Thank you for your question. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the brain. It is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan. This hormone functions to regulate one's circadian rhythms (also known as the sleep-wake cycle). Melatonin levels in the brain follow a 12-hour cycle where it is lowest during the morning hours and highest during the evening, peaking between 21:00-24:00 hours.
Synthetically produced melatonin are available as dietary supplements in the form of tablets (oral or to be placed under the tongue) and patches are available for use as a sleep aid and treating the effects of jet lag when travelling.
Although there are not many clinical trials that conclude that melatonin supplementation will improve sleep or treat insomnia, the FDA has ruled this supplement safe for consumption as long as this supplement is free of contamination and have been produced in a facility that is approved by the FDA.
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