Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland, and is the body’s clock setter. Sunlight enters the eye during the day, causing the production of melatonin. At night, it is released and we get sleepy. The less regulatory our lives are, the more problems we face with our body’s regulatory device, melatonin.
Melatonin is also produced — to an unknown extent — in the digestive tract. The less you eat, the more the body produces from this area, causing the body’s systems to slow down. It has been suspected that this is what causes the body to store more fat when we eat less. (People with digestive problems almost always have sleep problems.)
Melatonin is great for helping people get a regulatory pattern going, that will help sustain good health. For changes in daily routines (jet lag, shift work), a supplemental dose may be required.