Melatonin, which is the hormone of the pineal gland, regulates sleep, eliminates insomnia and facilitates the restructuring of the body when changing time zones. As an additional method, with a lack of melatonin in the body, a drug is prescribed that, in addition to regulating sleep, contributes to a number of positive effects. Therefore, it is important to know the features of the reception, indications and side effects.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm of all living organisms (sleep - wakefulness), facilitates falling asleep, and relieves insomnia caused by overwork, irritability, and a change in time zone. Melatonin is also called "sleep hormone", it is a derivative of serotonin, which, in turn, is made from tryptophan (L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid).
The highest concentration of melatonin in the blood is observed at night (00: 00-05: 00), and the peak is reached at about 2 in the morning. In the afternoon, the blood level drops, which is natural when the body is awake.
The production of melatonin depends on the circadian rhythm. In the evening and in the least lit time, hormone production increases, in the daylight hours it decreases. It is also interesting that in winter the synthesis in the blood increases, and in the summer it decreases. Even with age, production decreases, this leads to poor sleep, insomnia, which negatively affects the phase of deep sleep, and this causes irritability, organs and systems are not restored, all these factors negatively affect the human nervous system. Melatonin is also able to lower systolic blood pressure.
Who should take it and why?
- First, melatonin is necessary for people suffering from insomnia, having difficulty falling asleep due to long wakefulness and overwork. Increasing the concentration of the hormone accelerates and facilitates falling asleep. Melatonin has a sedative effect, calms the nervous system.
- Secondly, melatonin is needed for people who are irritable due to a change in work schedule or time zone. Also, with muscle fatigue, the supplement helps to relax faster and recover during sleep.
Effects and Benefits
In addition to the main function - improving sleep, the benefit of melatonin is that it takes part in the regulation of the endocrine system. Reduces physical and emotional activity, while wakefulness interferes with normal biorhythm. The hormone also has antioxidant, anti-stress, antitumor and immunostimulating effects, slows down the aging process.
Athletes drink melatonin to improve sleep quality, which is inextricably linked to the rate of recovery of the body after exercise. Intensive training can cause overwork of the body as a whole, contribute to irritability of the nervous system. All this can lead to poor sleep, and this negatively affects the recovery, which is especially necessary for athletes to perform certain tasks. During sleep, muscle relaxation, restoration of the nervous system and internal organs occurs. Therefore, the better the athlete’s sleep, the faster he will recover and achieve high results.
Effect on Libido
Studies have shown that melatonin does not adversely affect libido and sexual function. Research results have shown that taking does not affect the production of anabolic hormones responsible for libido.
Effect on Testosterone
Testosterone is the so-called male hormone that is responsible not only for anabolic processes, but also for sexual function and attraction. As has been studied, melatonin does not affect the production of testosterone, thereby not suppressing it. However, an increase in the female hormone prolactin can negatively affect testosterone. But this is only a possible indirect effect, at certain dosages.
Relationship with prolactin
The results of scientific studies are quite contradictory, some of them showed the inhibitory effect of melatonin on prolactin, some did not confirm any effect, although the period and time of the study were not specified. However, it was found that at a dosage of 5 mg per day for a month, prolactin levels increased in young people. In addition, an increase in prolactin levels was recorded daily. An increase in the concentration of female hormone was especially observed at night, with a maximum concentration of melatonin.
How it affects growth hormone
The positive effect of melatonin on growth hormone (growth hormone) has been proven. Increased secretion of GR, like melatonin, is observed at night. Since growth hormone is produced in a dream, insomnia and poor sleep naturally adversely affect its production. GH is responsible for cell growth in children and adults, has anabolic and anti-catabolic effects, takes part in carbohydrate metabolism, and enhances calcium absorption in inert tissue. Therefore, it is necessary not only for adolescents, but also for athletes. The main properties of melatonin - the effect on sleep and recovery, directly have a positive effect on the production of growth hormone.
The benefits of losing weight
The effect of melatonin on weight loss has also been well studied. Useful properties include stimulation of glucose uptake and the accumulation of glycogen in tissues (muscles). Helps to increase the production of ATP (energy) and creatine phosphate. These factors affect the increase in energy during exercise, which helps to increase the duration of workouts that lead to fat burning. A decrease in glucose and insulin levels can reduce the percentage of adipose tissue.
Indications and contraindications
Sleep rhythm disturbance is the main indication for the use of the drug, insomnia, irritability and stress, affecting the quality of sleep.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Individual sensitivity to the drug.
Attention! Reception of melatonin is prohibited for children under 12 years old; for adolescents, the drug is prescribed only by a doctor.
Instructions for use
The drug is taken at night, 30 minutes before the desired fall asleep.
Melatonin begins to act 45-60 minutes after taking the drug. After taking the hormone, you must avoid bright light, which suppresses the effects of the supplement. Tablets are washed down with water.
Depending on the choice of a pharmacy drug or dietary supplement for sports nutrition, the instructions for using melatonin will differ, pay attention to the dosage in one tablet of the product you purchased.
A safe dose at which melatonin is effective is up to 3 mg of the active substance. Start with 1-2 mg during the first days. If necessary, increase the dose.
Do not exceed a daily dose of 6 mg of melatonin. In case of side effects or lack of effect, discontinue the drug.
