As a response to light, melatonin is produced and released. The eye sends information to the thalamus regarding the amount of light. Then, it signals the pineal gland to increase or decrease its melatonin production. When darkness is observed, melatonin production is stimulated and it informs the body to begin feeling sleepy. In a usual balanced cycle, secretion of melatonin starts at about 9:00 in the evening, hits its highest point during nighttime and then decreases. It continues to decrease until such time only very little is present at daytime.
If there is disruption to the melatonin cycle, the sleep cycle will suffer. He will find it difficult to sleep or stay asleep because levels of melatonin in his body are insufficient. Since the body depends on the outside light to determine the time for melatonin production, the cycle may be out of sync when a person works on a night shift or he happens to travel across different time zones. This is when jet lag occurs. In this case, the doctor must first exclude other physical concerns. If the hormonal cycle is disturbed or the amount of melatonin is not adequate in the evening, it would be helpful to use melatonin supplements.
Generally speaking, supplemental melatonin is known to be safe and available since 1993. But the Food and Drug Administration has no control over it and so far, manufacturing standards are not required. This would indicate that there is no way of making sure how much melatonin is present in the supplement or whether or not, that certain supplement is efficient. Make sure that the supplements are bought from a reputable company.
This is the only time when a synthetic product is a good alternative for a natural one. With synthetic melatonin, there is no risk of contamination present especially when the hormone supplement is made from natural sources like glands of animals or other substances which are organic in nature. What is most important in all things is balance and this is certainly true regarding melatonin. If a person takes too much melatonin, he will develop deteriorating problems in sleep instead of improvements. Furthermore, bear in mind that this happens to be a natural biological cycle. Hence, supplements should be taken on time in order to support the cycle.