A hormone involved in the sleep cycle known as the circadian rhythm. May help those with insomnia or with jet-lag, although research is still continuing. Production in the body is caused by exposure to dsleepyark; exposure to constant light (night workers) causes a deficiency in melatonin.


There is some evidence that decreased melatonin output may lead to a higher risk of cancer; night workers have a higher risk of cancer, and since melatonin is produced in the body by darkness, they generally are deficient in melatonin.

In addition, melatonin is a known antioxidant, a chemical that rounds up free oxygen molecules in the blood that can cause DNA damage and, hence, cancer. Animal studies have shown a protective effect against cancer.


A recent study concluded that parent's with autistic children have lower than normal levels of melatonin. However, this research is still extremely preliminary.



Melatonin may lead to an increase in vivid drea

ming, especially at higher doses.


There have been several published research studies that have not shown any safety issues in short term use, defined as less than three months.

Side Effects

At higher doses, may cause headache, nausea, and vivid dreams and nightmares.


Lower doses are optimal; higher doses may actually be less effective. In one study, half a mg was much more effective than 20 mgs.