Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in living organisms that regulates sleeping and waking cycles. It is also an antioxidant.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is an essential sleep-regulating ingredient in the body’s sleep-wake cycle; also known as the circadian rhythm. Melatonin is also involved in a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is secreted by the pineal gland. Studies also indicate that melatonin has antioxidant effects that help strengthen the body’s immune system.
Uses for Melatonin
Melatonin has been used to help people suffering from benzodiazepine addiction fight insomnia during withdrawal in drug rehab facilities. It has also been used as a sleep aid to treat sleep disorders in those suffering from ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, seizure disorders, skin damage, strokes and tinnitus. Melatonin has also been used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, sleep irregularities in night shift workers and to reduce sleep problems after surgery or for people suffering from medical conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and hypertension. It may be used in drug and alcohol treatment facilities to induce sleep after detox has been completed, especially if a patient wants a natural sleep aid.
Melatonin should not be taken with psychotropic medication as it will increase CNS depression. Benzodiazepine and beta blockers can contribute to a decline in the body’s natural supply of melatonin.
Side Effects of Melatonin
- Abdominal pain
- Sleep walking
- Abnormal feces
- Increased urination
- Skin rash
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