Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is produced in our brain, specifically in the pineal gland. Although this gland performs various functions in our body, its main function is to regulate the sleep and wake cycle, this is achieved by transforming serotonin into melatonin.
Melatonin is synthesized from an amino acid known as tryptophan.
What is melatonin, and how does it help us sleep?
Many people associate this hormone with rest, but what is it really? Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain, specifically the pineal gland.
This is known worldwide as the "Sleep Hormone", as its basic function is to regulate the sleep cycle and the circadian rhythm, achieving a complete and recuperative rest.
What is melatonin? All about the sleep hormone
It should be known that melatonin is released into the blood vessels. This generally happens during the hours of the night, or when it is dark, that is to say, during the hours of light, the production of this hormone stops. It should be taken into account that melatonin is not a sleeping pill, but asleep stimulant. As this production is activated by darkness, it is important that people with sleep problems do not expose themselves to the light of bulbs and electronic devices before sleeping.
This amino acid is obtained through the consumption of certain foods. Therefore, if you want to improve the quality of rest, it is essential to increase the consumption of foods rich in tryptophan.
What is melatonin good for? Properties and benefits
In recent years, this hormone has been widely used to treat sleep disorders and other conditions. Although this is produced naturally by the body, it is also possible to introduce it into our body through supplements. Next, you will be able to know some of the properties of the sleep hormone.
- Encourages sleep. The pineal gland is activated at night because it is stimulated by darkness. This raises the level of melatonin in the body, which produces a feeling of relaxation and finally leads the person to sleep. But with the presence of sunlight, the amount of melatonin decreases, which causes the person to wake up. This is why melatonin is known as the sleep hormone.
- It is an ally against aging. This hormone fights free radicals, thanks to its antioxidant effect. Therefore, it serves to combat premature aging.
- It favors growth. Various specialists assure that there is a relationship between melatonin and the production of somatotropin, the hormone that regulates growth in children. For this reason, some specialists recommend it to improve growth problems in children.
- Helps to lose weight . A relationship between this hormone and people's appetite levels has been discovered, leading some doctors to recommend melatonin-based dietary supplements to help regulate the feeling of fullness when eating. This hormone has the ability to decrease the amount of adipose tissue accumulated in the tissues.
- Reduces migraine . It is a hormone that also has an anti-inflammatory effect. For this reason, various specialists are administering it to their patients to treat headaches and migraines.
It should be noted that despite the effectiveness of this hormone in treating various pathologies. In some cases, its effectiveness is not scientifically proven. Therefore, it is important not to self-medicate and consult a professional in the field first, especially if it is administered to a child.
- Strengthens the immune system
- Some studies indicate that it has an anti-inflammatory effect
- Has antioxidant properties
- Provides relaxation
Melatonin benefits for health
- Improves the functioning of the immune system. The production of melatonin in the body increases the body's natural defenses. This is very beneficial for the body, as it helps to inhibit some infections.
- It controls the production of gonadotropins. The sleep hormone, that is, melanin, can also modulate the production of estrogen and progesterone. Hormones are responsible for the development and proper functioning of the male and female reproductive system.
- Decreases the feeling of stress. Stress is often caused by poor sleep. Therefore, people who have low levels of melatonin are more likely to have this condition. But when you have a good level of melatonin in your body, you rest better and, therefore, the feeling of stress decreases.