Melatonin—Why The Misunderstood Super-Hormone Benefits More than Sleep

Posted by Amma Healing on

March 5, 2020 - Melatonin is renowned as a sleep supplement, helping millions of Americans get a good night’s rest. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the use of melatonin has doubled since 2007. The magic of melatonin is well-established, but few of us are aware that the magic extends far beyond sleep. Read on to learn about the full power of this amazing hormone.

Humans have a natural, 24-hour circadian cycle that causes us to sleep when it gets dark and wake at sunrise. The brain’s pineal gland produces melatonin to help regulate and maintain this healthy sleep-wake cycle. Historically, we produced melatonin at the onset of darkness. However, in our modern world, we disrupt our natural production through the simplest of activities like staying up too late and keeping artificial lights on well after the sun has set (including the especially harmful blue light from electronic devices). We disrupt our circadian rhythm when we travel across time zones, something often done with vacations, work trips, and family visits. And our body’s natural production of melatonin declines with age—and we are living longer than ever!

In an analysis of 19 sleep disorder studies, scientists found that melatonin reduced the time it took to fall asleep by over half! Most of the participants also reported a “significant improvement” in the quality of their sleep. So what can we do to balance our melatonin production? We can supplement! Consuming exogenous melatonin helps signal the body that it’s time for sleep, and allows you to enjoy a more natural, restful experience. Additionally, it complements your body’s natural production of melatonin to ensure you continue generating restful sleep as you age.

Melatonin works by binding to receptors in the body that help you relax. For example, binding to receptors in the brain calms nerve activity, and binding to receptors in the eyes reduces dopamine levels, a hormone that promotes wakefulness. [1, 2, 3]

The magic of melatonin isn't limited to sleep, It boasts a whole host of other benefits, such as supporting eye health, treating stomach issues, preventing heartburn, positively modulating hormone production, preventing high blood pressure, and more. [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]

One of melatonin’s most powerful benefits is its role in combating oxidative stress. As an antioxidant, melatonin prevents oxidation, a damaging process caused by free radicals. Free radicals are split atoms or molecules with unpaired electrons that bind to other molecules in your body causing damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. This tissue damage is linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, and more. One study showed that a single molecule of melatonin was able to neutralize up to 10 free radicals. [13] The study also describes melatonin as a kind of “scavenger” that seeks out and destroys certain free radicals, detoxifying the body one cell at a time.

Melatonin’s benefits don’t stop there. Melatonin boosts anti-aging benefits by regulating other hormones. Studies have shown that melatonin increases the sensitivity of the pituitary gland, the organ that releases growth hormone (GH). [14, 15] Similar to melatonin, our body’s natural production of GH decreases as we age. Melatonin supports the continued production of GH through the aging process, allowing us to benefit from more energy, improved exercise capacity, less body fat, and improved injury recovery. [16]

Melatonin has a critical role to play in our bodies' overall wellness. That’s why AMMA worked with leading researchers and wellness product formulators in crafting its night-time supplement. With 1 mg of melatonin and chamomile oil, our Nano SoftGels are designed to optimize your sleep, letting your body soak up all of the melatonin's benefits so you wake up refreshed and recharged.

Part of our mission at AMMA is to provide education about the latest scientific research and discoveries in health and wellness. The content provided is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. You should consult with your healthcare provider before taking our products, especially if you take other medications, have certain medical conditions, or are pregnant or nursing.