Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland (also called the epiphysis). The secretion of melatonin is inhibited during the day and stimulated during the night, the maximum being reached around 2 or 3 am, hence its other names: sleep hormone or darkness hormone. Through melatonin, the epiphysis informs the brain about the relative durations of hours of darkness and light over a 24-hour period (daily cycle), but also throughout the year (seasonal cycle). Thanks to its lipophilic structure, melatonin can diffuse easily in the body, especially in the intracellular membranes, particularly in the neurons (synapses), hence its ability to act on the central nervous system.
DEFICIENCY: Researchers have found that people with certain health conditions have lower than average levels of melatonin. Travelers and travelers people who work rotating shifts suffer from sleep disturbances that seem to be caused by a change in their melatonin levels.
- Insomnia: Melatonin would be effective in treating primary insomnia, especially in the elderly. It could also improve the sleep of younger people and the time to falling asleep in children with insomnia.
- Jet lag: Melatonin has been observed to improve alertness and motor performance in a situation of jet lag
- Migraine and headaches: ithere is a hypothesis that migraine and certain headaches are caused or triggered by a disruption of circadian rhythms. Researchers believe that melatonin would be useful in such cases
- Menopause: The results of a study conducted in Italy indicate that taking melatonin at the time of menopause may have anti-aging effects by lowering prolactin levels and follicle stimulating hormone, two hormones whose levels increase in women during this stage