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Melatonin, or the sleep hormone, is a substance naturally produced by the body in the brain. It allows the regulation of the internal clock and punctuates the day/night cycles.

Low levels of melatonin in the blood can cause insomnia that lasts over time. The feeling of permanent fatigue can be a warning signal of a lack of melatonin, just like waking up repeatedly during the night.

Natural melatonin is found in low doses in plants but also in foods such as rice or bananas.

Although melatonin is considered safe and relatively effective, it should not be the only solution to sleep disorders.

Insomnia affects approximately 20% of the world's population. This sleep disorder can have dramatic consequences on the health of people who suffer from it.

Psychological and neurobiological factors are often at the origin and prevent the synthesis of a hormone essential for obtaining restful sleep: melatonin.

So what is melatonin, how does it affect our sleep and how much of it do we really need?

nutrivita melatonin

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a substance produced naturally by the pineal gland located inside the brain. A chemical messenger that is secreted in the absence of light.

The role of melatonin is to provide a time marker serving as a signal to the body for the circadian biological rhythm (wake/sleep cycle). This is why the molecule is called sleep hormone.

If melatonin allows you to benefit from restful nights, it also has an antioxidant function and helps maintain visual acuity.

When the level of melatonin is particularly low and the production of the chemical substance is therefore no longer carried out correctly by the body, the message is no longer transmitted to the body. Lack of sleep then begins to appear and leads to many health problems.

In its natural state, the body experiences a peak in production around 2 to 4 a.m. It is for this reason, that is to say to ensure a sufficient level of melatonin in the blood, that health professionals recommend not falling asleep after midnight.

Melatonin is found naturally in low doses in plants (such as St. John's wort) but also in foods such as rice or bananas.

Lack of melatonin and its consequences on the body

A disrupted sleep pattern increases stress, a determining factor in insufficient melatonin secretion . A low level of melatonin in the blood can in fact explain the presence of insomnia which lasts over time and whose causes are not identified.

Insomnia is a sleep disease characterized by difficulty falling asleep or getting a sufficient night's sleep. The feeling of permanent fatigue can be a warning signal, just like waking up repeatedly during the night. This increases stress, a determining factor in insufficient melatonin secretion.

Nervousness, stress, lack of concentration... The consequences of non-restorative sleep can be disabling in the daily life of people who suffer from it. Punctual and occasional, insomnia can also become chronic and severe. Sleep deprivation can have even greater repercussions such as obesity, depression or the onset of cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

What are the benefits of melatonin?

Melatonin plays a big role in the good health of the body. Here are its main benefits:

It allows you to have a better night's sleep

The arrival of winter or the lengthening of summer days can have a negative impact on your sleep pattern and disturb your nights. Just like nighttime anxieties, stress, intrusive thoughts and many other factors.

The fact that melatonin is named after the sleep hormone is obviously no coincidence.

By regulating sleep/wake cycles, melatonin is essential to promote sleep quality and reduce sleep disorders such as insomnia.

It therefore offers you deep and more restorative sleep, to rest your body and mind and prepare you to tackle new days and new challenges.

It reduces the effects of jet lag

Jet lag is well known to travelers. It can initially manifest itself as a desire to sleep at any time of the day and then have the opposite effect with a loss of time markers, leading to repeated insomnia.

This is where melatonin intervenes to regulate molecular secretion and avoid the negative consequences of disturbed sleep.

It helps maintain visual acuity

With its antioxidant power, this molecule can serve as prevention against glaucoma and visual degeneration, particularly due to advancing age.

It reduces temporary depression

The change of season affects 10% of the population each year and goes so far as to cause temporary depressions, also called seasonal depressions.

We know today that the feeling of melancholy affects the quality of sleep.

To prevent the change of season, melatonin supplementation will help you maintain a real sleep rhythm and quality sleep, in order to avoid this temporary depression.

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When to take a melatonin treatment?

Supplementation of this hormone is relatively recent since it was discovered in 1958. Several studies have proven the effectiveness of taking natural melatonin, provided that the dosage corresponds to the specific needs of each individual (recommendation of less than 2 mg per day).

It is therefore one of the most effective sleep supplements . And unlike sleeping pills and antidepressants which can create dependence from which it is difficult to escape.

If you experience chronic fatigue, drowsiness during the day, a feeling of physical and mental exhaustion, a lack of motivation in the morning or even a loss of appetite, it may be time to start a course of melatonin .

How to supplement with melatonin?

To promote falling asleep and return to restful sleep , supplementing with melatonin can be an interesting solution.

The recommended intake is 1.9 mg of melatonin in the evening, for a 45-day course (melatonin presents no danger with a dosage below 2 mg per day).

If you want to start a melatonin treatment, here are two important tips:

The first is to select a natural plant-based melatonin , without any synthetic derivative. For optimal quality, vegetable melatonin (often from St. John's wort) is preferable to that of synthetic or animal origin.

The second is to opt for a complete formula providing a selection of active ingredients with virtues for sleep (as is the case with our Sleep Formula which contains hops, California poppy, and other plants with recognized benefits). You will thus put all the chances on your side to regain quality sleep.

What are the side effects of melatonin?

Even if it is found naturally and does not present any major risk in the event of short-term treatment, it can cause certain side effects that you should be aware of:

  • Headache ;
  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea;
  • Drowsiness.

Prolonged intake or non-compliance with the dosage will result in the recurrence of these same symptoms.

Although melatonin is considered safe and relatively effective, it should not be the only solution to sleep disorders. These may hide a much more serious underlying health problem.

Its use in cases of known and severe pathology must be monitored by the treating physician. It is under no circumstances recommended to self-medicate if you have cancer or severe forms of epilepsy.

Caution is also required for pregnant women and more fragile children who may experience adverse effects.

To finish

Disturbed sleep affects general health. Sleep deprivation in adults decreases the ability to concentrate and manage mood. The person suffering from sleeping sickness will have the greatest difficulty resisting viral infections, because of a more fragile immune system.

If there are certain simple habits such as going to bed at a fixed time, adopting a lifestyle that allows you to regulate your internal clock or even reducing the consumption of certain substances, the use of a food supplement based on melatonin is often a effective solution for better sleep . 

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