages?
As in many behaviors and reflexes that toward us, balance is often required.
Food is fairly intuitive examples coming back a lot and who advocates a diet rich but balanced. You have the right to eat anything, as long as the amounts are rationed and that you do not excess.
A recent study in the United States on more than a million volunteer helped conclude that too much sleep is dangerous for health. This will maybe you surprise, but like all good things, it must be moderate and ensure a rational balance. Thus, this study shows that those who sleep more than eight hours a night were more likely to develop cancer than others who sleep less than eight hours a night.
An optimal duration of each sleep
Stages of sleep: slow and paradoxical to recover physically and morally. The figures above are to be weighted with the sleep of each cycle. Every case is unique and it fits each to measure what its optimal duration that satisfies him depending on its State in the morning.
Melatonin is often prescribed for patients suffering from any mental health issues, be it depression or schizophrenia, etc.
However, if you’re not acquainted with the concept, let’s make you understand it in layman’s terms. There’s a small endocrine gland, called the pineal gland, which secretes the melatonin hormone. It has various essential functions to play in the human body.
One of its primary roles is to regulate the sleeping and waking cycle. However, there are some negative consequences if the cycle doesn’t occur properly, which can happen when there’s a low level of melatonin in your body. It often results in numerous mental issues.
Updated on March 6, 2019
Often people experience difficulty in falling asleep night after night. On the other hand, many wake up in the middle of the night and lay awake for hours with feelings of anxiety. For those who experience such phenomena, it is indeed a frustrating situation. If it happens for a few nights and then things return to normal, then there is no concern. However, if it occurs every night and becomes a repetitive problem for weeks or months at a time then there is cause for concern.
Insomnia – The sleep disorder
Such type of sleep disorder, commonly known as “Insomnia”, can have dire repercussions on day-to-day life functioning. To treat insomnia, many people consider taking melatonin. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor in order to dwell on the root cause of insomnia before buying melatonin.
Isn’t it strange that most of you tend to feel your eyelids drooping once it passes midnight, and wake up at dawn?
Well, what do you think is the reason behind the sudden feeling of sleepiness?
It’s melatonin, also known as the Darkness hormone. Now, there is a very interesting relation between melatonin and sleep. This hormone functions by its stimulation with light and dark. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway to the brain’s hypothalamus, where the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) instigates signals that control the hormone’s production.
While with the cessation of light, the SCN stimulates the pineal gland which becomes active and secretes melatonin. Now, this hormone is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm which is the body clock. Here is a brief discussion on melatonin and sleep.