Health culture: Glossary

The contents of this section are the interpretations and explanations of disorders and health provided by Professor Walter Pierpaoli, based on the results of his scientific research.

Walter Pierpaoli is a doctor, a man who is extremely interested in nature and biology, who has spent almost fifty years (all documented) in the happy company of mice, patiently awaiting for them to teach him how and why we grow old and die.

His main personal trait is his ability to withstand adversity and a well-rooted ability to avoid scientific trends.

His solitary path has not yet been followed by many others, which is perhaps good fortune.  That way, he can still work in peace.


Andropause and fertility
What is it

Andropause is the expression of the progressive decline of male reproductive functions. Although sexual senescence in the male is the cause of the prejudices and curious reticence that afflict the topic, there are many pathologies and symptoms that clearly show, in the vast majority of men, an insufficient regulation of sex hormones in the brain (gonadotropins, LH, FSH ) with consequent involution and atrophy of the peripheral sexual organs (eg testicles and annexes) in aging.

Pathologies related to andropause

One of the most frequent pathologies is prostate hypertrophy and consequent urinary problems (difficult urination, urine retention).

A progressive drop in sexual desire and potency (frequency, duration), with inertia, apathy, depression and muscle weakness is also observed. We think that these symptoms and disorders do not depend on a quantitative deficiency of sex hormones, but rather on a progressive flattening and levelling of the circadian cyclic secretion of hormones themselves.

Andropause: the health of the pineal-hypothalamic-pituitary system can affect

In fact, all hormones follow a circadian (day and night) and seasonal secretion rhythm, which is under under pineal-hypothalamic-pituitary control. Aging of the brain leads to a progressive rigidity of the mechanisms that regulate hormone synthesis and secretion (feedback).

In fact, the central regulation and control mechanism located in the hypothalamus becomes stiff and slow in the response to peripheral stimuli with consequent reduced or exaggerated response. Therefore, the threshold with which a stimulus generates an adequate response increases.

An alternative reading of the problem: the help of melatonin

This central rigidity is typical of hormonal-metabolic aging in mammals.

In particular, a desynchronization of sex hormone secretion rhythms is observed . Melatonin, while by protecting the central mother gland, which is the pineal gland, from aging, helps to maintain and even restore a the normal youthful physiological hormonal cyclicity and consequently of the peripheral glands (adrenal, ovaries, testicles, thyroid, etc.).

In other words, our work has demonstrated that the andropause  is not attributable solely to a quantitative lack of sex hormones, which obviously decrease with age, but rather to the alteration of the rhythm of their synthesis and nocturnal and diurnal secretion (circadian).

It is desirable that further clinical studies with more patients and longer duration on the effects of melatonin in the normalization of sex hormones (gonadotropins, GnRH, LH, FSH) be carried out.

Melatonin, effects found in autoimmune diseases research

The use of Melatonin has been studied in several animal models with autoimmune diseases, and has also been clinically evaluated in human patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. In most of the observed cases of autoimmune diseases (except for rheumatoid arthritis), treatment with melatonin has reduced the severity of the disease, both in animal experiments and in relation to clinical studies.These results suggest the importance of the role of endogenous melatonin in relation to the development of autoimmune disease, and the possibility of a treatment with exogenous melatonin in human autoimmune diseases.

Precautions in case of autoimmune diseases

Nevertheless, as the number of observations sufficient to fully validate the clinical studies has not yet been reached, precaution is recommended in the use of melatonin (especially at high dosages) in patients with autoimmune diseases, to avoid further stressing their immune system given the immunomodulatory properties of melatonin.

Notes on the observation of the use of melatonin in the case of autoimmune disease

According to our evaluations, melatonin can be used in autoimmune diseases simply because it helps to restore a normal immune reaction and the ability of the immune system to recognize itself, and therefore not to produce antibodies (auto-antibodies) against antigens of our own organism, cells and tissues. The origin of all autoimmune diseases involving the skin, glands, blood and any other tissue is based on the genetic, congenital or acquired inability of our immune system to recognize our own tissues. This, we have seen, generates an autoimmune reaction. Aging itself is largely a latent and insidious autoimmune process that leads to vasculopathies (alteration and sclerosis of the vessels) and the formation of autoantibodies. The origin of all autoimmune diseases involving skin, glands, blood and all other tissues is based on genetic, congenital or acquired inability of our immune system to recognize our own tissues. This, we have seen, generates an autoimmune reaction. Aging itself is largely a latent and insidious autoimmune process that leads to vasculopathies (alteration and sclerosis of the vessels) and the formation of autoantibodies.

