Melatonin, the sun and sleep are all intrinsically linked. In today’s video I talk about how the sun has been demonised in recent years but is, in fact, vital to life and optimal health. I’ll post the video at the end of this article.
So what is melatonin and why is it so important?
Melatonin is a hormone that controls sleep patterns
That’s why our melatonin production is crucial to well being and gives us the ability to fall asleep easily when we go to bed. In fact, melatonin is the most ancient antioxidant molecule there is and has been part of life for billions of years. It’s the most superior scavenger of free radicals and plays a crucial role in our mitochondria, another ancient part of biological life. It’s powerful antioxidant properties actually prevents mitochondria from degenerating.
The sun helps to generate melatonin production
When the infrared rays hit the skin it triggers this production of melatonin. The antioxidant properties of melatonin are quite diverse and stimulates the production of glutathione, another important antioxidant as well as many others.
There are actually two types of melatonin
One produced from the infrared rays from the sun which generates mitochondrial melatonin. The importance of our mitochondrial function cannot be over stated. Many diseases come from mitochondrial disfunction.
The second kind of melatonin is the one that can be measured in the blood and is made in the pineal gland. It’s triggered by darkness. This type cannot enter the mitochondria which means that sun exposure is crucial in order to create the first important type of melatonin. It can also be obtained from oral supplementation and it’s interesting to note that the melatonin from supplementation CAN enter mitochondria.
Our pineal melatonin is dependent on the light/dark cycle
This cycle helps regulate our circadian rhythms and is also vital for our well being and overall hormone production. Night shifts are probably the worst thing for this, as is going to bed late and not getting enough sleep.
Taking melatonin supplementation can help with sleep and is something that I myself do use on occasion. Some people will have side effects (headaches, nausea or drowsiness) but I’ve never experienced any side effects at all. In the US you can buy melatonin supplements anywhere but in the UK you usually need a doctor’s prescription. The advice generally given is to only take it for a short while. It’s true that it’s best to improve sleep by setting yourself a healthy bed time regime and go to bed (with no devices next to the bed) at more or less the same time very night.
A great alternative to melatonin supplements is 5 HTP
This is a precursor to melatonin. It boosts serotonin which then converts to melatonin and is completely safe.
You’ll find it on Supplement Hub on the GLYNIS LOVES page and can get a discount by using the code:
Or you can go to it directly here:
The sun has many other important benefits which I talk about in today’s video.
Why you should enjoy time in the sun….
Fantastic advice. I have a very fair skin that simply burns in the UK sun but oddly doesn’t in other countries – Southern Spain and Africa (namely Egypt), also Dubai come directly to mind. But in the UK I tend just to go on my balcony and sit for 15 minutes (which I have read is a good optimal time to create the Vitamin D needed). I also use SPF as you mentioned Glynis, but I also put it on my hands when I am in the sun because the skin there is so thin and tends to age prematurely. When I was much younger I do remember the advice when sunbathing – build up slowly start at 10 mins and build up day by day – sadly this advice was lacking SPF………..! But, it was similar to what you said in your video. On another note: I read an article not so long back that GP’s were seeing much higher incidents of Rickets in children who don’t have a genetic defect or another health condition so there is another side to this lack of Vitamin D.
Yes we now apply so much sunblock that there are huge vitamin D deficiencies around the world.
How much melatonin do you take on occasion. I have prescription from doctors at 2mg. So far so good 🙏🏼
Yes that’s about the same amount I take.