Melatonin and Sleep Disorders at Jet Lag

Issue: 3/1999
Author: V. Demirchev, Ph. Kumanov*, I. Demircheva**, Military Medical Academy – Sofia, *Clinical Center of Endocrinology and Gerontology, Medical University – Sofia, **Emergency Ophthalmology Clinic, University Hospital „Queen Giovanna"-Sofia
Melatonin is a pineal gland hormone with secretion attributable to the alternation of light and dark periods.

The effect of light on the human endocrine system is still not well enough clarified. So far, it has been demonstrated that melatonin has an essential practical bearing on synchronizing the circadian rythms of various systems in the human organism upon environmental lighting and darkness alternation.

This is a hormone underlying the regulation of circadian biological rythms in humans. Thus it exerts definite influence on the homeostasis of the human organism.

During flights across time zones of 5, 6 and more hours, a swift change in human endocrine system occurs due to circadian rythm impairment. This is a digression referred to in the perinent literature as „jet lag".

Keywords: melatonin, jet lag, pineal gland, circadian rythm.


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