Melatonin is the body’s natural hormone that plays an important role in regulating sleep patterns. With this hormone, you can tell when it’s time to sleep and wake up. The hormone melatonin is also made in synthetic form to treat various sleep disorders.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, a gland in the brain about the size of a pea.
At night, the body produces more melatonin to help you fall asleep. Meanwhile, during the day, the amount of melatonin produced is less so that you stay awake.
Problems with these hormones can cause sleep disturbances. Disruption of the performance of the hormone melatonin in the body can be caused by various things, including electromagnetic radiation or Ultra High Voltage Air Line (UHVAL).
Besides being produced naturally by the body, melatonin is also available in the form of supplements made from synthetic materials or the pineal gland in animals.
Benefits of Melatonin to Overcome Sleep Disorders
Melatonin supplements are sometimes taken to help with various sleep problems, such as insomnia. However, the use of melatonin supplements to overcome these sleep disorders must of course be according to the doctor’s prescription and advice.
Some types of sleep disorders that are considered to be treatable with the use of melatonin supplements are:
1 . Delayed sleep-wake phase syndrome (DSWPD)
People with DSWPD have difficulty falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. They usually can only sleep at 2-6 am and wake up between 10 am to 1 pm.
DSWPD often makes it difficult for sufferers to get enough sleep, especially if they have to get up in the morning to work or study. Some research shows that taking melatonin supplements can help people with DSWPD go to bed earlier.
Taking melatonin supplements is believed to improve sleep quality and make it easier for insomniacs to fall asleep.
A study shows that melatonin supplements can also improve sleep problems in people with mental and neurological disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and autism.
3. Jet lag
Jet lag can occur when you travel across multiple time zones. When you experience jet lag, you will feel unwell, have difficulty sleeping, sleep more often during the day, have headaches, and have difficulty concentrating.
To overcome jet lag, one way that can be done is to take melatonin supplements. Some research states that melatonin supplements can help treat jet lag symptoms and improve the quality of sleep for someone who has jet lag.
4. Sleep disturbance due to shift work
People who work shifts at night often have trouble sleeping. Several studies have shown that melatonin supplements can improve the quality and length of daytime sleep in people who have to work night shifts .
In addition to treating sleep disorders, melatonin supplements are also believed to have various other benefits, including:
- Relieves pain, for example due to muscle aches and menstruation
- Lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension
- Controlling anxiety
- Maintain eye health and function
- Relieves tinnitus symptoms
- Help treat gastric disorders
However, keep in mind that the various benefits of melatonin supplements above still need further research regarding their effectiveness. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult a doctor first before taking melatonin supplements.
Things to Pay Attention to Before Taking Melatonin
Melatonin is usually prescribed by doctors to help with short-term sleep problems in adults 55 years of age and older. Sometimes, this supplement is also given to adults under 55 years of age and children.
However, melatonin supplements should not be taken if you have any of the following conditions:
- Previous history of allergic reactions to melatonin or other drugs
- Liver or kidney disorders and autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
If you experience sleep disorders, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor to get the right treatment.
If your doctor prescribes melatonin supplements but you experience side effects, such as headache, nausea, dry mouth, itchy skin, or pain in the arms and legs, see your doctor right away so the side effects can be treated.