Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and in animals, melatonin is involved in synchronizing the circadian rhythm including sleep–wake timing, blood pressure regulation, and seasonal reproduction. During the day the pineal is inactive. Once the sun goes down and dark occurs, the pineal is “turned on” by the SCN and begins to aggressively yield melatonin, which is released into the blood. As a dietary supplement, it is often used for the shortterm dealing of trouble sleeping such as from jet lag or shift work. Side effects from supplements are minimal at low doses for short durations. Side effects may include somnolence (sleepiness), headaches, nausea, diarrhoea, and abnormal dreams, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, insomnia (trouble sleeping), anxiety, migraine, lethargy (lack of energy), psychomotor hyperactivity. Many of its special effects are through activation of the melatonin receptors, while others are due to its role as an antioxidant. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland.  

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