- and what can we do when we cannot sleep?
Sleep disorders are common in the western world, and many people find that the problem gets worse when we shift to daylight saving and get an extra hour of light in the evening. It can be difficult to fall asleep when it is still light outside, and this may even be a stress factor for those people who need to get up early the following day. Getting just one hour less of sleep can affect your concentration, mood, heart function, fertility, and a number of other things. Nevertheless, the sleep hormone, melatonin, combined with some practical advice may work wonders for your sleep, and proper sleep is of great importance to your health.
- and that may down to a lack of the sleep hormone melatonin
Sunlight is important for our mental health for various reasons. At northern latitudes, we are exposed to less sunlight. According to a new American study, that increases your risk of the OCD, a psychiatric disorder characterized by compulsive thoughts and behavior. The scientists point to the fact that people with OCD often have delayed 24-hour rhythm and get to bed late at night, and they theorize that these disturbances of the circadian rhythm and lack of melatonin may play a role. This presents new potential in the treatment of the disease, and morning light is part of it. Melatonin supplements may also be worth trying.
A good night’s sleep with accompanying dream activity is essential. It helps us recharge our batteries and process the things that have happened during the day. Magnesium is important for our ability to relax, which helps us fall asleep faster. According to an Australian study, high-dosed supplementation with vitamin B6 just before bedtime helps us remember our dreams. Moreover, magnesium and vitamin B6 have a synergistic effect on stress, so it is vital to get enough of these nutrients, as stress is a frequent cause of poor sleep. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are also important for the body’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
it’s the ultimate and essential “brainwash”
Groundbreaking research reveals that the human brain is detoxified during our sleep. On the other hand, toxins accumulate in the brain if we suffer from sleep disturbances, increasing our risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and numerous other conditions. If you are not helped by the most common guidelines for better sleep, supplementing with the “sleep hormone” melatonin may be an obvious solution that even offers plenty of positive “side effects.”
According to Maiken Nedergaard, a Danish professor in neurology, the human brain works very hard during the daytime in order to help us stay active and to process all the information that we get from our surroundings. Also, the brain is highly energy-consuming, and it is the enormous energy turnover that results in toxic by-products, including poisonous protein substances that are difficult to break down. When we are awake and active the brain is too busy to clean up the mess, so to speak, and that is why need to sleep.
In the summertime, we synthesize vitamin D in our skin when we expose ourselves to sunlight. Vitamin D is a nutrient that is of vital importance to mood and health in general. When it is dark outside, we produce melatonin, which is important for our sleep. In addition to that, melatonin has a number of other important functions. Over the past decades, science has focused on its potential in the prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, sclerosis, and several other diseases. Apparently, vitamin D and melatonin work as hormones day and night and are of vital importance to the immune system. Also, they regulate inflammation, protect cells, and have many other functions. In a new review article that is published in Nutrients, the scientists refer to melatonin as the “next vitamin D”. Also, they mention that many people get too little sunlight during the day and too little darkness at night, which results in a deficiency of both vitamin D and melatonin.
Many women suffer from severe sleep problems during their menopause and it often reduces their work capability and quality of life. Supplementation with the natural sleep hormone, melatonin, may improve their sleep, according to a study that is published in Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology. The authors also mention that melatonin helps regulate the sex hormone balance and other metabolic processes that are important for good sleep.
Breast cancer is one of the most widespread cancer forms, with 80% of cases being classified as estrogen receptor-positive. The risk of this type of breast cancer increases when you receive hormone therapy with estrogen (estradiol). The risk is also increased by hormone-disrupting substances in the environment. However, a new study shows that melatonin is able to inhibit a gene that influences the estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells. Melatonin is primarily known for its role as a sleep hormone, but an increasing amount of research shows cancer-protective potential. It is therefore essential to make enough melatonin yourself or to compensate for deficiencies by taking melatonin supplements.
Insomnia is common among cancer patients. Sleep medicine is associated with serious side effects, but research shows that the natural hormone, melatonin, may help improve the sleep quality of cancer patients in several different ways. Melatonin even has cancer-inhibiting mechanisms that deserve a closer look in terms of prevention and treatment.
Melatonin is primarily known for its role as a sleep hormone. Nonetheless, studies reveal that melatonin has a variety of anti-cancer properties, and supplementing with the substance may increase the effect of chemotherapy while counteracting its side effects.
- which may be caused by lack of melatonin and the presence of toxic substances in the brain
Night owls stay up late in the evening and get up late in the morning, and they risk depression, according to a new study. In fact, there seems to be a link between the increasing number of people with disturbed 24-hour rhythm who expose themselves to blue light from computer screens and other devices, and who become depressed. Lack of sleep at night and low levels of the hormone melatonin are a burden to the brain and nervous system in several different ways.
Many older people sleep poorly and tend to have elevated blood pressure. Luckily, supplementation with melatonin seems to correct both problems. Melatonin can even improve sleep in people who take beta-blockers for high blood pressure. So what is melatonin, and why is this substance particularly useful for older people?
Neurological diseases are on the rise and Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of dementia. Now, scientists from Boston University have discovered that slow-moving brain waves during our sleep initiate a cleansing process in the brain that protects against Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other neurological disorders. Also, a study of men conducted by scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden demonstrated that as little as a single night without sleep increases levels of proteins that serve as biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. It is therefore essential to sleep properly every single night so that we can remain mentally alert and vital. In cases where the normal guidelines for healthy sleep prove to be of little use, supplementing with the “sleep hormone” melatonin may turn out to offer relief.
Melatonin is primarily known as a sleep hormone, but the substance deserves a lot more attention. Studies show that melatonin can step up the body's fat burning capacity, reduce nocturnal hunger, and counteract weight increase in postmenopausal women.
Living in contradiction with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle may be life-threatening, as shift work reduces the body’s production of melatonin, which controls our sleep pattern and many general physiological processes. However, taking melatonin supplements may compensate for the lowered endogenous production and even for shift work and other disturbances of the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Three American researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology for their discovery of the molecular mechanisms that control our 24-hour rhythm and the ticking of the cellular clocks. Lack of sleep can lead to overweight, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, which is why it is vital to get to bed at a proper time. If you have difficulty with falling asleep or cannot sleep through the night, supplements of melatonin serves as a natural sleeping pill that comes in handy.