Now you can’t ask what the top 5 reasons are people take melatonin nightly. Let’s talk about longevity here, which is living and thriving, and being happy and healthy. How much more do you need?
Always remember to get quality melatonin, not the cheap stuff they sell at corporate drug stores and major retailers. You know all those “popular” names you hear and see on TV. Avoid those ones.
What is Melatonin?
“Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal (pih-knee-uhl) gland. This is a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of the brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” by the SCN and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. Usually, this occurs around 9 pm. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours – all through the night – before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 am. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable.” http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep
MELATONIN FOR SLEEPING
“A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothalamus. There, a special center called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake. The SCN works like a clock that sets off a regulated pattern of activities that affect the entire body. Once exposed to the first light each day, the clock in the SCN begins performing functions like raising body temperature and releasing stimulating hormones like cortisol. The SCN also delays the release of other hormones like melatonin, which is associated with sleep onset, until many hours later when darkness arrives.”
It (melatonin) even helps kids with autism/spectrum disorders: ” In this article, researchers from Vanderbilt University describe their experience using melatonin to treat insomnia, a common sleep concern, in children with autism spectrum disorders….There was no reported increase in seizures after starting melatonin in children with pre-existing epilepsy and no new-onset seizures… “Melatonin appears to be a safe and well-tolerated treatment for insomnia in children with autism spectrum disorders.”
MELATONIN FOR LIBIDO
“One other substance that seems to affect libido is melatonin. Dr. Russel Reiter, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has found that the hormone melatonin, from the pineal gland, affects sexual desire. The more light you’re exposed to, the less melatonin your pineal releases. Lower levels of this hormone increase ovulation in women and sperm production in men, and increase the sex drive in both.”
MELATONIN FOR ANTI-AGING and LONGEVITY
Melatonin is known for helping some people achieve a better night’s sleep, which is how it earned 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 age related disease and decline.1
Preclinical studies found that melatonin increased the life span of animals by up to 20%—prolonging their youthful character in the process.2-4 Scientific evidence now suggests that melatonin plays a crucial role in a variety of metabolic functions,5 including antioxidant and neuroprotection,6,7 anti-inflammatory defense,8 and immune system support.9
MELATONIN FOR CANCER PREVENTION
Combat free-radical damage WHILE you sleep!
Since its discovery over 50 years ago, melatonin has demonstrated itself as a functionally diverse molecule, with its antioxidant properties being amongst its most well-studied attributes.26,27 Since then, a vast amount of experimental research has revealed its vital role in the body’s defense against numerous cell-damaging free radicals—and for good reason.27-30 Melatonin has been found to possess 200% more antioxidant power than vitamin E.31 Melatonin has been found to be superior to glutathione as well as vitamins C and E in reducing oxidative damage.6
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.
MELATONIN FOR CATARACT PREVENTION
Study done with animals: “ METHOD:
Twenty-three Sprague-Dawley rat pups were randomized into three groups. Group 1(n = 9), injected with selenite (s.c.) on postpartum day 10; group 2 (n = 7), injected with selenite (s.c.) on day 10 plus melatonin (i.p.) on days 8-15; group 3 (n = 7), saline-injected controls. Development of cataract was assessed weekly under a dissection microscope. Rat lenses and serums were analyzed for antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT); oxidative stress indicators xanthine oxidase (XO) and malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid peroxidation; and protein carbonyl (PC), a marker of protein oxidation.
Significant differences (p < 0.05) were seen in cataract development by the three groups. All rats developed dense nuclear cataract in group 1. Dense nuclear cataract was not observed in group 2: five of seven rats developed minor cataracts, while the other two had clear lenses. In control rats (group 3), all lenses remained clear. In selenite group (group 1), lens and serum levels of MDA, PC, and XO were significantly higher and levels of SOD and CAT were significantly lower than those in control group (p < 0.001). In selenite+melatonin group (group 2), lens and serum levels of MDA, PC, and XO significantly decreased and levels of SOD and CAT significantly increased when compared with selenite group.
Studies with the rat selenite cataract model strongly support the activity of melatonin as an endogenous antioxidant and anticataract agent.
And FINALLY, what’s the best kind of melatonin to get? Melacinn!