Melatonin: what is it? Side Effects and Benefits

Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is produced in our brain, specifically in the pineal gland . Although this gland performs various functions in our body, its main function is to regulate the cycle of sleep and wakefulness, this is achieved by transforming serotonin into melatonin. Melatonin is synthesized from an amino acid known as tryptophan.

What is melatonin and how does it help us sleep?

  • Formula: C₁₃H₁₆N₂O₂
  • IUPAC name: N-[2-(5-methoxy-1H-indol-3-yl)ethyl]
  • Half-life: 35-50 minutes
  • Metabolism: Hepatic via 6-hydroxylation mediated by CYP1A2
  • Bioavailability: 30-50%
  • Legal status: S4 (AU) OTC (US)
  • CAS number: 73-31-4
  • ATC code: N05CH01
  • PubChem: 896
  • DrugBank: APRD00742
  • ChemSpider: 872
  • KEGG: D08170
  • ChEBI: 16796

melatonin formula

Many people associate this hormone with rest, but what is it really? Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain, specifically by the pineal gland.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain . It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.

This is known worldwide as the “Sleep Hormone”, since its basic function is to regulate the sleep cycle and the circadian rhythm , achieving a complete and recuperative rest.

What is melatonin? All about the sleep hormone

It should be known that melatonin is released in the blood vessels. This usually happens during the night or when it is dark, that is, during daylight hours, the production of this hormone stops. It should be noted that melatonin is not a sleep aid, but a sleep stimulant . As the production of this is activated by darkness, it is important that people with sleep problems do not expose themselves to light from light bulbs and electronic devices before sleeping .

This amino acid is obtained through the consumption of certain foods. Therefore, if you want to improve the quality of rest, it is essential to increase the consumption of foods rich in tryptophan .

What is melatonin used for? Properties and benefits

In recent years, this hormone has been widely used to treat sleep disorders and other pathologies. Although this is produced naturally by the body, it is also possible to introduce it into our body through supplements. Next, you will be able to know some of the properties of the sleep hormone.

  • Encourages to sleep The pineal gland is activated at night, because it is stimulated by darkness. This raises the level of melatonin in the body, which produces a feeling of relaxation and finally leads the person to sleep. But with the presence of sunlight, the amount of melatonin decreases, which causes the person to wake up. That is why melatonin is known as the sleep hormone.
  • It is an ally against aging. This hormone fights free radicals, thanks to its antioxidant effect. Therefore, it serves to combat premature aging.
  • Promotes growth. Various specialists claim that there is a relationship between melatonin and the production of somatotropin, the hormone that regulates growth in children. For this reason, some specialists recommend it to improve growth problems in children.
  • Helps to lose weight. A relationship between this hormone and the level of appetite of people has been discovered, which has allowed some doctors to recommend melatonin-based dietary supplements to help regulate the feeling of satiety when eating. This hormone has the ability to decrease the amount of adipose tissue accumulated in the tissues.
  • Reduces migraine. It is a hormone that also has an anti-inflammatory effect. For this reason, various specialists are administering it to their patients to treat headaches and migraines.

It should be noted that despite the effectiveness that this hormone may have in the treatment of various pathologies. In some cases its effectiveness is not scientifically proven. Therefore, it is important not to self-medicate and to consult a professional in the matter beforehand , especially if it is administered to a child.


  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Some studies indicate that it has an anti-inflammatory effect
  • Has antioxidant properties
  • Provides relaxation

Melatonin Health Benefits

  • Improves the functioning of the immune systemThe production of melatonin in the body increases the body’s natural defenses. This is very beneficial for the body, as it helps to inhibit some infections.
  • It controls the production of gonadotropinsThe sleep hormone, i.e. melanin, can also modulate the production of estrogen and progesterone. Hormones responsible for development and proper functioning of the male and female reproductive system.
  • Reduces the feeling of stressMany times, stress is caused by a bad rest. Therefore, people who have low melatonin levels are more likely to have this condition. But when you have a good level of melatonin in your body, you rest better and, therefore, the feeling of stress decreases.

What other benefits does taking melatonin have?


Although it is considered the ideal solution to regulate sleep disorders, it should be known that it also works effectively in other types of health problems. Next, we will indicate the most outstanding benefits:

Prevents premature aging

Clinical trials have revealed that a lack of melatonin causes accelerated aging . In view of this, drugs with this hormone have been used to reverse this problem. ISDINCEUTICS AGE is a cream with melatonin that effectively provides elasticity to the skin.

antioxidant effect

Various studies have shown that it prevents the oxidation of cell mitochondria . It also neutralizes free radicals, thus providing more energy to the body. It provides an antioxidant effect, ideal for retarding the oxidation of the molecules in our body . It also prevents the aggression of free radicals or highly reactive chemical substances, which in turn delays aging.

neuroprotective property

This hormone helps regulate the sleep cycle and, therefore, prevents memory loss, anxiety, brain inflammation, and other related pathologies.

