Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleep and awakening; In part your body controls how much melatonin makes your body. Normally melatonin levels begin to rise in the middle of the afternoon, stay high for most of the night and then come down during the morning hours.
The light affects how much melatonin produces our body, during the short days of the winter months, your body can produce melatonin earlier or later in the day compared to the usual. This change can lead to seasonal affective disorder syndromes (ODS) or winter depression.
The natural levels of melatonin slowly fall with age, some older adults produce small amounts of this or nothing at all.
Why is melatonin used as a dietary supplement?
Melatonin supplements are sometimes used to treat jet lag or sleep problems.
Scientists are also looking at other good uses for melatonin, such as:
- Treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
- Help control sleep patterns for people who work night shifts.
- Prevent or reduce problems with sleep and confusion after surgery.
- Reduce chronic migraines.
Is it safe to take melatonin dietary supplements?
In most cases, melatonin supplements are safe in low doses for long and short periods of use.
Children and pregnant or lactating women should not take melatonin without first consulting a doctor.
Where can I find melatonin supplements?
You can buy melatonin in the UK supplements in stores and online. One of the best brands is the Dr Backhaus brand. You can find this online or at any reputable health store.