Melatonin is a bodily hormone and antioxidant that is synthesised from the amino acid L-tryptophan and the intermediary 5-HTP primarily in the pineal gland, but also in small quantities in the retina and intestines. Melatonin synthesis and dispersion is light-dependent; darkness promotes the production of melatonin while daylight and blue light (especially from electronic devices) suppress it. During the day, melatonin levels in the body are 3-12 times lower than at night. The release of melatonin is responsible for deep sleep, during which the regeneration phase is initiated. Bodily melatonin production decreases with age.
Health Benefits of Melatonin
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), melatonin:
- Reduces time needed to fall asleep
- Alleviates the feeling of jet lag