What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone in the body, also known as the "sleep hormone", which regulates our sleep-wake cycle.

 melatonin formula

The role, production and effects of melatonin on our body

1. How does melatonin work and where is it produced? Melatonin is produced in the brain, in the pineal gland, which responds to light and dark by regulating the production of the hormone. Read more about the pineal gland and why it is important for human health here.

 Melatonin in the pineal gland of the human brain

2. Benefits and uses of melatonin. In addition to regulating sleep cycles, melatonin also regulates mood and the immune system and is used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. Read more about the benefits of melatonin here

3. What interferes with the natural production of melatonin? Artificial light, working in front of screens, shift work, flying across time zones can inhibit melatonin production.

4. The importance of melatonin for day-night rhythms. Changes in melatonin levels in the body make us feel sleepy at night and alert during the day.

5. Melatonin's effects on the body and side effects. Melatonin can inhibit thyroid function, slow metabolism and have side effects. See here for the side effevts that van accur when taking melatonin.

6. Melatonin receptors and disorders of melatonin production. There are two types of melatonin receptors in mammals and melatonin production can be impaired by changes in the pineal gland (pineal gland).


Melatonin up close: from molecule to side effects

Melatonin, although widely known as the "sleep hormone", is much more than a simple regulator of our sleep-wake cycles. In order to understand its impact on our body, it is necessary to look at the functions of this hormone, its production processes and its effects on our health. We will also discuss the biochemical properties of melatonin, the sites of its production in the brain, the factors that can interfere with its production and its role in various body systems.

Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is an important hormone naturally synthesised in our bodies from the amino acid tryptophan. It helps us to regulate day and night rhythms, optimising healthy sleep.

- Regulation of sleep cycles, mood and the immune system: Melatonin plays a critical role in our biological clock. It helps set our body clock according to the rhythms of light and darkness during the day. It also acts as an antioxidant, can reduce inflammation, regulate the immune system and even affect mood. (For more ways to regulate and strengthen the immune system, see here.)

- Taking melatonin: Although the body produces melatonin naturally, many people choose to take synthetic melatonin supplements to improve the quality of their sleep, to regulate the body's circadian rhythm after flying across several time zones, or to treat chronic sleep disorders. However, it is important to take them as recommended and to consult your doctor. Read more about the use and effects of melatonin here.

- Pineal gland: This is a tiny organ in our brain where melatonin is produced. This gland reacts to light and dark through the retina of our eyes. When there is no light (evening and night), the pineal gland starts to produce melatonin, preparing our body for sleep.

- Factors that interfere with melatonin production: Artificial light, especially blue light from screens, can interfere with melatonin production, disrupting our biological clock. Shift work and flying across time zones can also disrupt melatonin rhythms.

 interferes with the natural production of melatonin

- Thyroid function and metabolism: Excess melatonin can affect thyroid hormones, which can inhibit thyroid function and slow metabolism. This can have a negative effect on body weight and energy levels. For more information on the thyroid gland and its functions, click here.

- Melatonin receptors: two types of melatonin receptors have been identified in the mammalian brain, Mel1A and Mel1B. They transmit the effects of melatonin and are found in important parts of the brain, such as the hypothalamus, and in the retina of the eye.

- Age influences melatonin production: With age, the pineal gland may become less active and sometimes atrophy. This can reduce melatonin production, causing sleep disturbances and other health problems.


Melatonin is an essential hormone that affects our sleep cycles, mood and immune system. However, modern lifestyles and other factors can interfere with its production, which can affect our health. It is important to know how melatonin works and how to use it properly for best health.


Main highlights

1. Melatonin is an important hormone that regulates sleep cycles, mood and the immune system.

2. Produced in the brain, it responds to light and darkness.

3. Modern living conditions can interfere with melatonin production.

4. Melatonin supplements can help regulate sleep, but may have side effects.

5. Melatonin production may decrease with age, due to a decrease in the activity of the pineal gland (pineal gland).