One of the most agonizing things Americans suffer from is a poor night’s rest.
It’s estimated nearly 60 million Americans struggle to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s really not a surprise either. Many of us have jobs that keep us more stressed out than we should be. That and the advent of electricity keeps us up way later than our ancestors we now have a litany of new sleep problems.
One reason so many people struggle to sleep well is because of a lack of melatonin.
Melatonin is literally the sleep hormone. So a deficiency in melatonin could very easily disrupt sleep patterns.
But it’s also a powerful chemical that has a wide range of health benefits.
Melatonin is an antioxidant and much of the research around it shows a wide range of therapeutic and medical benefits.
One thing melatonin can do is decrease platelet stickiness which allows for the free flow of blood through arteries. It decreases the risk that heart disease will appear in the future as it has been shown to help fight atherosclerosis.
Additionally it promotes healthy cholesterol levels by reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL cholesterol.
Melatonin can help with ordinary problems like disruption of circadian rhythm from travel and will strengthen the immune system. Various peer reviewed studies have collected evidence to show that melatonin can stop the reproduction of certain cancer cells (those involved in breast cancer) and can lengthen the lifespan of cancer patients.
It’s even been shown to inhibit the proliferation of the AIDS virus which is one of the more surprising benefits associated with its use.
- Reduces anxiety
- Relaxes muscle
- Relieves tension
- Alleviates stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Calms and provides a sense of serenity
Since melatonin is one of the more commonly used hormones in treatment it’s undergone numerous studies.
Here’s what some of these studies have revealed:
- The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study that revealed melatonin supplementation will help with those who travel 5 or more time-zone. Melatonin is able to help the body readjust quickly to establish circadian rhythms and that can help your body resist the stress associated with travel.
- The Breast Cancer Journal demonstrated in a study that women with breast cancer were able to resist the progression of the disease when given melatonin. When the individuals were provided with melatonin they better responded to the chemo drug tamoxifen and also experienced a decrease in anxiety over the course of treatment.
- In an issue of Neurology scientists reported a study that showed melatonin supplementation was helpful at reducing the number of migraines migraine sufferers experienced. A low dose supplementation reduced the frequency of migraines by 50% and helped to reduce the intensity and duration in nearly all of the test subjects.
- Scientists at the University of Texas health center were able to show that the presence of melatonin reduced the number of prostate cancer cells present on testing. Any cells remaining were then shown to have signs of slowed replication and increased differentiation which are characteristics of healthy cells.
- The academy of science observed Melatonin has many positive effects on the brain. It was shown melatonin helped those who suffered from Alzheimer’s by both improving sleep and reducing the typical later day symptoms most Alzheimer’s patients suffer. It has been found to decrease cognitive deterioration in individuals with diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Endocrine Magazine noted that the use of melatonin had significant effects on combatting oxidization that yielded the brain susceptible to neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s. It was shown melatonin acted as a superior anti-oxidant and could help on its own or as a co-treatment.
So what does this mean for you?
Well if you do experience restless nights it might be you lack this essential hormone in the appropriate amounts.
The way to tell is to get a blood test at a doctor’s office and have them measure your hormone levels.
Melatonin can be taken safely by most healthy individuals, but it’s always a good idea to run it by a physician before you do.
One thing more.
There are quite a few promising studies that show a certain natural plant oil can help with energy levels.
Grown on tropical islands, you can learn all about how this “mystery” plant oil might help you lose weight, and sleep better.