Melatonin and autoimmune diseases: the state of the art

The entire immune system that refers to the pineal gland is under strict hormonal control. Our work has led to the demonstration that the genesis and maintenance of immune functions are totally under neuroendocrine control (Neuroimmunomodulation). In our opinion, melatonin will not increase the synthesis of aggressive auto-antibodies, as some researchers proclaim without evidence of any kind but, on the contrary, by acting on the pineal gland it will progressively favor the improvement of the hormonal disorders that are at the basis of the genesis and progression of autoimmune disease, such as in the case of autoimmune thyroiditis.

However, it is desirable that further clinical studies on the effects of melatonin in autoimmune diseases are carried out with a greater number of patients and longer duration.

Benefits of melatonin before and after surgery

We strongly recommend the use of melatonin and zinc before and after surgical procedures of any type and nature for the following reasons:

1) improved sleep quality, relief of stress and anxiety, and increase of immunity prior to surgery;

2) healing of the toxic and psychological effects of a deep narcosis, and restoration of immunity following immunosuppression from stress, drugs and narcosis following surgical procedures.


As demonstrated by numerous researches and clinical studies, Melatonin, especially if associated with zinc, is a potent and reliable immunopotentiating agent.

In our opinion Melatonin does not act directly on the immune system but through its synchronizing effects on the entire neuroendocrine system, which in turn totally controls the immune system.

Melatonin and thymic action

Melatonin also exerts an action on the thymus (the gland responsible for the supply of immunocompetent cells in the body) and on delayed or transplant immunity, and consequently also on resistance to viral agents. The effects of melatonin in boosting immunity can be strong and it appears that these effects are exerted through the use of zinc which, for example, is required for the synthesis and activation of the thymus hormone thymuline.

In short, melatonin protects the pineal gland and rebalances it to optimal youthful function levels. Under conditions of stress, which produces a deep immunosuppression, Melatonin helps to protect and restore immunity.

Jet-lag as it manifests itself

A slow and difficult adaptation to local time and physical environment (temperature and time of day or night), resulting from the crossing of different time zones with long overseas flights within a few hours of time, manifests for exaple in discomfort, drowsiness, weakness and psychosomatic and neurovegetative problems.

Prepare for departure

These symptoms may be prevented or overcome by taking melatonin before departure or upon arrival at the place of destination. The same is possible for the return trip.

In order to adapt to the time (local time) of the place of destination before departure, it is advisable to start taking melatonin two or three days before departure, calculating the late evening time at the place of destination (10-12pm). The intake of melatonin should be continued during the days of stay, at bedtime. This will help the brain to facilitate rapid synchronization at local time.

The same will be done upon return, starting two to three days before departure to take melatonin at the evening time of the return location.

Preventing Jet lag

In case that prophylactic adaptation is not be possible (i.e. due to continuous travel and short stops), in order to mitigate at least the effects of jet-lag it is advisable to take melatonin at the place of arrival only at the time of going in bed to sleep (between 22:00 and 24:00) and not before.

Adaptation without a proper preparation before departure is naturally less efficient for the prevention of jet lag with melatonin. The discomfort produced by jet-lag becomes very evident and unpleasant when the time zone difference between the place of departure and arrival exceeds six hours (for example longer than the flight between Rome and New York).

Healthy libido in healthy body

Libido is closely linked to many psychological, somatic and environmental factors of the most varied nature.  All forms of libido are connected to strong cultural and genetic factors. However, a good sleep, a pleasant and rewarding diet and peace of the mind in a healthy person create the conditions to feel and express a libido condition that is fundamental for any type of sexual relationship in healthy and balanced people.

Melatonin promotes youthful hormonal regulation

Melatonin does not increase libido nor it decrease it, as shown by several recent studies in which the maintenance of GnRH, LH and testosterone levels is observed.

According with our experience Melatonin helps to maintain a normal libido that clearly accompanies a complete sexual relationship over time and over the years, because melatonin helps us maintain a youthful hormonal regulation and libido is also the obvious expression of maintaining the balance of sex hormones at a youthful level.

maintains it much longer over time and years because libido is also the obvious consequence of maintaining the balance of sex hormones at a youthful level. If we want to continue to produce heat we cannot catch fire and turn into ashes! Melatonin will help us maintain a youthful hormonal regulation and normal libido that clearly accompanies a complete sexual relationship.

