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Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It helps regulate the natural sleep-wake cycle.

Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of winter, your body may make melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Melatonin supplements may be used to treat SAD, jet lag, and insomnia.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAlfred Lewy, MD, PhD - Psychiatry
Last RevisedMarch 14, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.