Melatonin, growth hormone and leptin – hormones for your youth and health
Keep an eye on the most important hormones to stay young and healthy for a long time
In the age of fast pace, quick decisions and time pressure, what you really want is an arsenal of practical, ideally inexpensive and accessible, tools to keep your youth and prolong and maintain health. As cliche as it may sound, sleep is the key to employ at the beginning of any wellness practice.
It doesn’t even matter how many hours you sleep, but what time you go to bed. From an endocrinological point of view, the first phase of deep sleep, which begins before midnight and ideally before 10-11 p.m., is the peak of the release of the most important hormones of youth: growth hormone and melatonin. Growth hormone is a protein structure hormone, and here’s a little tip: taking certain amino acids on an empty stomach before bed increases the amount of the hormone. These are ornithine, glutamine, arginine and lysine.
The most important sleep hormone is the pineal gland hormone melatonin. It has many positive effects. First, melatonin is an antagonist of the stress hormone cortisol. With high information and household stress, cortisol levels remain permanently high, so sooner or later it begins to destroy the body and old age approaches. Melatonin is said to counteract this. Its task in the evening is to open the door to sleep so that the body can recover at night. Its second important effect is – it is arguably the most powerful antioxidant in our body, which means that melatonin is an important anti-tumour agent. It has been proven that people who work night shifts are most susceptible to cancer.
Sleep hygiene is essential
In order to get melatonin, some sleep hygiene is essential. The hormone is very sensitive to artificial light. Therefore, avoid bright artificial lighting and gadgets in the evening, as the blue light from screens reduces melatonin levels to zero. Blackout curtains should be installed in the bedroom and all lightbulbs on chargers and devices taped off, because even the slightest blink can lower levels of this precious hormone. You can also use sleep masks and earplugs, but only if you’re comfortable with them.
Maintaining melatonin levels through diet
We can also maintain melatonin levels through diet. This hormone is formed from the amino acid tryptophan, which first converts to serotonin and only then to melatonin. Eating tryptophan-rich foods or 5-hydroxytryptophan in a supplement and some dried fruit at 5 p.m. (glucose is a tryptophan fast conductor straight to the brain, where melatonin is synthesized) makes it much easier to fall asleep at night and stay asleep has a higher quality to restore and prolong youth.
Satiety hormone leptin
Another hormone that is regulated during the night, our body’s gray cardinal hormone, is the satiety hormone leptin. This hormone sends signals to the brain that the body needs energy. When there is enough energy, the body picks up this signal as a sign of satiety, but when there is not enough energy, it triggers exploratory eating behavior. It’s been proven that every hour you wake up after midnight causes you to unknowingly overeat 200-300 calories the next day – at the expense of candy, cookies or fast food full of trans fats. This happens because leptin production is disrupted and the receptors in the brain are less sensitive to it. You’ve probably noticed by now that if you don’t get enough sleep, it becomes difficult to regulate your appetite the next day. Breaking the habit of going to bed after midnight gives you a free and effective way to prolong your youthfulness.