What does melatonin do?

By | November 10, 2007

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and received a lot of buzz during the nineties for its ability to promote sleep. In the context of HGH treatment, melatonin is greatly interlinked with HGH in many ways leading some to speculate that a cheap way to increase HGH secretion in the body was by taking melatonin.

It’s true that the drop in melatonin in the brain triggers puberty, as about the same time as HGH levels drop. When HGH levels are up, so are melatonin levels. So, it’s obvious that the both of them are connected in some way. But apparently, melatonin cannot be a substitute for HGH, as both are separate hormones in their own right. Taking a lot of melatonin will not compensate for a lack of HGH in the body.

What is true is that melatonin can induce a variety of good effects to the body…among them are boosting the immune system, fighting cancer and of course, inducing sleep. It’s as good as a natural sleeping pill without the side effects. I used to take melatonin some time ago when I had difficulty sleeping, and I must say it worked fairly well…but of course I only took a small dose every time, due to the fact I didn’t want my pineal gland to become “lazy” and reduce it’s own ability to secrete melatonin.

sound sleep

Melatonin is released only at night by the pineal gland, which is located in an area behind the eyes. The pineal gland, along with the pituitary gland, is regarded as one of the most little understood endocrine glands in the body. Yet, they are also the most important. It is a hormone that governs the sleep wake cycle and other “seasonal” cycles too. It is also one of the most effective anti free-radical agents known to man. Mice given melatonin before being fed carcinogenic food incurred much less genetic damage than mice that weren’t given melatonin. The mice given melatonin had a 41-99 percent less genetic damage; depending on the amount of melatonin they had been given. The more melatonin they had, the stronger they were.

The most popular use of melatonin is for helping with sleep problems. The amount of melatonin we make at night is in direct relation to the quality of our sleep. Have you wondered why even after sleeping a good 8 hours, you still don’t feel refreshed? Studies show that melatonin helps for a faster time to fall asleep, and increases the quality of the sleep by inducing deep or slow wave sleep. It is also one of the best jet lag fighters we have, reducing jet lag by as much as 50 percent, according to a British study.