Life's daily pressures make it difficult to find any time to rest and unwind. The overwhelming brunt of our work-life balance leaves us scrambling for every possible healthy means of relief. We took the time to review melatonin and let you know what it's all about. Is it worth the trouble?
Melatonin has shown promising results in it's more well-known functions including regulating circadian rhythms, and sleep aid. Apart from circadian regulations, did you know that Melatonin also has antioxidant, anti-aging, immune health and anticancer properties? In recent years, it's been used as an assay (a substance which enhances the body's immune response to an antigen) in cancer treatments.
Melatonin has been included in the treatment of schizophrenia since the beginning of the twentieth century, however, it's the "free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties of melatonin that" have "shifted the focus from that of merely strengthening circadian rhythms to that of neuroprotectant: a new place in therapy." That means there's a new focus on melatonin to help keep brains healthy and protected.
Natural Ways to Create Melatonin
Meditation is a natural way for your body to create melatonin. Melatonin levels were found to be significantly higher in a group of Vipassana meditators when compared to their non-meditating controls.
Melatonin is naturally secreted from our pineal gland at night under normal conditions. Creating a relief from jet lag, calming anxieties before a medical procedure and easing many factors of some sleep disorders in children, this may be exactly what you're looking for.
Possible side effects in children include:
- Increased bedwetting or urination in the evening
Tips To Consider
- The FDA regulates dietary supplements, such as melatonin, yet the regulations for dietary supplements vary and are less strict than those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
- Some dietary supplements may interact with medicines or pose risks if you have medical problems or are going to have surgery.
- If you’re pregnant or nursing a child, it’s especially important to see your health care provider before taking any medicine or supplement, including melatonin.
- Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.
Safety concerns for older people
- The 2015 guidelines by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend against melatonin use by people with dementia.
- Melatonin may stay active in older people longer than in younger people and cause daytime drowsiness.
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