Melatonin is best known for its effectiveness as a sleep aid and regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Generally, melatonin is used for difficulty falling asleep, waking in the night, and improving overall sleep quality. Melatonin is particularly beneficial to help to overcome jetlag (especially when travelling eastbound over more that 2 time zones) and for shift workers with altered sleep schedules. A new understand is now emerging that greater health benefits of melatonin supplementation are associated with increased duration of REM and deep sleep, crucial for nightly repair, regeneration and detoxification.
Beyond sleep, research (over 6000 studies) shows that melatonin benefits are profound and far reaching. Known as the body’s most efficient free-radical scavenger with an impressive ability to control oxidative damage, melatonin has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune properties. These properties function as brain, heart, neurological, cognitive and cancer protection through the reduction of trauma from brain injury; preventing heart muscle damage; neuroprotection; increasing cognitive functioning; and offering cancer support and reducing the toxic effects of chemotherapy.