Why measure melatonin and how to limit the effect of stress on…

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What is melatonin responsible for in the body?

Severe stress harms the entire human body, including disrupting the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. This is a common problem: over the past year, 70% of tests for melatonin levels showed deviations from the norm, the Hemotest laboratory calculated.

A good night’s sleep is much more beneficial than you think. It can significantly improve the quality of life. It’s not just about alertness and productivity – falling asleep on time, we contribute to the production of critically important melatonin.

The main role of this hormone is the regulation of circadian rhythms, our “biological clock” that takes us from sleep to wakefulness and vice versa. Its functions are not limited to this – it is able to maintain the youth of the body, stimulate the immune system and prevent the development of oncology.

The production of melatonin depends on the illumination – the lower it is, the higher the secretion. 70% of the hormone is produced at night during sleep. Stress can interfere with this process. During it, the adrenal glands secrete an excess amount of glucocorticoids, which affect the pineal gland of the brain – it is he who is responsible for the production of melatonin. Lack of the “sleep hormone” can lead to metabolic disorders, memory impairment and failure of vital processes that occur during sleep. These include strengthening neural connections, reinforcing memories, and regeneration.

There are two ways to replenish the missing reserves of melatonin. The first is sleep hygiene. The second is additional medication. For each gender and age, there is its own scheme for taking the hormone. Experimenting without consulting a doctor is not worth it: there is a risk that due to an incorrectly chosen course, the body will stop producing melatonin on its own.

Sleep hygiene – how to maintain it

Unlike drugs, sleep hygiene is universal and allows you to improve the condition of the body without harm during severe stress. Her rules are simple:

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  • An hour before bed, put aside any gadgets with a flickering screen and dim the lights. Find an activity that will help you relax, such as reading or meditating.

  • ensure maximum silence and darkness when sleeping. Sleep masks, blackout curtains, and earplugs can help.

  • stick to a sleep schedule throughout the week, even on weekends. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time so you don’t disrupt your circadian rhythms.

  • Certain foods and drinks can lower melatonin levels, so avoid eating them before bed. These include alcohol, nicotine, tea and coffee.

  • Regular exercise improves sleep by helping to reduce levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol.

The “sleep hormone” can affect many aspects of our lives, including productivity. In many cases, the diagnosis and elimination of melatonin deficiency can have a much greater positive effect than expensive training.

Photo: Pexels.com

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