Melatonin & Depression
For many years, several lines of evidence have linked depression to disturbances of the circadian system. Abnormalities in the sleep pattern, such as early awakening in the morning hours, are found in up to 80% of the depressed patients.
Treatment with antidepressants can restore the chronobiological changes. Work shift or jet lag (manipulations of the circadian rhythm) increases the risk of developing depression.
Individuals born with a shifted or arrhythmic biological clock have a higher risk of becoming depressed. Circadian manipulations, such as bright light therapy and total sleep deprivation, are capable to reverse depressive symptoms within hours.
Melatonin is a hormone under direct control of the SCN and is one of the most important players in resetting the circadian rhythm every day. It is primarily secreted from the Pineal gland and mainly synthesized at night in all species.
Due to minor sensitivity to the environment, melatonin is a stable marker of the circadian phase. In humans, the circadian phase is determined by measuring the onset of melatonin secretion.
In the past decades, melatonin has been linked to depression, and low melatonin levels have been observed in depressed patients.
So, the use of a nutritional supplement that can ensure that melatonin levels are maintained, and promote “beauty sleep” is also an important resource to prevent a serious problem like the depression.
Mental and Behavioral Disorders and Diseases of the Nervous System “Depression,” published March 29, 2017