Melatonin has been in the news recently. It seems that too much light pollution is affecting everyone's health. People who sleep badly or are night workers are adversely affected in a variety of ways. It also seems that not producing enough melatonin may also be affecting your chances of getting pregnant.
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that helps regulate sleep patterns, which is why frequent flyers often use a melatonin supplement to reset their body clocks for a different time zone. It is produced in the pineal gland of the brain. It needs dark to be released and with so much light pollution around, people's systems may not be producing enough. It also plays a part in how the immune system works. The latest research shows that night workers are much more susceptible to disease than people who sleep at night and the researchers believe it may have something to do with the lack of melatonin.
For women who are trying to get pregnant with IVF, the latest research from Japan shows that taking a melatonin supplement may help improve your chances. Many women having IVF, especially older women, have poor egg quality and the researchers found that taking a melatonin supplement helped improve it. The study was only a small one, from Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and needs to be followed up, but the results were promising. Associate Professor Hiroshi Tamura, who conducted the study, believes that 'melatonin treatment is likely to be a significant option' in the future for women with poor egg quality.
Improving Your Melatonin
Even if you aren't having IVF, you can still improve your melatonin levels by sleeping completely in the dark. Alternative therapists have for a long time believed in lunar conception techniques where you sleep in the dark, except for the three days of the full moon when you let the moon gently shine on you. This is supposed to help bring your ovulation into phase with the moon, making that much easier to get pregnant. Whether this is true or not, it certainly can't hurt, and sleeping completely in the dark will certainly help boost your melatonin levels. Research at a stud farm showed that horses mated at the full moon were much more likely to get pregnant than at other times of the month. Perhaps if you could ovulate at the full moon it could help you too.
Helping To Shift Your Cycle
If you want to try this natural way of shifting your cycle, and getting that melatonin boost too, you need to light proof your bedroom. You should make sure that you don't watch late night TV and don't have any light seeping in under the door or through the windows. You need to get heavy curtains or shutters that completely block out any light and even go to the bathroom in the dark. Don't switch on any lights at all once you've gone to bed and try to go to bed at the same time every night. Then during the full moon, that's the day of the full moon and a day either side, you open the curtains and let the light of the moon shine on you. It may take a few cycles before you notice a difference in your cycle length and ovulation.
You never know, this method might just give you that extra boost of melatonin you need to get pregnant.