Scientists have discovered that when it gets dark the pineal gland in our brain produces more melatonin.  As this hormone rises- you start to feel sleepy and when you fall asleep your level of melatonin gets much higher.

But there’s a catch– melatonin doesn’t rise very high unless you’ve gone to bed by 10 pm and it’s dark!

Any type of light can keep your melatonin levels from rising.  Researchers believe this is why breast cancer is more common in industrialized regions.

Here are some main reasons why Melatonin is such a great breast cancer fighter:

1) It is a very potent antioxidant.  (Antioxidants destroy oxygen free radicals that can damage your cells and DNA)

2) Melatonin slows down the production of estrogen.  (Estrogen stimulates breast cell division which increases breast cancer risk)

3) It blocks the effects of a hormone called ‘prolactin’ which can also speed up cell division.

4) Melatonin enhances the tumor fighting power of Vitamin D (It makes it 20-100 times stronger!)

As you can see from this list proper sleep and melatonin can help decrease your breast cancer risk.  If 10 pm might be a little early for you- I suggest to start winding down then.  Go into bed- read a book, meditate, and turn off your TV or computer.  This will help your body prepare for sleep.

Stay tuned to learn more about Melatonin and Sleep!

Be Well,

Tammy Kohlschmidt RDH, CCT, CBP