Excessive sleep reduces serotonin levels
Tip: sleep in complete darkness
If you want to successfully increase your melatonin level, it is best to sleep in complete darkness and not turn on a bright light when you wake up at night. A strongly dimmed bedside light is okay or a weakly set flashlight. Otherwise, in the middle of the night, your body could get the idea of stopping melatonin production prematurely, since it is obviously the brightest day. If street lamps, the neighbour's garden lights or even the moon shine in your bedroom, make sure you have tight curtains or blinds.
We have already explained here how important sleeping in complete darkness is also in terms of cancer prevention: Cancer cells do not like the dark, which describes how a high melatonin level at night can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. If you already have cancer, it is of course even more important to ensure a dark bedroom.
Living in the day-and-night rhythm of nature is therefore of enormous importance for health. The widespread so-called light smog of brightly lit cities or the nocturnal daylight lighting of some houses or gardens is therefore extremely harmful not only for animals, but also for people. So just turn off the light at night, even outside in the garden!
The Swedish University of Gothenburg published a study in April 2017 that found that patients in the hospital recovered much faster if they had ensured that the lighting in the rooms during the day matched the natural light and the patients could sleep in the dark at night ( especially in intensive care units it is often brighter at night than during the day).
Foods that increase melatonin levels
Since melatonin, unlike serotonin, can pass the blood-brain barrier, the melatonin level in the brain can also be increased a little with melatonin-containing foods, so that dinner can be put together accordingly.
In order to be able to assess which melatonin levels in foods could be relevant, one must first know how much melatonin a person produces during the night: 10 - 80 µg
Many foods now usually contain rather uninteresting traces of melatonin. Measurable melatonin levels are, however, e.g. B. in tomatoes (11 µg / 100 g) and strawberries (1 µg / 100 g). In barley, rice and walnuts it is only 0.1 µg / 100 g. Despite the seemingly small amounts, research has shown that melatonin levels rise after consuming these foods.
Further research showed that the more vegetables there are on a person's menu, the higher the melatonin level. Here, however, one is not sure whether it is the melatonin content of the vegetables that increases the melatonin level or whether it is rather the high vital substance content of such a diet that increases the body's own melatonin production or levels it off at a healthy level.
Vital substances that increase melatonin levels
The most relevant vital substances that are important for a healthy increase in melatonin levels are already mentioned under "Eliminating serotonin deficiency" above.
A good omega-3 supply must also be ensured. The pineal gland naturally contains high amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, especially arachidonic acid and DHA. No wonder an omega-3 deficiency leads to reduced melatonin levels at night, while supplementation with DHA normalizes them again.
Today's humans tend to be oversupplied with arachidonic acid (contained in abundance in animal foods) or other omega-6 fatty acids. Anyone who lives vegan and fears a lack of arachidonic acid should be reassured. The organism also produces the arachidonic acid it needs from vegetable linoleic acid, which is found in abundance in most nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
We have explained here how you can get enough long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) with a vegan diet: Meeting your omega-3 requirements vegan
Increase melatonin levels with a melatonin supplement:
Melatonin has long been used in the US as a rejuvenating and sleep-promoting anti-cancer dietary supplement and is available over-the-counter in every supermarket. Melatonin is currently not freely available in Switzerland. Orders from abroad are not easily possible either.
In Germany, melatonin is available on the one hand as a prescription drug, on the other hand it is freely available as a so-called dietary food, which means that it should only be used for a certain group of people and only for a certain medical purpose - officially only to combat jetlag and when you are on Suffering from difficulty falling asleep.
It is said that melatonin is particularly effective against the symptoms of jetlag when traveling eastwards and when crossing several time zones.
Melatonin is unofficially said to have many beneficial effects. In addition to the symptoms already mentioned above, health problems that melatonin can help with include glaucoma (glaucoma), irritable bowel syndrome and some types of cancer. Often the melatonin can be used here to accompany conventional therapy, to strengthen the desired effect or to reduce side effects (e.g. in the case of chemotherapy). For melatonin itself, however, side effects have rarely been observed.
Dosages vary between 0.5 and 5 mg - depending on the preparation and the area of application.
However, we are more concerned with the holistic measures that help to naturally increase melatonin levels. If you would like to take melatonin as a dietary supplement, as an accompanying therapy to conventional medical therapies or as a sleeping aid, we recommend consulting a doctor or alternative practitioner - also because there may be interactions with some medications, e.g. B. with antidepressants, sleeping pills, cortisone preparations and others.
Melatonin is generally taken in the evening just before going to bed, as it makes you tired. In combination with vitamin C (e.g. acerola cherry), the melatonin effect should develop particularly well.
More information on naturally increasing melatonin levels
Since melatonin is made from serotonin, a high level of serotonin during the day is a prerequisite for successfully increasing melatonin levels at night. Here you will find all the measures to increase serotonin levels: Increase serotonin levels naturally
Tips for the specific activation of the pineal gland, i.e. the place in the brain where melatonin is formed, can be found here: The pineal gland wonder
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