Re: Melatonin (Was Re: Sex vs. sleep)

Anders Sandberg (
02 Jul 1999 15:45:48 +0200

"David Lubkin" <> writes:

> Melatonin production is triggered by low light levels, and turned
> off when sunlight hits your retina in the morning (which seems
> pretty cool to me). So it's reasonable to expect that people will
> screw up their sleep cycles due to artificial lighting.

It also shows why it is a good idea to sleep in a dark room, and suggests that a good way of getting awake is to have a timer set to brighten it (I use a 150W halogen lamp above my bed in the winters).

> It's also a great jet-lag treatment. One large dose your first night
> and you're over it. Also reported to improve mental performance and
> longevity, and reduce depression and seasonal affective disorder.

The use for jet-lag works (scientifically well studied and I have personally tried it). The mental performance and longevity stuff is unproven and rather controversial. The depression aspect is interesting, but likely mediated through sleeping - SAD and some forms of depression are influenced by when and how much you sleep.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y