The human body is one of the most complicated and incredible machines. It is indeed amazing that several processes are simultaneously occurring every second within our bodies that play a crucial role in keeping us healthy and alive. Most reactions of the human body are conditioned reflexes; sleep is also one amongst them.
The fact that we tend to feel sleepy in the evenings is also programmed. This piece of job is carried out by the pineal gland located in the brain. This gland secretes an extremely important hormone called melatonin that aids in stimulating sleep. The release of this hormone is closely associated with light condition. The darker the surroundings, the more melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland. The commencement of the evening hours is communicated to the pineal gland, which in turn starts generating larger quantities of melatonin; thereby initiating sleep.
Apart from regulating the sleep-wake cycle, melatonin is also known to perform several other functions in the body such as strengthening the immune system, combating infections and swelling, and minimizing the damage caused to the skin through the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Those individuals who have a darker skin tone are believed to be at a lesser risk of UV damage than those who posses a fairer complexion. The tanning of the skin is said to be triggered by melatonin on exposure to the sun. Owing to the sun exposure, the skin tends to get warm and absorbs the ultraviolet radiation. This process triggers the release of supplementary melatonin; thereby darkening the skin, technically referred to as tanning. Although exposure to the rays of the sun are considered essential for obtaining Vitamin D; a surplus amount could result in sunburn, skin damage, eruption of blisters and even skin cancer. Therefore, adequate melatonin within the body prevents the skin from such damages and yet enables the body to absorb the essential nutrient.
Nevertheless, the usage of sun blocks or sun screens is still recommended as it furnishes a better ground for the effective functioning of melatonin. Therefore, it is advisable to apply these products generously all over the body parts exposed to sunlight, even the scalp. Certain gels, lotions or ointments containing melatonin claim to guard the body against sun damage in a more potent way. However, it would be prudent to verify such claims with a physician before using a new product. Additionally, melatonin supplements are known to cause several side effects such as daytime drowsiness and lethargy, vivid dreams or nightmares, cramps in the abdomen, decrease in sexual libido, reduced sperm count, giddiness, headache and irritability.
More Articles :
- Can Melatonin Cause Depression ?
- Does Melatonin Affect Weight Loss ?
- Food Rich In Melatonin
- How Long Can I Take Sublingual Melatonin ?
- Melanin Vs Melatonin
- Melatonin And Macular Degeneration
- Melatonin And Role In Sleep
- Melatonin And Tanning
- Melatonin Side Effects
- Vitamin D And Melatonin
- What Are The Effects Of Melatonin ?
- What Are The Dosage Recommendations For Melatonin ?