Aid Overall Health

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan. The brain produces this hormone in direct relation to the amount of light the body is exposed to, resulting in the highest levels of melatonin just prior to bedtime. Melatonin is largely responsible for regulating the body's circadian rhythm, otherwise known as the "sleep cycle." Melatonin supplements are popular as sleep aids.

In females, melatonin is also believed to help regulate the reproductive cycle by controlling the synthesis and release of several other related hormones. Melatonin plays a large role in when menstruation begins, how long it lasts, and how severe the symptoms will be. The onset of menopause is believed to be affected by the amount of melatonin consistently in a woman's system.

Some research suggests that melatonin might be linked to the aging process. Although the jury is still out on such theories, it has been observed that young people tend to have significantly higher nighttime melatonin levels than do their older counterparts. If it turns out that melatonin synthesis is reduced with age, this could explain why older people tend to suffer from more sleep disorders, which in turn, accelerates the aging process.

Not all types of physical activity are suitable for everyone. Users take training advice at their own personal risk.


Melatonin Benefits As a nutritional supplement, melatonin is most often used to help regulate sleep. Consistent and healthy sleep patterns are essential to losing and maintaining weight, fighting off illness, maintaining optimal levels of productivity and concentration, and many other part... more

Melatonin Benefits

As a nutritional supplement, melatonin is most often used to help regulate sleep. Consistent and healthy sleep patterns are essential to losing and maintaining weight, fighting off illness, maintaining optimal levels of productivity and concentration, and many other parts of our daily routine. Any naturally occurring substance we can use to help regulate unhealthy sleep patterns seems to be a benefit if taken in moderation.

The hormone is also used as a health supplemental ingredient due to its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants regulate the amount of free radicals in the system, something known to reduce the risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases. For the same reason, many supplement makers believe melatonin helps to boost the immune system and improve overall health.

Outside the world of nutritional supplements, melatonin is used therapeutically to treat certain conditions such as insomnia due to menopause, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, and even sunburn.

Some of the most promising therapies include the treatment of some cancers like prostate and breast cancer. For example, Melatonin has been clinically proven in the lab to hinder the growth of prostate cancer cells, possibly explaining why men who suffer from the disease typically have lower melatonin levels than the average male.

Melatonin Side Effects

Despite the fact that melatonin is natural to the human body, it is a very powerful hormone that carries with it the potential of serious side effects. Consumers should be wary of taking melatonin supplements without the advice and supervision of a doctor, especially when taking medications that might potentially cause interaction problems. As with any hormone, excessive levels of melatonin can disrupt the normal functioning of other mechanisms.

Among the less serious side effects is the potential to cause drowsiness during the day. High levels of melatonin are what make us feel sleepy at nighttime and help us stay asleep through the night. Users who find themselves drowsy during the day after taking a melatonin supplement face the very real risk of falling asleep. If you use heavy equipment, machinery, or drive during the day, you might give serious thought before taking melatonin.

Two of the more serious side effects include the potential to cause vivid and horrifying nightmares, and the potential to worsen the symptoms of depression. Because melatonin regulates the sleep cycle, excessive levels could alter the brain's sleep mechanisms to the point of causing such dangerous side effects. If you experience vivid nightmares or worsening depression, you are urged to discontinue use and seek the advice of a doctor as soon as possible.

Melatonin supplements have also caused the following side effects in a limited number of people: dizziness, irritability, headaches, stomach cramps, and reduced libido. In men, the hormone has been linked to breast enlargement and reduced sperm counts.

Melatonin Dosage

Parents who choose to use melatonin supplements rather than psychiatric drugs to treat pediatric ADHD are urged to do so with caution. For insomnia WebMD recommends 5 mg given at 6 pm each evening. Unfortunately, some nutritional supplement makers advertise that dosages of 1-5 mg per day is safe for children under the age of 15, yet clinical studies suggest that such high doses may contribute to seizures in young children. Ask your doctor for specifics before giving any supplement to a child.

As a treatment for insomnia, it's generally recommended that adults take 1-3 mg one hour before bedtime. In many cases, as little as .3 mg is enough to help properly regulate sleep cycle and end insomnia episodes. If 3 mg is ineffective in your case, you may go as high as 5-6 mg. If the highest dosage does not effectively treat your insomnia, consult a doctor before increasing it any further.

Studies suggest melatonin reduces the symptoms of jet lag or even prevents its onset completely. The dosage for such an application is 1-5 mg an hour before bedtime on the two nights prior to departure, then the same dosage for the first two or three nights following arrival.

Find and compare melatonin supplements with the free supplement finder now!


  • Side Effects
  • Other Names
  • Uses
Breast Enlargement in Men
Reduced Libido
Reduced Sperm Count
Stomach Cramps
Vivid Dreams
Worsen Depression
MEL, Melatonina, Mélatonine, MLT, N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, N-Acétyl-5-Méthoxytryptamine, Pineal Hormone
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Jet Lag
Sleep Regulation