Sleep hormone: how melatonin is produced, why it is important to maintain a regime

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Hor­mones are con­duc­tors that con­trol our entire body. They are respon­si­ble for growth, body for­ma­tion, char­ac­ter traits, and even the abil­i­ty to dis­tin­guish between day and night. At the same time, mela­tonin, the sleep hor­mone that helps us feel the cir­ca­di­an rhythm, is no less impor­tant than any oth­er. What is the use of it, what threat­ens its defi­cien­cy and why a healthy lifestyle is so impor­tant for the pro­duc­tion of this hor­mone, Healthy­in­fo fig­ured it out.

What is the hormone melatonin

What is the hormone melatonin

It is known that sleep is a nec­es­sary com­po­nent of human life. This is due to the fact that it is dur­ing sleep that the body regen­er­ates, rests, restores ener­gy reserves. Even effec­tive learn­ing of new skills is impos­si­ble with­out sleep, because dur­ing the rest peri­od the brain process­es and sys­tem­atizes the infor­ma­tion received dur­ing the day.

The hor­mone mela­tonin is respon­si­ble for the abil­i­ty to fall asleep and sleep for a long time. It pro­vides switch­ing of an organ­ism, influ­ences the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem and a metab­o­lism. How­ev­er, these are far from all the func­tions for which the sleep hor­mone is respon­si­ble. Mela­tonin also pro­vides:

    Reduction of age-related changes, that is, protection against aging. The hormone is a natural antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals.
    Prevention of oncological diseases.
    Activation of immunity.
    Normalization of blood composition — lowering sugar and “bad” cholesterol.
    Lowering blood pressure.
    The normalization of the psychological state, in particular, helps to fight seasonal depression.

Mela­tonin is syn­the­sized by the pineal gland, and nor­mal­ly the hor­mone is pro­duced at night. More­over, its max­i­mum amount, up to 70%, appears from 0 to 4 in the morn­ing. Dark­ness is one of the main fac­tors for the for­ma­tion of mela­tonin. It is extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to pro­vide its nec­es­sary con­cen­tra­tion in the blood dur­ing day­time sleep. This must be remem­bered by those who work night shifts. The sleep­ing room should have thick cur­tains that do not let in light, it is also bet­ter to use a blind­fold. Oth­er­wise, the norms of hor­mones will not be pro­vid­ed — the body will become more vul­ner­a­ble to var­i­ous dis­eases.

Hormone and health

Hormone and health

All hor­mones in the body are con­nect­ed, a vio­la­tion of the pro­duc­tion of one can lead to oth­er fail­ures. And mela­tonin is no excep­tion. It is he who makes us feel the change of day and night. How­ev­er, not only the sleep hor­mone is tied to cir­ca­di­an rhythms. The norms of hor­mones change sig­nif­i­cant­ly dur­ing the day, and with­out the body feel­ing the dai­ly rhythm, their syn­the­sis is dis­turbed. An exam­ple would be TSH (thy­roid-stim­u­lat­ing hor­mone), which reg­u­lates the func­tion­ing of the thy­roid gland. Its max­i­mum out­put also falls at night. If mela­tonin is not enough and a per­son does not fall asleep, the lev­el of TSH decreas­es, and after it, dis­rup­tions in the pro­duc­tion of thy­roid hor­mones begin. As a result, hypothy­roidism devel­ops — a dis­ease that affects the state of the whole organ­ism, can, in par­tic­u­lar, affect sex hor­mones and lead to infer­til­i­ty.

In addi­tion, the con­nec­tion between mela­tonin and insulin, which is respon­si­ble for the reg­u­la­tion of blood glu­cose lev­els, has been proven. In the event that the sleep hor­mone is not enough, insulin lev­els also fall — a per­son can devel­op dia­betes.

