Melatonin, a Hormone Essential for Regular Sleep

Known as the hormone of sleep, melatonin is very important for a healthy functioning of our body. Learn all throughout this article.

The melatonin is a hormone that can be found in nature to be synthesized by most living things, from animals to plants.

Specifically, in human, this molecule is naturally produced by the pineal gland, a gland endocrine located in the brain. Melatonin is synthesized mainly during the night, from an essential amino acid, tryptophan, obtained only through diet since it is not produced by the body.


There are several foods that allow you to get the required amounts of tryptophan, essential for the production of melatonin. Consider the following examples:

  1. Milk and derivatives (cheese, yogurt, etc.) that, in addition to providing tryptophan, are also rich in calcium, a mineral that intervenes in the regulation of melatonin production;
  2. Egg;
  3. Fish, such as salmon, sardines and cod;
  4. Lean meats, such as turkey and partridge;
  5. Dried fruits, such as walnuts;
  6. Legumes, such as soybeans, chickpeas; beans and peas;
  7. Oats;
  8. Banana;
  9. Seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin and chia;
  10. Honey.

Tryptophan can be found in a considerable variety of foods, so that once more it is essential to stress the importance of maintaining a varied diet, balanced and healthy, based on the Wheel of Food.

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Melatonin has several important functions in our body, being the main inducing sleep, regulating the functions of the metabolism when we are awake, or during sleep. For regulating the functions of sleep throughout the body, most organs have receptors for melatonin. Thus, it is considered that this hormone also may have important functions at the level of:

  • cell regeneration;
  • anti-inflammatory action;
  • women’s health (combat of the symptoms of Pre-Menstrual Tension and menopause);
  • prevention of diabetes;
  • combat migraine headaches.


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As you can see, melatonin is essential for the healthy functioning of our organism, and through a varied and balanced diet can ensure that sufficient quantities of melatonin are produced. However, the follow-up physician is always advised.

If your doctor finds it necessary, before any change in the production of this hormone, may warrant supplementation. One of the most frequent where can you detect the lack of melatonin in the body is the insomnia. This difficulty in sleeping during the night can be caused by various factors, such as stress, anxiety, some diseases, or the lack of important nutrients (such as tryptophan) for the production of melatonin.

With the passing of age, melatonin production decreases, so it is more frequent that adults and older adults presenting with sleep disorders. However, some external factors can assist in reducing hormonal, such as time zone changes or changes in the usual schedule of sleep. Advanced age, blindness and working in night shifts may be some aspects that also justify the need for supplementation in melatonin, which should be duly evaluated by your doctor.

The most common form of supplemental melatonin is in the form of tablets, drops, or capsules and the dosage varies according to individual need. Although it does not present side effects proven, the consumption of supplements of melatonin at times and dosages inadequate can be harmful to health.


Melatonin helps you to lose weight? Despite not having a direct effect on the body in weight loss diets, the truth is that the quality of sleep has a very important role in this process, soon, the melatonin it becomes essential.

During a good night’s sleep with quality, the body regulates many functions such as hormone production, particularly of some hormones related to satiety. So, if you sleep little or badly, this regulation may be compromised, hindering the possibility of achieving a feeling of satiety and, consequently, their willingness to eat will be greater.

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In short, before levels of melatonin adjusted, will certainly sleep better, which can be a great help in the case of a search to lose weight. However, a good night’s sleep is more than just an ally to the whole slimming process, so that aspects such as adequate nutrition and the practice of physical activity do not cease to be indispensable.