Menopause and fertility

Menopause is the expression of the progressive and sometimes sudden end of a woman’s monthly menstruation in fertile age.

Menopause and perimenopause

Perimenopause (the years before, during and after menopause) is generally accompanied by many changes, disorders and symptoms related to the decline of hormonal regulation of ovulation. The problem is clearly neuroendocrine and in fact hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can produce a positive reversal of menopause-related changes.

Based on the clinical work conducted by Professor Pierpaoli and his team, published in “Experimental Gerontology”, we are convinced that melatonin alone or together with HRT is able to clearly improve the course of menopause, to the point of being able to prolong fertility and in some cases even reconstitute cyclic ovulation and menstruation.

What happens to the body of the menopausal woman?

From the observations made, it is not correct to claim that the ovaries are exhausted. Actually, there is a progressive reabsorption and sclerosis of the ovaries (atresia of the ovaries) that is programmed by the brain and certainly does not depend on their exhaustion.  Melatonin can help to produce a progressive reconstitution of a youthful secretion of pituitary gonadotropins and, thus, reverse the course of the menopause.

Supporting publications

The extraordinary effects of melatonin in the reconstitution of the hormonal reproductive system, in the synthesis and secretion of sex hormones, and in the – extraordinary- recovery of the synthesis of the thyroid hormones have been demonstrated and published. For further information, we recommend consulting the article.


Bellipanni G., Bianchi P., Pierpaoli W., Bulian D. and Ilyia E.

Effects of melatonin in perimenopausal and menopausalwomen: a randomized and placebo-controlledstudy.

Exp. Gerontol., 36, 297-310, 2001.

Pineal (gland)
Pineal gland: definition, conformation, connections

The pineal gland or, in its anatomical name «epiphysis cerebri», is a small gland the size of a bean that is connected to the brain, to the neuroendocrine (hormonal) system and to the peripheral ganglia and nerves through a complex network of bidirectional connections and, in particular, to the nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus (suprachiasmatic nuclei), to the pituitary gland, to the eyes (retina) and, through the supracervical nerve ganglia, to the thyroid, to the thymus and to all the other endocrine glands such as the adrenal glands and gonads.

The pineal gland: director of the hormonal orchestra

It is, therefore, clear that through its direct connections with the centers of the brain centers that regulate temperature and photoperiod (nocturnal-diurnal and seasonal circadian) and the cyclic variability of the synthesis and secretion of hormones, the pineal mother gland acts as a real  own director of the hormonal orchestra, in the course of growth, puberty, fertility and finally of aging.

Centrality of the Pineal gland in the evolutionary process

However, it should be noted that the role of the pineal gland in the maintenance of all bodily functions is closely linked to the different evolution of mammals and other vertebrate species, according with the survival and reproductive needs of each species.

The evolutionary thrust linked to reproduction needs and maintenance of the species is a priority. For this reason the pineal gland and its secretions are fundamental for the biology of reproduction. Over the course of evolution, the integrated pineal network of each species has acquired the ability to progressively develop and maintain its particular “life, fertility, aging and death clock” according to its environmental needs.

Each species has developed its own age clock

The parallel genetic and environmental influence during the evolution of each species has led

In other words, environmental and reproductive needs and pressures have led to the construction of precise clocks programmed for each species.

The parallel genetic and environmental influence during the evolution of each species has led to shaping a precise age clock for each individual species.

In other words, environmental and reproductive needs and pressures have led to the construction of precise clocks programmed for each species.

The role of the pineal in the aging process

Thus, the integrated pineal network controls the neuroendocrine aging program of the brain and marks the time to grow up, procreate, grow old and to die.  These accurately programmed events are entirely distinct. Aging is not produced by any disease. Diseases can only accelerate senescence.  Death is distinct from aging and is inexorably linked to the death signal in the pineal gland.

The experiments conducted by Professor Pierpaoli and his team, on rodents, and further clinical evidence, show that the pineal gland and its molecules, can truly delay and reverse aging. They can do this by acting on those same mechanisms that make us grow and procreate.

The pineal gland is the key to understanding the nature of aging simply because it regulates, from birth to senescence, the circadian and seasonal variability of all those hormones that regulate the body’s functions, in particular the oxidative processes of cellular respiration and thermoregulation.

