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A household name in the sleep hygiene department, melatonin is the hormone that’s responsible for easing you into sleep. Your pineal gland releases melatonin and this normally occurs towards the end of day and it’s being in the dark that signals your body that bedtime is coming up. Some people, however, find it hard to sleep easily so they augment their body’s melatonin needs with melatonin food supplements. Some shift workers also turn to melatonin to help them regulate their sleep-wake cycle, as well as people who are experiencing jet lag and want to adjust their bedtime as needed.

But apart from helping improve sleep quality, did you know that melatonin aids your body in the general upkeep of your immune system? As it helps you recalibrate your circadian rhythm, your body also reaps auxiliary benefits of melatonin’s antioxidant properties and these help your body reduce risk of developing serious disease. Ahead are five ways melatonin takes care of your immune system and overall health.

1. Melatonin helps regulate the immune system

Our leukocytes, also known as white blood cells, are built with receptors sensitive to pineal-based melatonin that helps carry out crucial immune processes. One of which is jumpstarting T-cells whose main function is to protect the body from infections and disease. During sleep, your T-cells do several important jobs: they multiply, they activate your immune cells, and they regulate your immune response by repairing areas vulnerable to infection.

One way to imagine your T-cells and melatonin in action is when you start feeling better after getting plenty of sleep when you have a cold or the flu. Our immune system also develops “adaptive immunity” wherein the T-cells learn defenses against foreign agents that may cause diseases. This process is optimized during sleep which means the more quality sleep you get, the better your body gets at defending you from inflammation and illnesses

2. Melatonin helps fight inflammation.

Another neat function of melatonin is that it helps regulate your body’s response to inflammation. Inflammation normally occurs when your body is reacting to an infection or tissue damage, and melatonin helps maintain balance between the cells that fight inflammation and the cells that synthesize natural melatonin. This means melatonin works hard to sustain your body’s response to injuries simultaneously.

3.Melatonin helps regulate the mitochondria

You’re probably familiar with mitochondria being the powerhouse of the cell and it’s likely because you memorized it for a quiz. Well now it’s time we get an update on mitochondria trivia.

Our cells’ mitochondria break down nutrients and release energy which in turn promotes our cell’s metabolism thus optimizing their performance. This can be disrupted by free radicals which are molecules that damage healthy cells and can cause vulnerability to diseases. What melatonin does is it fights free radicals and facilitates healthy cell turnover and prevention of illnesses. Melatonin is also dubbed as a “clean hormone” mostly because it is able to aid the mitochondria to mitigate infections and disease without releasing free radicals. This means it’s one less thing your body has to clean up because the phagocyte cells (aka the immune cells) in your bloodstream clean up pathogens.

4. Melatonin helps manage some illnesses.

On days when your immune system takes a dip and you actually get sick, your body still makes good use of Melatonin to help manage symptoms. Aside from fighting inflammation, the antioxidant properties of melatonin also helps inhibit NLRP3 inflammasomes. These are cryopyrin-producing genes that’re partly responsible for causing the said inflammation but they aren’t at all bad. NLRP3 inflammasomes are an integral part of the immune system and they send the immune system signals when our body is threatened by pathogens so that our white blood cells can spring into action and fight infections. Some serious illnesses, however, also involve severe inflammation like meningitis, ischemic stroke, and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. Studies suggest that using melatonin to target NLRP3 inflammasomes can counter flare-ups of pro-inflammatory cells and manage symptoms. And while more research is being done on COVID-19,experts have reason to believe that melatonin’s ability to regulate circadian rhythms and prevent acute respiratory distress syndrome can help patients avoid serious lung injury.

5. Melatonin helps in weight management.

Another interesting strength of melatonin is its ability tohelp with weight loss. Some experts suggest thatmelatonin’s work with mitochondria helps our body turnfat into energy instead of merely storing it. Melatonin also helps us regulate insulin during waking andsleeping hours such that our bodies resist it at night, which is the ideal bedtime for most people, and to trigger insulin sensitivity during the day when we need to eat food so that it can be converted to energy. Keep in mind that taking melatonin alone will not necessarily lead to weight loss. As with all weight management journeys, it’s still best to create a routine based on food that nourishes and you enjoy eating exercise, and adequate sleep.

Our bodies mostly rely on the natural melatonin produced by our bodies to regulate our immune system. However, you can help your body develop better sleep hygiene with safe and tested sleep aid supplements like Sleepasil. Formulated with pure melatonin, chamomile, and valerian root, Sleepasil can help you sleep faster and better so that you can have a restful sleep without inhibiting your ability to wake up naturally. Sleepasil is available at all leading drugstores nationwide and through online marketplaces. Shop Sleepasil here and rediscover safe and sound sleep today.