Melatonin and my sleep


Melatonin is a hormone with a powerful effect on the central nervous system, regulating sleep, puberty timing, gonads, and bone mass. It serves as an antioxidant with potential anti-cancer properties. However, its rise and fall every 24-hour cycle is crucial for these benefits, not simply increased levels 1 . It helps initiate sleep but is not effective in maintaining it throughout the night, and in large doses found in supplements, it can disrupt reproductive hormones and other systems 2 3 . Melatonin release signals it's time to sleep and is produced endogenously in the brain and body, primarily by the pineal gland 4 .

Melatonin's Impact

Melatonin has a powerful effect on the central nervous system, regulating our sleep, puberty timing, gonads, and bone mass. It also has protective effects as a potent antioxidant and anti-cancer agent. However, it's the rise and fall of melatonin every 24-hour cycle and the changes in the duration of that melatonin signal throughout the seasons that have these effects, not simply increasing melatonin levels.

Huberman Lab

Using Light (Sunlight, Blue Light & Red Light) to Optimize Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #68

expresses reservations about melatonin supplementation, especially for children, because of its role in suppressing puberty and potential impacts on bone development and reproductive systems. In adults, melatonin also affects other hormone systems, so it should be used with caution 5 6 .

Moreover, studies have shown melatonin supplementation does not significantly increase total sleep time or sleep efficiency in healthy adults. The average increase is only about 3.9 minutes of sleep and 2.2% efficiency 3 . Instead, recommends using magnesium threonate or bisglycinate, theanine, and apigenin for sleep, noting their favorable safety profiles and absence of the hormonal impacts associated with melatonin supplements 7 . Always consult a healthcare professional before using any supplements.