Originally published August 3 2011
Melatonin is the super sleep hormone
by Dr. David Jockers
(NaturalNews) Healthy sleep cycles are one of the greatest practices to maximize health and optimize daily performance. Melatonin is a super hormone that is produced in the body and helps initiate the sleep cycle. This hormone is also known to enhance healing and regenerative processes within the body. Maximize melatonin secretion with simple strategies to improve your sleep cycles.
Melatonin is a critical hormone produced by the pineal gland in the absence of light stimulation. This hormone is responsible for inducing a state of sleep and regulating circadian rhythms that govern our sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin has been identified as one of the greatest free radical scavengers in the body. It has been shown to powerfully suppress tumor growth in the body.
Melatonin is considered one of the most effective anti-oxidants in the body due to its ability to very easily diffuse across cell membranes and the blood brain barrier. Melatonin is a direct scavenger of metabolic byproducts such as OH, O2-, and nitric oxide.
Melatonin is very unique in that it does not undergo redox cycling (a cycle of reduction and oxidation) like most anti-oxidants such as vitamin C. Redox cycling can be a dangerous process because it opens the window to allow an anti-oxidant to also produce free radicals. Once melatonin is oxidized it forms several stable end products that cannot be reduced upon reacting with free radicals. It is one of the very few terminal anti-oxidants.
Melatonin is one of the bodies` most powerful protective agents against DNA mutations. Therefore it is one of the greatest natural cancer remedies. It plays a very important role in protecting against inflammation and free radical damage in the brain due to its ease of flow across the blood brain barrier. It has also been shown to increase the average life span of mice by 20% in some studies.
Other studies have shown that melatonin improves cytokine function. This allows for greater immune sensitivity which allows for a more coordinated immune defense against infectious disease. Enhanced immune coordination also reduces auto-immune and chronic inflammatory conditions.
Healthy melatonin levels and good sleep cycles are also known to influence human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is known to influence the body to burn fat, build and regenerate healthy lean body tissue, to repair collagen which is necessary for healthy skin formation, to improve bone density and to enhance immunity. Good sleep cycles improve HGH secretion and utilization in the body.
Here are simple strategies to maximize your melatonin secretion:
1.Go to Sleep Early: Hormone secretion, body temperature, digestion and tissue restoration are governed by 24 hour cycles linked to natural light exposure. Up to 80% of human growth hormone secretion takes place between the hours of 11pm and 1am. Individuals that are in bed by 10pm are maximizing this restorative hormone`s ability to heal and regenerate body tissues.
2.Practice intentional quiet time before you go to bed: Utilizing present moment mindfulness or meditation helps boost melatonin. This process speeds up the time from lying down to falling asleep and boosts the quality and satisfaction of the sleep. Take 15-20 minutes before bed and relax your mind and concentrate your breathing.
3.Reduce sugar, artificial flavorings & preservatives, processed foods, caffeine and any other sort of stimulant. These reduce melatonin and growth hormone secretion in the body.
4.Hydrate effectively: Dehydration causes chronic stress responses in the body that minimize healthy melatonin and growth hormone secretion.
5.Keep Your Room Dark: Any sort of light stimulation will inhibit the pineal gland from forming melatonin. This will disrupt sleep and minimize melatonin`s beneficial effects in the body.
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About the authorDr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com
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