Melatonin - The Quick Guide on What It Is and What It does!
Also called the “hormone of darkness” and the “vampire hormone”, melatonin is an often time misunderstood hormone that resides naturally in your body. Given direction to come out at night, melatonin is released during the night and begins doing its work just after dusk. Released by the pineal gland, and released into the bloodstream, melatonin acts as a powerful reminder to tell your body that darkness is coming, and get ready to sleep.
It’s fair to say that while melatonin isn’t a powerful sleeping aid by itself, melatonin helps regulate the timing of when sleep occurs, by alerting your body that darkness has arrived.
Once sleep has begun, melatonin slowly decreases in concentration throughout the night. As dawn arrives (or any other kind of light that may interrupt your sleep), the pineal gland is instructed to shut off the release of melatonin, thus informing your brain that the finish line of sleep has arrived.
While melatonin is a powerful aid in the fight against jet lag, taking melatonin by itself, as a sleep aid, isn’t that effective. A far better way to address sleeplessness is to look at a whole variety of other factors that get in the way of a good night sleep, including caffeine, temperature, light and lots more.
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