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Ageless Aging May 2016
May 25, 2016
It has been awhile....4 months since you received a Newsletter. But a long time ago, I decided to only send something to you if I had something worthwhile to report. And this month I do.
One of the more important topics for persons in the second half of their lives: The relationships between/among Melatonin, Sleep, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. I hope you will find this information useful and that you might share it with others you know. . .
Older adults often report changes in their sleep patterns. And since 2010 researchers have become more and more interested in these changes. For the past year I've spent time reading studies to see if anything has been discovered that might be of use to us. And there is. Lot's. Here is a summary of what I have learned. . . First, as we age, our bodies produce less Melatonin, the hormone most related to sleep. A study done in 2011 noted that "with advancing age . . . participants reported longer sleep duration went to bed earlier, and woke up earlier" so it appears that our bodies production/use of melatonin may change as we age. .
Others find that sleep becomes elusive as they age. They either toss and turn ...can not get to sleep or they wake up about 3 A.M. and can not get back to sleep. We now know that changes in the body's production of Melatonin is the cause of these sleep disturbances.
BackgroundMelatonin is a natural hormone that governs our sleep patterns. Our bodies make it and often our bodies make LESS of it as we age. But it is not just age. There are two medical conditions are associated with lower melatonin levels: Parkinson's disease and Alzheimers disease --- which probably explains the disturbed sleep patters associated with these conditions. .
1. Researchers now know that melatonin blocks the build-up of the beta-amyloid plaque associated with Alzheimers disease. And that low melatonin can be associated in the change from 'mild cognitive impairment' to Alzheimers. This is important because it could be that melatonin supplementation would prevent or slow the deterioration associated with this disease. .
The evidence is strong enough that I know that if poor sleep or cognitive issues became a problem for a loved one, I would want to discuss the use of Melatonin with his/her doctor. And if this physician did not seem to know much about it, I would consult a physician more knowledgeable. .
Imagine: a simple remedy with none of a side effects often associated with pharmaceutical drugs! ( If this is a topic that interests you do a web search. You will find a number of research studies. You can educate yourself even before you speak with your health care provider.)
So if we makes less melatonin as we age, is there any other way to get it? Well very small amounts are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy melatonin as a supplement. (It is usually taken in doses from 0.2 mg to 20.0 mg, based on the reason for its use. The right dose varies widely from one person to another.) . . Now, this is a powerful hormone so if you are interested in using it, do be sure you are getting it from a trusted source. I have bought it from LIFE EXTENSION - link on the Store/Shopping page and one of the nice things about Life Extension is that if you become a member, besides discounts and free shipping, you can consult with their on-call health care providers through that web site. (There is a link to Life Extension on the Store/shop page of www.anti-aging-articles.com . )
And for what it is worth I add my own experience with melatonin. Last Fall I found I would go to sleep and then awaken around 2 or 3 in the morning....and I would have a hard time getting back to sleep. I started taking 5 mg of Melatonin before bed...Result? I began to sleep straight through. .
I stopped taking melatonin a few months ago...but my new pattern of good sleep has continued....even after I discontinued its use. Nice. (AND I know that sufficient melatonin is a real protection for my brain..... a great relief at age 80.)
I hope you found this information useful. Be well. Be happy. If there is a topic you would like me to cover, just hit REPLY and let me know.
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