Melatonin – the Wonder Hormone!

Sleep

 

Also known as the hormone of CONTRASTS!

Melatonin has been described as the “superhero of the night”, possibly one of the most important hormonesin the body. Plus it is the most amazing antioxidant.

Recent research is suggesting that the health benefits of melatonin are much greater than seeing it to be simply the ‘regulator of the sleep cycle’.

New and on going research demonstrates that melatonin could have fundamental benefits on our health,  particularly in terms of neurodegenerative diseases. That includes dementia, Alzheimer’s, Mild Cognitive Impairment or MCI for short.

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland, a ‘pea sized’ gland located just above the middle of the brain. It is the hormone responsible for the regulation of our internal body clock which is also referred to as the “circadian rhythm”.

The production of melatonin is influenced by the amount of light in the external environment. Darkness stimulates the production of melatonin while brightness produces the opposite effect. The presence of light, whether it be artificial or natural, inhibits the production of melatonin.

Big clue for a healthy sleep environment, make your room as dark as you can, especially in the summer. One of the most important mechanisms to remember about melatonin is that it is ONLY produced by the pineal gland when the person is in a very dimly lit environment.

The key indicator of poor melatonin production is “difficulty in falling asleep”. Falling asleep easily but waking throughout the night (or very early in the morning)  is related to cortisol production and not what this blog is about!  Melatonin is responsible for inducing drowsiness so that we drift off to sleep easily. It’s a short lived hormone with a lifespan in the body of around only twenty minutes. Now you see it, now you don’t, sort of hormone!

The really important part of this blog!

Research from the US National Library of Medicine has suggested that melatonin is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body and has numerous health benefits in terms of immune system function, including being a free radical scavenger that helps to combat inflammation. If you follow my Facebook page you will know that chronic inflammation brings 80% of health problems. https://www.facebook.com/TheHealingTouchTherapy/. So if you want to increase your potential for healing or being healthy, just better your night’s sleep.

Here are some Do’s and Dont’s for melatonin production.

DO:

  • Get some regular bright sun exposure (if possible): Your pineal gland produces melatonin BY CONTRASTING BRIGHT SUNLIGHT IN THE DAY AND COMPLETE DARKNESS AT NIGHT. If you are in darkness all day long, your body cannot tell the difference and will not optimize your melatonin production.
  • Sleep in complete darkness: even the slightest bit of light in your bedroom can have an effect on the melatonin production in the body.
  • Take a hot bath around 1-2 hours before bedtime: this increases your body temperature, then when you get out of the bath it drops significantly, alerting your body that you are ready to sleep.

 DON’T:

  • Watch TV or sit at your computer in the evening (An hour before bed): Both of these emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it is still daytime. Your brain normally starts secreting melatonin between 9 and 10pm – and these devices emit light that can prevent the process from happening.
  • Use loud alarm clocks: Being jolted awake in the morning can be stressful on the body. If you are ensuring you get enough sleep each night, an alarm may not even be necessary.

Melatonin – much more than meets the eye!

It is clear that melatonin has a plethora of health benefits. Because of its efficiency as an antioxidant, ability to modulate the immune system, capacity to manage dangerous inflammatory responses and ability to cross the blood-brain-barrier, melatonin seems to be a winner for nearly every biological mechanism.

There are one of two natural products which increase the production of melatonin. Email me recover@cynthiasillars.co.uk or text 07599520406 for more information.