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Just For Sleep? Discover the Top 5 Benefits of Melatonin

picture of a woman in bed, covers over her head, sleeping. Caption talks about melatonin

We Only Think of the Sleep Benefits of Melatonin.

What about the rest of the benefits of melatonin?

Did you know that the benefits of melatonin go way beyond a falling asleep and staying asleep? According to the book Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, by Michael T. Murray ND, melatonin began its glory after being featured on the cover of Newsweek in 1995. An American dermatologist, Aaron Lerner, put melatonin on the health map by discovering that the cells of the pineal gland, the pinealocyte, make this hormone.

Therefore, melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, that is manufactured in the pineal gland and also from serotonin. We have this hormones tested when we run your hair and saliva through our Full Scans, or Balancing Scans.

While its primary function is to induce sleep, melatonin offers a range of other benefits that promote overall well-being.

Fun Fact: In ancient Greece, the pineal gland was considered the seat of the soul.

In this article, we will delve into the benefits of melatonin in your quest of creating balanced health.

What is melatonin and how does it work?

Melatonin is a hormone that is released in response to darkness and suppressed by light. It helps signal to our body that it’s time to sleep. The production of melatonin is influenced by our internal biological clock and external factors such as this exposure to light and dark. Manufactured in the pineal gland, which is a small pea sized gland situated at the base of the brain,  melatonin is released into the bloodstream with the triggers of your circadian rhythm.

This rise in melatonin levels makes us feel sleepy and prepares our body for a restful night’s sleep.

You can think of melatonin as a hormone organizer (1). Our bodies run an automatic operating system that governs hormones, and this operating system is affected by things like sleeplessness, diet, your digestive system, stress and even microbes.

The top 5 benefits of melatonin

1. Benefits of melatonin: Improved sleep quality & Regulation of circadian rhythm

We already know that one of the top 5 benefits of melatonin are related to improved sleep quality. By regulating our sleep-wake cycle, melatonin ensures that we get the right amount of sleep and experience the different stages of sleep necessary for optimal rest and recovery. Research has shown that melatonin supplementation can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, increase total sleep time, and enhance sleep efficiency. It can also improve sleep quality in individuals with insomnia, helping them achieve a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

By enhancing the effects of other sleep-inducing neurotransmitters in the brain, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), melatonin helps promote deep, restorative sleep.

Melatonin plays a crucial role in synchronizing our internal biological clock with the external environment. By helping regulate our circadian rhythm, melatonin ensures that our sleep-wake cycle aligns with natural day-night patterns. This synchronization is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. When our circadian rhythm is disrupted, it can lead to sleep disorders, mood disturbances, and other health issues.

Melatonin supplements can help restore and maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, ensuring that our body functions optimally. Ditching screens at night, getting morning sun, and monitoring your stress response and resilience, is also key to keeping your circadian rhythm balanced.

2. Benefits of melatonin: relief from jet lag

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that occurs when traveling across multiple time zones. This also disrupts our circadian rhythm, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. Melatonin can be a useful tool in managing jet lag. By taking melatonin supplements at the appropriate time, travelers can shift their circadian rhythm and adapt to the new time zone more quickly. Studies have shown that melatonin can help reduce the severity and duration of jet lag symptoms, allowing travelers to adjust to their new environment with ease.

3. Benefits of melatonin: immune system support

Your Immune System will benefit from melatonin! This hormone increases something called natural killer cell activity. Natural killer cells, or NK cells belong to a group of white blood cells called lymphocytes. They are cells that target infected cells and cancer cells. They’re pretty special, as they don’t need to “see” or be exposed to a potential pathogen to be able to destroy it.

They are part of your Innate Immune System, and we teach the differences between the innate and adaptive immune system in our CBH Bioenergetic Certification course. Our Practitioner, Amanda Panacea, also teaches the branches of the immune system, such as Th1 and Th2.

