Melatonin: Beyond Fall Asleep Faster
Melatonin is sleeping hormone release by pineal gland inside our brain. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant with powerful anti-cancer activity.
Cancer patient commonly prescribed melatonin for few years to help improve immunity to fight cancer. About sixty percent those above 60 year olds are lacking melatonin, worsening by the year.
That explain why elderly people tend to have difficulty to fall asleep and to maintain sleep. Those who maintain ability to have very good sleep live longer live. Melatonin is known for helping some people achieve a better night’s sleep, hence its nickname as “the sleep hormone.”
While melatonin is involved in regulating our internal body clock, that’s just the beginning of its health-promoting benefits.
Based on extensive research, scientists have discovered that this hormone has beneficial effects on everything from heart disease and diabetes to bone health and obesity.
And best of all, emerging science now suggests that it may protect our genetic material and guard against
And best of all, emerging science now suggests that it may protect our genetic material and guard against age-related disease and decline.
We will discuss more detail about melatonin here.
Lack of sleep is tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases, and why working the night shift — can be so detrimental.
Sleeping pill is not the answer. Research shows they are no better than placebo.
In fact, sleeping pills delayed falling asleep by 13 minutes but sleep more by 11 minutes only. Adverse effects are rebound difficulty to fall asleep and dependent. One of the worst things you can do to help you fall asleep is to reach for a sleeping pill.
It can cause many adverse effects that quite serious, including amnesia, depression and an increased risk for accidents.
Meanwhile, sleeping pills may subtract years off your lifespan. According to a 2012 study people who take sleeping pills have a 35 percent higher risk for certain cancers and are nearly four times as likely to die from any cause as non-users.
Tips and Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster
Taking methyl-cobalamin form of vitamin B12 day time may leads to better sleep at night. Exercise and sun exposure also helps better sleep.
Breathing techniques — 5 seconds inhale through nose, keep for 7 seconds and exhale through mouth for 7 seconds. This breathing techniques may kick off effect in few weeks.
This particular breathing technique, is a potent remedy for anxiety, as it acts as a natural tranquilizer for your nervous system.
Mindfulness to feel happy, gratitude, pardon every other person that may trouble you should help to fall asleep better.
Avoid heavy meal and refined carbohydrate (to avoid rebound hypoglycemia) before sleep. Practice drink more water daytime and reduce water intake at night to avoid sleep disturbance by reducing
Practice drink more water day time and reduce water intake at night to avoid sleep disturbance by reducing urge to pass urine at night. Do not drink coffee, strong tea or other stimulant before sleep. Take high
Take high serotonin-containing food.
Go to sleep early such as 10 o’clock. Avoid any blue light and LED light. Sleep in total darkness is the best that will help pineal gland to release more melatonin.
Make a habit of going to bed at the same time each night for 10 days and thereafter your body should tune to the timing.
Keeping a worry journal. Worries tend to keep us up at night, and writing them down is a simple way to empty your mind so you can fall asleep.
In the evening, but not directly before bed, write down your worries and a possible solution or action you can take for each entry.
It would also be wise to put all your work away at least one, and preferably two, hours before bed. Counting backward from 100 or even 300 by threes.
The mental focus required will prevent you from thinking about anything else, and the sheer boredom of counting may be enough to put you to sleep.
Alcohol may make you nod off quicker, but research shows drinking alcohol makes you more likely to wake during the night, leaving you feeling less rested in the morning.
Ideal Sleep Amount
According to an analysis of available research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, the weight of the evidence suggests adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health, with the Goldilocks’ Zone being right around eight hours. “One 2014 study of more than 3,000 people in Finland found that the amount of sleep that correlated with the fewest sick days was 7.63 hours a night for women and 7.76 hours for men. So either that is the amount of sleep that keeps people well, or that’s the amount that makes them least likely to lie about being sick when they want to skip work …”
Indeed, a lack of quality sleep has been shown to have a significant impact on your brain and overall health and wellness. The following is a sampling of the health effects associated with sleep deprivation:
Cutting one hour of sleep a night:
- Increases the expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress.
- Increased risk of depression
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes,
- Insomniac tend to have obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease
- Decreased immune function
- Reduced ability to learn or remember
- Increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Exacerbates current chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and cancer
- Contributes to premature aging by interfering with growth hormone production
Natural Sleep Supplements
Some natural options for better sleep include:
The herb chamomile is typically used in the form of essential oils made from the plant’s fresh or dried flower heads. It has sedative effects that may help with sleep, which is why chamomile tea is often sipped before bed.
According to Molecular Medicine Reports:
“Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. Sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
Studies in preclinical models have shown anticonvulsant and CNS [central nervous system] depressant effects respectively …  cardiac patients are reported to have immediately fallen into a deep sleep lasting for 90 minutes after drinking chamomile tea.”
Kava kava, or simply kava, is a root native to the South Pacific islands that are traditionally consumed as a tea. Known for its sedative and anti-anxiety properties, kava has been found to be beneficial in relieving stress-induced insomnia.
Valerian is a natural sedative herb that works by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).4 GABA, an amino acid, is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in your central nervous system (CNS).
GABA is neurotransmitter dampen nerve activity in your brain, which leads to feelings of calm and relaxation. Valerian is available in supplement form, but you can also take it as a tea or tincture.
Your body produces 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) from the amino acid tryptophan (found in foods like poultry, eggs, and cheese).
However eating tryptophan-rich foods are not likely to significantly increase your 5-HTP levels, so 5-HTP supplements are sometimes used.
