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According to Dr Hertoghe, one of the signs of melatonin deficiency is a high blood pressure. Other signs are nervous behaviour, anxious eyes, tense muscles, and slow or faint heartbeat. Agitation, restless legs syndrome at night, tense muscles (especially at night), premature aging in adults, precocious puberty in children, fatigue, abdominal pain, intestinal spasms (hyperactivity). Mental signs are poor sleep a superficial anxious, agitated sleep with a lot of anxious thinking: Easily waking up during the night: Difficulties to fall asleep and fall back asleep: poor dreaming. Mood anxiety, lack of serenity, inner peace of mind, especially at night, depression, especially seasonal affective disorder; excessive emotionality, irritability.

The diseases that develop easier in persons with melatonin deficiency are – jet lag, high blood pressure (arterial hypertension), heart disease (ischaemic coronary disease, heart arrhythmias), obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, colitis, infections (due to a lower immunity), breast and prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease.

Contraindications to Melatonin treatment:

Dr Hertoghe says “No absolute contraindications exists to our knowledge to melatonin treatment

Relative contraindications:

Autoimmune diseases

As melatonin can counter cortisol activity, it is wise to be prudent with melatonin and diseases where needs in cortisol are greater. If no cortisol or glucocorticoid treatment is given with these diseases, avoiding melatonin altogether may sometimes be the safer solution. Doses higher than 10 mgs per day may inhibit the ovaries so that the use of high doses of melatonin in pregnancy is contra-indicated.

Melatonin induces sleep. It shortens the time to fall asleep, but has little to no action on the deep sleep and rapid eye movement phases. It does induce at night a profound relaxation of muscles and nerves, which makes the sleep better. Melatonin acts as an anti-spasmodic for the intestinal tract, relaxing it when it is contracted and tense. It protects against free radicals by its antioxidant property, possibly slowing down the aging process and the appearance of various age-related diseases.

Melatonin helps in setting the pace for circadian rhythms such as the sleep-wake, temperature and hormone cycles. Its action on circadian rhythms is less powerful than that of sunlight and activity, but nevertheless significant enough to explain the beneficial effects of melatonin supplements against jet lag. Melatonin can increase the serum levels of growth hormone and the active thyroid hormone T3. Furthermore, it calms down excessive cortisol activity. Last, but not least, melatonin may help pregnancy by boosting female hormone production, a paradoxical effect, as it tends to suppress female hormone production in the non-pregnant state.

The usual dose is 3 mgs, which you take about half an hour before going to bed. I only needed 1 1/2mgs and I can honestly report that the effect on my sleep and waking was quite dramatic. I slept through the night and woke very refreshed. I did experience a transitory headache on waking occasionally, but it soon disappeared.


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