Mind, Body, Sleep. Three factors that are absolutely essential for maintaining cultivating and fortifying the immune health and wellbeing. Most of us are familiar with melatonin as a powerful sleep aid. It works by regulating the body’s sleep and wake cycles, so we get enough restful sleep each night.
Sleep is our body’s first line of defense against infectious disease. While you rest, your body is hard at work, repairing minor and major damages, and producing immune cells to fight off infections. Even though we’re supposed to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night, the CDC found that as many as ⅓ of American’s don’t get nearly enough sleep each night. Skimping on sleep greatly impairs the body’s immune function, making you vulnerable to getting sick.
But when it comes to the connection between melatonin, sleep, and inflammation, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Recent medical studies are uncovering melatonin immunity factors in response to COVID-19. Currently, clinical trials have seen melatonin inhibit the inflammasomes associated with the virus, which is a promising development.
Today’s blog is about uncovering the common myths about melatonin, so you and your family can take advantage of it’s amazing benefits
Taking a Melatonin supplement 30 minutes before bedtime will not affect your body’s ability to produce it. There are certain unavoidable factors like aging that can cause hormone production to decrease over time. However, many women don’t realize that falling asleep with bright lights, like the TV screen, a laptop, or night light can slow down melatonin production.
Melatonin is produced by a tiny gland in the brain, and it requires complete darkness to activate. Invest in a cute and functional eye mask, or blackout curtains to encourage melatonin production. Avoid screens before bed. The blue light from electronics is especially harmful to melatonin and getting a good night’s sleep. If you must use your screen late at night, consider activating the blue-light filter, so you do not disrupt melatonin production.
Trust me, melatonin is pretty safe. There are no serious adverse effects to regularly taking it. I recommend most of my clients having trouble sleeping due to the stress of COVID-19 to start with 5-20 mg.
What you eat can also impact melatonin production. In addition to taking a supplement, consider tweaking your diet. Serotonin is a potent hormone and neurotransmitter. Almost 90% of serotonin production is in the gut. If you feed your gut a healthy balanced diet, it can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
There are amazing compounding benefits of getting more sleep. Sleep lowers stress, which prevents excess cortisol production. Cortisol is the stress hormone that prohibits the immune system from performing. Stress and anxiety are the leading causes of sleep deprivation.
Low levels of melatonin are associated with many diseases including, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and breast cancer, suggesting that it’s a necessary component of several vital processes like a healthy brain and heart.
Melatonin also has incredible anti-aging properties. Free radicals in cells cause inflammation and accelerate the aging process. The body uses intracellular anti-inflammatory agents to combat free radicals and slow aging, but they decrease in amount and effectiveness as we age. Melatonin is the most potent intracellular anti-inflammatory agent in the body to neutralize free radicals for ageless skin.
Over the past several months, COVID-19 has reminded us of what’s really important. Your health means everything. While there are several variables that affect your overall health, melatonin’s effect on sleep, immunity, and inflammation, means it should be on everyone’s radar. Think of melatonin as your mind, body, and sleep hormone. Remember, everything in the body works together. Adding this hormone to your diet could dramatically affect your immune system and change the quality of your daily life.