Melatonin is a
hormone produced in the body and secreted at night. Taken as a dietary
supplement, it is designed to help combat lack of sleep and may be
useful for jet-lag.* N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, or melatonin, is
hormone produced naturally by the body in the pineal gland of the brain.
The release of melatonin correlates with the body's cycle of day and
night. The highest levels of the hormone are produced at night. Trace
amounts of melatonin appears in foods.
Melatonin may play an
essential role in sleeping and immune system deficiencies.* As light
inhibits its production, and darkness stimulates it, melatonin regulates
the body's internal clock. Double blind research suggests that this
hormone helps people sleep, shortens the number of awakenings in the
night, and improves the quality of sleep.*
It is also very useful in
treating jet lag, as it promotes quicker recovery from that "out of it"
stage one may experience after extended periods of flight.* Research has
also suggested that having enough melatonin exhibits positive
psychological benefits on a person's mood, while a lack of melatonin
corresponds to anxiety, fatigue, and hostility.*