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I hate to be a debbie downer here but today I’m gonna rain on your melatonin parade what I want to do here is help you understand the ins and outs of melatonin how it works within your body and if you truly need to be taking in exhaustion is form of melatonin so let’s talk about what’s actually happening within the body first off melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone so whenever the sun starts to go down the temperature starts to cool generally speaking you produce melatonin and it induces sleep it induces your brain to go into the right waves so you start getting relaxed and start falling asleep so of course in traditional nature as soon as we start to see something that works to help us fall asleep most companies want to bottle it and sell it to you so that’s exactly what’s going on with melatonin we’re looking at a supplement that still is a hormone a hormone that is triggering us to fall asleep so that’s exactly what melatonin is but let’s talk about what’s actually happening inside your body a little bit more you see there’s a lot of evidence that’s now helping us understand the melatonin could have some long-term effects in a negative way on our sleep and we also have to understand that melatonin is a hormone that is only available over-the-counter in the United States other places in the world don’t even allow you to take melatonin and if you can get your hands on it so usually through a bunch of different loopholes in the first place so obviously that’s something to be a little bit concerned about in the first place we’re talking about a hormone that’s pretty tightly regulated so what we have to look at is what happens within the body first off is a negative feedback loop you see when a negative feedback loop is is when the body starts to see something coming in from an exogenous source so it slows down the natural production of it see within our brain we have a specific region known as the suprachiasmatic nuclei the suprachiasmatic nuclei has a bunch of neurons tens of thousands of neurons on the left and the right hemispheres of what’s called the hypothalamus portion of the brain and these neurons send signals back and forth to what’s called the pineal gland so this is a cycle right then and there but what happens is inside these neurons we have receptors for melatonin and up until recently we didn’t even know that these receptors existed but now that we know they exist we know that melatonin has a specific cycle where it goes from the suprachiasmatic nuclei bounces back to the pineal gland and back to the suprachiasmatic nuclei so what happens is if we inject a bunch of melatonin is the equation by taking a supplement we are having a huge surge of it and we’re essentially burning out those receptors or we’re at least convincing those receptors that we have enough melatonin naturally that we don’t need to be producing it anymore basically you’re becoming dependent on it but this negative feedback loop this cycle that we put ourselves through in a negative way by adding an exogenous melatonin does a lot more than just slow down a low tone of production naturally it throws off a lot of different hormones and I’ll get to that in just a moment so keeping this in mind let’s look at the traditional dosing structure of melatonin you see for natural melatonin usually our bodies are producing about a quarter milligram okay that’s all we really need to really instigate sleep we don’t need much well most melatonin supplements are about 3 milligrams so you’re talking 10 times or more the amount of melatonin that you truly need so not only are you disrupting the cycle but you’re adding a bunch to the mix and when you have a bunch of melatonin in the system you’re gonna have higher plasma levels of melatonin which takes longer for your body to clear out which is exactly why you end up having a hangover effect when you take melatonin which isn’t exactly a fun way to feel but so many people get so used to taking melatonin on a regular basis that they’re used to that hangover effect and they don’t even know what life is like without it and that takes weeks and weeks sometimes even months to clear out of your system so it may take an actual period of detoxing to actually get away from the melatonin hangover but here’s what’s funny is that a 2013 study actually found that those that supplemented 3 milligrams of melatonin on average only fell asleep 7 minutes faster and only stayed asleep about 8 minutes longer so really we’re not looking at that big of a difference so when you factor in the sense that you could be totally damaging your endocrine system when you’re talking about that hormone cycle and that feedback loop it’s really not worth it but there’s actually some more evidence that’s finding that melatonin can actually affect the libido as well reducing the sperm count in men and actually reducing the total number of ovulation cycles in women so this is new science it’s starting to come out and people are starting to dig a little bit deeper and researchers are spending a little bit more time understanding how melatonin affects other hormones within the body there was also an MIT study that took a look at melatonin and found that again on average it was about 10 times the amount that we would naturally produce but they found there was a mirror other hormonal cascading issues that would happen once melatonin was in the mix and it didn’t take very long to get there so once melatonin was disrupting that hormonal cycle and that neurotransmitter system it was messing up a bunch of other ones you see our hormones are a finely tuned machine within our body if we mess up one we have to have a balance we always have to have this homeostasis it’s just like saying if your testosterone levels reduce when your estrogen levels might go high and they need to reduce too so you’re constantly having this modulation effect same kind of thing with melatonin same kind of thing with neurotransmitters if you have one that skyrocketing then you have to have another one that’s balancing it out somehow so we really want to be careful whenever we’re messing with hormones so all that being said let’s talk about some alternatives okay let’s not just leave you high and dry let’s put you in a situation where you can make an educated decision on what’s gonna help you fall asleep and stay asleep so the first one I want to address is simple magnesium C magnesium in and of itself is a very calming mineral it has a relaxation effect whereas calcium for example is exha Tory so it actually triggers the nerves it actually triggers the neurotransmitters