What is the deal with melatonin regarding sleep and fertility?!
Melatonin is made naturally by the digestive tract, skin, lymphocytes and the pineal gland in the brain. One of it’s jobs is to regulate your sleep cycle by recognizing changing light levels and bringing on sleep when it is dark.
For fertility, melatonin has been demonstrated to act as an antioxidant and can enhance the functions of other important antioxidants such as glutathione. Studies also show improved oocyte quality in IVF cycles and improved sleep cycles are another benefit for fertility using melatonin.
Here’s the catch!! The recommended dose is typically 10 or more times the ideal dose! When melatonin is taken at elevated doses the receptors in the brain tend to become unresponsive. Taking too much can result in an entirely different cascade of hormonal responses that can diminish the benefits of melatonin. A safe and correct dose is only 0.3mg or (300mcg.) Many patients come to my office reporting 3-10 mg of melatonin supplement per day.
Take melatonin about 30 minutes-2 hours before bedtime depending on what works best for you.
Tips: Remember to forego all blue light sources at least 90 minutes before bedtime. This includes TV and all of your devices. Melatonin levels being low are correlated with diminished fertility and blue light from these sources reduces melatonin production. (Remember, over supplementation does NOT make up for this deficit)
Find a way to completely darken your room at night. Darkness is necessary in order to produce adequate melatonin, grab some darkening shades and cover light from alarm clocks, chargers etc.
Take care of your digestive health with probiotics and good nutrition. Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin, much of it from the digestive system so up your game digestive-wise by adding plenty of real foods to your diet and avoiding processed foods.