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How Does Melatonin Improve Sleep?
April 06, 2012 07:59 AM
Melatonin And Sleep
Sleep is a natural part of human life and an activity that any living human being has to indulge in. In fact, even the mentally ill who are believed to be able to go without sleep are brought down by it at one point or another. Contrary to what most people believe that sleep only has to take place at night, research has established that the cycle of sleep keeps alternating and does that sleep does not entirely have to take place at night. It can even occur successfully during the day. However, exposure to darkness and light regulates sleep in humans. It is said that exposure to light stimulates hormonal activity to make a person feel sleepy or awake.
The Brain And Sleep
In the brain, there is a nerve center called the Supra-Chiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) that works by starting signals to the other sections of the brain by controlling hormones, temperature of the body and other functions that also play numerous roles in making people to feel either sleepy or wide awake. The SCN works in the notion that once the body is exposed to first light every day, the clock starts to conduct various activities that will ensure that the person is awake like raising the temperature of the body and also the release of certain hormones that help in stimulating the body such as Cortisol. The clock also delays production hormones such as Melatonin that is associated with the onset of sleep until that time when darkness shall arrive.
Melatonin Is A Hormone In The body
Melatonin is a hormone that is part of the sleep and wake cycle of humans. However, it has to be noted that taking too much of the pill does not make one to sleep faster or even stay asleep for a longer period of time. The first step that everyone having sleeping problems should take is to consult a doctor or a physician. This will help in making the person fully understand the reason for the sleeping problem rather than going for Melatonin straight away. Melatonin is natural hormone that is made by a gland in the body known as pineal gland. The gland is shaped like a pea and found in the brain. The gland is only active during Sunset when it is dark. When active, it stirs the production of sleep and wake cycle hormone by the SCN. As a result of this, the blood Melatonin level sharply rises and one begins to feel less alert thus prompting sleep.
Conditions That Slow Down Melatonin Production
Bright light also inhibits formation of Melatonin. However, for the person to be able to fall asleep, they will have to get to a darker surrounding to enable the formation of Melatonin that is sufficient to cause sleep. The hormone is naturally contained in certain foods and the reason it is sometimes sold as a dietary supplement. Taking a typical dose of Melatonin pill is able to elevate the blood melatonin levels up to 20 times normal. To be able to solve your sleep problem using melatonin, always use the correct dose at the right time of the day.
Evening Primrose Oil
September 04, 2008 09:08 AM
The tiny seeds of the evening primrose flower are the source of oil that has been valued in the world for building health and overcoming a lot of common health problems. Evening primrose, also known as evening star, night willow herb, scabish, and tree primrose, has a recorded history of at least 500 years of use for its health promoting properties. Growing in a wider variety of climates, the plant can be found in rocky roadsides, shallow streams, or even high deserts.
The plant can even be found growing at elevations as high as 9,000 feet. This plant has yellow flowers from July through September that open after Sunset and are pollinated by insects of the night. Open only until sunrise, the flowers die the next day, causing hundreds of small black seeds to form inside. These seeds are the source of the plant’s oil, with about 5,000 seeds being used for just one 500 mg capsule. Due to this, evening primrose can be relatively expensive. Evening primrose’s value in a variety of illnesses was recognized by American Indians and European immigrants. Indians used it to treat skin wounds, asthma, coughs, and also as a sedative. One of the first botanicals exported to Europe from North America, it was brought to Italy in 1619 and planted in the Padua Botanical Gardens. It was so valued by the Puritans that they called it the “King’s cure-all” and exported it to England. The ancients didn’t know scientifically why evening primrose was so effective for so many illnesses, but that didn’t affect its abilities. Modern science has found that the essential fatty acids that are found in the oil of the evening primrose seeds are the secret to the health-building properties.
Fat has gotten a bad name for itself in the past few years, but the truth is that there are actually certain types of fats that are vital for good health. One of these healthy fats is essential fatty acids, which are found in unprocessed vegetable, plant, and fish oils. One of the richest sources known is actually mother’s milk. Like vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids are nutritional substances that have far-reaching effects on many body processes.
These effects include reducing blood pressure, helping to prevent arthritis, reducing the growth rate of breast cancer, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, maintaining healthy skin, aiding in transmission of nerve impulses, playing a role in normal brain function, constituting the building blocks of body membranes, promoting proper hormone function, and forming the basis for prostaglandin production.
Because essential fatty acids can not be manufactured in the body, they must be consumed in the diet, with at least three percent of an adult’s daily caloric intake being recommended to be comprised of essential fatty acids. Children and pregnant women should have a diet containing at least five percent essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are essential for normal functioning of all body tissues.
Because of this, the list of symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency includes reduced growth rate, skin disorders, male and female infertility, kidney abnormalities, decreased capillary resistance, susceptibility to infection, heart problems, anemia, enlarged liver, sparse hair growth in infants, poor wound healing, and an increased susceptibility to infection.
In conclusion, to prevent or heal these conditions, a diet that is rich in essential fatty acids must be present. Evening primrose oil is a good source of essential fatty acids, containing about 72 percent linoleic acid and 9 percent GLA. Have you had your evening primrose oil today?