Information is constantly being sent throught out our bodies. In our brains there is something called serotonin that is a neurotransmitter which is a nerve signaling chemical that is sent to the brain to regulate our mood, it is one of many chemicals that provide some kind of information to the brain. While we are sleeping the chemical melatonin works in conjunction with our Circadian Rhythm that controls when we sleep and when we are awake. It is also used by some as a sleep aid. So is there any connection between sleep apnea and melatonin?
How is melatonin produced?
According to Wikipedia “melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, a gland about the size of a pea, located in the center of the brain but outside the blood-brain barrier. The melatonin signal forms part of the system that regulates the sleep-wake cycle by chemically causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature.”
The pineal gland is only active at night and that is when melatonin is produced and at its highest level. Besides the time of day, direct light will also lower your melatonin level.
So when I read this I wondered if you produce less melatonin if you have sleep apnea. I didn’t see anything that would back up that claim. Although I did see that the levels of melatonin decreases as we age. As for taking melatonin as a natural supplement or a sleep aid, I would definitely speak to a doctor before taking especially if you have sleep apnea. There are other uses for melatonon such jet lag,
If you do a search on the web you will see quite a few places selling it but check first with your doctor before using it.
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