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Sleep Support

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SLEEP SUPPORT contains formulas that may be supportive of sleep - to assist in falling asleep or to promote a deeper level of sleep. These formulas contain minerals, herbs and hormonal ingredients.*

Total Health currently carries a line of physician only sleep formulas that includes: 5-HTP, GABA, and an herbal combination. Please contact us for more information.

Melatonin, synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. The full chemical name is "N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine"; some products state "5-methoxytryptamine" while others simply "melatonin"- all three are synonymous. Some foods contain extremely tiny amounts of melatonin. The melatonin in dietary supplements is generally manufactured synthetically or extracted from plants; however, it is chemically identical to the melatonin in your body. The labeled amount of melatonin in products can range significantly, from just a few hundred micrograms (mcg) to five thousand micrograms per pill.

Melatonin is available in quick-release form, regular tablets, capsules, and special time-release forms extending its release over several hours (also referred to as extended-release or controlled-release). Quick-release aids the ability to fall asleep, while time release may be more helpful in staying asleep. To aid in falling asleep, typically a dose of 2-3 mg of melatonin may be taken one half-hour to an hour before bedtime (although recommendations vary from 0.5 to 5 mg). This dose may also be taken for four days following travel to counter insomnia from a long flight.

Melatonin is known to play a role in regulating the body's natural wake-sleep cycle (circadian rhythm), triggering sleep. Levels of melatonin increase as exposure to light decreases, and decrease as light exposure increases. On the basis, it has been proposed as a treatment for people whose natural sleep cycles have been disturbed.

Most melatonin supplements are synthetically manufactured but chemically identical to the melatonin produced in the body. Supplements are required to list their source of melatonin if made directly from plant or animal sources. If the source is not given, it is assumed to be synthetic. Consequently, supplements that promote being made of "vegetarian" or "non-animal" melatonin but don't list the specific source are likely to just be synthetic melatonin.

These statements were quoted from consumerlab.com; please visit their website for further information on melatonin.