Death does not depend on aging

As discussed in other sections, the observations have revealed the presence of a specific death program, which consists of a precise signal of the pineal gland, which is programmed over time. Death does not depend on aging.

We can stop aging now, and soon we will also be able to interpret the mechanism of the «death clock». We only need time and many other experiments and clinical and experimental observations.

This means that we could die at one hundred and twenty years of age without any disease, and that “dying young, as late as possible” (A. Montagu) could be more realistic than you think.


Mood is a person’s mental and psychological state. Bad mood or good mood express the current psychological and mental state.  This state has to do with individual genetics, with the biochemistry of the brain and many other congenital or acquired personality traits.

Mood changes in relation to hormonal cycles

During aging, in the years of perimenopause or periandropause, the changes in hormonal cycles profoundly affect mood. For example, a  great majority of premenopausal women experience mood swings and a depressive state during the morning hours, especially when sleep and rest are disturbed by insomnia, nervousness, sweats, palpitations and hot flashes.

Observations on the correlation between melatonin and mood

The experience derived from the observations conducted over the years by Professor Pierpaoli, and his team of researchers, suggests that melatonin strongly contributes to a general improvement of mood in almost all people.

This evidence is linked with the restoration of hormonal rhythms by a relationship of consequentiality.

Natural molecules

Antioxidants and aging
Do antioxidants slow down aging?

We do not share the idea that aging can be slowed down by so-called “antioxidants”, the so called “free radical cleaners” and similar interventions and remedies based on simplistic extrapolations often without a solid scientific basis. We believe that oxidative damage and the formation of free radicals, which are a consequence of oxidative cellular respiration, contribute only minimally and perhaps not at all to aging.

Melatonin is also an antioxidant

There is no experimental or clinical in vivo evidence that the intake in the daily diet of even huge and growing quantities of “anti-oxidants”, i.e. vitamin E, glutathione and melatonin itself, which is the most powerful natural antioxidant known, may prolong longevity in relation to the quantitative dose.

This means that the documented effect of melatonin in prolonging longevity certainly does not depend on its ability to neutralize the nefarious and toxic “free radicals”. We are convinced that the impact of free radicals and oxidative damage as the primary cause of aging are completely irrelevant or non-existent. Nature has certainly taken steps during the evolution of species over millions of years to neutralize oxidative damage when this is produced by cellular respiration.

The anti-aging effect of melatonin does not depend on its antioxidant properties

We do not share the hypotesis that the anti-aging effect of melatonin is due to its antioxidant nature. Moreover, melatonin is produced especially at night, when oxidative damage is minimal and the whole rhythm of cellular metabolism slows down.

Evening administration of melatonin at a relatively low dose will simply prevent the pineal gland from synthesizing and secreting melatonin and will therefore put it to rest. This will maintain its efficiency longer, especially in late age, in producing other molecules. In fact, pineal transplantation from young to old animal prolongs life much more significantly than the administration of melatonin.

Thus, melatonin is absolutely necessary as an anti-aging remedy because it protects the pineal itself from aging.  The concept is clear, totally scientific and for this reason it has been distorted in order to confuse those looking for melatonin.

Natural medicines and supplements

Nature provides us with its natural “drugs” much better than the medical science! The billions of molecules created by nature contain an unlimited wealth of fundamental organic and inorganic (mineral) elements, which are for the most part components of our body. The problem is only the quantity and quality.  The most important question is biological: how do we function? Why do we age?

Healthy nutrition is not enough

Our main concern must obviously be the prevention of degenerative diseases that come with age, diseases that often “modern” medicine is not able neither to prevent nor treat or cure. To date, prevention of diseases and aging with “healthy and natural foods” has been entirely empirical or based on illusory and misleading observations. With the notable exception of the effects of a low-caloric diet, there has been no way, to date, to delay aging.

The fundamental role of some minerals

Currently the situation is rapidly evolving towards a basic biological solution based on the understanding of the evolutionary biological nature of aging, in our case, of “homeothermal mammals”

In other words, we can now medicate ourselves with foods containing essential elements (i.e. zinc), as long as we know whether we, or other family members, suffer from specific deficiencies of the major metabolites. Natural medicines must contain appropriate elements to compensate for the essential elements that are missing from our diet.

The contribution of melatonin in maintaining hormonal functions

We are aware that melatonin is not a real hormone and does not act directly but as a mediator, protecting the pineal gland in the brain. This allows hormonal functions and, in particular, the cyclic and circadian production of all hormones, to remain intact.

