Location of the pineal gland

The pineal gland is located near the centre of the brain. It is a small gland (5-8mm in size) and is shaped like a pinecone (giving this gland its name).

Functions/Roles of the pineal gland

The main function of the pineal gland is to make melatonin, which sets the rhythm of many biological systems.

Hormones produced by the pineal gland

Keeping melatonin levels in balance

Melatonin levels change across the day in response to changes in daylight. More melatonin is made during periods of darkness (e.g. night), while less is produced during light periods (e.g. day). This means that melatonin levels usually change in a daily (circadian) and seasonal rhythm.

Common Problems / Disorders of the Pineal Gland


Pineal Cysts


Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders


Excess Melatonin Supplementation

Page last reviewed on 2 Mar 2023