Every day that passes, we are a day older. Most people hope to live long healthy lives, yet aging is also an expected part of this process. How do we stay healthy as we age and transition into the golden years?
New research set about to examine why the immune system weakens when we move into the years of wisdom. The research shows that this process begins in very early adulthood, where the thymus begins to lose its functioning. The study showed that the thymus is distinctly connected to healthy immune function and antioxidants. (1)
Thymus gland functioning declines in very early adulthood and is responsible for the decline in immune function that is often associated with aging!
With aging, people often struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Elderly people often awake in the middle of the night for a restroom break, or when they experience stiffness, aches or pains that disturb the quality of sleep. A good night’s sleep is an indicator that one has a healthy immune system. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger, not just a sleepy time hormone. It is integral not just for your sleep cycle, but also for thymus gland functioning. If your body is not producing or getting sufficient melatonin, it can cause your thymus gland to atrophy. (2)
Healthy melatonin production protects the thymus gland from atrophy!
While sleeping, melatonin inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells and triggers cancer cells to self-destruct. Melatonin is also associated with boosting efficacy of chemotherapy and decreases the toxicity of the treatment. (2)
If you want to boost melatonin naturally and improve your immune health, implement these helpful tips!
- Avoid watching TV or using the computer an hour before going to bed. The blue light these devices display tricks the brain into thinking it is daytime. The brain typically begins releasing melatonin between 9 and 10 p.m.
- Get some sunshine! The pineal gland produces melatonin in approximation to the exposure of bright sun received during the day. This is why many people tend to sleep better after a day outside in the sun.
- Invest in darkening blinds. Even the smallest bit of light can disrupt melatonin production and interfere with your sleep.
- If you enjoy reading at night, use a low wattage yellow, orange or red light. Salt lamps are perfect for this purpose if you are a nighttime reader.
- Make sure the temperature in your room is 70 degrees or cooler. The perfect temperature for sleep is between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Enjoy a hot bath two hours before bedtime. A hot bath or shower increases your core temperature. This temperature drops as soon as you get out of the tub or shower and this signals to your body that it is time to sleep.
- Invest in a soothing alarm clock. The loud sound of a blaring alarm is stressful, and if you are getting quality sleep on a regular basis you may find that you don’t even need an alarm clock.
- Soak in the morning sun! The morning sun will resent the body’s circadian system to get you ready for the day.
- Check electromagnetic fields in your bedroom. EMF’s have been found to disrupt melatonin production. (3)
The next time you think about staying up late, enjoying the nightlife, or watching a movie, remember the impact sleep and melatonin production has on your current health as well as the process of aging.