Given that melatonin is present everywhere in nature, it is also found in the majority of vegetable and animal based foods. However, its nocturnal decline within the pineal gland indicate the progressive loss of hormonal ciclicity and, therefore, metabolic aging. Therefore, it must be taken nightly as a “natural medicine”, this because no amount of melatonin contained in the evening meal is enough to replace endogenous deficiency. In the meantime, we are progressively identifying and “capturing” other natural molecules that will be able to quickly restore health and youth through the “resetting of the central hormonal clock”

In fact, many other natural molecules are required in a healthy diet, including many minerals, trace elements in minimal but essential quantities, a large number of vitamins and other “donors” and “catchers” of molecular groups that make the cells work. However, none of them alone can delay aging as we have shown with melatonin: the natural medicines of our diet will not make us live longer and healthier unless we know why and how we get older.

«The fundamental interpretative step has been taken, now we have to study the mechanisms and technique hat the body uses to maintain the “life clock” i.e.: the rhythms of the neuroendocrine system.»

W. Pierpaoli

Melatonin is ubiquitous in nature, i.e. it is present in every animal and vegetable living form.

It is primarily concentrated in the pineal gland of mammals, man included, and in every species of vertebrae, where it is produced during the night. This causes a “nocturnal peak” of melatonin levels, which can be measured in blood and saliva.

Natural molecules

This definition includes all of the molecules “invented” by nature and present in the inorganic and organic world. They must be a point of reference for disease prevention, although their role in bodily functions is still little known.

Key functions of natural molecules

During the evolution of species certain molecules have acquired key functions in the process of energy production, which is fundamental for cellular integrity. For example, the role of minerals and trace elements cannot be dissociated from that of hormones, vitamins, enzymes, plasma glycoproteins, sugars, carbohydrates, and so on, simply because most minerals have been incorporated in the most complex molecules where a mineral or a trace element has acquired a basal role.

For example, iron in ferritin and transferrin, zinc in the thymuline (the thymus hormone) and so on.

Minerals favored the development of complex organic molecules

In other words, natural molecules, especially minerals, preceded and accompanied the development of complex organic molecules and living beings on the planet.

The balance of natural molecules

The balance of all natural molecules can be maintained with a proper diet. Our lack of knowledge does not allow us to intervene correctly with “intelligent dietary supplements”, unless such supplements and additional agents introduced empirically into the diet are correctly used by a hormonal control of energy production and consumption. “Natural molecules” only contribute to making you fatter and feeling bloated if your hormonal control is off.

No dietary supplement or “natural medicine” could benefit or cure unless the body’s central hormone monitoring system is synchronized, according to the cyclical day and night hormonal periodicity and the “hormonal orchestra” and its conductor, that is the complex that refers to the pineal gland, play according to the programmed melody.

Protecting the pineal complex

In the course of aging we can protect our conductor, that is our pineal complex from progressive rusting  by taking melatonin at night time, before going to bed. This allows the pineal gland to better maintain its role of central regulator or conductor of the hormonal orchestra.

Selenium is a fundamental trace element of the body. Modern eating habits of the rich western society have drastically reduced the daily amount of selenium in the diet.

Selenium , essential for immune functions

Selenium is essential for the enzymatic reaction responsible for the synthesis of glutathione, an endogenous natural molecule present in all cells that has strong antioxidant properties (eliminates the notorious “free radicals”). A selenium deficiency in the diet leads to a state of immunodeficiency (decreased resistance to infectious diseases and cancer), a decreased antitoxic capacity of the body, degenerative diseases, all of which are typical expressions of aging. Epidemiological studies in the United States, conducted on thousands of elderly men, have shown the efficacy of selenium in the prevention of prostatic hypertrophy.

Zinc is one of the most abundant minerals of the earth’s soil, in particular of volcanic soils and, over evolution, has been incorporated as an active element in over 200 enzymes, fundamental molecules for essential cell functions.


The contribution of melatonin

Melatonin is not a cure for cancer. Its effects on cancer can be appreciated only if it is associated with a certain number of immunostimulating agents and conventional therapies. Melatonin helps improve the function of the pineal gland also in cancer patients, thus indirectly contributing to the reconstitution of the mechanisms of the so-called “surveillance on cancer”, that is the mechanisms of recognition and immunological rejection of cancer.

