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Melatonin

How does melatonin improve sleep disorders

Lack of good sleep and melatonin can significantly affect the quality of life. A random research suggests that 30–40% of the world adult population suffers from one mild to a severe sleeping disorder. Today, poor sleep has become a primary cause of insomnia and depression. Sleep problems are also a common challenge among the working class. Sleeping late and waking up early is normally a routine for people with a tight working schedule. Jet‐lag, shift‐work disorder are very common examples.When delayed sleep is practised for too long, it disrupts our sleeping patterns and results in sleeping disorders. This condition is especially to blame for fatigue, lack of concentration and loss of memory especially in adults.

MelatoninMelatonin is a naturally occurring sleep hormone in the body, but unfortunately, as people age, melatonin in the body will also decrease. However, in several recent medical trials, increased melatonin intake has been shown to provide rapid and soothing sleep aids. This article mainly wants to explain how melatonin can improve sleep disorders and emotional problems through human sleep patterns.

Melatonin: How Do Sleep Work?

Sleep is not as simple as you think, it is the result of the regulation of various chemical substances in the body. These processes go through different stages in the brain before the individual enters a deep sleep state. Once these chemicals are gently released into the body, brain activity, eye movement, and skeletal muscle tone begin to decrease, and over time, blood flow to the brain increases, while breathing and heart rates decrease. Interestingly, melatonin is just one of the chemicals that regulate sleep. It is a natural component secreted at night to help sleep. Its main role is to regulate the circadian rhythm so that it runs normally.

Circadian Rhythm and Sleeping Disorders

You must have observed that each day, at a particular time (or period), you become more active or start feeling sleepy. It is not a coincidence. Rather, it is your circadian rhythm at work. The phrase “circadian rhythm” refers to a 24-hour cycle of how the body naturally regulates sleep and wakefulness. It is casually referred to as the body’s “internal clock” that schedules sleep patterns as well as other activities like body temperature and eating habit.Unfortunately, some environmental factors can disrupt your circadian rhythm. The environmental factors include circadian rhythm, exposure to light and sleep disturbances associated with illness. This is mostly the reason why people suffer from jet lag and delayed sleep. If sleeping disorders are not properly handled, they may result in severe conditions like insomnia and depression.

Sleeping Disorders: How Melatonin Adjusts Your “Clock”

Over the years, scientists have discovered many substances that are capable of correcting the “circadian rhythm” also known as the body’s internal clock. However, melatonin has been considered “safer” because it is natural, non-toxic and suitable for long‐term use in elderly people. Melatonin has a very limited side effect profile and it is usually remarkably well-tolerated. These studies discovered that taking melatonin has a shifting effect on circadian rhythms. This implies that when 5mg of melatonin supplement is taken orally at night, it induces sleep in about 20–45 minutes. Melatonin is only capable of doing so by stimulating sleep receptors in the brain. Due to this effect, oral administration of Melatonin sends a signal to our biological clock to reset the clock daily.  

Melatonin has been severally tested to improve sleep latency and sleep quality. Due to its efficacy, shift workers and intercontinental travels can rely on oral doses to promote and maintain good sleeping patterns.More so, a notable study by the British Association for Psychopharmacology concluded that melatonin should be the first‐choice treatment in insomniac patients over 55 years.

Conclusion

The potentials of Melatonin are still being explored for its use in several cases of sleeping disorders. For now, taking Melatonin makes a highly safe and reliable treatment for mild sleeping disorders like jetlag, mild insomnia, and sleep disruption. Melatonin lacks negative effects like addiction and dependence. Due to its safeness and sedative power, melatonin is highly recommended for shift workers and elderly adults to maintain quality sleep.

Michael Yeung
Author: Michael Yeung

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