Melatonin the Antioxidant
Melatonin, when naturally secreted from the pineal gland, is a powerful free-radical scavenger and antioxidant. It works with other antioxidants to improve the overall effectiveness of each antioxidant. It has also been shown to be twice as active as vitamin E (another antioxidant) and a better protector against mitochondrial oxidative stress.*
How to Use Melatonin Supplements
Stress, odd working hours, shifts in day-night cycles associated with travel, and artificial light in the evening are all factors that can disrupt normal melatonin secretion. Melatonin levels also commonly decrease with age.
Herbal supplements and sleep practices that balance normal circadian rhythm help promote natural secretion of melatonin. In addition, supplemental melatonin can be used to help restore normal sleep cycles that have been disrupted.*
After normal sleep cycles are reestablished, supplemental melatonin should be discontinued to prevent tolerance from occurring. Supplemental melatonin is most beneficial for individuals who suffer from occasional sleeplessness or are experiencing a period of stress.*
The dose of melatonin should be limited to physiologic doses, or less than 1 mg. Tart cherries are a good source of low levels of natural melatonin. Doses of >3 mg should be avoided because of the risk of disrupting natural melatonin secretion.*
Melatonin supplements are best taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime. This timing supports normal onset of sleep by mimicking the body’s natural sleep initiation processes.*
People who use melatonin supplements long-term report only mild benefit. Clinical studies that support the use of melatonin show benefit primarily with short-term use for dealing with issues like jet lag and disruption of normal day-night schedules.*
Tolerance to melatonin supplements can occur with regular use. Melatonin supplements should be used primarily to support re-establishment of normal sleep cycles. They can be used in conjunction with natural herbal therapy to support normal sleep.* Patients with significant depression should avoid melatonin.
High doses of oral melatonin (>3 mg) and time-released melatonin do not mimic the normal secretion of melatonin in the body and should be avoided.
Ingredients similar to Melatonin: