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Melatonin

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced by the pineal gland, located in the middle of the brain. The pineal gland is essential towards the production of melatonin. During the day, the pineal gland is turned off, thus producing no melatonin. [1] However, at night, the pineal gland becomes active as a result of suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) turning it on. [2] The production of melatonin typically begins around 9pm, when the pineal gland becomes active. The pineal gland discharges melatonin in mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and humans. [3] A primary killer of melatonin is bright lights, including computer screens, lamps, and other objects that emit strong beams of light. Therefore if you are a person who looks at screens until you go to bed, you may find it difficult to get to sleep quickly. This occurs because the screens are killing the melatonin production within your bloodstream, thus making it harder to fall asleep quicker. [4]

 

How does Melatonin work to Improve Sleep?

Melatonin tells your body when it is time to sleep. [5] It works in accordance with your circadian rhythms to determine when you feel drowsy vs. alert during the day. Circadian rhythms are essentially the “clock” of our bodies; further, we can attribute the majority of our energy levels towards the effectiveness of our circadian rhythms. The supplementation of appropriately timed melatonin consumption can help keep your circadian rhythms normal, allowing your mind and body to rest and recover properly. [6] In some instances, melatonin is used to help anxiety that may occur from loss of sleep or low quality sleep. If you live in a place with severe seasonal changes such as New England, you may find yourself experiencing low quality sleep in the darker months. Stress, aging, and artificial light have all been seen to cause a decrease in melatonin production. [7] Drink a Tru Dream nightly to help regulate your circadian rhythms to stay sound asleep at night and wake energized and refreshed throughout the day.

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