I daresay that melatonin is not the most exciting topic to be writing about in 2020 and you might wonder what I have to add. Well it’s a bit of an understatement to say I have an interest in women’s physiology. And for that reason, I want to look at three (relatively) less well known benefits of melatonin for women. Since my voice is shot from singing karaoke (no really) and I wrote the article first, there won’t be a video.
Benefits of Melatonin for Women
Melatonin is a chemical produced in the brain that, among its other roles, regulates human sleep/wake cycles (see below). Certainly both women and men produce melatonin and it plays a similar if not identical role in both sexes. As well, there’s no doubt that it has potential benefits in both sexes.
So why am I writing an article specifically about the benefits of melatonin for women?
Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first is that, most recently, examining women’s physiology and sex based differences is kind of my thing.
There are often places where the specifics of women’s physiology suggests that women’s requirements or benefits from a given food or compound are different from that of men’s. One example I mentioned in The Women’s Book were cruciferous vegetables which may play a specific role in breast cancer prevention. Creatine is another that may have specific benefits for women.
And the same is true of melatonin. A little more specifically melatonin appears to have specific benefits in three different situations. The first of these is Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS)/Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). The second is Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The third and final, and the only one that all women will experience, is the menopausal transition.
In all three of these situations, disturbances in the melatonin system may occur and be part of the problems that are seen. This gives melatonin supplementation the potential to have great potential benefit. I’ll come back to each below.