Medical Definition of Melatonin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Melatonin: A hormone that is produced by the pineal gland and is intimately involved in regulating the sleeping and waking cycles, among other processes. Some people who have chronic insomnia use melatonin supplements. However, melatonin is not recommended for all patients with sleep problems, so one should consult a physician before taking it.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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