You may think of melatonin as simply a sleep supplement. It is, to an extent. Melatonin can do so much more than aid you in getting a good nights’ sleep.
Your Melatonin Primer
Melatonin is produced by your brain – everyone has it. Some of us have less than our optimal levels, causing our sleep cycles to vary. Proper levels of melatonin help our circadian rhythm, which helps our bodies adjust to our day-to-day wake/sleep times. Too much light can disrupt it; too much dark can do the same.
Melatonin can also play a huge role in our everyday lives – from our athletic abilities to our menopause relief.
Decrease The “Bad” Menopause Symptoms
Menospause sucks – and many women over 50 know this all too well. The hot flashes… the moodiness – they can be troublesome not only to those suffering, but also to their friends and families. Melatonin can help decrease these “bad” symptoms. While it won’t totally cause them to cease (it’s Mother Nature, after all, to go through this change), it will dramatically reduce them.
Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia Relief
A randomized, placebo-controlled study of 101 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome evaluated melatonin’s effectiveness at reducing symptoms. It found that patients experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms when they took a melatonin dosage either alone or in conjunction with the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac).
Decrease Exercise Fatigue
A recent study conducted at the University of Seville Medical School in Spain looked at the effects on oxidative stress, immunity and fat metabolism of taking melatonin before intense exercise. Athletes took either 6 milligrams of melatonin or a placebo 30 minutes before completing an hour of continuous intense training. Upon completion of the study, the authors concluded that the melatonin supplement significantly increased blood-total antioxidant activity and decreased exercise-induced oxidative stress.
So whether you are a hot-flash hating grandmother, or a cyclist in need of a training boost, melatonin can help your life for the better.