All of my clients present with low seretonin, a neurotransmitter/chemical messenger known to produce feel good, calming responses. Seretonin, in a healthy individual, converts to melatonin with the use of the critical mineral magnesium and SAMe. When I see low seretonin and hear that the client is not sleeping well I theorize that the conversion is not happening resulting in low melatonin and sleep problems.
Recent research titled “Researchers Review Melatonin’s Therapeutic Potential for Mitochondrial Dysfunction-related Diseases” finds that melatonin is effective at improving sleep and for reducing oxidative stress (cellular damage that occurs from an imbalance of reactive oxygen to antioxidants). This process can damage organs and cells. The mitochondria, know as our powerhouse, is heavily dependent on this balance. When out of balance the mitochondria suffers and the person displays symptoms of fatigue, often times chronic, lethargy, lack of motivation and focus.
Melatonin, is a hormone, and with all hormones should be administered with caution. It can have drug interactions (please check www.drugs.com for drug interactions). Likewise too much can create a paradoxical result; it will interrupt sleep. My initial support is to support the production of seretonin and to support the co-factors that help make melatonin, before supplementing melatonin directly. The dosage for children ranges from .5mg to 1mg but should be recommended by your practitioner.