Melatonin is a peptide secreted by the pineal gland. Its primary role is regulation of the body’s circadian rhythm, hormone secretions, and sleep patterns. The way it works is that light inhibits melatonin secretion and darkness stimulates secretion. Therefore, at night melatonin is secreted which initiates sleep. However, people who get an insufficient amount of environmental light, such as office workers in windowless buildings and the elderly who do not get outside very much, may make less melatonin secretion. Furthermore, some people may not make enough melatonin to promote sleep.
The good news is that melatonin can be taken as a supplement! In adults with occasional sleeplessness, short-term use of melatonin helps reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and may even improve subjective feelings of sleep quality.*
In addition, melatonin is a potent antioxidant, with 6-10 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E.* It acts as an oxygen free radical scavenger and prevents several enzymatic reactions that generate reactive oxygen species (ROS).*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.