Melatonin - What Is It (And What Does It Do?)

July 29, 2019

Melatonin - What Is It (And What Does It Do?)

You’ve probably heard of it. Melatonin. There are a slew of supplements on the market, each with a different purpose - Ginkgo Biloba for memory, omega-3 fish oil for your heart, echinacea to boost your immune system, glucosamine to treat joints and bones, and then there is melatonin to help with sleep.

But what exactly is melatonin?

Naturally created in humans, and secreted by the pineal gland, this hormone helps regulate circadian rhythms (which is your body’s internal clock). Available as an over-the-counter supplement in the United States, however some countries regulate this supplement and require a prescription. Many people swear by melatonin as a sleep aid, especially when dealing with insomnia or jet lag. Studies have not conclusively determined the effects of melatonin on humans. Additionally, there could be drug interactions or adverse effects in those with health conditions. As with any supplement, it’s always best to discuss with your doctor or medical professional before trying melatonin to see if this supplement might be beneficial to you.


Melatonin comes in a wide range of dosing sizes. Depending on the purpose of usage, this will dictate the dosage. It is most commonly used for temporary assistance in sleeping but has also been used in conjunction with chemotherapy for cancer patients.

I often take small doses (1.5 mg) of melatonin to help me sleep. Though the effects may very well be psychosomatic, I find that since this is a substance which my body naturally produces, I am not doing much harm by adding it to my nightly routine. Have you ever tried melatonin to sleep and, more importantly, how well did it work for you?





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