A natural part of human life requires waking up during the day and sleeping late at night. Scientists have begun understanding the other walking and sleeping cycles and how they relate to darkness and daylight. Another factor that regulates sleep is exposure to darkness and light. Light exposure stimulates the neural pathways from your eye retina to result in the hypothalamus. Another center of the brain, the hypothalamus, creates a special center known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus initiating signals to other brain parts called hormones. This signals control hormones, body temperature, and other body functions that result in role making.
The SCN start as a clock which releases a regulated activity pattern affecting your entire body. On exposure to light, the SCN clock starts functions like releasing the hormone cortisol and raising body temperature. A delay in the SCN delays the release of hormones such as melatonin that can be associated with the onset of sleep.
As a natural body hormone melatonin builds up the body pineal gland. A pea-sized gland might be located at the top part of your brain. The pineal gland remains active during the day and gets turned on by pineal. As the sun sets and darkness occurs, SCN starts producing melatonin for prompt sleep, actively and releasing it into the blood. This is right around 9 pm and raises the blood melatonin levels significantly. The concentration of melatonin remains in the blood for about 12 hours and drop down to regular daytime levels before 9 am. During the daytime, the levels of melatonin in the blood are difficult to detect.
Bright shiny lights inhibit the production of melatonin resulting in its nickname as the Dracula of hormones. When your pineal gland is switched off by your clock, this prevents melatonin within dimly lit environments. Apart from sunlight, the artificial indoor lights can prevent the release of melatonin.
There are several instances where you might have seen melatonin present in advertisements or health food stores. In the United States, no hormones can be acquired without having a prescription. Melatonin is naturally contained in foods where legislation permits its sale as a dietary supplement. No one requires any approval from Food and Drug administration agencies.
Since its classification as a drug, synthetic melatonin that is produced in factories does not require FDA approval. That is why any of the most recommended and best over the counter sleep aid will contain this synthetic hormone as opposed to the naturally produced hormone. The doses listed cannot be controlled or remain inaccurate. This means the amount of melatonin inside the pill does not meet the required dosage inscribed on the packaging. Commercially sold melatonin products should not raise the levels of melatonin to a concentration higher than that required by the human body.
For melatonin to work for you, it must be consumed in the right dosage. The time of day it is consumed also determines the success with your sleep situation. Continued ingestion at the wrong time might reset your biological clock. You must decide how much to take in when to take it, as well as its level of effectiveness.
There are many concerns brought to the foray regarding widespread melatonin use when sold as consumer products. Reported cases of overdoses or toxicity are rare. However, it is best to consult a health-care specialist who is informed of the Role of Melatonin in Sleep.