How long can I take
The course of taking melatonin lasts 1 month. When prescribing the drug by a doctor, a course of 2 months is possible. After the course, you need to take a week break and, if necessary, repeat the drug. When regulating blood pressure, a doctor may prescribe a course for an elderly patient from 3 months to six months.
The drug is available in the form of white tablets, which are washed down with water. Although in supplements, some manufacturers produce chewable forms of melatonin.
- Vita-melatonin. One tablet contains 3 mg of melatonin, the country of origin is the United States. 30 tablets
- Melaxen. One tablet contains 3 mg of active ingredient, manufacturer USA
- Circadian One tablet contains 2 mg of melatonin. Manufacturer - Switzerland
- Melarithm. Contains 3 mg of substance in one tablet, packaging of 24 pcs. Manufacturer Russia
Supplement manufacturers began to produce their own dietary supplements of melatonin, since it positively affects the recovery and growth (anabolism) of athletes during sleep. The anti-catabolic effect under stress, stress, with general physical and emotional stress, as well as improved sleep, has made supplements very popular among athletes. It is also recommended to take dietary supplements for sports at night half an hour before bedtime. Also, the drug can be taken one hour before changing the time zone during flights. You should not take melatonin before training, since suppression of physical activity and disorientation can affect the quality of the load. Taking the drug is impractical in the daytime, in the morning and before training.
Sports Nutrition Manufacturers
- Optimum Nutrition. 100 tablets of 3 mg.
- NOW Foods. 60 capsules of 3 mg.
- Ultimate Nutrition 60 capsules of 3 mg.
- Scitec Nutrition. 90 tablets of 1 mg.
- Universal Nutrition Melatonin in one 5 mg tablet. 60 capsules per pack.
- Contains 10 mg of melatonin and vitamin B6. The package contains 60 tablets.
Compared with pharmacy drugs, melatonin as part of sports nutrition is much more beneficial to acquire than in a pharmacy. The dosages are the same, but the number of capsules in the additives is several times higher than the pharmacy drugs, and the cost of sports nutrition can be much lower.
Melatonin in food
The highest concentration is in rice, unlike other products. Melatonin enters the body from food in small doses, which do not affect sleep and do not contribute to the positive effects of the hormone. But you can take products containing L-tryptophan, from which melatonin is subsequently produced. For a pronounced effect, it is worth taking an hormone supplement in an additional dosage of 1 to 6 mg per day. Obtaining such doses from food is not possible.
Melatonin during pregnancy
Acceptance of the supplement is contraindicated during gestation, during lactation. Even during the period of conception or planning a child, it is necessary to exclude the use of melatonin, since it has a contraceptive (contraceptive) effect.
Interaction with other drugs
- Reception of melatonin at the same time with drugs that block beta-adrenergic receptors will reduce the secretion of the hormone.
- It interacts with some sleeping pills, which have a synergistic effect, for example, zolpiden.
- Interacts and increases the antitumor effect of tamoxifen.
- Interacts with isoniazid, increasing the antibacterial effect.
Side effects, risks and harm
The hormone is considered safe, harm to melatonin can be expressed in the individual intolerance to the drug, nausea, vomiting, loss of coordination, fatigue, thirst. Perhaps feeling unwell and tired in the morning.
Taking some pharmacy drugs can cause:
- visual impairment
- impaired attention
- night sweats
Avoiding driving is recommended, as melatonin can affect coordination and attention. Should not be taken by children, since there is no study of the effect of certain drugs on children. It is able to slow down growth and sexual development in children.
Symptoms of an overdose of the drug were detected when a dose of 30 mg was exceeded - disorientation, prolonged sleep, memory loss.
Terms of sale and storage
Drugs are dispensed in pharmacies without a prescription, and are also freely available at sports supplement stores. It is necessary to store the drug in its original unopened packaging at a temperature not exceeding 25 degrees Celsius, and avoid direct rays of light.
Shelf life. Typically, drugs are available for a period of 3 years, with proper storage.
The analogue of melatonin is the biologically active additive Tryptophan (manufacturers - Evalar, Vansiton). The intake of a daily dose of 500 mg of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan provides the production of serotonin (the hormone of joy) throughout the day. At night, the hormone melatonin is formed from serotonin, which improves the sleep-wake rhythm. The preparation also contains vitamins B5 and B6.
- “Sergey, 35 years old. He took the supplement from different manufacturers of sports nutrition. Significantly improved quality of sleep, accelerated the process of falling asleep. In the morning, a rash was felt. I took a course of 1 month at 3 mg, the dosage did not exceed - this was enough. "
- “Alena, 28 years old. I have been playing sports for a long time, I get high-intensity physical activity, after which irritability increased, also caused by low-carb diets, sleep was disturbed, because of which there was constant fatigue and fatigue. After starting taking melatonin, the symptoms of lack of sleep and overwork began to disappear. Physical activity increased markedly, excitability disappeared, mood improved. I’ve taken pharmaceuticals and sportspit, I didn’t feel much difference. ”
- “Victor, 25 years old. I am engaged in bodybuilding, I compete 2 times a year. During the drying period, sleep is often disturbed, mood deteriorates. After taking melatonin from Universal, insomnia went away, and recovery from sleep was noticeable. I recommend taking supplements for those who train hard and do not have time to recover due to sleep disturbances. ”