What Is Melatonin and Why Do We Need It?

If you’ve never
heard of melatonin or still don’t know much about it, then you’re going to be
learning a lot more in the near future. There has been a buzz building around
this hormone as innovative products are developed for new delivery systems.
Before we get caught up in the hype, it’s useful to take a step back and find
out what this is, what it is for, and how we could benefit from it.

Medical uses of
melatonin have traditionally been for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease,
radiation exposure, and tinnitus. However, since it is relatively easy to
produce and has only a few side effects, the use of melatonin for the treatment
of other conditions has been explored more recently.

We take a look at
what melatonin is, where it comes from, and why we might take it. We will also
explore the forms of melatonin available, how you can take them, and what the
potential side effects are.

What Is Melatonin

Melatonin is a
hormone that is produced by your brain, in the pineal gland. As a naturally
produced hormone, its function is controlling your daily sleep cycles. It is
known as the regulator of your circadian rhythm, or body clock.

The amount of
melatonin you make depends on the hours you keep, and the amount of light to
which you are exposed during waking hours. The release of melatonin is
triggered in the evening after the sun has set. Your melatonin levels are
elevated throughout the night due to the darkness, with levels falling the sun
rises.

Inhaling Melatonin

Although melatonin
is a naturally occurring hormone, there are situations where its production may
be stimulated, or it may be taken as a supplement. One of the new ways that you
will see melatonin delivered is through an inhaler.

One of the main reasons inhalers have become so popular is that they are supposed to deliver their contents (whether it is vitamins, melatonin, CBD, or nicotine) in a matter of seconds. While there is little known about this method of ingestion, it is becoming an increasingly common method for delivering melatonin. In the FAQ section at http://getcherrycbd.com/cherry-faqs/, Cherry indicates that “melatonin production declines with age,” which explains why it is sought out as a supplement.

Benefits & Side Effects
of Melatonin

As melatonin
affects our body clock, it is often used as a treatment for sleeping disorders.
Although scientific evidence to show that is can improve our sleeping patterns
is lacking, there is evidence that it can be beneficial for resetting your body
clock. Shift-workers or travellers suffering from jetlag can benefit from
taking melatonin at the right time.

It is a potent antioxidant that has
anti-inflammatory properties. It’s known to play a significant role within our
immune systems and appears to be a critical part of keeping us healthy.

It is also believed
to play a part in the regulation of our fat cells and to act as a protector
against neurodegenerative diseases, which is why it’s been explored as a
treatment for Alzheimer’s. Melatonin receptors are found right across the
systems in our body, which means it’s likely to have multiple therapeutic
functions.

The side effects of
melatonin can include drowsiness, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Others have
reported general irritability and restless legs. The effects of melatonin on
the reproductive system aren’t clear, so it is not recommended for those who
are trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding. Anyone taking any other form of
medication should check with their doctor before taking it, as it may interact
with other drugs.

Other Sources of Melatonin

As well as being
available to ingest as a vapor, melatonin can be found in tablet form, as a
liquid, or a lozenge, which are ingested as supplements. Achieving a good
balance between natural light during the day and darker surroundings at night
is a great way to self-regulate our melatonin.

There are also food products that influence our natural
melatonin levels. These include cherries, strawberries, olives, and walnuts.
Eating foods such as tomatoes, rice, barley, and cow’s milk can also increase
our levels, which can help us to feel calmer or even sleepy.

At the End of the Day

Melatonin is a
natural hormone that we produce in our brains. Our production levels can
diminish over time, and if our sleep-cycles are disrupted, this leads to a
further decrease in melatonin output. We can stimulate our own hormone
production through exposure to light and dark, and by eating specific foods, or
we can boost it through vaping and other ingested supplements.

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