Melatonin: The Sleep Inducing Hormone
Melatonin is a hormone secreted primarily by the pineal gland in the brain, that mainly regulates the sleep pattern. Also known as the hormone of darkness, melatonin is released in a periodic cycle in ample quantities at night. It gradually gets released into the bloodstream, reaching different parts of the body, signalling the need to sleep.
Doctors aptly describe melatonin as the natural pacemaker of the body, as it plays a key role in maintaining the circadian rhythm.
Many Functions Of Melatonin
Melatonin functions together with your body’s circadian rhythm which plays a crucial role in regulating sleep patterns and eating habits. It also regulates body temperature, blood pressure and hormone levels.
Melatonin also functions in binding receptors in the brain to reduce nerve activity. In the eyes, it reduces dopamine levels, a hormone that helps you stay awake.
As the light enters the room, it lowers the production of melatonin and helps the body to know that it is time to wake up.
Supports Eye Health
Melatonin works as a potent antioxidant and adequate levels of melatonin promote eye health by lowering the risk of eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration(AMD).
Melatonin works together with the immune system. It improves cytokine secretions and is beneficial in fighting various infectious diseases. Healthy levels of melatonin lower the risk of diseases such as coronary, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and osteoporosis.
Improves Skin Colour
Melatonin controls pigmentation changes by accumulating melanin into the melanocytes within the skin, causing the skin to change its colour. Doctors believe that people with lighter skin tone are more prone to insomnia due to low melatonin levels.
Guards The Brain
Increasing the levels of Melatonin is the suggested treatment for brain and neurological diseases, as it lowers the oxidative stress and inflammation inside the brain and strengthens the blood brain-barrier. The antioxidants effects of melatonin are known to protect nerve cells, guards the brain, spinal cord, white matter spinal cord, and optic nerve.