Below are the certain types of food that are rich in melatonin and excellent for a healthy dosage of melatonin, which in turn promotes a healthy lifestyle, and stabilizes your internal biological clock.
According to the Alaska Sleep Clinic, “sleeping foods”, a.k.a foods that are rich in melatonin are generally divided into five groups. The first set is called Tryptophan, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin B6 and Melatonin
Tryptophan is an amino acid that when ingested, is turned into the neurotransmitter serotonin and then converted into the hormone melatonin. Here are some of the best foods loaded with tryptophan according to the Alaska Sleep Clinic:
Magnesium is a powerful mineral that is instrumental in sleep and is a natural relaxant that helps to deactivate adrenaline. A lack of magnesium can be directly linked to difficulty going and staying asleep. Magnesium is often referred to as the sleep mineral. Excellent sources of magnesium are:
Dark leafy greens (baby spinach, kale, collard greens)
Nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseed, pecans)
Fish (salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel)
Calcium is another mineral that helps the brain make melatonin. A lack of calcium can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty returning to sleep. Calcium-rich diets have been shown to help patients with insomnia. Dairy products that contain both tryptophan and calcium are among the best sleep inducers. Sources of calcium include:
Dark leafy greens
Fortified orange juice
Enriched bread and grains
Green snap peas
Vitamin B6 also helps convert tryptophan into melatonin. A deficiency in B6 has been linked with lowered serotonin levels and poor sleep. A deficiency in B6 is also linked to symptoms of depression and mood disorders which can lead to insomnia. The highest sources of B6 are:
Fish (tuna, salmon, halibut)
Meat (chicken, tuna, lean pork, lean beef,)
Many of the vitamins and minerals that are on this list are there because they help aid in the production of turning serotonin into melatonin. However, there are a few excellent sources of naturally occurring melatonin in foods:
Nuts and Seeds (walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, flaxseed)
And there you have it! Do you think you will try any of these foods to experiment on your sleep pattern? Let us know in the comments below! Adios!
Phillips, Kevin. “Alaska Sleep Education Center.” Foods for Sleep: A List of The Best and Worst Foods for Getting Sleep, 23 Jan. 2018, www.alaskasleep.com/blog/foods-for-sleep-list-best-worst-foods-getting-sleep
Hello and welcome to today’s article. If you are half as obsessed with health articles as I am then you have definitely come to the right place. Today we will be looking at melatonin and it’s various functions in the body, but mostly in the brain. I’ll share my personal story, and how melatonin helped me to find stability in mental health journey, but first things first, what exactly is melatonin? Why is it produced in the body? For what purpose? Let’s explore a little further by looking at the brain, and most specifically, the human brain.
The brain is one of the most delicate organs in the body, and because of that, it is imperative that we know exactly what goes on up there (or at least some of it). Without further ado, what is Melatonin? What is it’s relationship to the brain?
Melatonin is a chemical hormone that is produced by both humans and animals in the pineal gland primarily in the brain. Melatonin, popularly known for its ability to induce sleep in humans as well as animals. According to Mayo Clinic, melatonin is a primary chemical that plays a huge role in sleep and its production increases as the day.
According to , the production and release of melatonin in the brain is directly connected to time of day, increasing when it is dark and also decreasing when it’s light. Melatonin production is a hormone that declines with age in both humans and animals. Apart from its natural production in humans and animals, melatonin is also produced in the form of supplements, and melatonin produced artificially is usually made in a scientific lab. You can check out our web page for supplements that can be taken to produce sleep.
Melatonin and the Brain
Two months ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is a mental condition that is characterized by manic episodes, low mood, and low energy spells and a chemical balance in the brain. For many years, my disorder went had in hand with low mood swings and low energy spells. For many people who struggle with this mental condition, their sleep patterns are affected. Thankfully, there are ways to address bipolar disorder and lessen its blow. Naturally, the human body has a biological clock that acts in sync with the environment that it is in. This has a lot to do with a circadian rhythm.
What is a circadian rhythm? It is a biological process associated with living things, human beings included and it revolves around a 24-hour cycle. The circadian rhythm affects a lot in the body, but most importantly, it influences the sleep-wake cycle of human beings, and this is where melatonin and bipolar disorder are linked. When a person has a bipolar disorder, there is a dysfunction in the sleeping rhythm of the human being, and melatonin helps to balance that equation and create an equilibrium of stable sleep and wake cycles.
Melatonin and Bipolar Disorder
In the last paragraph, we briefly brushed on the topic of circadian rhythms and it’s relationship with mental health and how melatonin comes into the picture, but it is time for us to have an in-depth conversation about bipolar disorder, and how it affects the body in the general sense. The first time I paid attention to Bipolar disorder was when rapper Kanye West shared that he had been diagnosed with a mental condition after living with the condition for over forty years. Ironically, I was diagnosed with the same condition two weeks later, and it helped me to look closely at my behaviors, sleep-wake patterns, and my energy levels. Knowing what was wrong empowered me and gave me a deeper insight into how to handle the issue as well as what medication I needed to take.
