Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It plays a key role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. The release of melatonin is typically triggered by darkness and suppressed by light.

Melatonin is available in various forms, including immediate-release tablets, time-release tablets, gummies, liquids, and sprays. It is sold over-the-counter as a dietary supplement and is also available by prescription in some countries.

Alternative names for melatonin include N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, MLT, and 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine. Its Latin name is “Melatonina.”

Melatonin supplements are used to treat various sleep disorders, including insomnia and jet lag. Studies have also shown that it may have other health benefits, including reducing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), improving mood in people with autism spectrum disorders, and reducing the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.

The recommended dosage of melatonin varies depending on the intended use and the form of the supplement. For adults, the typical dose for sleep disorders ranges from 0.3 to 5 milligrams taken 30 minutes before bedtime. However, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before taking melatonin, as the appropriate dose can vary depending on individual factors such as age, weight, and medical history.

Although melatonin is generally considered safe for short-term use, long-term use may have some risks and potential side effects, including drowsiness, headache, and nausea. It may also interact with certain medications, so it is important to check with a healthcare professional before taking melatonin if you are currently taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Overall, melatonin is a useful tool for regulating sleep and treating certain sleep disorders. However, it is important to use it safely and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.