Does Exercise Increase Melatonin?

One neurotransmitter that encourages sleep is melatonin. Additionally, it functions as a potent antioxidant to shield muscles from harm brought on by exercise.

This study looked at how an 8-week intervention of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise affected the self-reported quality of sleep and salivary melatonin levels at night in previously sedentary adult men. According to the study, regular exercise causes circadian melatonin phase shifts and enhances the quality of sleep.

1. Aerobic Exercise

A common type of exercise that lowers obesity, strengthens the heart, and helps control blood sugar is aerobic exercise. Moreover, it has been demonstrated to raise melatonin levels.

The natural antioxidant melatonin shields the brain from neurodegenerative disorders. Moreover, it prevents oxidative damage from chemicals, radiation, viruses, and medications by functioning as a redox modulator.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been demonstrated in earlier research to lower inflammatory markers in the heart and raise melatonin levels. It's unclear, though, if this influence on melatonin happens all day and all night. The current study involved participants in an 8-week aerobic exercise program, salivary melatonin measurements at baseline, mid-, and post-intervention, and a self-reported sleep quality assessment.

2. Strength Training

The researchers enlisted 17 formerly inactive men to take part in 8 weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise using a pre-test-post-test approach. To test melatonin levels, the participants gave saliva samples before the intervention, midway through the intervention, and at the conclusion of the exercise training program. In order to measure melatonin, cytochrome c, lymphocyte apoptosis, and other metabolic parameters, the researchers also took blood samples.

While this was not a result of the exercise itself, the researchers did discover that those who engaged in longer aerobic training sessions secreted more melatonin at night. Longer exercise sessions activate protein kinase C (PKC), which raises melatonin gene transcription and phosphorylation, which is the reason for the increased melatonin levels. Melatonin secretion was then elevated as a result.

3. Yoga

In inactive individuals, aerobic exercise boosts fat metabolism, lowers cholesterol and estrogen, and raises melatonin levels. Moreover, it lessens lipid peroxidation and encourages cellular adaptability. One of the most crucial things you can do to prevent cardiovascular disease and other metabolic problems is to exercise regularly.

Melatonin is also increased by yoga. Endorphins, which reduce pain and increase feelings of wellbeing, are released when they do. You can stay asleep through the night by doing this.

Melatonin promotes restful sleep by regulating the circadian rhythm, according to studies. This is the time when your muscles mend, grow, and rejuvenate, so it's critical that you receive enough restorative sleep. On the other hand, doing strenuous exercise right before bed can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. As an alternative, choose gentle stretches to relax your body and mind.

4. Swimming

In many different health contexts, aerobic exercise is utilized to encourage both acute and long-term adaptations in a wide range of physiological systems. It has been demonstrated to increase melatonin levels and enhance the quality of sleep.

In one study, formerly inactive adults who completed eight weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise reported better sleep quality and a significant rise in salivary melatonin at night. Throughout the course of the investigation, the subjects underwent testing three times: at baseline, halfway through the intervention, and after the intervention.

The authors hypothesize that the effects of exercise on metabolism, heat production, and core temperature may have contributed to the increase in melatonin. They did not, however, account for other factors, including the kind and length of the exercise or the time of day it was done. This can have an impact on the outcome.

5. Walking

Walking in the morning actually raises your melatonin levels, despite the fact that it may seem contradictory that it would aid in sleep. This is because walking raises your body temperature, which in turn encourages your brain to produce more melatonin.

Melatonin released from the body scavenges reactive oxygen and nitrogen, decreases the production of nitric oxide in muscle cells, and increases antioxidant enzymes within the cell. Melatonin also enhances mitochondrial biogenesis by activating PGC-1a and AMPK.

Regular exercise also facilitates longer durations of slow-wave sleep, which are linked to enhanced immunological function, improved cardiovascular health, and improved muscle regeneration. Each of these advantages helps to enhance the effectiveness and quality of sleep. This is the reason that if you want to maximize the quality of your sleep, you should engage in strength training exercises and at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day.

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