One of the more popular dietary supplements in the US today. It may be the biological answer to sleep disorders which can lead to depression, weight gain, low sex drive, irritability, diminished brain function, and impaired athletic performance. Melatonin is also an important antioxidant.
Melatonin can enhance the amount of natural melatonin produced by the pineal gland in the body during sleeping hours. The pineal gland, located near the base of the brain, regulates the hypothalamus; a gland that influences the functioning of the thymus, thyroid, pancreas and adrenal glands. Secretion of melatonin is stimulated by the dark and inhibited by light and therefore may have a direct influence on circadian rhythms, our natural sleep/wake cycles. Because we get too little safe sunlight in our daily lives, and stress hormones suppress the pineal glands natural activity, melatonin may not be produced in sufficient quantities to guarantee restful sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may need an adjustment to your circadian rhythm. Melatonin may be the nudge your body needs to send you over into dreamland.