Some people take melatonin for insomnia to help regulate their normal sleep cycle. Melatonin is a substance that is produced by your pineal gland. It responds to the amount of light or darkness in the environment and helps maintain your circadian rhythm.
Regulation Of Circadian Rhythms
Your circadian rhythm is the normal daily cycles your body goes through. Levels of hormones rise and fall throughout the day. Your kidneys produce more urine during the day and less at night. Your body temperature is higher at some times of the day than others. These are normal, rhythmic changes that help us be alert and functioning when we need to be, and to rest and rejuvenate at other times.
Taking melatonin for insomnia helps maintain your normal sleep cycle. Normally, your melatonin levels increase as it gets dark and peak during the middle of the night. It synchronizes your sleep to the night.
Melatonin For Insomnia Caused By Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Sometimes your normal sleep cycle gets disrupted. You feel sleepy during the day and can’t sleep at night. People say you have your days and nights mixed up, and that’s actually what may have happened.
Jet lag is one example of circadian insomnia. Your body is on one time, and your new location is on another time. Your body is cranking out melatonin on its usual schedule. It may be 10 am in Paris, but your body wants to be in deep sleep and doesn’t want to wake up for several more hours.
It can be very helpful to take melatonin for insomnia caused by jet lag. You take it before you go to bed, and it sort of resets your biological clock.
Another example of using melatonin for insomnia is night workers. People who work during the night get their biological clocks really messed up for two reasons. First, they are awake during the dark hours and try to sleep during the light hours. Secondly, they don’t do that all the time; on their days off they try to resume a normal sleep schedule. So they are constantly flip-flopping their sleep hours.
Night workers often take melatonin for insomnia. Since melatonin production is suppressed by light, it’s most helpful to take melatonin for insomnia when you are trying to sleep during daylight hours. Your body doesn’t produce enough melatonin during the day to allow you to sleep well.
Taking melatonin for insomnia can be very helpful when the insomnia is due to changes in your normal sleep cycle. It can either supplement the melatonin your body produces naturally so that you can sleep during the day, or it can help reset your biological clock so that you sleep better at night.