top of page

Melatonin – much more than a sleep hormone!

Updated: Mar 9

Melatonin is well known for being the hormone that regulates sleep. Like many hormones, it begins to decline as we age. From the age of 40 years, our bodies produce less melatonin.

But did you know that melatonin is also:

  • A powerful antioxidant,

  • Anti-inflammatory,

  • Hypothermic effect – lowers core body temperature,

  •  Helps reset our circadian rhythm,

  • Mito chondral regulator,

  • Helps clear out toxins in the brain as we sleep.

Dr. Deanna Minich, a nutrition scientist refers to reduced melatonin secretion as a ‘darkness deficiency.’ Much like low Vitamin D is a 'sunlight deficiency.' This 'darkness deficiency' is due to an over exposure of artificial lights and blue lights. We are basically not getting enough darkness before bed.

But before you run out and fill your melatonin script, it’s the phyto-melatonin and not the synthetic form that is receiving the praise. 

Phyto-melatonin is derived from plants and is considered bioidentical, meaning it is similar to what our body makes.

Natural ways to increase melatonin
  • Adequate exposure to darkness at night. Dimming the lights in the evening and reducing the use of iPhones, tablets, and computers before bed.

  • Exposure to light in the mornings. Go for a walk in the morning light. This also turns off melatonin production.

  • Getting good quality protein throughout the day. Melatonin is made from serotonin and in turn, serotonin is made from tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid.

  • Diversity and colour of vegetables, salads and fruits to optisimise your intake of key nutrients.


If you feel you need to supplement to make up for the shortfall as you age, it's important to find aa high-quality plant melatonin that has undergone the research. Unfortunately, this is not available in Australia at present. But I'm sure it's not far away.

In the research, a low dosage of 0.3 mg an hour before bed was supplemented. Higher doses can be used for Jetlag to help reset the circadian rhythm after travelling overseas.

I think we will start to hear a lot more about natural melatonin and its many benefits. Much like Vitamin D became a superstar during COVID.

Many thanks

Jules x

f you'd like to have a Naturopathic consultation, please book online at my website or send me an email.

Appointments can be In the clinic or online. Casuarina Holistic Health is conveniently located on the Tweed Coast between Kingscliff and Cabarita Beach.


Deanna M Minich et al . (2022). Is Melatonin the "Next Vitamin D"?: A Review of Emerging Science, Clinical Uses, Safety, and Dietary Supplements. Nutrients.


bottom of page