Kamis, 06 Mei 2010

The Best Natural Sleep Remedy: Melatonin

Studies show that many adults have trouble falling asleep or do not get the sleep that they need apiece night. Insomnia has gone from medical terminology to a commonly recognized layman’s word. Consequently, there has been a drastic increase in the number of people taking sleep drugs. People are having dangerous, disturbing and life-threatening side effects from drugs that were all thought to be perfectly safe. They build up a tolerance, become dependent, have withdrawal if they try to stop, and are looking for answers. They want to educate themselves on time-tested, natural sleep aids so that they can safely get the sleep that they need. The most recognized, natural sleep cure is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone naturally prefabricated by your body. It has been tested time and time again showing no serious side effects for short-term use (up to three months). Negative long-term side effects have not been reported, but have not been tested much. The synthesis and release of melatonin are stimulated by darkness. Our eyes have specialized light-sensitive receptors that we use to determine how light or dark our surroundings are. These receptors then signal a cluster of nerves in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. The SCN sets our circadian rhythm, otherwise known as our biological clock, which regulates many body functions, including sleep. When the eyes tell the brain that day has turned into night, your pineal gland takes your serotonin and turns it into melatonin. This helps you to become more relaxed and helps to regulate your sleep cycle. The time of day we go to sleep can be as important as the amount of sleep we get. The body essentially provides us with a natural window of time in which to start asleep, where melatonin levels are high and cortisol levels are low. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can seriously disrupt your sleep pattern. As the hours of the night pass, we produce less melatonin and more cortisol. If we ignore our body’s natural sleep signals and stay up too late, we might miss this window and disrupt our sleep cycle. Staying up too late can also cause your body to produce more cortisol than normal. The resulting imbalance of melatonin to cortisol that this causes can affect your immunity, cause weight gain, bone loss, depression and even let down your anti-cancer defenses. Typically, the body’s highpoint of melatonin production occurs shortly after the body’s low point of cortisol production. However, as we age the production of melatonin decreases and shifts to later hours while the production of cortisol increases and its peak hours occur early in the night. Taking melatonin between a half-hour to an hour before bedtime helps you to offset this shift in the timing of cortisol production enabling you to keep your sleep cycle more regular. It is believed that melatonin levels in the body might decrease with age due to pineal gland calcification and cause more severe problems as we age. When the brain produces melatonin, it also sends a signal to the body’s cells to repair themselves. When this does not regularly happen, a huge variety of diseases can ensue. Make sure you speak to your physician before taking melatonin. If it is determined that melatonin is innocuous for you to take, it could greatly improve your sleep quality, immunity and decrease your chances of disease. Using vitamins and supplements that work naturally with your body can be much safer than depending on man-made chemical drugs if taken under the supervision of your doctor.

Studies show that many adults have trouble falling asleep or do not get the sleep that they need apiece night. Insomnia has gone from medical terminology to a commonly recognized layman’s word.

Consequently, there has been a drastic increase in the number of people taking sleep drugs. People are having dangerous, disturbing and life-threatening side effects from drugs that were all thought to be perfectly safe. They build up a tolerance, become dependent, have withdrawal if they try to stop, and are looking for answers. They want to educate themselves on time-tested, natural sleep aids so that they can safely get the sleep that they need.

The most recognized, natural sleep cure is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone naturally prefabricated by your body. It has been tested time and time again showing no serious side effects for short-term use (up to three months). Negative long-term side effects have not been reported, but have not been tested much.

The synthesis and release of melatonin are stimulated by darkness. Our eyes have specialized light-sensitive receptors that we use to determine how light or dark our surroundings are. These receptors then signal a cluster of nerves in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. The SCN sets our circadian rhythm, otherwise known as our biological clock, which regulates many body functions, including sleep. When the eyes tell the brain that day has turned into night, your pineal gland takes your serotonin and turns it into melatonin. This helps you to become more relaxed and helps to regulate your sleep cycle.

The time of day we go to sleep can be as important as the amount of sleep we get. The body essentially provides us with a natural window of time in which to start asleep, where melatonin levels are high and cortisol levels are low. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can seriously disrupt your sleep pattern. As the hours of the night pass, we produce less melatonin and more cortisol. If we ignore our body’s natural sleep signals and stay up too late, we might miss this window and disrupt our sleep cycle.

Staying up too late can also cause your body to produce more cortisol than normal. The resulting imbalance of melatonin to cortisol that this causes can affect your immunity, cause weight gain, bone loss, depression and even let down your anti-cancer defenses.

Typically, the body’s highpoint of melatonin production occurs shortly after the body’s low point of cortisol production. However, as we age the production of melatonin decreases and shifts to later hours while the production of cortisol increases and its peak hours occur early in the night. Taking melatonin between a half-hour to an hour before bedtime helps you to offset this shift in the timing of cortisol production enabling you to keep your sleep cycle more regular.

It is believed that melatonin levels in the body might decrease with age due to pineal gland calcification and cause more severe problems as we age. When the brain produces melatonin, it also sends a signal to the body’s cells to repair themselves. When this does not regularly happen, a huge variety of diseases can ensue.

Make sure you speak to your physician before taking melatonin. If it is determined that melatonin is innocuous for you to take, it could greatly improve your sleep quality, immunity and decrease your chances of disease. Using vitamins and supplements that work naturally with your body can be much safer than depending on man-made chemical drugs if taken under the supervision of your doctor.

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