With age, the amount of mela­tonin pro­duced decreas­es, and this is reflect­ed in health. Since the hor­mone com­pen­sates for free rad­i­cals, low lev­els will lead to their accu­mu­la­tion. And this, in turn, accel­er­ates the aging and wilt­ing of tis­sues, increas­es the risk of devel­op­ing can­cer.

The norm of the hor­mone mela­tonin low­ers “bad” cho­les­terol, pro­tects the body from the devel­op­ment of ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis. But with its defi­cien­cy, var­i­ous dis­eases of the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem, includ­ing coro­nary heart dis­ease, can devel­op and progress faster.

Melatonin deficiency symptoms and treatment

Melatonin deficiency symptoms and treatment

It is pos­si­ble to assume a lack of mela­tonin in a per­son who does not adhere to a healthy lifestyle (HLS), with a dis­turbed reg­i­men. Fre­quent wake­ful­ness at night and late falling asleep always lead to a decrease in the lev­el of the hor­mone. In the future, its defi­cien­cy is man­i­fest­ed by seri­ous sleep dis­or­ders. Along with con­stant insom­nia, in which a per­son sim­ply can­not fall asleep at night, chron­ic day­time sleepi­ness is observed. Sleep ceas­es to be deep and long, for exam­ple, a per­son can wake up at night, after which he can no longer fall asleep until morn­ing.

Lat­er, oth­er symp­toms of cir­ca­di­an rhythm dis­tur­bance and low hor­mone lev­els appear:

    Poor concentration, low productivity.
    Inhibition of reactions or, conversely, mild excitability.
    Problematic aging skin, dry hair.
    Excess weight.
    Frequent colds.
    High blood pressure, rapid heartbeat.

In the event that sleep dis­tur­bances are suf­fi­cient­ly pro­nounced and are not com­pen­sat­ed by the usu­al adjust­ment of the reg­i­men, the doc­tor may pre­scribe spe­cial prepa­ra­tions con­tain­ing mela­tonin. The expe­di­en­cy of drug treat­ment is deter­mined exclu­sive­ly by a spe­cial­ist endocri­nol­o­gist based on tests. The vast major­i­ty of these drugs are pre­scribed to peo­ple over 35 years of age. Until this age, the restora­tion of the norm of the hor­mone mela­tonin is solved by adjust­ing the lifestyle.

Healthy lifestyle for disease prevention

Healthy lifestyle for disease prevention

It is sim­ply impos­si­ble to pro­vide the required lev­el of mela­tonin with­out a healthy lifestyle, because if the reg­i­men is not fol­lowed, the pro­duc­tion of the hor­mone can­not be achieved. It is quite dif­fi­cult to ade­quate­ly com­pen­sate for its defi­cien­cy with a con­stant intake of drugs. The pro­duc­tion of mela­tonin can change dai­ly, which means that the select­ed fixed dose may be insuf­fi­cient or exces­sive, depend­ing on how the per­son spent the day. And this will lead to hor­mon­al surges that will affect the entire body.

To pre­vent dis­eases caused by mela­tonin defi­cien­cy, it is impor­tant to fol­low these rules:

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    Correct sleep. You should fall asleep no later than 12 o’clock at night, sleep in a dark room, it is better to give up nightlights, lamps and other things.
    Daily activity. Melatonin is inextricably linked to serotonin, a daytime pituitary hormone that is produced in bright light. It is from serotonin that the sleep hormone is synthesized at night. Therefore, insufficient activity during the day, lack of walks in the fresh air on sunny days can also lower melatonin levels.
    Rejection of bad habits. The hormonal background directly depends on the observance of this norm of healthy lifestyle. It has been proven that melatonin synthesis is inhibited by alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
    Sufficient variety of food. Some foods rich in protein stimulate the production of the hormone. Among them: nuts, meat, legumes, dairy products. Oatmeal and whole grain bread are also helpful.

Endocrinol­o­gy. nation­al guid­ance / Ed. I.I. Dedo­va, G.A. Mel­nichenko - 2012

By Yraa

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