6 Surprising Benefits of Melatonin Besides Sleep

Health benefits range from promoting eye health to helping to treat acid reflux diseases.


These foods contain melatonin.

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Melatonin is widely known to give people a good nights' rest. That's because melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland in your brain,  is the sleep-inducing hormone that regulates your body's circadian rhythm. Melatonin basically tells your body when it is bedtime. In these stressful times, a natural product is a safe way to help you calm down and catch some Z's.

But you may be surprised to know that melatonin has a host of other health benefits according to mindbodygreen. From managing your body's mitochondrial health to providing relief from acid reflux, melatonin's got you covered too. Here's six ways that melatonin is good for you besides helping you sleep.

May Boost Your Immune System 
Melatonin can switch on your T-cells in your white blood cells and that provides a robust immune response according  to Women's Health Network. This natural hormone is also a strong antioxidant that can protect cells from oxidative damage without triggering free radicals and that also aids your body's immune system. As people age, their melatonin production goes down, so taking a supplement or eating foods that contain melatonin could help boost your immune system.

Melatonin Protects The Mitochondria In Cells 
The mitochondria are the powerhouse of cells, according to mindbodygreen, because they fuel the energy that allows all of your cells to function at optimal levels. Melatonin, which is also produced in the mitochondria, allows them to function properly due to the hormone's antioxidant properties .

Could Help Reduce the Symptoms of SAD 
SAD is a common condition that affects up to 10 percent of the population with symptoms beginning in the fall when days get shorter. But research has shown that the changes in the amount of daylight affects your circadian rhythm and may lead to SAD symptoms. Taking a melatonin supplement could help relieve them.

May Help With Anxiety 
Since melatonin relaxes your body to get ready for sleep, it also can help ease the symptoms of anxiety too according to The Healthy. “Melatonin gets the brain ready for sleep, and this is possibly what helps with the anxiety. It triggers our brain that it’s time for relaxation and winding down,” Dr. Rafla-Yuan, who works with patients to manage anxiety before medical procedures told The healthy. In fact, a 2015 study published in Cochrane Systematic Review-Intervention reviewed 12 controlled trials and found that melatonin could be used to reduce anxiety before medical procedures.

Promotes Eye Health 
Since melatonin is high in antioxidants, it could help prevent cell damage and promote eye health. In fact, research found that melatonin's cell protection properties could help treat glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. The hormone can also stave off other age-related eye issues that can lead to vision loss.

May Help Treat Acid Reflux Disease  
Melatonin can also help relieve the symptoms of GERD or acid reflux disease that affects 14-20 percent of adults in the US according to University Health News. That's because the hormone, which is also produced in your stomach and mouth,  has been shown to block  the secretion of stomach acids and decrease the production of nitric oxide that relaxes the sphincter that allows the acid to enter your esophagus. Supplementing melatonin has been shown in a study to help relieve GERD symptoms.  

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