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Melatonin and Melanin production

Updated: Jan 20

Melatonin and Melatonin Production


What's better, Synthetic or Natural Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone in plants, animals and humans. Many foods contain safe, natural melatonin or precursors to make your melatonin. They say that synthetic melatonin is safer because it's biologically contaminate-free.  The melatonin in supplements differs from the melatonin production we receive from the sun. The production of melatonin via the eyes does not have this risk. We should utilize it more. 

Education on enhancing a proper sleep pattern is essential to help prevent this serious problem. 

This article educates people on how natural melatonin production occurs and how to stimulate it properly to avoid synthetic melatonin medication. 


Melatonin overuse 

Parents and caretakers see melatonin as a cheap alternative for sleep aids. Between 2012 and 2021, the use of melatonin for children has risen excessively and has resulted in melatonin poisoning.  US poison control centers report a 530 percent increase in melatonin use among children. Hospitalization and death have occurred for some, according to research published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) publication.


Side effects of Taking too much synthetic melatonin supplement: 

Drowsiness, headache, Stomach-ache, vomiting, dizziness, irritability or restlessness, hyperthermia, high or low blood pressure, dry mouth, dry or itchy skin and photosensitivity issues. 

Understanding ingredients and their holistic and health benefits is a part of being an aesthetician. As a Certified Holistic Aesthetician and Reflexologist, I took it upon myself to explore how melatonin affects our skin and health.


Recommended Melatonin dosage:

Start with 1 milligram and then increase it if needed.

For children up to 5 years old, 1-2 mg

6 to twelve years old 1-3 mg

Over 13 years old 1-5 mg

The philosophy of less is more works in this case. Quite a few companies are adding more than the required amount to the supplements.

I've listed a melatonin supplement that has a 1mg concentration below.


Melanin Production in the Eye


Rhodopsin is a visual pigment found in the retina. It converts long-wavelength UVA light into chemical signals, triggering melanin production. Research indicates that adding retinal stimulates melanin production. Your skin is aware of sun exposure; the skin's pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) detect UV light using photosensitive receptors in the eye. Melanin production begins within hours and prevents Cellular DNA damage and sunburn. Exposure to UVB produces vitamin D by interacting with cholesterol in the skin.



Glasses and Sun Protection?

The wavelengths of the visible light spectrum (400nm to 700nm) contribute to the health of the eyes, body, healthy hormonal secretions, sleep and immune system. The retinas in our eyes, skin, liver, and kidneys play a role in vitamin D absorption. People will develop SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) if they wear sunglasses excessively during the warmer months. Excessive UV-blocking sunglasses on sunny days mislead the body into thinking it is night, resulting in insufficient melanin production and increased melatonin production. The overall health of the skin and the body is affected. 

Therefore, people with or without sight who wear UV-blocking sunglasses outside on a sunny day are tricking their minds into thinking it is night. As a result, it does not produce (enough) melanin to protect your skin and other things mentioned above! The exposed skin is more likely to burn because of this.


Sunglasses have a use.

Sunglasses prevent glare from the blinding sun for pilots and glare while driving or skiing. People with sensitive eyes and the visually impaired need them. We should use them sparingly.


Side effects of being Visually Impaired

When light passes through the pineal glands in our brain, melatonin production decreases, and vice versa. The pineal gland increases melatonin production when it's dark. The blind population cannot set their circadian rhythm (internal body clock) for sleeping. 18 % of the visually impaired can't perceive light at all. 82% of blind people have constant light transmitting through their eyes and must wear sunglasses. Specially designed sunglasses exist for them. Some need medication to manage their sleeping.


UV-protecting products that we need to be concerned about

Transitional lenses, clear prescription glasses, contact lenses, and tinted windows in cars and buildings. Dark-tinted sunglasses that do not have UV protection mix up the body because as the pupils enlarge due to the dark light, they let more UV light in while at the same time making the body think it is night.


What type of glasses can I purchase to avoid UV protection?

CR39 is a non-UV blocking type pair of glasses. CR-39 provides vastly superior optics and is the most inexpensive option. Even though they are heavier and thicker, they scratch, crack or shatter more easily. They are non-impact resistant and have less protection for the eyes.  

Optometrists are recommending them now.


Natural ways to control melatonin production

Our eyes have been conditioned since the beginning of time to recognize the morning sun as a time to wake up and the red evening sun as a time to fall asleep. Utilizing natural and electronic light with these colours has also been shown to help. Remember, "red sky at night, sailors delight." Red light seen before bedtime enhances sleep. I've listed a couple of red-light lights below.  

Blue light tells the eyes it's daytime. Electronic devices have preferential settings to turn the blue light on and off to fit your schedule. 

Proper sunscreens or consumption of foods with natural vitamin A give the body UV protection. A broad-brim hat or baseball cap can replace sunglasses. Limit prescription clear glasses when outside. Ensures that the eyes get some sunlight during the day. The visually impaired have options as well. There is a delicate balance between natural and artificial light exposure and circadian regulation.


There is no study on getting too much melatonin from wearing U.V.-coated glasses and sunglasses in the sun. It makes you wonder if the U.V.-coated Glasses are causing some of the above issues combined with excess synthetic melatonin levels.


Sun Tanning Beds Effect on Tanning

UVA-rich lamps penetrating deeper into the skin's layers are now frequently used to promote indoor tanning. They mislead the public to think it reduces DNA damage and increases protection against subsequent UV exposure. Since Vitamin D prevents skin Cancer, Sun Tanning beds are mostly UVA. UVB produces vitamin D by interacting with cholesterol in the skin. Suntanning beds increase skin cancers in subjects who frequently use tanning parlours. There are many types of sun tanning beds. High-pressure, medium-pressure and low-pressure tanning beds are available and provide different results. Some companies are providing hybrid tanning beds that combine UVA with red light, misleading the public into thinking they are safer. Add the fact that you also need to wear sunglasses when you enter these facilities, and the susceptibility to sunburn increases.


Affiliates available on Amazon to help with sleep


The links below recommend foods that help the body produce melanin and natural SPF skincare protection.


Here are some other related articles you may enjoy learning from:




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