Melatonin: The Anti-Aging Hormone
As a Rokisky fitness reader you know that sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to being healthy. And if you are a friend or client of mine, you also know that I wear orange glasses two to three hours before bed. Yes, it is weird and yes I am single. But trust me, by the end of this blog post you will be convinced that blue blocking sunglasses are beneficial and you might just buy a second pair for that special someone in your life. The reason blue blockers work so well is because they do exactly what the name implies, they block blue light. This blocking of blue light in the evening allows the body to go through it's natural sleep process (circadian rhythm). When you don't block this blue light and take in too much light during the evening it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and can lead to weight gain, lack of energy and weakened immune system. This disruption in the circadian rhythm is mostly due to a deficiency in melatonin production due to chronic evening light exposure and lack of sleep. Are you buying the glasses yet? If you aren't sold on the importance of reducing your evening light exposure then read on to learn more about the powerful anti aging effects of melatonin.
Melatonin is a circadian rhythm hormone, it anticipates the onset of darkness through the pineal gland. Your pineal gland switches on the conversion of serotonin into melatonin when it detects lower levels of light i.e night time. However, light pollution and chronic light exposure has greatly reduced our melatonin levels. This deficiency can cause weight gain, injury, fatigue and even depression. The production of melatonin (9pm - 11pm) signals the body to begin the recovery process i.e sleep. Most people and even some fitness professionals don't realize the importance of melatonin and its role in the recovery process. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the human body. In fact, it is 200% more powerful than Vitamin E (1). This antioxidant effect leads to reduced inflammation by ridding the body of free radicals. A moderate amount of free radicals is needed and turns on certain genes that are needed, but an excessive amount can lead to an inflammatory response which can wreak havoc on your energy levels.
In addition to the antioxidant effect, melatonin stimulates repairing enzymes, increases energy, and longevity (2). One of the ways it does this is through mitochondrial biogenesis (increase number of mitochondria per cell). Studies have shown that higher levels of melatonin have been shown to promote higher levels of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in the body (3). The fat cell doesn't actually turn brown, but it looks brown in appearance due to the higher mitochondrial density. This increase in mitochondria increases energy expenditure which helps increase fat loss. In addition to fat loss, melatonin has been shown to boost your immune system, fight off certain cancers, and even help prevent type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer's.(4) In order to reap these benefits you have to stop taking in blue light by 9pm ( i.e phone, tv, laptop, lights) and fall asleep between 9pm and 11pm. The individuals who get the best results tend to fall asleep closer to 9pm due to higher levels of melatonin.
Our current environment doesn't limit blue light and keeps us stimulated through the night. If you are serious about your health and career then it is imperative that you limit bright blue light to the daytime and reduce your light exposure in the evening. Melatonin is a powerful hormone, it increases fat loss, reduces inflammation and strengthen the immune system. The body needs it to function and the more you have, the greater the effects. And the best part is that you can get all of these benefits for free. The best way to do this is by turning off your electronics by 9pm or wearing some sexy blue blocking glasses.
Need a pair?
Benefits of Melatonin
Melatonin is a circadian rhythm hormone, it anticipates the onset of darkness through your eyes to the pineal gland.
Your pineal gland switches on the conversion of serotonin into melatonin when it detects lower levels of light and signals bedtime.
Blue light (electronics, phones, tv, laptops) doesn’t allow melatonin to be produced
Melatonin is at its highest between 9pm and 11pm.
Nevertheless, melatonin is more than just the "sleep hormone", it is one of the most powerful hormones in the body….
200% more powerful than Vitamin E (6)
Reduces inflammation (direct free radical scavenging), stimulates repairing enzymes, increases energy, and longevity (7)
Promotes higher levels of brown adipose tissue in the body which increases caloric expenditure (metabolism) (8)
Boost your immune system, fight off certain cancers, and help prevent type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer's (9)
Avoid eating 2-4 hours before bed
Avoid electronics or wear blue blocking glasses two hours before bed
Sleep in a pitch black room that is cool (60-66 degrees)
Sleep naked, trust me, it works
Exercise in the morning
Read a couple pages from a fictional book
BONUS: Take a hot/ cold shower 30 minutes before bed. Perform 10 seconds hot then 10 seconds cold. Repeat this for 2-5 minutes