Numerous studies have reported correlation between sleep diturbances and a hormanal irregularity in Cortisol and Melatonin levels. This artcle is on Melatonin which is a neurotransmittor modulator of annual and circadian biorythms in the body secreted by the pineal gland. It is quite amazing how it works and melatonin is effected by the exposure to light and dark we experience. This may be influenced seasonally, with shift work or with exposure to artificial lighting, electromagnetic energy, exercise and plane travel. Melatonin is synthesized during the dark phase of our day so getting enough sleep and enough darkness in a 24 hour period is important. To much exposure to synthetic lighting during the night can rapidly decrese Melatonin levels.
A deficiency of Melatonin can effect:
- Delayed sleep
- Seasonal effective disorder
- Menstrual disorders
- Immune disorders
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Abnormal Sexual Development
- Breast Cancer
- Weight gain
- Type two Diabetes
In general , studies have been reported decreased nocturnal melatonin levels in patients suffering from depression. People who find it hard to get to sleep till the early hours of the morning have had a dramatic improvement using Melatonin before bed and then exposing themselves to natural light early in the morning.
Melatonin has an estrogen balancing ability so can be useful in estrogen dominant cancers. It even can help if Tamoxifen is diagnosed as it increases the mode of action of this particular medical drug. One of the most common reasons used for Melatonin is seasonal affective disorders where the moods and emotions drop in the winter months. Winter is a great time to have the practitioners test you for Melatonin especially if you get the winter blues or are finding it hard to get to sleep. Did you know that evening exercise can decrease melatonin levels for up to three hours after the end of the exercise? Also please be aware Tyrosine , Vitamin D and B12 can effect your Melatonin and should not be given at bedtime.
To help your own natural Melatonin
- Avoid bright light at night and reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields
- Avoid melatonin reducing substances like caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, high dosage B12, NSAIDS, antidepressants and steroids especially at night
- Avoid night exercise
- Improve Vitamin B6, Vitamin B3, Calcium and Magnesium
- Avoid night shift
Melatonin should not be self presrcibed and should be discussed with your Naturoapthic practitioner. In Australia it is available in a Homeopathic potency tablet or as a medical presciption item. Here at the clinic we can get a saliva test done to test your Melatonin and with electro dermal testing talk to you about dosages and individual requirements.
Written By Maedy Colenso ND 2016