Hormone with tact
Melatonin sets the mind and body in the right rhythm: during shift work or jet lag problems, the natural hormone can reset the internal clock and make the time change easier.
In the US, melatonin is considered a wonder drug. The natural hormone is said to prolong life and cure cancer – none of which is scientifically tenable. Only one thing can melatonin: help with jet lag. Because the body’s own messenger substance can set our internal clock back to the right time.
In the United States, you can buy synthetically produced melatonin without a prescription. Recently, a drug in the market in Europe. Here you can get the drug but not in the drugstore, but only on prescription in the pharmacy. It is approved for people over 55 who suffer from sleep problems . But how exactly the substance works and in which cases of insomnia he helps is even among experts still controversial.
Melatonin makes our body itself. The pineal gland, a tiny brain region, releases the hormone in the dark, so we get tired in the evening. Light inhibits the production of the messenger substance. The information, whether it is light or dark, gets the pineal gland over several intermediate stations of the eye. In the evenings, she begins slowly with the production, between two and four clock at night, she works at full speed.
The blood brings the hormone to every body cell: we get tired. Animals that are active at night – rats and bats, for example – become really lively. Scientists suspect that melatonin sets the tone of our internal clock for which it has to work. This body’s own clock controls the activity of our body and our sleep-wake cycle .
The hormone makes you more alert and attentive to jet lag
Melatonin is not a safe sleep aid . It does not help many who sleep badly . But jet lag is worth a try : if you fly through multiple time zones, the inner clock and outer time are no longer consistent; Your body is mixed up. Some people then suffer from fatigue, lack of concentration, digestive problems or stomach upset.
Melatonin makes you fall asleep faster with jetlag problems, during the day you are more attentive and alert. However, this synthetically produced hormone only develops this effect every other second – it does not help the rest. In addition, the effect occurs only if you take the substance for several days in the evening before bedtime. Nevertheless, melatonin is more recommended for jet lag than conventional sleep aids . Because these substances can cause a real hangover and make addictive.
In other cases, too, the hormone may help to get used to a normal daily routine: for example, if your sleep is always delayed or if you worked long hours in shifts . Blind people can support it, as long as their wake-sleep rhythm has decoupled from the rhythm of the environment.
Melatonin is not a harmless vitamin pill
Melatonin is a highly effective remedy – and not a harmless vitamin pill. The substance can have strong side effects: it can make you sleepy and unfocused. It can also mess up the normal sleep-wake cycle. You are on the safe side if you take the hormone only briefly, but at most two to three months. What happens during a long-term intake is not well researched. Be sure to ask your doctor before you get the medicine.
In addition, there are much gentler methods against the body’s time confusion. Troubled jet-setters often help out during the day. Because nothing has changed for millennia: There is no better clock for our internal clock than the light of the sun.