Melatonin – Why you NEEEEEEEEED it!
Any modern health conscious woman these days knows that melatonin is really important right? Take it one step further and you might remember that its a sleep hormone yeah? Right. But its actually much much more than that. In a never ending cycle of stress, technology and shitty lifestyle choices (Yes im talking to you Miss “I don’t have time to exercise”), its more important than EVER to have this little powerhouse hormone in your corner. Here are a few of its benefits:
SLEEP – This is a no brainer. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in order to induce sleep. Its levels decrease during the day and steadily rise after sunset. It sets our biological clock and regulates our circadian rhythm. However, we need to be in TOTAL DARKENESS in order for the hormone to be secreted sufficiently. That means No phones at night, no street lights shining into your room or glowing numbers on your alarm clock. Complete darkness. Your body literally absorbs the light making adequate melatonin secretion difficult.
ANTIOXIDANT – I recently re-learnt this. Melatonin is a POTENT antioxidant. While we sleep, melatonin darts around our bodies literally cleaning up all the damage that has accumulated thanks to a host of free radicals we encounter constantly. This is a process known as scavenging. Melatonin is one of the only bodily process that does this! Hence why you hear people say that you need to get sleep to help the body repair blah blah blah. It LITERALLY tries to clean and repair damaged cells in order to minimise or prevent further damage to our bodies – damage that if left, will become irreparable.
EVERYDAY BODILY FUNCTIONS – Melatonin is also heavily involved in regulating and maintaining learning, aging and memory function. It has a huge role in regulating blood sugar levels and maintaining a health weight!
So what are the take home tips to up your melatonin secretion?
1. Get enough sleep each night. 7-8 hours MINIMUM. Have a sleep routine.
2. No phones for 1-2 hours before bed. If that’s gut wrenchingly impossible for you, invest in some orange lensed glasses designed to counter blue light or decrease the brightness setting on your smart phone.
3. Sleep in COMPLETE darkness.
4. If necessary you can Supplement with oral melatonin tablets but have a plan to increase your natural levels so you don’t become reliant and completely shut down your own production.
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