So, we have all heard about that amazing hormone melatonin! It is produced by the pineal gland, and it is secreted at night to help regulate sleep patterns.
But, is that all it really does?? Or, does it have another pretty kick ass role in our body?
Many will pick up melatonin from the store when they are having a hard time going to sleep, however it is a hormone that regulates sleep patterns AND wakefulness rather than put you asleep.
It is produced to balance your sleep wake cycles, to adjust to new time zones as it adjusts your internal clock.
Did you know…it also aids in muscle building, metabolism of fat loss and recovery?! Me either!
Before you rush out and grab a bottle–here is a couple tips for sleeping and helping your body produce melatonin.
1) Melatonin is produced when it is dark. When you go to sleep, keep your phone away.
Ensure you are in a dark room–no lights. When there is light-melatonin production stops.
Often, people will check their phones or have night lights and that is actually working against you. It is not that you can’t produce enough – it is the light/dark helps with our circadian rhythms to know when to produce melatonin.
2) Sleep in a cool environment and get 7-8 hours.
So, once we are asleep, we go into something called thermogenesis/thermoregulation. This is where we burn fat as we sleep. It turns white body fat to heat for fat loss. We can actually keep that going during the day by doing a couple of things:
1) 1 cup of arabica coffee on an empty stomach when you get up in the morning. I use an antioxidant coffee that has MCT oil so it has way less acidity, its roasted differently so it has way less estrogenic effects on the body. Estrogenic effects can be very harmful and can play a big part in cell changes in the body. When we have too much it causes toxic fat gain, water retention, bloating, cell changes and a host of other health issues. It will extend thermogenesis by 4 hours. It’s also only $14 per bag which is right on par with most coffee you find in the store, plus it is much better for you.
2) Liquid melatonin. It is absorbed much faster, but also be aware of taking too much.
3) Omega 3 fatty acids – oxidizes body fat and increases energy, it turns on thermogenesis in the body.
4) MCT oil/antioxidants: when MCT oil is metabolized in the body, it behaves more like a carbohydrate than a fat. Remember that the fuel of preference for the body is carbohydrate. Unlike other fats, MCT oil does not go through the lymphatic system. Instead, it is transported directly to the liver where it is metabolized so it releases energy like a carbohydrate and creates lots of ketones (which can be used for fuel) in the process.
Melatonin is very beneficial in fat loss because of its antioxidant properties and the stimulation of thermogenesis!! Who knew? It reduces inflammation, protects the muscles, augments GH release. It is the most active antioxidant and rids the body of free radicals.
It is twice as active as vitamin e, it synergizes with other antioxidants to improve activity. It also decreases exercise induced oxidative stress.
There has been scientific discovery recently with using melatonin as a way to treat obesity because it stimulates the fat cells that burns calories rather than store them and helps regulate body weight.
Also helps with concentration, memory, focus and improving the quality of sleep.
This has been so important to me since having my daughter– as she got older, I was still unable to sleep despite her sleeping throughout the night.
I was no longer sleeping deep, I wasn’t feeling rested, I was waking alot throughout the night, my memory wasn’t the best, my focus wasn’t really there, so doing this research and finding what worked for me helped tremendously.
I have an amazing solution for brain and sleep support that can also assist you in thermogenesis – comment if you would like to learn more!