By Andrea Bartels CNP NNCP RNT
13 Apr 2020
Watching evening news to get the latest status of the COVID-19 pandemic? Doing so could be bad news for your immune system. Here's why. For one, cortisol is released in response to perceived stress, making us feel too wired to sleep-and sleep is vital for immune function. Second, exposure to blue light via TV, tablet and phone screens against a dark background prevents you from releasing melatonin-a hormone necessary for good sleep AND good immunity.
The trouble is that we only make melatonin in the dark, and as we age, we make far less of it. Melatonin protects us from pathogens, stimulating the production of Natural Killer Cells-- immune cells that find and destroy virus-infected cells as well as cancer cells. Melatonin also stimulates the production of progenitor cells for two other kinds of immune defence cells: granulocytes and macrophages. This is especially important to seniors who experience greater infection and cancer incidence due to peaking immunosenescence---the natural aging process of the immune system.
Melatonin actually acts as an immune-modulator as well, keeping inflammation under control. It may even reduce our risk of a severe inflammatory episode, such as a cytokine storm involved in the life-threatening scenario of COVID-19 induced ARDS. As a serious complication, ARDS requires ICU care with dismally low survival rates. However, it's been noted by researchers Zhang et al. that melatonin is effective at reducing blood vessel permeability and anxiety while improving sleep and immune support to those in critical care units, providing promise to those afflicted with COVID-19 related ARDS.
Under normal circumstances, melatonin secretion by the pineal gland typically peaks between 1 and 3 a.m., but only IF you're sleeping in total darkness. If this isn't the case, then release is suppressed and the health-giving benefits of melatonin are missed. Remember, exposure to artificial lights, particularly blue light from tablets, phones, computers and TVs delay and/or prevent the release of melatonin, which could hamper your ability to experience optimal infection resistance.
Now that you know how stressful evening news can pack a double-punch to your immune system, here's what you can do. If you're having trouble falling asleep, or waking up at night with an overactive mind, you could benefit from using PureLab Magnesium+Melatonin. Taking a 3-milligram capsule of melatonin 1 hour before bed (such as while you're watching the news) is one of the safest, proven ways to help induce sleep. Together with 100 milligrams of magnesium glycinate, it helps ensure that you stay asleep because it promotes deep, restful sleep-without the side-effects of some herbal and drug remedies. Quite simply, melatonin is an obvious choice of sleep aid that supports your immune system while you sleep.
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