#1173 Cortisol and Melatonin

Teeter Totter Buddies

Not too long ago we chatted about the good ol’ Snow Globe in our brains.

As you may recall, we want to avoid shaking it late at night if we want to get a good night of sleep and wake up feeling nice and refreshed the following morning.

Of course, the primary obstacles to relaxing our brains at night are our smartphones, TVs and computers.

Now…

We talk a lot about the fact that the LIGHT emitted from these devices isn’t helpful. (Recall our Brief History of (Blue) Light. And… How much is too much? Not a lot.)

But…

It’s not just the LIGHT that messes up the melatonin.

It’s also the content of the media we’re consuming that’s putting our brains into overdrive when they should be relaxing and winding down.

Checking email? Reading news? Watching intense TV and/or movies?

We’d be wise to keep in mind that we’re jacking up our CORTISOL trying to process all that information. And, that’s not helping the melatonin cause.

In Positive Psychology and the Body, Kate Hefferon walks us through the role of cortisol and melatonin in a chapter called “Positive Psychophysiology: Physiological Systems and Their Role in Wellbeing.”

She tells us: “Cortisol is more than just a stress hormone; its primary role is to tell other body systems when it’s night and day, so that they can function appropriately and in a synchronized fashion. Cortisol works in partnership with its night-time counterpart melatonin, a hormone secreted from the pineal gland in response to darkness. Cortisol and melatonin are counter-regulatory, thus if cortisol is high at night, it will inhibit melatonin secretion during sleep.”

So…

Today’s +1.

Let’s tuck in our friend, Mr./Ms. Cortisol nice and early so we can spend some quality time with Mr./Ms. Melatonin.

How?

You know the drill: “Shut-down COMPLETE!” and Digital Sunset!!

When?

How about TONIGHT?

Low fives and sweet dreams from me and Optimus.

-1 -1 -1 for the +1 +1 +1 win!

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