Friday, October 4, 2013

About Melatonin, The Sleep Hormone

About Melatonin, The Sleep Hormone

Have you heard this adage: "I am backwards; I wake up sleepy and go to bed wide awake"? As we age, sleep seems to become a precious commodity.

Much of our ability to sleep is initiated by melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Light inhibits the production of melatonin. Sleep and darkness are required in order to activate the pineal gland.

Artificial light and length of day also play a part in the production of melatonin, as does exercise and electromagnetic energy. This is why it is suggested when sleeping, one should be in a completely dark room without noise. Melatonin levels are higher in childhood than in adulthood. This is why as we age our sleep is easily disrupted. Disrupted sleep and too much light causes the decrease of melatonin which also affects our immune systems as we age. Those that work over night and sleep during the day tend to have poorer immune systems for this reason.

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. Antioxidants also suppress tumors. Low levels of melatonin can not only lead to breast and cervical cancers in women but can cause chronic fatigue and brain fogginess.
Remember, homeopathic care can help your body naturally adjust and correct hormone levels and optimize the detoxification process, which positively impacts brain and immune system function.