Everybody needs melatonin for a good nights rest. It is a hormone made by the pineal gland, which is a small gland in the brain. Melatonin, also called the sleeping hormone, synchronizes your biological clock with your sleep and wake rhythm. The production of melatonin in your body starts during the evening, rises and remains high during the night and towards the morning your melatonin levels start to drop again. Changes in your normal sleep and wake rhythm may result in irregularities in your melatonin levels and therefore in sleeping difficulties. Finding your natural rhythm is the best way to achieve a healthy sleeping pattern.
An insufficient amount of melatonin is not always the result of your out-of-sync biological clock. There might be other reasons. During the darker winter months, your body may produce melatonin earlier or later in the day than usual. And there is a natural decrease in melatonin levels with age. Older people make very small amounts or even none at all. The production of melatonin is also influenced by vitamins (i.e. vitamin B12) and minerals (i.e. magnesium).