Melatonin & Sleep

11th Aug 2012

Melatonin & Sleep

Melatonin is a natural human hormone produced by a small gland attached to our brain called the Pineal gland.

The process of synthesising Melatonin starts with a common amino acid found in our food called Tryptophan. Tryptophan is also a precursor (building block) in the brains production of Serotonin. The pineal gland is stimulated to produce Melatonin, triggered by light sensitive receptors in our eyes that respond to falling daylight levels as the day moves into night.

These light receptors react primarily to the levels of blue light in the range of 460-480nm. This narrow spectrum of daylight (which is NOT present in artificial light) suppresses the pineal gland in its ability to make Melatonin. As the day darkens and the levels of the blue light drops the Pineal gland is stimulated to produce Melatonin.

Melatonin’s effects are well known in being one of the factors (amongst many) that influence how we sleep.

Melatonin is currently a Prescription Only Medicine in New Zealand, although there is an application for a 2mg Prolonged Release tablet called Circadin 2mg to be reclassified to a Pharmacist Only Medicine for use as a “monotherapy for the short term treatment of primary insomnia characterized by poor quality of sleep in patients who are aged 55 or over.”

Melatonin prolonged release 2mg (CIRCADIN) has proven benefit  in facilitating onset of sleep, improving sleep quality, next day alertness and quality of life in people aged 55 years and over, with primary insomnia.

Melatonin is also naturally found in foods, and is especially present in cherries, with lesser amounts in other foods such as bananas, pineapples, grapes, rice and cereals, olive oil, wine & beer.

Research conducted by Dr Russel Reiter at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio has confirmed that, in particular, Montmorency tart cherries contain "an extremely significant quantity of melatonin - enough to produce positive results in the body."

Radiance Tart Cherry Sleep Capsules are a capsule containing 400mg of Montmorency Tart Cherry Skin Concentrate (Prunus Cerasus), but specifically makes no claims regarding Melatonin.

NOTE - If you have a NZ Prescription for Circadin 2mg, you can post that prescription to us & we will courier to you at no charge. Circadin 2mg is not subsidised by the NZ Health System and costs $......... per packet of 30.

Belmont Pharmacy – Trading as

143 Lake Rd

Devonport 0622

ph 09 445 8247

Fax 09 445 8250