Sleep is a vital part of health and many of us are not getting enough of it. Changes in sleeping patterns are largely reflective of our circadian rhythms, which are guided by the pineal hormone, melatonin. Melatonin plays a major role in the circadian regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, and has proven critically important for both initiation and quality of sleep, with supplementation improving sleep in healthy individuals and in those with insomnia, as well as preventing phase shifts due to jet lag or shift work. Timed release melatonin improves not only the sleep initiation, but also helps maintain and improve sleep quality.
Melatonin is particularly effective in older individuals, regardless of endogenous melatonin levels, in both the short and the long term, with improvements in sleep quality, morning alertness, sleep onset latency, and quality of life, with no relevant adverse effects or dependency. Furthermore, it has been shown to improve sleep quality in children with diverse sleep complaints, including delayed sleep phase syndrome and impaired sleep maintenance, or other sleep related disorders. Timed release melatonin has demonstrated clinical improvements in mood in those with sleep disturbances, as well as cognitive performance in those with Alzheimer’s disease.