By Michael Colgan, Ph.D.

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for maintaining physical and mental performance.

Sleep is an active physiological process programmed into the human body by the day-night cycle of the revolution of the Earth. The sleep cycle controls hundreds of functions of the body for one-third of your entire life. Without sleep you would quickly die. Controlled studies of human survival training show that, given sufficient water, sleep is more important than food in maintaining physical and mental performance (1).

Five important health functions that occur almost entirely during sleep are memory consolidation, organ recovery, neurogenesis, brain development, and muscle recovery and growth (2-6). That is why we made sound sleep an important component of the Isagenix Brain and Sleep Support System.

Melatonin Improves Sleep

The pineal gland, the “third eye” of legend, is a little clump of tissue that sits way back in the center of your brain about level with the top of your eyes. In 1958, Aaron Lerner at Yale University discovered that the pineal gland secretes a powerful hormone, which he named melatonin (7).

Since 1970, more than 100 controlled studies have shown clearly that melatonin supplementation can reset the internal circadian clock and improve both the duration and the quality of sleep. Taken in the correct form, dose, and timing, it helps people who have difficulty falling asleep. It also maintains sleep for longer, and it enables those who wake too early to fall back to sleep again (8).

Melatonin Supports Neurogenesis

Melatonin’s control of the temporal patterning of neural and endocrine functions in the brain is so strong it is now considered a major organizer of cognition (9-12). Almost all neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) occurs in the brain during sleep. Neurogenesis declines dramatically with sleep deprivation. Recent research indicates that supplementary melatonin can improve circadian synchronization and increase neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus—the essential area of the brain for formation of memories (13,14).

Melatonin Declines with Age

Our ability to make melatonin declines rapidly with age. In the North American population today, melatonin levels decline below what many scientists believe is optimal by about age 35 (15). Without sufficient melatonin, you gradually lose the temporal organization of your sleep, causing progressive sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbance accelerates aging of your organs, especially your brain. The Isagenix Sleep Support & Renewal supplement contains the most potent forms of immediate and time-release melatonin combined with relaxing L-theanine, valerian and chamomile. It potentiates the Isagenix Brain and Sleep Support System to provide the best brain support available anywhere.

References:

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  2. Rojansky N, et al. Seasonality in human reproduction: An update. Human Reproduction, 1992;7:735-745.
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  10. Maestroni G. The immunoendocrine role of melatonin. J Pineal Res, 1993;14:1-10.
  11. Holmes MM, Galea LA, Mistlberger RE, Kempermann G. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and voluntary running activity: circadian and dose-dependent effects. J Neurosci Res 2004;76:216–222.
  12. Mueller AD, Pollock MS, Lieblich SE, Epp JR, Galea LA, Mistlberger RE. Sleep deprivation can inhibit adult hippocampal neurogenesis independent of adrenal stress hormones. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2008;294:R1693–R1703.
  13. Oxidative damage in the central nervous system: protection by melatonin. Prog Neurobiol 1998;56:359–384.
  14. Ramirez-Rodriguez G, Ortíz-López L, Domínguez-Alonso A, Benítez-King GA, Kempermann G. Chronic treatment with melatonin stimulates dendrite maturation and complexity in adult hippocampal neurogenesis of mice. J Pineal Res. 2011 Jan;50(1):29-37.
  15. Colgan M, Colgan LA. The Perimenopause Solution. Vancouver: Science Books, 2009.