In a world where not sleeping is somehow considered a good thing, you need to reevaluate how you think about this vital necessity to your life.
Human beings are the only mammals on Earth that purposely delay sleep. Every other creature sleeps when they need it! Ensuring you get enough quality sleep is as important as your diet and exercise routine.
People who are sleep deprived…
- Exercise poor judgment (similar to being intoxicated).
- Have slower physical and mental reflexes.
- Are involved in more car accidents and work-related injuries.
- Have poor memory and slower brain cognition.
- Age faster (inside and out) than those who get adequate sleep.
- Get sick from common illnesses more often.
- Have higher risks of serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Have a four times greater risk of stroke.
- Experience a lower sex drive.
- Are more likely to be overweight or obese.
- Have a higher risk of depression and other mood disorders.
- Die younger than those people who consistently sleep at least seven hours a night.
Your pineal gland secretes a natural hormone called melatonin that plays a part in your sleep cycles. Levels are higher at night and lower during the day. However, the benefits of melatonin work around the clock!
The Incredible Possibilities of Melatonin
1. Controls the often-chaotic moods associated with menstruation. Researchers with Douglas Mental Health University Institute proved that lower levels of melatonin contribute to the most common side effects of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) such as mood swings, irritability, and depression.
2. Age more slowly with melatonin benefits. In animal studies, scientists have discovered that mammals that live approximately one year showed delayed age degeneration of tissues by up to three months with the natural hormone.
3. Prevent and reverse insulin intolerance. Melatonin deficient subjects in one study tested with higher blood glucose levels as well. Experts now link poor sleep habits to higher risks of diabetes. Additionally, when you get adequate sleep, your food choices are not as likely to be high-sugar, high caffeine to stay awake.
5. Ease migraines with melatonin. Choosing the benefits of melatonin is not only safer but has proven to be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs used to treat the excruciating headaches. A bonus is the lack of weight gain, depression, and possible addictiveness of prescription medications. Patients reported 50% fewer migraines per month with the natural alternative. Scientists believe that the pineal gland is the source of headaches…that is where melatonin is produced.
6. Protect your thyroid. Aging brings with it a decrease in hormone production throughout the body. The lower levels can result in physical chaos to mood, weight control, and poor sleep quality. The Menopause Center in Italy found that melatonin naturally eased these symptoms in their study participants.
7. Control your weight without feeling hungry all the time. It helps to improve fat burning, especially in the abdominal area. People with adequate amounts of melatonin tend to snack less and fill up faster on fewer calories.
8. Keep your bones strong and healthy. Animal studies showed that melatonin stimulates the production of osteocalcin. This hormone is responsible for the thickness and overall strength of your bones.
There are many melatonin supplements on the market but we like to review the natural alternatives before we suggest supplementation.
Food Sources of Melatonin
- Orange bell peppers
- Raspberries and goji berries
- Morello cherries or tart cherry juice
- Walnuts and almonds
If you eat foods rich in tryptophan a few hours before bed, it helps to stimulate your production of serotonin (a primary building block of melatonin). Foods abundant in zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, and folic acid are helpful in raising and maintaining adequate amounts of melatonin naturally.
Otherwise, supplement to get the benefits of melatonin…and get some sleep!
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