to chill out a little bit but one of the most interesting things about magnesium when it comes down to sleep is it blocks cortisol in the brain it doesn’t block cortisol overall we can still have those catecholamines going we still have adrenaline we still have epinephrine all those things but what it’s doing is blocking cortisol from hitting the brain which could stop your brain from sending the different neurotransmitters that it needs to send that keep you wired or keep you anxious so it helps you fall asleep a little bit better but it also helps produce more gaba okay gaba is known as gamma-aminobutyric acid and it’s exactly what you want to have elevated when you’re falling asleep it’s the opposite of glutamate we have the glutamate system and the gaba system when you first wake up in the morning and you’re anxious and you’re trying to get things going usually you have a higher level of glutamate you want to have this nice balance and in the night time you want GABA levels to increase magnesium supports that it’s exactly what we’re after now the other thing that I really want to address that’s awesome about magnesium is the fact that it naturally from an enzymatic side supports the production of melatonin inside your body that’s what we really want to do here we want to help your body circadian rhythm we want to help the production of melatonin we don’t want to just take the short cut and add the exogenous hormone and the next one I want to talk about is thinning okay theanine is something that can matically help you go to sleep and simply because it acts again on that gamma-aminobutyric acid cycle so it helps you produce more of that gaba and by doing so it puts you into those alpha brainwaves that you need to be in those alpha brainwaves are the waves that you want to be in when you fall asleep if you’re in different brain waves it can be very very difficult to truly get to sleep or get to sleep the way that you need to be getting to sleep so that you can get into the right sleep cycle so if we get the brain waves organized we can fall asleep we can stay asleep we can get in a better rhythm okay lastly glycine now glycine is an interesting one because it decreases your subcutaneous temperature so what that means is by decreasing that blood flow and temperature to the subcutaneous areas in the body we actually have a cooling effect and if you remember like I said in the beginning of this video whenever we cool the body we have an increase in melatonin so that’s probably the most powerful thing when it comes down to glycine not to mention its effect on other neurotransmitters if we can cool the body we can sleep better how many of you are the types of people that when the air conditioner is on or when it’s a little bit cooler in a room you sleep better probably almost all of you simply because that’s how the body works it’s our natural cycle to notice that when the Sun Goes Down it gets cooler so melatonin levels go up gamma-aminobutyric acid levels go up and we relax and we fall asleep so there are three different ways that you can help yourself get to sleep and stay asleep without just becoming a hormone popper so as always make sure you’re keeping it locked in here in my videos if you have ideas for future videos or you want to know more about falling asleep and staying asleep make sure you put it down in the comment section below see you guys in the next video
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Rethink Melatonin: 3 Sleep Aid Alternatives- Thomas DeLauer… I hate to be a Debbie Downer here, but today I’m going to rain on your melatonin parade. What I want to do here is help you understand the ins and outs of melatonin, how it works within your body, and if you truly need to be taking an exogenous form of melatonin. So let’s talk about what’s actually happening within the body.
First off, melatonin’s a naturally occurring hormone. So whenever the sun starts to go down, the temperature starts to cool, generally speaking, you produce melatonin and it induces sleep. It induces your brain to go into the right waves so that you start getting relaxed and start falling asleep. So of course in traditional nature, as soon as we start to see something that works to help us fall asleep, most companies want to bottle it and sell it to you. So that’s exactly what’s going on with melatonin. We’re looking at a supplement that still is a hormone, a hormone that is triggering us to fall asleep.
So that’s exactly what melatonin is, but let’s talk about what’s actually happening inside your body a little bit more. You see, there’s a lot of evidence that’s now helping us understand that melatonin could have some long term effects in a negative way on our sleep, and we also have to understand that melatonin is a hormone that is only available over the counter in the United States.
Other places in the world don’t even allow you to take melatonin, and if you can get your hands on it, it’s usually through a bunch of different loopholes in the first place. So obviously that’s something to be a little bit concerned about in the first place, when we’re talking about a hormone that’s pretty tightly regulated. So what we have to look at is what happens within the body.
First off is a negative feedback loop. You see what a negative feedback loop is, is when the body starts to see something coming in from an exogenous source, so it slows down the natural production of it. See, within our brain, we have a specific region known as the suprachiasmatic nuclei. The suprachiasmatic nuclei has a bunch of neurons, tens of thousands of neurons on the left, and the right hemispheres of what’s called the hypothalamus portion of the brain, and these neurons send signals back and forth to what’s called the pineal gland.
So this is a cycle right then and there, but what happens is inside these neurons, we have receptors for melatonin and up until recently we didn’t even know that these receptors existed, but now that we know they exist, we know that melatonin has a specific cycle where it goes from the suprachiasmatic nuclei, bounces back to the pineal gland and back to the suprachiasmatic nuclei. So what happens is if we inject a bunch of melatonin in the equation by taking a supplement, we are having a huge surge of it and we’re essentially burning out those receptors.
Or we’re at least convincing those receptors that we have enough melatonin naturally that we don’t need to be producing it any more. Basically, you’re becoming dependent on it.
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8) The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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