Melatonin is a Hormone that helps you Sleep Well, but it does so much more!
Spoiler Alert: Melatonin Production is reduced by EMF

Melatonin is a free radical scavenger that can help fight aging and diseases such as cancer.

Melatonin can reduce oxidative stress that is linked to Alzheimer and Parkinsons disease.

Getting good quality sleep is vital to your health and wellbeing. There are many studies documenting the effects a lack of quality sleep has on our bodies and mind. From irritability, anxiety, and brain fog to premature aging and disease, not sleeping well takes a toll on our health. 

Our wake/sleep cycle, also known as circadian rhythm, is regulated by the hormone melatonin. Produced in the pineal gland located deep in the brain, this vital hormone tells your body when it’s time to sleep. When the sun sets, our optic nerve perceives the darkness and instructs our brain to produce melatonin. This production of melatonin is what makes us feel sleepy and also what helps us get into deep, restorative sleep.

Recent research is also discovering how melatonin plays another very important role in keeping us healthy. It is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals. An antioxidant is a “free radical scavenger”.  A free radical is an unstable molecule that is highly reactive because it has an unpaired electron. Left unchecked, free radicals can cause damage to cells and DNA by altering their structure. DNA damage leads to cell death or creates a mutation. If this “wrong” mutated cell is left to replicate unchecked, it can lead to many harmful outcomes including cancer.

"In addition to its role in regulating the circadian system and sleep patterns, melatonin is involved in cell protection, neuroprotection, and the reproductive system, among other functions.[1] 

Free radicals are produced naturally within the body or can be created from external stimuli. Free radicals perform functions necessary to human health when maintained at low to moderate levels, but cause damage when allowed to proliferate unchecked. When the natural process creating free radicals involves oxygen, and production is allowed to go unchecked, the result is called oxidative stress. The brain is especially vulnerable to oxidative stress because it needs high oxygen levels. Oxidative stress is considered to be the main cause in many diseases including neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer.[2] 

“Melatonin is uncommonly effective in reducing oxidative stress under a remarkably large number of circumstances” [3] 

Melatonin as an antioxidant can protect your health by fighting oxidative stress. It can bind to free radicals to stop them from stealing electrons from other atoms or molecules in your body, stopping the chain reaction that leads to DNA and cellular damage. DNA damage is thought to be the precursor to many diseases including cancer. Things that impact our melatonin production have a much farther-reaching affect than just a poor night’s sleep.

There is highly credible evidence that melatonin mitigates cancer at the initiation, progression and metastasis phases.[4]

So, what does EMF have to do with our melatonin production?

Recent studies are also discovering how EMF is affecting our melatonin production. One way EMF is thought to affect our sleep is our bodies sense EMF as light. Since our bodies make melatonin at night when we perceive darkness, this could decrease our melatonin production. This PubMed study, Pineal melatonin level disruption in humans due to electromagnetic fields and ICNIRP limits - PubMed ( reviewed over 100 human and animal studies on how power frequency EMF affected Melatonin production. The study concludes with:

 ”...the results show the significance of disruption of melatonin due to exposure to weak EMFs, which may possibly lead to long-term health effects in humans.

Melatonin does so much more than just regulate our circadian rhythm. It is also a powerful antioxidant fighting free radicals that damage DNA and plays a role in our ability to fight disease. EMF can impact the production of melatonin, probably because the body senses EMF as light. You can take steps to safeguard your melatonin production, get better sleep, bolster your immune system and fight aging and disease by reducing your EMF exposure.

[1] Aulinas A. Physiology of the Pineal Gland and Melatonin. [Updated 2019 Dec 10]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000-. NBK550972

[2] Bhat AH, Dar KB, Anees S, Zargar MA, Masood A, Sofi MA, Ganie SA. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases; a mechanistic insight. Biomed Pharmacother. 2015 Aug;74:101-10. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2015.07.025. Epub 2015 Aug 7. PMID: 26349970.

[3] Reiter RJ, Mayo JC, Tan DX, Sainz RM, Alatorre-Jimenez M, Qin L. Melatonin as an antioxidant: under promises but over delivers. J Pineal Res. 2016 Oct;61(3):253-78. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12360. Epub 2016 Sep 1. PMID: 27500468.

[4] Reiter RJ, Rosales-Corral SA, Tan DX, Acuna-Castroviejo D, Qin L, Yang SF, Xu K. Melatonin, a Full Service Anti-Cancer Agent: Inhibition of Initiation, Progression and Metastasis. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Apr 17;18(4):843. doi: 10.3390/ijms18040843. PMID: 28420185; PMCID: PMC5412427


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Disclaimer: Dammit Jim, I am an engineer, not a doctor! The information shared on this website is the result of peer reviewed, scientific literature I have read. This is in no way medical advice. Should you need medical advice, please seek the help of a medical professional.