Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in your body by a gland in your brain known as the pineal gland. It helps to control your body's sleep pattern and sleep–wake cycle. The level of melatonin in your body increases soon after the onset of darkness and is highest between 2–3am. Melatonin production is suppressed by light and it seems that less melatonin is produced as you age.
- In Aotearoa New Zealand melatonin is available as tablets and capsules.
- Melatonin can be used to help with sleep problems in people over 55 years, or for children and young people up to the age of 18 years who have neurodevelopment disorders that make it difficult to sleep.
- For people having sleep problems mainly in the second half of the night, melatonin in the evening can make the problem worse.
Read more about melatonin.