The chemical 5-HTP works in your brain and central nervous system by promoting the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and thereby may help boost mood and enhance sleep.
In one study, an amino acid preparation containing both GABA (a calming neurotransmitter) and 5-HTP reduced time to fall asleep, increased the duration of sleep and improved sleep quality. Further, as noted by the University of Maryland Medical Center:
“In one study, people who took 5-HTP went to sleep quicker and slept more deeply than those who took a placebo. Researchers recommend 200 to 400 mg at night to stimulate serotonin, but it may take [six] to 12 weeks to be fully effective.”
There may be some beneficial “side effects” to 5-HTP as well. Research suggests the supplement naturally reduces appetite and food intake (including reduced carbohydrate consumption) and is associated with significant weight loss.
There are different types of GABA in supplement form, including a synthetic variety produced from the industrial solvent pyrrolidinone and other chemicals and a natural form made via fermentation with Lactobacillus hilgardi, a beneficial bacteria also used to make the traditional Korean vegetable dish kimchi.
Recent research showed the natural GABA had various sleep-improving effects. The researchers measured brain waves using electroencephalography (EEG) after participants took 100 milligrams (mg) of natural GABA or placebo. Those who took GABA fell asleep faster and had longer quality sleep time. They also reported feeling more energized in the morning.
Since your body produces GABA from glutamate, eating fermented foods is rich in glutamate also help to optimize your GABA levels.
Foods naturally high in glutamate/glutamic acid include protein-rich grass-fed meat, pastured eggs and poultry, raw grass-fed cheese and wild-caught fish, along with sea vegetables, ripe tomatoes, and mushrooms.
Melatonin is Beyond Good Sleep
Melatonin Attacks Aging Factors
Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan and widely distributed in food sources, such as milk, almonds, bananas, beets, cucumbers, mustard, and tomatoes.
Melatonin and its metabolites are potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, cell communication enhancing, cancer-fighting, brown fat-activating, and blood-lipid-lowering effects, thereby protecting tissues from a variety of insults.
Melatonin has been shown to support circadian rhythm, hormone balance, reproductive health, cognition, mood, blood sugar regulation, and bone metabolism while improving overall antioxidant status and lowering blood pressure.
Melatonin may assist in preventing diabetic complications, and improve treatment outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
Preclinical studies found that melatonin increased the life span of animals by up to 20%—prolonging their youthful character in the process.
Scientific evidence now suggests that melatonin plays a crucial role in a variety of metabolic functions, including antioxidant and neuroprotection, anti-inflammatory defense, and immune system support.16
Antioxidant Defense—Combat Free Radical Damage While You Sleep
Melatonin has demonstrated itself as a functionally diverse molecule, with its antioxidant properties being amongst its most well-studied attributes. Melatonin has been found to possess 200% more antioxidant power than vitamin E. Melatonin has been found to be superior to glutathione as well as vitamins C and E in reducing oxidative damage.
As such a potent antioxidant, melatonin plays a powerful role in fighting free-radical-related diseases—from cardiovascular disease to cancer and practically everything in between.
In post-menopausal women, for example, melatonin has been found to inhibit lipid peroxidation (damage to your fat cells caused by free radicals), one of the primary process for the formation of atherosclerosis.
A newer study on men confirmed these findings, suggesting that melatonin leads to overall lower levels of oxidative stress in humans.
In individuals undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, melatonin exhibited a higher reduction in lipid peroxidation and improvements in red blood cell membrane stiffness.
Melatonin fights cardiovascular disease
Studies have confirmed that melatonin can lower blood pressure levels. Melatonin’s ability to protect against heart damage is especially noteworthy. Investigators reported that it decreases total cholesterol and LDL levels and increases HDL cholesterol levels.
Scientists have discovered that individuals with metabolic syndrome have a lower melatonin production rate compared to healthier counterparts without metabolic syndrome and that individuals with metabolic syndrome are at risk of coronary heart disease.
Individuals with metabolic syndrome possess lower melatonin levels.
Melatonin as Cancer Adjuvant Therapy
Emerging research suggests that melatonin has anticarcinogenic properties—that is, it has the ability to prevent cancer from occurring, or to induce the cancer cell death if it does occur. This has been attributed to melatonin’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and hormone-modulating properties.
Melatonin’s ability to interfere with cancer cell multiplication and growth (“proliferation”), as well as inducing cancer cell death (“apoptosis”), has been documented in cancer patients.
It has been successfully used in individuals with advanced stage cancers undergoing conventional anticancer therapy, by either slowing disease progression and/or decreasing treatment side effects.
In a review of 8 randomized, controlled clinical trials evaluating the benefits of melatonin as an adjuvant therapy for cancer patients with solid tumors undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, researchers found that concurrent use of 20 mg of melatonin once daily versus conventional treatment alone, improved the rate of complete or partial remission by nearly 50%,increased the one-year survival rate by 45%, and decreased the devastating side effects of conventional therapy such as low platelet count, neuropathy, and fatigue by 89%, 83%, and 65% respectively. No adverse events reported.
Melatonin’s anticarcinogenic properties can also be attributed to its effect on your immune system.
Laboratory studies revealed that melatonin can activate T-helper cells, which triggers other immune cells in order to help kill off foreign invaders or pathogens.
Additionally, melatonin stimulates natural killer cell, monocyte, and macrophage synthesis, and has been found to facilitate healthy cell-to-cell communication, which enhances the body’s appropriate immune system response to foreign invaders.
Patients with cancers might benefit from melatonin use, potentially leading to improved therapeutic outcomes.