5-Methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine; N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine; NSC-113928
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||232.281 g/mol|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Melatonin is a natural product found in plants and animals. It is primarily known in animals as a hormone released by the pineal gland in the brain at night, and has long been associated with control of the sleep–wake cycle.
In vertebrates, melatonin is involved in synchronizing circadian rhythms, including sleep–wake timing and blood pressure regulation, and in control of seasonal rhythmicity including reproduction, fattening, moulting and hibernation. Many of its effects are through activation of the melatonin receptors, while others are due to its role as an antioxidant. In plants, it functions to defend against oxidative stress. It is also present in various foods.
In addition to its role as a natural hormone, melatonin is used as a dietary supplement and medication in the treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia and circadian rhythm sleep disorders; for information on melatonin as a supplement and medication, see the melatonin (supplement/medication) article.