One of the most commonly used remedies for treating sleep disorders is melatonin . It is a substance that is naturally produced by the human body under certain conditions and which promotes sleep. The production of melatonin is favored by the absence of light, which stimulates the epiphysis, a gland that is found in the diencephalon, in correspondence with the epithelia. The sleep-wake cycle is a mechanism regulated very finely by our body and involves the use of different hormones and factors.
The main antagonist of melatonin is orexin , a substance that is produced in the presence of light and that serves to maintain the waking state. Among other substances that serve to hinder sleep , histamine is present and this explains why one of the side effects of antihistamines is drowsiness. In the presence of light, therefore, the human body tends to stay awake while in the dark the factors that lead to sleep are activated. This mechanism, precisely because it is very varied and involves several factors, can be hindered in many ways. For example, breathing disorders cause insomnia and force people to wake up several times in the night.
Urinary disorders also have the same mechanism, as well as hormonal and psychological ones. In fact, those suffering from anxiety often have difficulty falling asleep while those suffering from depression are victims of terminal insomnia, which forces people to get up very early and not to reach the necessary hours of sleep. In fact, the ideal would be to sleep at least eight hours a night , a period of time within which the different phases of sleep develop. There are four Non Rem phases and a Rem phase that reappears at least three or four times each time you sleep. The phases follow one after the other in a cycle that lasts about one hundred ten minutes.
Melatonin can be taken as a medication to treat certain sleep disorders. The most famous is the jet-lag syndrome , which affects those who make international travel and, changing the time zone , compromise the performance of the regular sleep-wake cycle. Despite the effectiveness derived from the external intake of this substance, there may also be side effects that affect the hormonal and endocrine balance of the organism.