Healthcare

Why you Should Consider Taking Melatonin

2 Mins read

Melatonin has a number of potential benefits – so should you consider taking it. We take a look at some of the pros below.

1. Insufficient melatonin might cause PMDD

If your PMS symptoms every month are having you pull your hair out (or has your partner headed for the hills) then you might want to consult with your doctor to look into your sleep habits and determine whether or not you have PMDD. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a serious form of PMS that causes extreme physical symptoms and mood shifts. Researchers at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute conducted a study that showed that low levels of melatonin contribute to PMDD. However, it doesn’t only affect one week each month. PMDD sufferers, compared to their counterparts, had melatonin levels that were further reduced during the patients’ symptomatic luteal stage (the second phase of the menstrual cycle which is when the levels of progesterone are the highest).

2. Delay aging signs (in other animals, at least)

If during the first 30 years of your life you didn’t worry about ageing, during the next 30 years you will. More specifically we are talking about how to feel and look younger. Fortunately, it has been shown that melatonin slows the ageing process down. A Paris research team discovered that melatonin-based treatment may delay the initial ageing signs in small mammals by three months at least (that is very substantial when you consider that animals in captivity only live to 30 months). Although you might not get carded when purchasing a bottle of red wine, it could cause people to think your birthday cake has a lot fewer candles on it. 

3. Lower risk for diabetes

Everyone knows that the morning after sleeping poorly can cause you to crave high-sugar foods and veer off your diet. Low levels of melatonin might be a risk factor for developing diabetes. Many body tissues contain melatonin receptors, including the pancreas where insulin is produced. The Nurses’ Health Study showed that the participants with the lowest levels of melatonin had twice the risk of developed diabetes when compared with participants with the highest melatonin levels. 

According to Unwind, researchers at the University of Granada conducted a study and discovered that melatonin in rats can control weight gain without food intake being reduced, which showed that sleep might be able to help you lose weight if that is your goal.

4. Manage migraines

If you are someone who suffers from migraines you would probably try anything that might end your discomfort and allow you to sleep at night. Low melatonin levels have been linked to various types of headaches and shown to ease the pain. The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry published a study that found that a 3 mg dose of melatonin reduced headache frequency significantly when compared to a placebo. Its efficacy was similar to a 25 mg dose of amitriptyline, which is a common antidepressant and sleeping aid. It was also found by researchers that it was better tolerated compared to amitriptyline and had lower side effect rates like weight gain and daytime sleepiness.

Neurology published supporting research that showed that patients who took 3mg doses of melatonin every night for one month had 2.5 fewer migraine attacks. To live headache-free this can be added to your other migraine prevention methods such as a gluten-free diet or magnesium supplementation.

5. Awaken a sluggish thyroid

Females, especially those over 60 years old, have a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when not enough hormones are produced by the thyroid gland, which causes heart disease, joint pain, and obesity.

Researchers at Italy’s Menopause Center found that among menopausal and peri-menopausal women 42-62 years old, administering 3 mg doses of melatonin at bedtime for six months resulted in most of the women reporting general mood improvement, a significant thyroid function improvement, and a reduction in depression symptoms.

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