Some hormone levels and physiological processes in the body seem to rise and fall in a regular pattern.
Some of these biological cycles correlate with the seasons. Other processes follow a regular 24-hour cycle.
Such daily cycles are referred to as circadian rhythms.
The function of melatonin hormone
Hormone that is subject to circadian rhythm is melatonin, a non-steroid hormone composed of a modified amino acid. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, a small, pine cone-shaped structure located deep in the centre of the brain.
Melatonin production is highest during nighttime hours and diminishes considerably during the day.
As daylight fades, melatonin levels rise, producing the feeling of sleepiness.
Some studies indicate a connection between abnormal melatonin production and sleep disorders.
In addition, medical research suggests that abnormal melatonin production could be a factor in the development of mood disorders and depression.
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