Regulates the immune system. Lack of sleep produces various diseases related to the immune system. When this happens, the body’s cells and tissues are damaged. But by consuming melatonin, the immune system is strengthened to fight infections and external agents.

How to take melatonin?

It can be consumed sublingually, in tablets, syrups, sprays, cream, food supplements, injectables and soft capsules. The speed of action of this hormone will depend on the type of drug presentation.

Injectable melatonin treatments , in tablets, syrups and softgels, usually have a very rapid effect compared to other presentations. Generally, doctors recommend taking melatonin-based medications 15 to 30 minutes before going to sleep. NS DREAM is a food supplement made from melatonin that helps to fall asleep quickly.

How to use melatonin?

It provides various benefits to the body. However, its consumption must be supervised by a doctor . In fact, excessive consumption of this hormone is not recommended.

A specialist can prescribe doses of melatonin in different presentations, so you can consume it in the most comfortable way for you or your child. These are some of the presentations in which you can consume this hormone:

  • Orally. An effective and comfortable way to raise the level of melatonin in the body is to consume it orally. You can take it as capsules , softgels , chewable tablets , quick-dissolving sublingual tablets, sublingual sprays , drops, and syrups.
  • Topics. Although oral absorption is faster, you can also choose to use it as a topical or cream. This in order to reduce skin aging, reduce expression lines and relax the muscles.

When consuming said hormone (regardless of its presentation), you should apply or take it just before going to bed , since during rest hours the activation of this hormone is more effective. For greater effectiveness you should avoid constantly exposing yourself to artificial lights such as telephones and light bulbs.

Advantages and disadvantages of melatonin

Consuming melatonin under medical supervision is very safe , as a doctor can prescribe the appropriate amounts to consume and the time in which you can do it. It will also evaluate your physical condition to determine if you have any condition that prevents the consumption of this hormone.

It is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of the sleep hormone, in this way you will feel more secure when consuming it.


  • The hypnotic effect can help you fight insomnia effectively.
  • It does not cause dependency in the organism.
  • It is ideal for the good rest of blind people who suffer from circadian rhythm imbalances.
  • You can choose to consume foods rich in melatonin, such as cocoa, dark chocolate , oily fish, lean meat, broccoli , asparagus , among others.


  • It is only activated at night, so it is not recommended to consume supplements of this hormone during the day.
  • In some people the consumption of melatonin can cause mild dizziness. In this case it is essential to consult a doctor.

What effects on the body does a lack of melatonin produce?

The lack of this hormone is usually very harmful to the body. This hormone not only regulates sleep, but also favors the proper functioning of the body’s biological processes. These are some of the effects produced by a lack of melatonin:

  • cell oxidation.
  • Memory loss.
  • Premature aging.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Immune system problems.

When you reach an advanced age, you are more likely to suffer from a lack of melatonin and related diseases. In these cases it is useful to use treatments based on this hormone . MELATONINA + BITB6 is a spray treatment that helps improve rest.

What is the dose of melatonin to sleep?

It is important that before taking this hormone to improve sleep disorders, the appropriate dose to consume is known with certainty.

It should be noted that to consume a melatonin treatment, it is necessary to consult a doctor in advance. In general, doctors usually indicate to their adult patients 1 to 2 tablets before bedtime, depending on the severity of the insomnia.

How long does the effect of melatonin last?

By taking the proper doses of melatonin its effect will last throughout the night , for this reason, patients should not worry that this hormone makes them sleep longer than they should.

It should be taken into account that the hormone is reduced by the presence of light , therefore, at dawn melatonin decreases, leading the patient to wake up . MELATONINA FORTE is a very effective treatment for insomnia in tablets.

What side effects does melatonin have in adults?

The sleep hormone also has unpleasant side effects, especially when taken without medical administration and prior research. These are some of the symptoms that occur when consuming this hormone:

  • Headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • Changes in mood.

These side effects do not occur in everyone. Everything will depend on the amount of the dose and the state of health of the patient. They are virtually non-existent at the doses delivered by drugs or supplements.


Melatonin has turned out to be the most effective and healthy solution to improve sleep problems. It also provides various benefits for immune health and to maintain proper cell function. Although some melatonin-based medicines can be purchased without a prescription, it is best to see a doctor to assess the patient’s health, especially when you want to administer melatonin to children.


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