Melatonin Fashion: Truth and Myths about the “sleep hormone”
Melatonin Fashion: Truth and Myths about the “sleep hormone”
The properties of melatonin from promotional leaflets are striking and at the same time generate a number of questions. A number of amazing properties are attributed to magic pills. Is this true or a hoax?
Today, the world celebrates the incredible popularity of melatonin. The hormone is a natural sleeping pill and has excellent antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties, so that melatonin is often called the real elixir of health, which allows to preserve youth and beauty.
A number of clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of receiving melatonin in the treatment of many diseases, ranging from cardiac ischemia and ending with a stomach ulcer. What is the “sleep hormone”? What explains its huge range of effects and magical properties? Should I include it in the diet and for what? Is he safe?
The discovery of the “sleep hormone”
Scientists F. Allen and C. McFord back in 1917 in England conducted interesting research: they fed epiphyses of tadpoles animals. The result was interesting – the skin of the tadpoles gradually began to fade. This experiment, although it was described in detail, did not arouse interest in the scientific community until 1953, until the test results were obtained by the dermatologist Aaron Lerner, who was studying the disease of vitiligo – pigment spots on the skin.
The article dealt with the fact that the pineal glands of the cows, crushed and placed in a container with tadpoles, completely discolored the skin of tadpoles after 30 minutes. Moreover, it became thin and transparent so that it was possible to see how the intestines and heart muscle function.
Delving into research, Lerner eventually discovered melatonin, a hormone produced by the epiphysis, and proved its calming and regenerating effect on humans. This caused a real sensation in medicine, and many scientists are interested in melatonin. In the course of subsequent research, new properties were discovered that allow one to cope with many diseases and significantly improve the quality of human life. And today, doctors find new properties of melatonin and apply it in the treatment of various diseases.
The sleep hormone is produced in the pineal gland and has an amazing property – it affects the work of the biological clock. In the body of an adult there is only 3 mg of melatonin, and during the day its amount is not constant – during the day the level of the hormone drops, and in the evening it increases. The maximum melatonin production occurs in the period from 12 at night until 4 in the morning. The substance is responsible for the recovery processes, activates the immune system, neutralizes harmful free radicals, protecting against cardiac and cancer.
Melatonin slows aging, protects against stress, promotes rapid sleep. In addition, the substance is responsible for the depth and quality of sleep, therefore, plays an enormous role in recovery. Melatonin production has deteriorated over the years.
Biological clock interruptions
In the mad rhythm of modern life, almost half of the inhabitants of megalopolises have problems falling asleep, the duration and quality of sleep. In an effort to increase the day for socializing with friends, playing video games, reading or working, people fall asleep well past midnight, thus disrupting the natural production of melatonin. Even the displacement of the jet lag and a longer sleep in the morning does not give a feeling of cheerfulness and normal recovery.
Numerous studies have shown that disruption of sleep and a failure in the production of a hormone adversely affect the quality of human life, accelerating the aging process and provoking the development of diseases. People who sleep little or go to bed after midnight experience acute melatonin deficiency. Thus, studies have shown that the likelihood of developing hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, overweight and oncology in “owls” is 40-60% higher.
Value of darkness
Normal sleep hormone production is not only prevented from falling asleep later than 12, but also by increased light levels during sleep. Excessive light adversely affects the production of melatonin and the quality of sleep, and this phenomenon even gave scientists the name “light pollution”.
For full-fledged melatonin production, you need to sleep with well-closed curtains, which exclude the entry of street light into the window, as well as without night-lights. In the case of night work, the lighting should be as minimal as possible.
Melatonin as medicine
The properties of melatonin and the mechanism of its effects on the body pushed the doctors to use the substance to treat many diseases. Not being a drug, melatonin in small dohah can be used for various biorhythm disorders.
Many consider this substance to be hypnotic, but in fact the spectrum of its actions is much wider. So, melatonin does not just help you fall asleep, it translates sleep into a fast stage, positively affecting the quality of the night’s rest.
Supplements containing melatonin, not only improve the quality of sleep, but also help to combat the lack of a good night’s rest and all the associated effects – chronic fatigue, weakness, irritability.
Modern studies prove not only the use of the sleep hormone as a preventive measure, but also its effectiveness in the treatment of many diseases: ischemia of the heart, ulcers, hypertension.
Who is recommended to drink melatonin?
Melatonin supplementation will be useful to all people after 35 years. Supplement should be taken in courses – 1-3 mg at a time, just before bedtime. The frequency of admission is individual. So, for insomnia, it is recommended to take a dietary supplement 2-3 times a week.
Having melatonin in stock is also useful for all those who work in stressful work and are forced to work at night. An additional intake of the sleep hormone will make it possible to feel cheerful even with minimal night rest.
Melatonin is sometimes called travel pills. Crossing time zones, biorhythms often fail, and in this case the additional intake of the sleep hormone makes it easier to switch to a new time and adapt to the time zone.
Melatonin deficiency is also due to insomnia that occurs in people with age. The activity of the pineal gland after 35 years decreases with each passing year, so to compensate for the lack of a hormone, melatonin should be added to the diet of the elderly.
Scientists claim that there are no side effects from taking a sleep hormone in the form of addiction or reducing the production of your own melatonin. But despite this, some people report stomach discomfort, headaches, and depression as a result of an overdose of taking melatonin-based supplements.
Who is contraindicated
Supplements are contraindicated for people suffering from diabetes. Melatonin should not be taken by pregnant women and women during lactation, as well as by people suffering from depression. Doctors also do not advise taking melatonin before the age of 16. There are several cases of fixation of an allergy to a substance.
Melatonin is contraindicated in epilepsy, leukemia, autoimmune diseases.
Officially, the effect of taking growth hormone in the fight against cancer has not yet been proven. Some studies confirm the effectiveness of its administration, but this is not clinically proven, which means it hopes for a miracle treatment too early.