The benefits of melatonin may support the Th2 branch of the immune system, which is your protective response to bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Melatonin has been shown to regulate gene expression of several cytokines. Cytokines are immune system signalers. They are small proteins that control the signaling of other cells. They play a role in inflammation. They help your Immune System do what it’s supposed to do, which is defend you!

One of the best ways to take melatonin is through a liposomal spray. 

Picture is a white bottle of Physica Energetics Melatonin spray

4. Benefits of melatonin: potential anti-aging effects

Melatonin’s benefits extend beyond sleep regulation. It also exhibits potent antioxidant properties that can help combat the effects of aging.

As we age, our body’s natural production of melatonin decreases, leading to potential disruptions in sleep patterns and an increased susceptibility to age-related diseases. By taking melatonin supplements, we can provide our body with the necessary antioxidant support to counteract oxidative stress and promote healthy aging. Studies have shown that melatonin supplementation can improve cognitive function, boost immune system function, and reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disorders.

Melatonin also supports the natural detoxification process of your liver. There are 2 major phases of detoxification in your liver, and in between those phases, antioxidants are needed to help with free radical production, that also happens with your own detoxification processes.

If you see melatonin imbalanced on your report, this could relate to your sleep cycle, nutrition deficiencies, detoxification, and even your digestive system.

4. Benefits of melatonin: your digestive system

Did you know that cells in your Digestive System produce melatonin? It may play a role in regulating the motility of your digestive system.

“The gut contains at least 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland.”

There are receptors on the cells of your gut called melatonin-1 receptor (MT1), MT2 and MT3. These receptors are involved in the motility or your digestive system, as well as inflammation and pain. It is  theorized that melatonin in the Digestive System may come from the lining of the gut, specifically the mucosa, along with what you eat, and from the microbes that live in your gut (2)!

Some of the melatonin present in the Digestive System comes from circulating melatonin that started in the pineal gland, cells called enterochromaffin cells, or EC cells for short, make melatonin as well, right in that gut. Many different animal studies report the benefits of melatonin’s responsibility for contraction and relaxation of the tube of your digestive system. It has been suggested that disruption in melatonin is responsible for some irritable bowel conditions (2).

Although the melatonin found in the gut is independent of the melatonin secreted by the pineal gland, it stands to reason that gut health practices can support this hormone.

4. Benefits of melatonin: your liver health

Liver stress can come from so many sources, from alcohol use, to environmental toxins and more.

Melatonin has been studied for its positive effects on the liver, after liver damage from mycotoxins, metals and other pollutants. It seems that the antioxidant and detoxification functions of the liver can be improved with melatonin, because it decreases cell death and damaging changes (3). When it comes to mycotoxins like ochratoxin, or aflatoxin, both which can be found in food, animal studies show liver protective effects of melatonin.

How to take melatonin safely and effectively

If you are taking melatonin for sleep, or for it’s antioxidant potential, it’s important to start with a low amount! Some folks like to try it 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime, to allow it to take effect and see if it makes them drowsy. The typical amounts recommended range from 0.5 to 5 milligrams, depending on individual needs. It is essential to start with a lower dose and gradually increase if necessary.

Melatonin is really a remarkable hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating sleep and promoting overall well-being.

The benefits of melatonin extend beyond sleep quality and include the regulation of our circadian rhythm, relief from jet lag, management of sleep disorders, creating balanced health, and potential anti-aging effects. By harnessing nature’s sleep aid, we can optimize our sleep, improve our health, and enhance our overall quality of life.

Is melatonin right for you?

One way to learn more is to try one of our Full or Balancing Scans and see if there are any direct energetic imbalances in that particular hormone. With either of these tests, you might find out if there are any indirect resonating impacts on your own melatonin, such as Digestive System stress, nutrient imbalances or Nervous System stress. Most people can take melatonin safely, without side effects.

 

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, Michael T. Murray MD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198018/#:~:text=Melatonin%20is%20known%20to%20be,mucosae%20or%20the%20myenteric%20plexus.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412268/#:~:text=Hepatic%20antioxidant%20and%20detoxification%20system,liver%20of%20rats%20%5B34%5D.

 

 

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