Sleep Hormone Melatonin
How to prolong active, healthy life – recent discoveries by scientists.
Why is Sleep So Important to Health?
About what to sleep it is useful to any of us mum told in childhood. Scientists working on the problem of how to postpone ageing, have found details about what kind of sleep is useful, and why.
In our body, in the center of the brain located the pineal gland called epiphysis which produces the hormone melatonin. Largely because of this hormone, we go to sleep naturally without sleeping pills.
During the night’s sleep the body increases the production of melatonin (peaking in time from about 12 am to 4 am), and the hormone begins to create the present miracles. It is proved that a deep sleep has a rejuvenating effect on the mind and body. Namely:
- Melatonin regulates the endocrine system of the body, including the production of sex hormones, thyroid hormone, and others;
- Melatonin controls immunity: strengthens our body’s defenses;
- Protects against cancer: inhibits the reproduction of cancer cells and weaken oncogenes;
- Acts as a powerful antioxidant, thereby protecting our bodies from substances that cause ageing.
How does melatonin work?
The first increase production of melatonin that promotes sleep, the adult has about 11 pm. If you go to bed at this time, you can get the most complete “dose” of life-giving hormone. But in practice frequently there is a barrier: artificial light! It turns out it dramatically reduces the production of melatonin, and, for failure is enough, even low light – as outdoors on an overcast day, the researchers note. What can we say about the bright “daylight” light bulbs, which we often spend the evenings. As a result, on the one hand, the person begins with difficulty falling asleep, and the other, not falling asleep on time, we do not get enough of the full amount of melatonin, which is produced only during the night.
When the stem cells work
By the way, also is proving what exactly during a night’s sleep, work our stem cells: they go out of their stem niches, and sent to the organs and tissues that need repair. Therefore, only at night, sleep there is a regeneration, in fact – real health improvement. Alas, the daytime naps have no such effect. So to slow the aging, still need to go to bed early and sleep at night.
We are waiting for a victory over a side effect
Unfortunately, with age, the activity of pineal gland decreases, produces less melatonin (which is why, by the way, older people sleep less), and this, in turn, further accelerating the ageing process. Therefore, one of the anti-aging techniques, on which scientists work – is delivered into the body of the missing melatonin, for example, in the form of drugs.
By this method in experimental flies, Drosophila life span increased by 10 – 20%, in mice results were 50 to 50: about half of the mice lived longer with artificial melatonin. At the same time revealed the dangerous side effects: the drug with melatonin increased the incidence of lymphoma (a tumor of the hematopoietic system). While at the same time confirmed the positive effects of melatonin: enhanced immunity, reduction of other cancers (excluding lymphoma).
Now scientists are trying to create a drug that would preserve the beneficial properties, including anti-ageing properties of melatonin, and the “cut off” a dangerous side effect.
Useful (good) stress
Another effective way to postpone the ageing of many scientists consider the impact of “good stress.” It is a short-term “shocking” effect on the body that make it to mobilize, to include mechanisms for self repair, and be in good shape. Due to this it is possible to better withstand aging, longer maintain good health and look younger in appearance.
In practice, examples of useful stress are:
- Hardening of the body (short-term temperature changes);
- Sauna (of course, in the absence of contraindications);
- Low-calorie diet.
How to use anti-ageing methods that are available to each of us, to renew an active, healthy life:
- Try to go to bed no later than 11 – 12 pm, close the curtains to the room was as dark (it improves the production of anti-aging hormone – sleep hormone melatonin).
- Follow the calorie restriction diet: Eat more vegetables, minimize sweet. Regularly eat fish. Red meat (beef, pork, lamb) is preferably not more than once a week. If there are no contraindications, drink red wine (up to 1 – 2 glasses per day). To slow the ageing, particularly useful fruits and berries which contain Resveratrol such as red grapes (with the peel!), cranberries, blueberries, bilberries.
- Arrange for the body useful “shake up“: involved hardening, visit a sauna (unless contraindicated).
- Do not ignore the exercise! Even 40 – 45 minutes of brisk walking a day are enough to significantly increase your chances distancing of age.