Melatonin is a natural hormone created by the pea-sized pineal gland situated just above the center of the brain, and when released into the bloodstream, melatonin causes a state of exhaustion and makes you to fall asleep and experience a deep sleep.
The secret to melatonin release is light which turns on and off the body’s natural inner clock. This activates the retina as light reaches the eye and excites a nerve network between the eye and a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus. A second area within the hypothalamus, known as the supra-chiasmatic nucleus (SCN), in turn sends signals to other parts of the body that control the temperature of the body, and other things that either make you feel tired or wide awake. Browse this site listing about my response
In the case of pineal gland illumination, melatonin development is turned off by the SCN, when darkness turns the pineal gland on, and melatonin is emitted into the bloodstream. It’s the fact that the release of melatonin is triggered by the arrival of darkness, which sometimes results in it being called the “Dracula of Hormones.”
One important point to note here is the importance of light to melatonin production. We often talk about a shift in the inner clock of the body, perhaps through changes in work patterns, but it’s not the shift in the clock that upsets melatonin production. The pineal gland will only be turned on in the dark and even relatively low levels of artificial indoor lighting are adequate to turn off melatonin production into the bloodstream.
Your inner body clock is no longer in sync with local time when you travel across multiple world time zones and you find that you are wide awake when everyone else is sound asleep. Therefore it was proposed that one way to help gradually bring the inner clock back into rhythm is to use melatonin to induce sleep at a period when it would usually not be released by the pineal gland.
This is certainly not a bad idea and it is true that many people report that taking melatonin has proven helpful. Before you reach for melatonin as a magic jet lag remedy, there are however two things you need to bear in mind.
The first is that there are many factors that affect the ability of the body to sleep and melatonin is just one small part of a complex cycle of sleepwake. Consequently, melatonin alone will not produce very good results and must be used as just one part of an overall plan to combat jet lag.
Second, melatonin is the only hormone available without prescription and this lack of regulation in the production and use of melatonin can present problems.
Since melatonin occurs naturally in some products, including vitamins and minerals, it can be marketed as a dietary supplement and is available in many health food stores. As a result, melatonin is also produced in a synthetic form, but there is little or no regulation of the factories where production takes place or even the amount of melatonin in the tablets you buy. This often means that the amount of melatonin contained in a pill is not always the same as that indicated on the packaging.
Commercially available melatonin is often marketed in capsules that produce much higher levels than are naturally found in the body and indeed doses can be as many as twenty times normal blood levels in many instances. Additionally, when selling melatonin as a supplement, there is no requirement to list side effects and these can be significant. Beyond inducing exhaustion and stress in some patients, melatonin can also cause blood pressure to increase and may even influence fertility.
Most people do find melatonin beneficial as a jet lag cure, but if you want to use it, you should only obtain it from legitimate sources, use it in very small doses and use it as just one part of a larger plan to avoid or counter jet lag.