This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
Melatonin is essentially a sleep hormone and the chemical that is necessary for all your Zzzzs and all your smiles from restful sleep. Melatonin supplements and products have become indispensable in modern homes and on our bedsides. Whether it's a busy schedule or a busy mind, a good night’s sleep seems to evade more than 1 in every 3 people. Although reversible (if addressed in time), lack of sleep causes our energy resources to get depleted, our brains fail to function normally, and our productivity suffers. Lack of sleep over an extended period leads to various kinds of health ailments. But what is melatonin, where is it made, and why are so many melatonin products on the market?
The Tea on the M
Melatonin production has always been a vital part of a well-functioning sleep-wake cycle. A naturally occurring hormone called the sleep hormone, melatonin regulates your sleep and reacts to light and darkness. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland of the brain and naturally increases when it gets dark. This hormone lowers the body temperature and causes drowsiness, indicating to the body that it's time to sleep. During the day, the melatonin production stops and is absent or negligible in the body, telling the body that it's time to stay awake, active and alert. So while sleep is important, getting the sleep-wake cycle or the CIRCADIAN RHYTHM in order is even more important. Melatonin production sends signals to the brain that it's time for sleep and whether it’s day or night.
A crucial point to remember here is that your body produces it naturally.
So Why All These Melatonin Supplements?
Even people who are sound sleepers often face difficulty sleeping at times. Modern-day lifestyles and habits trigger issues that affect our sleep-wake cycle. Access to a lot of white light through screens, high stress levels, and bad diets mean a malfunction in melatonin production. A lack of sleep, anything less that your body needs to feel well-rested, can lead to:
Poor brain function | Heart disease | Kidney disease | Risk of strokes | Obesity | High blood pressure | Depression | PCOS
Whew! That is a long list of issues to get because you sat there overthinking a situation and couldn't sleep last night. Melatonin supplements came into being to help curb the adverse effects of a lack of sleep on your mind and body.
Where does melatonin come from?
In the human body, melatonin is produced in the pineal gland. It is secreted a little bit during the day and a lot more at night. As you age, the melatonin production starts waning off. This is when people start supplementing with melatonin tablets or sleep aides.
Melatonin supplements are actually synthetic melatonin produced in the laboratory under controlled conditions by reducing 5-methoxyindole-3-acetonitrile with Ethanol and Sodium. The resultant product is acetylated using acetic anhydride and glacial acetic acid. Most of the melatonin supplements sold around the world are actually from chemically produced melatonin blended with an inert carrier.
So the obvious next question would be: why chemically produce melatonin when it is naturally available? Natural melatonin is taken from the pineal glands of cows. Natural usually means “good” as opposed to chemically manufactured, but in the case of melatonin which is taken from natural sources, it is usually contaminated with bacteria, viruses and abnormal proteins called prions, which do more harm than good. Plus the whole thing about being extracted from a cows brain - sounds pretty awful!
So what is the conclusion if natural and synthetic melatonin forms sound less and less desirable? Dietary Melatonin! Foods like cherries, berries, eggs and nuts of which walnuts that are the richest in melatonin and help boost the product of melatonin in your body.
Which supplement should we pick?
As mentioned earlier on in this blog, your body produces melatonin naturally. While melatonin supplements help fight the issues caused by a lack of sleep, it is prudent to steer clear of synthetic melatonin substitutes. Chemical-based melatonin supplements are addictive to your body. Your body gets so used to this added melatonin that it forgets to produce its own. It is essential to pick those that have ingredients that help kickstart melatonin production or use natural sources of melatonin, like, walnuts. Pro-melatonin formulations like Restore your Sleep ensure your body functions how it's meant to, naturally, nothing synthetic, nothing harmful.
Sleeping well is underrated. However, it is one of the most crucial functions of your body. Neglect it, and you neglect your overall well-being.