I’ve been treating migraine headaches successfully for years — without the use of side-effect-laden medications. Instead, I focus on targeted nutritional supplementation and dietary changes.
But I don’t mention this just to toot my own horn. I bring it up because I recently learned that one of my favorite supplements may also be an effective migraine cure. Yet it completely slipped under my radar before now.
It seems that over the years, there’s been a growing body of evidence pointing to the role of melatonin — a sleep hormone secreted by the pineal gland — in managing a wide range of headache disorders. From migraines to cluster and tension headaches.
And while it never really occurred to me, it certainly makes sense.
Research shows that patients have lower melatonin levels on days when they have migraines, compared to days when they don’t have headaches. And chronic migraine sufferers also have lower melatonin levels — both at nighttime and overall — than patients who only deal with occasional migraines.
There are a few potential explanations behind this connection. For one thing, brain scans show that migraine attacks activate the hypothalamus — the “underbelly” of the brain. This region of the brain is home to melatonin receptors. So it makes sense that any dysfunction within the hypothalamus could interfere with normal melatonin production, and, in turn, play a role in triggering headaches.
But sleep — or lack thereof — may also be a factor. As you may recall, melatonin levels rise at night in response to darkness and help to induce sleepiness. And disruptions in this department are a definite migraine trigger, while getting a good night’s sleep every single night can help to keep headaches at bay. (Yet another reason to check out my sleep protocol if you haven’t already.)
Last but not least, melatonin has a direct influence on pain and inflammation — and experimental models show that it can act on receptors in the spinal cord to reduce pain perception. This benefit speaks for itself — because as sufferers know all too well, migraines are nothing if not painful.
That said, most of the clinical research on melatonin and migraines has focused on prevention — with impressive results. One study showed that taking melatonin for two to six months cut migraine frequency in both kids and adults. In fact, a good three quarters of these patients had their migraines reduced by half — if not more — by the end of the trial.
Another study showed that melatonin cut migraine frequency by 40 percent, and migraine duration by 56 percent. So these results obviously aren’t a fluke.
In fact, melatonin even gives prescription pain meds a run for their money. One study showed that the supplement worked even better than placebo or amitriptyline (a drug commonly prescribed for migraines) in reducing migraine frequency.
And most importantly, melatonin is far safer than drugs. Sleepiness is the most commonly reported side effect. (No surprise there.) And there are occasional complaints of fatigue, dizziness, constipation, upset stomach, or dry mouth. (Which I think we can all agree sounds like a walk in the park in comparison to your average migraine.)
My migraine regimen — which includes supplements like feverfew, white willow bark, and magnesium — has worked (with great success, I might add) for decades.
But there are a lot of reasons to consider including melatonin into the mix too — especially if you struggle with sleep. (And a lot of people do.)
For more details on how to combat migraines — and all types of pain — without dangerous pharmaceutical meds, I’ve developed a brand new, step-by-step online learning Pain Protocol. I just released this last week to an overwhelming response. The class filled up immediately! I just spoke to my team, and we are able to open up a few more spots in this course. Click here for more information, or to enroll. Spots are going fast!