One of the many symptoms that I went through were bouts of irritation and restlessness followed by long hours of tossing and turning in my bed helplessly waiting for sleep to come. After my diagnosis, my Doctor prescribed my medication, and one of the supplements that I happened to take was rich in melatonin and this significantly stabilized my sleep-wake pattern. Of course, taking the medication in the evening influenced a positive result as well. If you or a loved one suffer from any form of health challenge that induces sleeplessness, then melatonin is a supplement that you can take to help you. Be sure you talk to your physician about what supplements will
Thank you for making it down to this section of the article. Stay with me as we look at scientific and medical advances in the medical research of melatonin. According to researchgate.com,
Increasing clinical pieces of evidence suggest that melatonin receptor agonists can represent a fresh therapeutic approach for the treatment of sleep disturbances and depression. A variety of studies also revealed a role of melatonin and its receptors in different patho-physiological conditions. Due to the multiple positive effects of this hormone, the design of new agents able to interact selectively with melatonin receptors has become an area of great interest during the last decade. A comprehensive review of structures recently claimed as melatonin receptor agonists and a broad overview of structure-activity relationships for these ligands suggests that. After 5 decades of research, the field of melatonin receptor agonists comprises of a variety of selected chemical entities, belonging to structurally different classes. Patents filed since 1999 claim new melatonin receptor agonists, characterized either by improved pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic properties, compared to those of melatonin receptor agonists are already approved for clinical uses. The results of preclinical studies on animal models show that melatonin receptor agonists can be considered promising agents for the treatment of CNS (central nervous system)-related pathologies.
Although that last paragraph/blockquote was unarguably a lot to take in, it did two things: first, it established what we talked about in previous paragraphs about how awesome melatonin is, and how effective is in the treatment of mental health lapses, namely bipolar disorder or manic depression. I am going to conclude this article by making a list of the different types of food, fruits, and vegetables that have a certain amount of melatonin in them.
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the brain. This hormone is responsible for our sleep and wake cycles. An imbalance of this hormone may pose serious health risks and may be a major contributing factor to a lot of diseases.
Research after research have shown melatonin to be highly effective for some people and mildly effective or ineffective for others. What this means is that melatonin supplement as a sleep aid will not work for everyone.
The melatonin hormone, also know as N-acetyl-5-methoxy tryptamine, is very important for proper functioning of the human body and prevention and treatment of some diseases. The N-acetyl-5-methoxy tryptamine is secreted in the brain based on time of the day. Although melatonin hormone is ever present in the brain, its release and amount is mostly dictated by the time of the day. During day time, the amount of melatonin in the brain is at its lowest. As time and day progresses towards the evening, the brain starts to secrete this hormone.
It is true that majority of us know melatonin as an important sleep aid. What some of us don’t know is that melatonin has been studied to help alleviate, prevent, or treat some serious diseases. In this post, we will walk you through some of the other benefits of melatonin.
Melatonin Supplement For Sleep
One of the important benefits of melatonin, as mentioned earlier, is that it helps control our sleep / wake cycle. In other words, melatonin is responsible for helping us fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. For melatonin to really help you do all this, you have to help it help you achieve your best sleep.
So how do you help melatonin help you? We mentioned that melatonin release in the brain increases as we approach evenings. What this means in is that this hormone is dark-friendly. For melatonin supplement to help you sleep better, you need to feed it darkness. You need to prevent different sources of light (smartphones, TVs, and lights from other sources). This is the most important factor that can limit the effectiveness of any melatonin supplement. Apart from light as a melatonin limiting factor, other factors that can prevent melatonin supplement from helping you fall asleep include:
Underlying health conditions
These list of factors are not exhaustive in any sense, however, these are very common factors that hinder sleep. Underlying health conditions can definitely interfere with the production of the melatonin hormone and also interfere with sleep even in the presence of high melatonin levels in the brain. Experiencing pain, arthritis for example, in one part of different parts of your body can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Your environment is another important factor that will interfere with your sleep. If you’re feeling too hot or too cold, you may find that you’re not able to fall and/or stay asleep for a long time. It is very very important to create a conducive environment to sleep in. Another environmental factor will be noise levels. While some are totally fine with some level of noise, some are very sensitive to it. It is important that you sleep in an environment where there is little to no noise.
Mental state is another factor that may interfere with our sleep. When you’re stressed about an exam or are anxious about something, or are depressed, all of these will definitely affect how fast you fall asleep and the overall quality of your sleep.
