Why Melatonin Helps With More Than Just Better Sleep

A relaxing aid for the restless, melatonin gets its reputation as the sleep hormone for good reason. The molecule that signals the body to wind down, melatonin is readily available in different foods and supplements. But, in addition to getting better sleep, this molecule is also vital to the health of our cells.

Mindbodygreen reports that mitochondria need melatonin to function properly and at their best. If you remember biology class from middle school, you'll likely recall that this area of the cell generates its energy. As you age, your mitochondria get more and more depleted, the outlet notes, and it's important to ensure that your body has enough energy to optimize. Essentially, this area of the cell generates the melatonin that your body needs to function properly. "Melatonin reduces mitochondrial fission and increases their fusion, thereby preserving their normal function," Steven Gundry, MD, tells the outlet. 

Indeed, as your energy levels shift throughout the year, your melatonin intake could be responsible. Healthline explains that this molecule helps regulate circadian rhythms that impact your sleep-wake cycle. Those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder may experience a relief in symptoms when they add this supplement to their wellness routine.

You can get melatonin from various food sources

Beyond taking a supplement, various foods offer high concentrations of melatonin that can give your body the boost it needs. Mindbodygreen suggests upping your intake of olive oil, which can protect your mitochondria and provide healthy amounts of melatonin. Furthermore, pistachios and red wine also have a similar effect with their high levels of melatonin. By increasing your intake, you can support the mitochondria in each of your cells and thus give your body the energy it needs to take on your day while also supporting healthy sleep-wake cycle. 

Having enough melatonin also supports your eye health, Healthline explains. Helping prevent cell damage in this area, ensuring that your body has enough melatonin also protects against degeneration of your eyes. Additionally, it may reduce the presence of acid reflux or GERD as well. 

To find the appropriate dose, if you're using a supplement, start with a small amount such as .5 mg and slowly increase as needed, the outlet recommends.