Information About this Powerful Hormone and Your Health
Melatonin is a hormone produced almost entirely by the bacteria in your gut, not just in the pineal gland of the brain like the science of yester-year believed. This is just like the “happy hormone,” serotonin. Until very recently it was assumed that it was made in the brain only. (Most medical schools are just now changing their curriculum to teach this, so don’t expect your doctor to be up on this). Your gut bacteria produces 400x more melatonin than your pineal gland. In fact, 95% of your serotoinin and your melatonin is made in your gut, so if you’re not sleeping or if you’re depressed or unhappy, FIX YOUR GUT!
Melatonin is responsible for regulating sleep cycles. You increase levels of it in the evening to make you tired and you reduce the levels in the morning so you can wake up. A lot of people mistakenly think that “a good sleep” is the result of how much melatonin you produce. However, it’s more important when you produce the stuff rather than how much.
When you’re making Melatonin in the right rhythm, you lose weight 25% faster and stay healthier. When you’re not in rhythm, you get diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, obesity, reduced immunity and cancer. Sure, other things can contribute to any of these diseases, but a commonality to them all is whether or not your Melatonin is in rhythm. SO GET IN RHYTHM.
Melatonin For Weight Loss
1. Melatonin and keeping a regular sleep schedule 7 days a week are critical to losing weight. In a study by Nokia of 18000 adults, those who slept a consistent 7-9 hours a night lost 25% more weight than those who slept the same total hours in the week, but who had inconsistent or different sleep hours each night.
That’s 9000 random adults who slept the same numbers of weekly hours, but who ‘slept-in’ on some days (like weekends) to make up for not sleeping consistent hours mid-week. They lost 25% less weight than the other random 9000 adults who chose to sleep the same numbers of hours, at the same times, most days of most weeks. It’s all about the rhythm, not the amount.
2. In the same study, for every hour less than 8 hours an adult gets in sleep, add 2 pounds of belly fat to your waist. If you are ‘stuck,’ or plateaued, or on the last 10 pounds, track your sleep hours and make sure you get the same numbers of hours, almost every night of the week.
Melatonin For Immunity and Disease
3. Melatonin production changes with the season, which is likely related to whether or not you get fatter or sicker in one season than another.
4. The hours you need to sleep change as you age: infants go 20 hrs or so, adults need 7 – 9 hours and seniors only need 6 – 7 hours.
5. Sleeping more than 9 hours (consistently) increases your risk to Parkinson’s, depression and heart disease.
6. Sleeping less than 7 hours (consistently) leads to diabetes, obesity, cancer, belly fat, poor brain health / poor memory and decreased immunity or repetitive illness.
Melatonin For ADHD and Menstruation
7. Melatonin plays a role in regulating the female menstruation cycle. It is responsible to regulating the hormones that affect the onset, frequency and duration of menstruation cycles, including the onset of menstruation later in life
8. Melatonin is also helpful for children with developmental disabilities such as ADHD, and autism.
Clearly, keeping a rigid sleep schedule will aid in the regularity of melatonin secretion.
Do Melatonin Supplements work?
Supplements absolutely do raise the levels of melatonin and do initiate sleep for most people. Unfortunately, these supplements can’t and won’t keep you in an appropriate sleep cycle. Yes, it’s good to use melatonin supplements to help you get to sleep if you need it. Or to accelerate the correction of a melatonin cycle. But there’s a deeper root cause you need to address if you can’t stay asleep and wake refreshed and energized.
9. GUT HEALTH: since you make 95% of your sleep hormone in your gut, what can you do to fix the gut? We suggest taking our 6 gut assessment tests to help determine what and where to focus your energy.
10. Remove the arch-enemies of the sleep hormone’s production…
11. Blue light: Melatonin’s arch nemesis. Studies have shown that blue light emitted by screens (TV, computer, phone etc.) suppresses melatonin levels making it more difficult to fall asleep.
12. Red light: Melatonin’s best friend. Red lights are the least likely to suppress melatonin levels and shift circadian rhythms. This makes red light a perfect option for before bed lights and nightlights.
13. We mentioned that melatonin levels increase just before bed and begin to suppress as a person wakes up. Cortisol, a stress hormone operates on the opposite cycle, decreasing just before bed and increasing as a person wakes up. If a person is experiencing higher levels of stress, these two hormones will become misaligned causing a noticeable decline in sleep quality.
The best way for you to know where your hormone levels and rhythms are is to complete the simple DUTCH urine hormone test and get a professional debrief of your results with expert recommendations on what things you need to do in order to correct them. At FEWL, we’re proud to be an expert provider for this service.