Melatonin is a hormone that is found naturally in our body. It is produced from the essential amino acid Tryptophan by transforming serotonin’s pineal gland into Melatonin.
Here are its main functions:
- Regulates our biological clock. The regulation of melatonin secretion is affected by light.
- It makes us sleepy at night (when the amount of Melatonin in our body increases) and makes us wake up when it decreases.
- It stimulates the secretion of growth hormone.
- Melatonin seems to intervene by appetite-regulating and production of gonadotropins modulating.
- It acts as a powerful antioxidant fighting free radicals.
- This hormone improves the immune system helping to inhibit some infections, as it increases our natural defenses.
When is the use of Melatonin indicated as a supplement?
Supplementary melatonin is used to help reduce the time needed to fall asleep and is especially indicated in case of:
- Alterations of the circadian rhythm: since it regulates our internal biological clock, it dictates when to wake up and sleep. The sleep-wake cycle is called the circadian rhythm; it spans 24 hours divided into 8 hours for sleep and 16 hours for wakefulness.
- Jet-lag is the desynchronization that occurs when traveling.
- Sleep-wake cycle adjustment: it occurs in those people who work during night hours.
Supplements: Valerian Root vs. Melatonin
Melatonin and Valerian root are two effective natural sleep techniques that work in the same way, but both have some side effects. Valerian root is an herb used as a supplement by people to aid their sleep or as a sedative, particularly in the United States. Initially, studies found that valerian root helps enhance sleep quality without any adverse effects, but deeper research has found some. Melatonin, on the other hand, is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body, that helps to fall asleep. The comparison between valerian root vs. Melatonin will never end because both have mainly the same benefits.
Dosages of valerian root and Melatonin
The recommended dose of Valerian Root vs Melatonin is different, but in any case, when looking at parameters, it is best to start the dose at the lower end and enhance the dose gradually, only if needed (always follow your doctor’s advice).
The dosage of Valerian Root:
The best dosage recommendations are still unclear for Valerian root, but most suggest that it is between 225–1,215 milligrams (mg) per day. However, as mentioned before, most studies show that it is better to take as low a quantity as possible.
This hormone, as supplement, famously has two different recommended dosages depending on what one wants to tackle:
- 1–5 mg 1 hour before bed is recommended for insomnia
- 5 mg 1 hour before bed for jet lag.
Side Effects of Valerian Root and Melatonin:
This root is generally considered to be safe to use and that is why most people prefer to use it when comparing it with melatonin. Valerian root however may have some side effects, with the most known being:
- A headache
Sleep hormone supplement is much more popular in European countries compared to the United States. The side effects are usually mild in case they occur; the main ones are:
The sleep hormone supplement is one of the best natural alternatives to help us fall asleep.
It is very common for some to use sleeping pills to help with such problems, but while these pills are effective at the moment, in the long term, they may modify our sleeping habits and can cause problems with the regular body’s functionalities.
To fall asleep easily while avoiding medication, it is often recommended to use a gentle and natural solution. Melatonin, for example, is excellent for helping with sleep as it is naturally produced by the body. It is also known as sleep hormone because it is mainly secreted at night, which gives it the power to cause our bodies to fall asleep.
Surprisingly, however, this hormone is found in various foods, which are easy to consume at night before going to bed as an alternative or aid.
Here are some melatonin foods:
Sleep is a biological necessity that allows us to restore our physio-psychological functions which we need in order to maintain our quality of life. If needed, it is your choice whether you choose Valerian root or Melatonin for better sleep, but remember you can’t take both at the same time. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are considering to take Melatonin or Valerian Root.