Melatonin is more than just a sleep hormone. It should actually be called a ‘magical’ hormone, because it does far more than just help us get to sleep and stay asleep. Why is it magical? It optimizes everything in our body. Yes, it does that much.
What else is Melatonin good for?
Melatonin is a hormone with many functions and descriptive names. It’s a sleep hormone, an antioxidant hormone, an anti-aging hormone…a magical hormone…
How is it made?
The major site of production of melatonin is the pineal gland, in the brain. It starts with the amino acid tryptophan, which is present in the protein that we eat. The next necessary step in production is exposure to light throughout the day. This day light allows us to break that tryptophan down, so that it can be converted into melatonin. But the most important step in the cycle starts at sunset. Melatonin needs the natural darkness after sunset for the secretion phase. The pineal gland waits for messages from the photoreceptors in your eyes, sensitive to the level of light in your environment. When night-time is detected, with the reduction of light entering the eyes, the message is sent to the pineal gland to secrete melatonin into your bloodstream. The effect we feel is sleepiness. This is why artificial light at night is so disruptive to our sleep patterns. Even just the dimmest of lights after sunset weakens the signal to the pineal gland, which lessens the amount of melatonin secreted. And blue light, as a high energy wavelength that keeps us alert during the day, is the worst kind of light to be exposed to. Can you guess what type of light is being emitted by our devices, phones, computers, most light bulbs? Yes, blue light…This is why it’s important to wear blue light glasses that are scientifically proven to block 100% of blue light at night. Most can’t guarantee that level of protection, but ours do, because they are infused with proprietary pigments, expertly developed to do just that.
What else does melatonin do, besides make us sleepy?
As mentioned, melatonin is more than just a sleep hormone.
It’s an antioxidant hormone. Its ability to prevent oxidative damage is well researched, with many experimental studies conducted in the brain and heart.
It’s an anti-aging hormone. There is considerable evidence to support its ability as an effective anti-skin aging compound. Every day your skin is exposed to damaging free radicals in its normal course of daily exposure to the environment. To neutralize these free radicals that build up throughout the day, your body makes antioxidants, with the help of antioxidant enzymes. It’s melatonin that stimulates your body’s natural production of these enzymes and according to a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, melatonin-induced antioxidants are more effective than those from vitamins C and E.
So, don’t just think of it as helpful for sleep. Its benefits go beyond the bedroom. Even more reason to protect it, as though your life depends on it…
Back to blue light glasses for a second...it's hard not to be proud of what we've created, after years of research, so if you are serious about protecting your sleep which is a must for optimal health, then you should check out our collection, in a range of styles to suit your individual style and face shape. To find the perfect fit, have a look at our frame size chart.
Look at the red tint of our Night Lenses - proven to block 100% of blue light.
And the yellow tint of our Day Lenses - proven to block 95% of blue light.
We also have frames for kids too, who need as much protection as adults, especially now as they spend more time glued to tablets and phones.
If you like to listen and learn, you'll enjoy the interview on Optimize Paleo Podcast where we go deep into the power of light exposure on overall health, how to maintain healthy mitochondria and tips on getting sunlight exposure the healthy way.
And if you'd like to know nutritional ways of increasing your natural melatonin, check out our article - Can melatonin levels be increased naturally with food. The inside word is tryptophan....