Caffeine affects the quality of your sleep in many ways. Studies have shown caffeine to decrease sleep time by an average of 2 hours. Caffeine has also been shown to be responsible for the number of times you wake throughout the night. Caffeine’s effect on sleep is not universal. Some people have caffeine and still get their quality sleep while some wouldn’t dare to consume caffeine 6-10 hours before bed time. Goes to show you how we are all different in our special ways; some are lucky and some just aren’t.
The right dosage of melatonin will vary from one individual to another. Some people who can’t sleep or have some form of sleeping disorder will need small dosage of melatonin, while some individuals will need a high dose. Currently, the popular dosage sizes of melatonin are 1mg, 2mg, 3mg, 5mg, and 10mg. Many of these melatonin dosage sizes are readily available online and in stores.
While on the topic of melatonin dosage, it is important to note that melatonin can be used by adults and children. Children who have issues sleeping will find that melatonin can help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It’s not advisable to have kids over-rely on melatonin. The main reason is that over-relying on melatonin while they are young might mean they may need melatonin for the rest of their lives. Additionally, there are no studies on long term effect of melatonin use.
So what is the right melatonin dosage? Again, this will vary from one individual to another. Some individuals who need very little help with sleep will find that 1/2 a milligram to 1mg is just enough, while some individuals will need 2mg or 10mg. Based on available studies, it does not appear that one can overdose on melatonin. The good news is that taking too much melatonin isn’t harmful to an adult, it’s just a matter of body tolerance.
If you haven’t used melatonin pills before, you absolutely do not know how well it will work for you or how your body will react to it. We suggest you start out at 1/2 a milligram for children and 1mg for adults. If that doesn’t work, you may increase to 1mg for children and 3mg for adults. If these dosage amounts aren’t effective, you could safely increase dosage up to 3mg for children and 5mg for adults. If you plan to give your child more than 3mg, please consult with your healthcare provider first. As for adults, you can take anywhere from 1mg to 20mg without issues. Some people take more, but for the purpose of sleep, it is best to experiment incrementally as opposed to just starting out with a high dosage like 10mg.
Be aware, high melatonin dosage have been known to cause seizures in children. Be sure to consult with you pediatric provider before administering melatonin on a child.
One question we have been getting lately is whether you can overdose on melatonin. The answer is a yes with a caveat. With a caveat because there isn’t a dosage recommendation for melatonin. As we mentioned before, it’s best to experiment and gradually increase dosage if 1mg isn’t effective in making you fall asleep.
What happens when you take more melatonin than you body can handle? You may start to experience the side effects of melatonin. Some possible side effects of taking melatonin, either in lower or higher doses include: drowsiness, grogginess, irritability, nausea, headache, and a host of other symptoms.
Melatonin and Jet Lag
Travelers who travel frequently across time zones and continents can attest first-hand how helpful melatonin was in helping to deal with jet lag. When you jet lag, you experience some symptoms that take several days or weeks to overcome. Some jet lag symptoms are feelings of discomfort and irritability, erratic and poor sleep, indigestion, and fatigue during the day.
A randomized study in 2002 tried to answer whether melatonin is a good supplement for prevention and treatment of jet lag. What this study found was that melatonin isn’t just a good supplement for prevention and treatment of jet lag, it found melatonin to be great supplement for jet lag prevention and treatment.
The study  found that 9 out of 10 trials showed melatonin, when taken close to bedtime (between 10pm and 12am) of trial participants, helped decrease jet lag. The positive effects of melatonin in alleviating the symptoms of jet lag was even better when trial participants flew across at least 5 time zones.
Other Uses and Benefits of Melatonin
BPA (Bisphenol A) is a very popular chemical in a lot of things we interact with daily. BPA is widely used to manufacture plastics, sealants, paper treatment (receipts/invoice), and many supplies we use. BPA is known to mimic estrogen and is responsible for hormone-related cancers. A new 2018 study found that taking melatonin could dramatically reduce the proliferation of breast cancer cells by killing BPA-elevated cells in the body. The conclusion of the the authors, in their own words:
… these results demonstrated that melatonin could abrogate BPA-induced proliferation of BC cells. Therapeutically, melatonin could be regarded as a potential medication for BPA-associated [breast cancer] BC. 
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder characterized by generalized muscular pain accompanied by fatigue and tenderness at specific anatomic sites called tender points.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study on 101 patients suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) found that melatonin, administered alone or with 20mg of flueoxetine (Prozac), was effective in treating patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.
With menopause comes sleep problems. Some studies have shown melatonin to be effective in treating menopause related sleep problems. Additionally, melatonin helps perimenopausal woment prevent bone loss and improves the quality of life.
Cardiopreotective and Neuroprotective Properties
Studies have shown melatonin to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggest that melatonin may help lower blood pressure. Other research have shown melatonin to increase cell survival while at the same time decreasing oxidative stress.