What increases or decreases the melatonin levels in your body?
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What increases or decreases the melatonin levels in your body?

Davis : CA : USA | Oct 29, 2010 at 5:48 PM PDT
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Turn off the computer and TV at night when you sleep

Is your pineal gland calcified? And is the melatonin in your body scarce, which in turn, is causing you sleepless nights? The pineal gland between your eyes regulates your sleep/wake cycle. A tiny bit of your serotonin turns to melatonin. This melatonin that decreases with age is supposed to allow you to sleep in order to repair your cells and DNA. Melatonin's role is to promote a regular circadian rhythm, a biological clock of sleep and wakefulness.

Currently the University of California, Davis in the Sacramento-Davis regional area, currently is studying how a light at night in your room may link to cancer. See the article, Light at night linked to cancer by disrupting cell cycle. You don't need your cell cycles disrupted by artificial light at night. Too much light in your bedroom at night also may be related to some types of cancer. Why does a light kept on at night cause chaos in the way your cells reproduce? It's because of light pollution. Add that to air pollution and toxins in your food and drinking water.

If you sleep with a night light on, it burns up your melatonin. If you sit more than five hours in front of a computer, it burns up your melatonin. If you take more than 3 mg of vitamin B12 in one day, it burns up your melatonin. The usual B12 dose is just 1,000 mcg. It's measured in mcg, not mg.

Exposure to bright lights at night burns up your melatonin so your cells can't repair themselves and you can't sleep. You don't want that happening--that is DNA repair problems which could lead to cancer. If you eat chocolate before bedtime, the caffeine and other stimulants in the chocolate keep you awake. So does exposure to electromagnetic fields from cell phones and computers. So does sitting in front of a TV set for hours watching movies in your bedroom when you can't sleep. Is your TV set close to the foot of your bed?

Other ways to decrease the melatonin in your body include taking NSAID drugs;, taking SSRIs, anxiety medicines, drugs to control high blood pressure such as beta blockers, steroids, or alcohol. Also don't exercise within 3 hours of bedtime. What can you do? Eat foods high in melatonin such as whole oat groats, corn, brown or black rice, Japanese daikon radishes, tomatoes, barley, or bananas. Since bananas slightly raise your serotonin levels, they have a good chance of also raising a small amount of your melatonin levels. Don't forgot to brush your teeth after the bananas.

There are some drugs that actually raise melatonin levels, in addition to taking a small amount of melatonin. But since it may not be controlled or regulated as much as you'd want it to be, you'd have to know whether the supplement really had melatonin in it and how much. Tests show melatonin levels varied among a variety of brands.

Medicines that raise melatonin levels include most MAOIs, St. John's wort, which may raise melatonin levels, and the drug desipramine. But why take drugs to raise your melatonin when you can just eat foods that raise your melatonin or take a melatonin supplement, if your doctor says it's okay with your own health condition.

You still have to watch for drug interactions with melatonin. For more information on melatonin, check out the article, "Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia," by Rodger Murphee, DC, CNS, published in the November 2010 issue of the Townsend Letter.

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Don't sleep with the TV or computer on all night as the light decreases melatonin and interferes with cell repair.
AnneHart is based in Sacramento, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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