Thursday, November 20, 2008

Increase Melatonin With Special Blue Light-Blocking Glasses

Melatonin has been shown to be of value for many things. It can help us sleep better, reduce headache frequency by around 50%, reduce the length of time a migraine lasts, decrease irritable bowel syndrome abdominal pain, lower nighttime blood pressure and protect us from cellular and mitochondrial DNA damage, which can cause cancer.

While all this sounds great, we may not be producing enough melatonin in our bodies to receive these benefits. Melatonin is produced at night and bright lights dramatically reduce the production of melatonin in our bodies. Recent research has discovered a way to stop bright light’s interference with melatonin production – wear blue light-blocking glasses. These glasses filter out just the blue wave length, which is the part of the spectrum that suppresses the production of melatonin.

Canadian researchers exposed volunteers to a bright light for an hour during the middle of the night. The volunteers wore either the blue lenses or gray lenses. The researchers then compared the volunteers’ melatonin levels to their levels on a night with no light exposure. They found that the gray-lenses group had a 46% decline in melatonin, while the blue-lenses group had a slight increase in production. Other reports have found that the blue glasses reduce daytime sleepiness, depression, as well as pain from fibromyalgia. Kids with ADHD also experienced an improvement in symptoms.

So…you might experiment with these special blue light-blocking glasses for a month. If you don’t want to do that but you still want to get the benefits of melatonin, you can take a supplement with 3 mg of melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime.

(Reported in Whitaker Wellness Report, February 2008)

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