Naturally occurring melatonin is produced in the brain by the pineal gland. Melatonin is responsible for regulating the body’s internal clock, including night and day cycles and sleep-wake cycles.
The secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland follows a steady rhythm set by your body’s internal clock. It is regulated by the body’s exposure to darkness and light. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, and melatonin levels drop when the body is exposed to light. Melatonin produces a feeling of sleepiness, and levels are highest around bed time.
Natural melatonin production decreases with age, and low levels have been associated with some sleep disorders. Some research suggests that melatonin may play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Increasing the supply of melatonin with a dietary supplement may help maintain adequate levels in the body and promote healthy sleep patterns.