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Home > Health Information > Health Concerns > Sleep Issues/Insomnia > Melatonin Benefits Beyond Sleep
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Melatonin: Not Just for Counting Sheep

People associate melatonin with sleep. About two decades ago, it took the media by storm. Books were written, famous personalities were interviewed, and a slew of articles - both online and on print - have been published.

But melatonin goes beyond treating sleep problems. We met people who said, "yes, I've heard about melatonin, it's supposed to be good for you, I'm just not sure what it is and how it works."

What is Melatonin? - What Are Benefits of Melatonin?

Melatonin is actually a hormone that the body produces naturally in the pineal gland. It is located in the brain, and has often been called the "third eye." It is responsible for our sleeping and waking up patterns, as well as our body's ability to adjust to changes in the season.

What people probably aren't aware of is that melatonin is also a very effective antioxidant. It helps increase enzyme activity in the brain and in other parts of the body.

Why a Melatonin Supplement is Necessary

Did you know that the aspartame in foods and drinks affects your body's ability to produce melatonin? Did you know that MSG (monosodium glutamate) can also decrease the production of melatonin? The presence of fluoride in our drinking water also slows down melatonin production. This explains why millions of people suffer from chronic insomnia.

Note that insomnia is not a problem in itself. The habitual lack of sleep triggers stress, and stress in turn can lead to diseases like cancer or high blood pressure - a vicious circle. This is why we should approach our sleeping problems at the root. We should not automatically reach out for a sleeping pill; instead we should ask ourselves how we can ensure that our bodies have sufficient levels of this indispensable hormone.

One logical approach is to take a melatonin supplement.

Benefits of Melatonin

Melatonin promotes healthful sleep. It eliminates most of the tossing and turning as well as the restlessness common among insomniacs.

It has been proven to help support the retina by acting as an antioxidant against free radicals that cause glaucoma. It helps reduce glutamates in the eye, even at small dosages of 1 to 3 mg.

Melatonin is the ideal supplement for maintaining the integrity of the brain by stimulating enzyme activity. People who suffer from Alzheimer's or Parkinson usually show that they are low in protective enzymes.

The fact that fluoride in drinking water can affects boys and girls during their puberty is sufficient reason for them to take a melatonin supplement. Girls who live in areas with fluoridated water are known to have menstruation much earlier than their counterparts who live in areas with low or no fluoride in the drinking water.

As we age, our melatonin production slows down, potentially triggering a host of problems. One sign of insufficient melatonin levels is the absence of dreaming during sleep. The elderly have low melatonin, suppressed by a variety of prescription medication. Those who take beta-blockers, steroids, Prozac and certain pain killers are susceptible to low melatonin activity.

Most melatonin supplements can be taken 30 minutes before bedtime. It will help us sleep better. It should be taken only at night, because it can produce drowsiness and sleepiness during the day. Choose a melatonin supplement that is made of 100% natural ingredients and is manufactured in a United States lab known for rigorous manufacturing controls.

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