Melatonin’s Function: A Guide to Better Sleep
Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain, plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Commonly called the "sleep hormone," melatonin synchronizes our internal clock with the external environment, ensuring optimal sleep and overall well-being.
In this blog post, we'll delve into the role of melatonin in sleep, discuss the downsides of synthetic melatonin supplements, and offer alternative solutions to help improve sleep quality.
The Role of Melatonin in Sleep
Melatonin production is regulated by light exposure, specifically the presence or absence of light. When the sun sets, upon sensing darkness, the pineal gland begins releasing melatonin, which subsequently travels through the bloodstream, reaching its target receptors in the brain and other organs. These receptors are primarily located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a region of the hypothalamus that governs our circadian rhythm. Melatonin levels rise in the evening and peak during the night, before gradually declining in the early morning hours. Conversely, when the sun rises, the production of melatonin is inhibited, and the body prepares for wakefulness as cortisol and serotonin levels peak.
Melatonin acts as a powerful signal for the body to prepare for sleep. It reduces body temperature, promotes relaxation, and facilitates the onset of sleep by interacting with various neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, and norepinephrine. This intricate interplay helps the body transition from a state of wakefulness to restful sleep.
In addition to its sleep-inducing properties, in your body, melatonin possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, contributing to cellular repair and immune system regulation.
The natural production of melatonin can be disrupted by various factors, including jet lag, shift work, or exposure to blue light emitted by electronic devices in the evening. This can result in difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both.
What is synthetic OTC melatonin?
When sleepless nights strike, some people think taking synthetic melatonin supplements is a match for your own natural melatonin. Synthetic melatonin is an artificial lab-based or animal-based version of human melatonin, and it may actually override your brain's natural melatonin production.
Despite being a short-term option for jet lag, synthetic melatonin differs from your body's natural melatonin. There is also a need for more research on the long-term use of synthetic melatonin.
The Downsides of Synthetic Melatonin: Unknown Doses
While melatonin supplements can be helpful for some people, there are potential downsides to consider, and many people report side effects. One significant concern is the lack of regulation in the supplement industry. Unlike prescription medications, dietary supplements such as melatonin are not subject to the same rigorous testing and safety standards.
Recently a Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine study found that the dose of OTC melatonin supplements varied from −83% to +478% of what was labeled! That means that even if you are taking an educated guess, you may be using a lot less than you intended or way too much.
The average American takes 4-5mg of synthetic melatonin. When you times or divide that by the numbers above, the dose difference could be huge. Especially when your brain naturally only makes 0.1 - 0.8mg...
Synthetic Melatonin Side Effects Vs. Your Brain's Natural Melatonin
Another concern is the potential for side effects. While melatonin is generally considered safe, some people may experience adverse effects such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, or daytime drowsiness.
Additionally, long-term use of melatonin supplements may disrupt the body's natural production of the hormone, making it more difficult to fall asleep without them. It may change how your body produces natural melatonin and how the body's receptors respond to your own natural melatonin. Your system is flooded with a chemical version of a hormone, which isn't the natural way.
The Truly Natural Way: Your Brain's Own Melatonin
While melatonin supplements can be helpful for some people, ultimately, your brain knows how to do things best without being swayed by external hormones.
Our approach is to fuel your brain with the nutrients it needs to make its own natural melatonin and serotonin. Your brain is in control, making the correct amounts and producing at the perfect times. DELTA by BrainLuxury contains essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, the perfect combination of precursor nutrients.
We hope this has helped you on your quest for brain health. If you have any questions about our products, feel free to reach out to our team.