Melatonin, well known as our sleep hormone, has a number of other skills up its sleeve.  Not only is it an antioxidant, it reduces stress hormones and boosts immunity. It’s even thought to improve fertility and has been trialled for this. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland usually around bed time and is at its highest between 1-4am.  Melatonin has now been identified by the scientific community and an independent researcher working with COVID-19 cases in Asia that the higher your levels, the stronger your immunity against COVID-19. This is an explanation as to why less children are showing symptoms of the virus or severe infection. Our melatonin levels are highest as children. Melatonin levels in the body greatly decrease with age and the lowest levels are recorded in the most elderly of the population. Pregnant mothers in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy are recorded to have double the amount of melatonin to that of their 1st trimester so there is even more protection there. As you can see from the graph, babies under 3 months produce very little melatonin but none were reported to have been affected by the virus in China. That’s because new borns have very high levels of nitric oxide (inhibits the overactive immune response and the hypoxia of serious cases) in their nasal passages – their natural defence. Melatonin helps to reduce the severity of COVID-19 by reducing inflammation and blocking the cytokine storm (immune overdrive) that damages the lungs and leads to hypoxia. This doesn’t mean melatonin is the answer BUT this is a useful piece of information and it shows us just how important the quality and quantity of our sleep is. There are plenty of ways we can easily ensure our melatonin levels are optimal and even increase levels inside the body whatever age:

– eat foods that contain tryptophan. This includes walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, oats, turkey, chicken and cottage cheese.

– Epsom salts bath before bed. The magnesium relaxes you and your body cools after the heat of your bath which promotes melatonin production

– make sure your bedroom is cool enough for melatonin production around 16-18 degrees, have a few sheet layers handy to adjust to body temperature changes at night

– sticking your hands/feet out of the bed covers also cools the core of the body

– ensure there is no artificial light seeping into your bedroom – the darker the better, this blocks melatonin

– meditate – there is a lot of research proving meditation can increase melatonin production by 100-300%!! It won’t make you sleepy all day and it calms and relaxes you

– dim the lights 2 hours before bed – artificial light hampers melatonin production

– avoid screens 1 hour before bed – artificial light and the dopamine hit can block melatonin

– avoid caffeine after midday – it blocks melatonin production

– get exercise and sunlight during the day to regulate your circadian rhythm. When in rhythm your body produces melatonin when you need it

– sleep with a weighted blanket, these put pressure on the body’s sensory receptors, soothing the nervous system and regulating hormone production

– quit smoking – studies have shown smokers generally have lower levels of melatonin




Melatonin – immune support for COVID-19

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