Importance of Melatonin
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you might have heard us mentioning ‘melatonin’, however, are you fully aware of the importance of melatonin? Melatonin is a natural hormone generated by your body to actively promote sleep. It is released by the pineal gland in the brain when it starts to get dark. An imbalance of melatonin can cause depression, shorten your life expectancy, and is even linked to cancer.
How Does It Work?
Melatonin helps to break down the active, energetic hormones, therefore, allowing your body to sleep. The hormone shuts down brain activity, making it harder to think and concentrate. Melatonin also pulls oxygen and other required hormones away from muscle tissue and other cells, which can cause difficulty carrying out physical activity. As a result, your body starts to feel tired, withdrawn and craves sleep.
Acts as You Sleep
Not only does melatonin promote healthy sleep, it also cleanses your body as you sleep. Perhaps the most powerful anti-oxidant your body has, melatonin cleanses toxins that are harmful to your body. The hormone also slows your system down, giving the heart and other vital organs a needed rest. Even those who suffer from high blood pressure see melatonin reduce their blood pressure levels to a normal rate.
If you’ve ever woken up feeling cold in the middle of the night, you can take that as a sign that your melatonin levels are working properly. When the hormone reduces your blood pressure, you won’t have as much blood in your arms and legs, therefore seeing your body temperature drop. If you don’t feel cold in the pre-dawn hours of 02:00-04:00, you might not have enough melatonin.
Melatonin and Cancer
An imbalance of melatonin has been linked to an increase in cancer rates for men and women. The worrying trend is most common in shift workers who usually work during their sleep cycle. Indoor lighting suppresses melatonin, making it harder for the body to cleanse the toxins and get the required sleep.
You can naturally increase your levels of melatonin by eating foods which are rich in tryptophan, which your brain converts to melatonin. Although melatonin capsules are available over the counter, it is highly recommended that you promote levels of melatonin naturally, by eating the right food and sleeping in the right environment.