Sleep Health Articles

5 Surprising Benefits Of Melatonin

Melatonin has rightfully gained the reputation for being an ultimate sleep aid, but melatonin does more than promote a good night’s sleep. In fact, there are many health-promoting properties of the powerful supplement, and here are five of the most surprising melatonin benefits:

Melatonin and Headaches
Headaches are terrible, but before reaching for an over-the-counter, temporary pain reliever, try supplementing with natural melatonin. Studies have linked low levels of melatonin to several types of headaches, and taking melatonin may help reduce severity and frequency of irritating headaches.

In one study, researchers observed 34 frequent migraine sufferers who were each given a dose of 3mg melatonin a half-hour before bedtime for three months. The researchers found that the majority of the participants experienced a reduction in headaches by 50 percent. Participants also noted a decrease in intensity and duration of headaches. [1] This study showed that melatonin and headaches might have a strong correlation, and taking a melatonin supplement may help reduce them.

Melatonin and Ageing
Ageing is inevitable. However, there are supplements you can take that may promote a healthier, more graceful ageing process: Melatonin is one of those supplements.

Melatonin contains antioxidant powers that may have the ability to reduce oxidative damage. [6] The rich antioxidant makeup of melatonin helps fight free radicals that can cause premature ageing. One study found that healthy melatonin levels promote overall lower amounts of oxidative stress. [7] Lower amounts of oxidative stress equates to overall better health and a more graceful ageing process.

Melatonin and Weight Management
After a bad night’s rest, most people are more likely to be sluggish and crave comforting food. But researchers have also found that there may be a link between low melatonin levels and type 2 diabetes. In fact, in a study observing non-diabetic women, researchers found that participants with the lowest melatonin levels had  twice the risk of developing diabetes compared to individuals with the highest melatonin levels.[8]

Melatonin and weight management may be connected, since melatonin helps carry glucose from the blood to the tissues where they will be used for energy.  If individuals have low levels of melatonin, glucose may not be effectively used and could be stored as fat instead.

University of Granada researchers observed that melatonin helps to control weight gain, improve blood lipid profile, increase HDL (good cholesterol), and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol). [9] Supplementing with melatonin capsules may help moderate weight, glucose, and cholesterol levels, especially if your body is not making enough naturally.

Melatonin and Women’s Health
Melatonin has displayed the ability to benefit women’s health, including menopause, menstruation and fertility.

A study involving menopausal women, who were given a daily dose of 3 mg melatonin or placebo for six months, showed positive effects of melatonin supplements. Researches reported that, “the six-month treatment with melatonin produced a remarkable and highly significant improvement of thyroid function, positive changes of gonadotropins towards more juvenile levels, and lessening of menopause-related depression.”[3] 

Melatonin supplements may also help with PMS and PMDD symptoms. During the second half of women’s menstrual cycle (days 12 – 28) progesterone is at its highest levels, and melatonin levels may deplete, resulting in worse menstruation symptoms. Supplementing with melatonin during the last half of the menstrual cycle may lesson PMS and PMDD symptoms, while promoting a better sleep. [4]

Melatonin is also produced by the reproductive systems and helps protect eggs from damaging free radicals, especially when eggs are most susceptible—during ovulation. [5] Melatonin has an effect on fertility, and if you’re body is struggling to produce melatonin on its own, it’s important to supplement with melatonin capsules.

Melatonin and women’s health definitely have a correlation, and women may notice improved health and vitality after taking melatonin supplements.

Melatonin and the Immune System
Sleep plays a vital role in healthy immune system functioning. The more sleep deprived we are, the more susceptible our immune system becomes. This is because our bodies work to restore the immune system by releasing proteins called cytokines during sleep. Cytokines help the body fight off any infections, while promoting better sleep. [10]

Melatonin also helps regulate the body’s internal clock, otherwise known as circadian rhythm. When our circadian rhythm is off balance, our immune system may become more susceptible. To restore circadian rhythm, ensure that you’re exposed to light in the daytime and darkness in the nighttime. Some individuals with circadian rhythm problems find it helpful to take melatonin supplements, since many internal clock issues stem from a lack of the melatonin hormone.

1. Peres MF, Zukerman E, da Cunha TF, Moreira FR, Cipolla-Neto J. Melatonin, 3 mg, is effective for migraine prevention. Neurology. 2004 Aug 24;63(4):757.

2. Maestroni, GJ et al, Pineal Melatonin, Its Fundamental Immunoregulatory Role in Aging and Cancer, Ann NY Acad Sci 1988; 521: 140-148.

3. Bellipanni, Giulio, Effects of Melatonin in Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women: ….,” Ann N Y Acad Sci, 2005; 1057: 393-402.

4. Douglas Mental Health University Institute. “Impaired melatonin secretion may play a role in premenstrual syndrome.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2012.

5. Crain, E. (2014, July 22). The Crazy Thing That Can Affect Your Fertility. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from Women’s Health:

6. Reiter RJ, Paredes SD, Korkmaz A, Jou MJ, Tan DX. Melatonin combats molecular terrorism at the mitochondrial level. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2008 Sep;1(2):137-49.

7. Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Mayo JC, et al. Melatonin as an antioxidant: biochemical mechanisms and pathophysiological implications in humans. Acta Biochim Pol. 2003;50:1129-46.

8. Taylor, P. (2013, April 3). Low Melatonin Linked to Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from The Globe and Mail:

9. University of Granada. (2011, April 28). Melatonin might help control weight gain and prevent heart disease associated with obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 23, 2015 from

10. Morgenthaler, T. (2012, July 10). Diseases and Conditions – Insomnia. Retrieved March 24, 2015, from Mayo Clinic: