What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone which is produced by the human body in required amounts so that the individual knows when to sleep and when to wake up. The human endocrine system has innumerable glands, each of which is associated with the secretion of different types of hormones. Melatonin is a hormone which is found in the human body. In instances when the level of melatonin in the blood drops then it is taken from external sources. The hormone is available in the pill form. It is also available in other forms which can be placed under the tongue or in the cheek. This helps in melatonin absorption directly into the blood.
Can Melatonin Induce Sleep?
Yes, melatonin induces sleep in human beings. People with melatonin deficiency need requisite dosage of the hormone to adjust the body’s internal clock. Other common uses of the melatonin include jet lag, adjusting to sleep wake cycles in individuals whose day to day work schedules alters. Melatonin is also effective in aiding blind people to establish a day and a night cycle.
Individuals take melatonin supplement for their inability to fall asleep, a disorder often termed as insomnia.
- The melatonin drug has applications to counter Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome or (DSPS).
- Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD).
- Insomnia pertaining to attention deficit can also be countered by melatonin drug.
- Insomnia due to excessive blood pressure and the effects of blood pressure medications.
- Common sleep disorders in children.
- Melatonin also helps to cure developmental disorders like autism, intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy.
- Melatonin is used as a sleep aid post discontinuation of benzodiazepine drugs. It is also important in reducing the after effects of stopping smoking.
The drug melatonin is often used to induce sleep in patients with diseases like Alzheimer, memory loss (dementia), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, bipolar disorder, ringing in the ears, endometriosis, depression, liver diseases (nonalcoholic), mild mental impairment, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, headaches, migraine, vision loss due to age related issues, benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, osteoporosis and irritable bowel syndrome. Melatonin is useful in controlling osteoporosis, tardive dyskinesia, epileptic disorders, infertility, aging disorders, menopause, recovery post surgery, metabolic syndrome, stress, controlling agitation caused due to anesthesia, treatment for controlling urination, inflammatory bowl disease and jaw pain. The drug is also used in birth control.
Other applications of mmelatonin include its use as a drug in the managing of different forms of cancer (brain, lung, breast, prostrate, neck, head, gastrointestinal). Cancer treatment has a number of side effects associated with it. These side effects include nerve pain, weight loss, weakness, a reduction in the number of the clot forming cells. Melatonin, as a drug is useful in the treatment of these side effects.
The melatonin drug is also used to calm people prior given anesthesia before surgery.
There are some forms of melatonin which can be absorbed through the cheek, the tongue and such forms of the drug are used for the treatment of shift work disorder, insomnia, to calm people before being given anesthesia for surgical purposes.
Melatonin is often used for dermatological treatment. Sunburns leave the skin in a poor state and the melatonin present in ointments and creams help to nourish the skin.
The drug, when injected into the muscle is useful in the treatment of cancer.
How Does Melatonin Induces Sleep?
In the human body, the Melatonin is used to regulate the day and night cycles. It also helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycles. The hormone production gets enhanced in times of darkness and this is an indicator that the body needs sleep. Light reduces the production of the hormone and it signals the body to wake up from sleep. Those who have trouble sleeping have low levels of the hormone in their blood. It is understood that by injecting melatonin from supplements help the individuals get the much dosage of the hormone required for sleep.
If there is a melatonin requirement for the humans then it is important for the individuals to consult a registered medical practitioner. It is important to understand that the Melatonin is available for adults as well as kids in varying dosages and therefore the doctors are in a better position to administer the dosage of medicine appropriately. However, like many drugs this drug too has a host of side effects and warnings which require to be discussed.
Melatonin is mostly sold as a herbal supplement.
There are no regulated standards of manufacturing in place for herbal compounds where melatonin is used.
For the buyer, it is recommended to purchase the herbal supplements from a trusted source.
It is important to discuss with a registered medical professional prior to taking this supplement. Refrain from taking the melatonin in place of other medicine that are prescribed by the physician.
Prior to taking the drug it is important to discuss with a doctor about the existing medical conditions that you may be facing. These medical conditions can be as follows:
The drug sometimes increases the immune function and interferes with certain immuno-suppressive drugs.
Side Effects of Melatonin
If the following side effects due the drug become severe then seek the advice of the medical professional:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Pain in the stomach
- Breast enlargement in men
- Decreased level of sex drive
- Decreased in sperm count for men.