Sun and light not only affects mood, but also has a direct effect on our sleep quality and overall wellbeing. Light influences production and balance of hormone melatonin in human body. Sometimes, due to intense lifestyle, working schedule and difficult living conditions, the natural production of melatonin may be disturbed. Deficiency of melatonin may result in weakened immune system, bad sleep quality and even higher risk of cancer.
WHAT IS MELATONIN?
Melatonin is a hormone naturally found in human body, made in pineal gland located in the brain. This hormone is responsible for sleep cycle and is usually released into the blood around 9 PM, when it gets dark and your body starts to demand sleep. The main function of melatonin is to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Synthesized melatonin may be helpful in situations when the sleep cycle needs to be adjusted, e.g. for people struggling with insomnia, working late night shifts, travelling long hours.
HOW COULD YOU OPTIMIZE MELATONIN LEVELS?
• Try to get sunlight everyday • Sleep in complete darkness • Avoid using electric devices in the bedroom (e.g. phones, electronic alarm clocks) • Try not to watch TV, use computer at least 1-2 hours before sleep
BENEFITS OF MELATONIN
One of the reasons why some cannot fall asleep may be low levels of melatonin produced in the body. Consuming melatonin tablets may be helpful for people struggling with insomnia. Melatonin helps to decrease time needed to fall asleep which results in better sleep quality. Melatonin not only regulates sleep cycle and improves sleep quality, but also has impressive anti-cancer benefits. It may cause self-destruction of cancer cells as well as boost the immune system itself.
HOW MUCH MELATONIN DO YOU NEED?
Melatonin should be taken 30 minutes before going to sleep. The recommended daily dosage of melatonin is 500 mcg (0.5 mg) – 5 mg.