The Hemp Connection + women's health

The many benefits of melatonin

You may know of melatonin as a potent sleep aid. So much so, that if you took melatonin and you did not experience an enhanced ability to sleep, you stopped taking it.

Did you know, melatonin is a very powerful antioxidant as well? Some of the benefits of this compound relevant to PCOS include:

--lowered blood pressure
--improved memory
--reduced adrenal gland activity and cortisol secretion
--reduced cortisol response to stress
--reduced blood glucose, insulin levels, and insulin response to a glucose load
--reduced cholesterol and triglycerides
--reduced testosterone levels
--increased progesterone synthesis
--slows gastric emptying (which can help you to feel fuller, longer)

That's a lot of stuff! And it's not just not sleeping well that interferes with melatonin metabolism. So does fasting and starvation…which includes any kind of radical diet, including the medically supervised ones and the HCG ones. Melatonin levels in all three types of eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, are disrupted. Obesity suppresses normal melatonin daily rhythms. Omega-3 deficiency reduces melatonin synthesis and total tissue levels.

Vitamin deficiencies such as B12, zinc, and magnesium, can interfere with good melatonin status. When I read that, I immediately thought of the many vegetarians reading this blog, as those are common deficiencies when vegetarian eating is not proactively balanced.

Normal melatonin metabolism may be dependent on physical activity.

Medical problems associated with a melatonin imbalance include: affective disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, autism, bipolar disorder, cervical cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, cluster headaches, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, Cushing’s syndrome, depression, diabetes, duodenal ulcer, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, hypertension, idiopathic pain syndrome, lung cancer, metabolic syndrome, migraine headaches, obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, Parkinson’s disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, pre-eclampsia, premenstrual syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, sleep apnea, and ulcerative colitis.

I'm well aware that many people reading this blog are looking for a magic supplement to erase the need for making healthy lifestyle choices. If you choose to supplement with melatonin, it likely will not hurt you, and it may help you to restore normal sleep patterns, but it will never replace the power of regular, adequate sleep. Just sayin'.: )

If you've never used melatonin before, and you decide to start, you may want to try it on a night when it's not essential that you be up and functioning early the next day. It can have a paradoxical reaction in some people.

And, if you happen to be a professional pilot, the FAA advises against using melatonin while on duty. It certainly wouldn't hurt on your days off, especially if you've been on some grueling red eye flights, just beware of this disclaimer while officially on duty.

I have an extensive list of references I've collected from which this blog post was derived. If you would like them you can contact me directly.

Bottom line, if you don't value sleep, your body is going to have a really, really, really hard time being healthy.

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The many benefits of melatonin + women's health