But from all these benefits, perhaps the most interesting for fitness enthusiasts is the melatonin’s ability to promote muscle growth and fat loss. Good levels of melatonin, along with proper sleep cycles also stimulate the secretion of the human growth hormone (HGH). HGH induces the processes of burning fat, building lean muscle mass as well as repairing tissues and collagen for healthier skin, denser bones and better immunity. Proper sleep-cycles help maintain better HGH levels in the body.
Melatonin has also been shown to have profound effects on the IGF-1 axis, thus it is intimately involved in muscle anabolism. Studies with rats have shown a great increase in muscle mass when the rats were supplemented with melatonin. The increase in muscle mass was comparable to that produced with testosterone supplementation.
Given below are some simple ways to induce your body for maximum secretion of melatonin:
1. Go early to bed: Our bodily functions like maintaining temperature and tissues, digestion and secretion of hormones is controlled in cycles of 24 hours that are directly related to the natural light available. As much as 80% of our HGH is secreted between 11pm to 1am. People who go to bed by 10pm are the ones able to bank on the regeneration of body tissues and healing caused by the HGH.
2. Relaxation before bed time: Immediately before you go to bed, take out some time to sit and meditate. Meditation is said to help in better secretion of melatonin. It also reduces the gap between lying down and falling asleep, improving the quality of sleep. 15 to 20 minutes of meditation before bed to relax by concentrating on your breathing help a lot.
3. Reduce intake of harmful substances: Reduce consumption of products like sugar, caffeine, artificial flavorings & preservatives and processed foods and other such substances as they disrupt melatonin and HGH secretion.
4. Hydrate: Dehydration leads to dire stress in the body, leading to a drop in the secretion of melatonin and HGH.
5. Keep Your Room Dark: If light is filtering into your room at night, it will prevent proper generation of melatonin in your pineal. It will lead to disturbed sleep and also drastically reduce the benefits of melatonin.