Melatonin For Insomnia – One Alternative Sleep Aid

There are three known sites of melatonin production in the body the small intestine, the pineal gland in the brain and the retina in the eye.

How is melatonin produced?

The amount of light striking the retina determines whether more serotonin or melatonin is produced. When daylight hits the eyes, a message or a nerve impulse is sent to the pineal gland which then produces serotonin through a series of chemical reactions. Darkness stops the production of serotonin and stimulates the production of melatonin. Melatonin stimulates the release of a wide variety of other hormones. Thus, melatonin regulates or influences many body processes. Located in the brain above the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows the pineal gland is a small cone-shaped structure the master gland in the body. In the pineal gland tryptophan is converted to serotonin. An enzyme serotonin-N-acetyl-transferase (NAT) in conjunction with vitamin B6 controls the amount of melatonin produced. Th e activation of this enzyme dependant on signals induced by light hitting the retina,and information relayed from other parts of the brain. The pineal gland is our biological clock that controls our awake and sleep cycles, but strongly influences the aging processes and weight gain. It may actually establish the basic rhythm of life for every organ, tissue and cell within the body and the onset of puberty.

Melatonin is made from an amino acid called tryptophan. The body cannot make tryptophan on its own; the food we eat must provide it. The food first must be broken down and the tryptophan is absorbed through the small intestine. If our small intestine is not functioning well less tryptophan is converted to serotonin. This effects both our moods, digestion and the energy levels of the body to think and function.

Serotonin is changed to melatonin especially at night while we sleep.

Melatonin is also produced in the intestinal tract continuously, and seems to increase when calories are restric ted in the diet. When we eat too much or too fast the digestive processes are overtaxed and food is not effectively broken down or absorbed efficiently. Weight gain, mood swings and lack of sleep are the results. Melatonin has a calming effect on the intestinal tract which slows the process so food can be better digested and sleep more peacefully.

Assessing the integrative health needs of the person and sleep improvement techniques. For more information on developing compassionate and trusting client relations and ways to be calm while your treading through life visit http://www.calmandhealthy.wordpress.com and http://www.quantumenergyworks.wordpress.com leave a question or suggestion for Dr.Stress-Less.