Melatonin is also known as the hormone of sleep, because its production is directly related to the amount of light we receive. It is found naturally in our body and is synthesized through tryptophan, an essential amino acid that the body cannot produce on its own — it must be obtained from food and is of vital importance, as it is necessary for growth and development.
We researched the importance of this hormone, and this article will tell you what we found out about it. Remember to consult with your doctor or nutritionist before taking any supplements or making any changes to your daily diet.
1. Our body produces 2 types of melatonin
Our body possesses two types of melatonin: one is developed in the pineal gland and the other is produced in the organs. The first is photosensitive, that is, it is produced according to the amount of light to which we are exposed, and is responsible for controlling the biological rhythms of sleep.
The second, called extrapineal melatonin, is produced in greater quantities, but its production is not related to light. Among its most important functions is cellular protection, as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
2. Sleep, the function of pineal melatonin
Pineal melatonin controls our body’s biological clock, being the main thing responsible for our rest cycles. It begins to be produced at dusk, when we begin to perceive less light, and its maximum production appears in the darkness of the night. It does not induce sleep as if it were a sleeping pill — its job is not to make us to sleep, but to remind us that we need to rest.