Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone within the human body that is normally released by the pineal gland. It is the biological sign for circadian rhythm functions such as the initiation of sleep and is produced in response to falling levels of light. Melatonin supplements may replace falling or depleted levels and should be taken each evening after the sun has set. Most experts recommend taking the supplement one hour or so before bedtime.
Because our bodies do produce melatonin naturally, general recommendations state that those under the age of 40 should not take the supplement on a routine basis, and its safety in children has not been evaluated.
In animals, melatonin is responsible for seasonal changes like coat color changes and hibernation. In humans, melatonin is largely responsible for the initiation of sleep but may also play a role in seasonal affective disorder due to lower light levels in late fall and winter months. Melatonin peaks within the body at different levels and different times, depending on age. Babies and young children have melatonin blood concentration increases in the early evening but as children move through the teenage years, melatonin peaks later and later in the evening which is why teens often do not fall asleep easily. ϯ
Unfortunately, stress and aging can contribute to falling melatonin levels – leading to insomnia. In addition, people who do “shift work” or travel internationally may experience interrupted melatonin cycles. Supplementation may help with these issues. ϯ
Foods With Melatonin
Melatonin has been identified in many fruits and vegetables like cherries, grapes, bananas, and tomatoes, and grains such as corn and rice. Despite the fact that our bodies produce melatonin, we may not have enough and we simply cannot replace depleted melatonin through our diet. ϯ
Most foods containing melatonin only have between 0.2 and 15 nanograms per gram. A nanogram is one, one millionth of a gram – and we need 1 to 5 mg to actually have enough in our bodies to induce sleepiness. In order to get a 3 mg dose of melatonin, you would have to eat over 1,500 fruit or other food servings, and possibly more than 100 thousand each time you need a melatonin supplement. ϯ
Melatonin has not been well studied but it may have effects in and has been used for a wide variety of physiologic conditions including mental disorders such as:
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Cognitive Dysfunction
- Bipolar Disorder
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Immune Function
Some people have reported vivid or unusual dreams, nausea, next day grogginess, and slight irritability with melatonin use but most of these mild side effects are temporary and should be considered in comparison to chronic insomnia and the resulting fatigue that is sometimes experienced with decreased melatonin levels.
Do not take melatonin before driving or any other time alertness and concentration are required.
Why this Formula?
Melatonin contained in some supplements may be sourced from bovine (cow) pineal gland. aVivoPur Melatonin is synthesized from plant sources and is vegetarian-friendly.
Some people also use aVivoPur’s Magnetic Eye & Sleep Mask, magnetic therapy pillow, or mattress pad at night and report good results for sleep and decreasing the effects of jetlag. Magnetic fields from these products are also designed to stimulate the pineal gland and affect melatonin production.ϯ
ϯ These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.