Cancer: some recognized causes

Cancer is often preceded by hormonal changes that modify the immune system and weaken its surveillance tasks against cancer cells: a pre-existing state of immunosuppression (which can also be induced by external factors, stress, decompensation of natural circadian biological cycles, etc. .) may in fact lead to an alteration of neuroendocrine control by the immune system.

Melatonin, effect on compromised state of immunity

Melatonin, also through its influence on the epiphysis, helps to restore a compromised immunity, thus contributing to correct the hormonal changes that may precede cancer. The administration of melatonin, which in cancer prophylaxis can reach even consistent doses, is, in our opinion, relevant.

In other words, by protecting the pineal gland, melatonin helps protect us from the onset of tumors of psychoneuroendocrine origin (often including breast cancer).

However, if cancer is already developed and extensive, melatonin will not have significant effects on its course, but will produce improvements in the general condition of the patient (mood, sleep, nutrition, high pain threshold, etc.) which can result in an extension of life.

The pineal gland is the interpretative key of the causes of aging and many times of cancer: the evening administration of melatonin will keep the pineal gland young and functional.

We have observed and documented significant improvements in some cases of acute colitis, especially in chronic intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and chronic spastic intestinal syndromes, produced by evening administration of melatonin together with zinc. It is not yet known whether these beneficial effects of exogenous melatonin depend on a simple restoration of the melatonin produced by the intestinal mucosa (the production of which is controversial) or by the direct protection of the intestinal mucosa. In this specific case, the local and additional antioxidant activity of melatonin combined with zinc could be significant.
Depression, characteristics of seasonal affective disorders

Depression and the so-called “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD), characterized by gloomy morning mood are mental states caused by such a variety of hormonal alterations, psychic and emotional disorders of family, social and neuropsychiatric origin, that it would be impossible to list them all.

Depression can be associated to nervousness and anxiety and fears and be permanent in the subconscious without being aware of them. Depression is often associated with apathy and disinterest in the outside world. Many people adapt and “cohabit” permanently with depression. Depression is the most dangerous and devastating of all diseases, as it deprives us of all joy and motivation to live.

Depression and biochemistry

Depression blocks and alters the biochemistry of the brain (or is caused by it) and creates a vicious circle of negative events in the body and mind. A very common condition of a more or less deep depression is often present during menopause and in andropause and obviously depends on the decline of sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and others)

Nocturnal melatonin levels in case of depression

It is a known fact that night-time melatonin levels are low in people suffering from depression.

Melatonin, also by helping to reconstitute a hormonal cyclicity through its action on the epiphysis, is able to mitigate depression in many ways. The antidepressant action of exogenous melatonin has been shown in many studies. Melatonin helps to restore physiological sleep and, by acting on the functionality of the pineal gland, the cyclicity of sex hormones, in particular testosterone and estrogens. Even short-term results are observed but the best results in restoring a positive and lively morning mood are obtained with a more prolonged (often dose-dependent) treatment of course associated with additional interventions such as diet, relaxed and constant exercise , a normal and rewarding sexual activity and psychotherapy, where it is required.

Melatonin is not a sleeping pil

Sleep is a regular, temporary, circadian (night-day variation), cyclical event of life.

Insomnia is a disorder of the length but, above all, of the quality of sleep, which can result in sometime serious and irreparable damages to psychic and somatic functions.

Melatonin is not a sleeping pill and does not have the effect of a drug on the period and the quality of sleep.

The progressive restoration of hormonal cycles supported by Melatonin, through its protective action on the pineal gland, helps restore natural sleep, by improving the deep sleep and the REM phase, regardless from its duration.

The factors that alter sleep

The restorative action of sleep does not depend on its duration, but on its quality.

Some of the elements that can alter sleep are:

  • Exposing until late in the evening to the blue lights of the screens, which interfere with the production of melatonin by the Pineal gland.
  • Sleeping with the lights on: if you want to improve your sleep quality you need to sleep in complete darkness
  • Drink coffee and alcohol before going to sleep
  • Have a heavy dinner
  • Overheating your bedroom

During sleep we go through phases of different levels of depth that constitute cycles that alternate during the night.

When we fall asleep, we initially get into a relatively light sleep: our heartbeat, breathing and eye movement slow down, our muscles start relaxing, our brain waves decelerate.

As sleep progresses, relaxation progresses, the body temperature lowers, eye movement stops and we get into the deep sleep phase, which occurs in longer stretches in the first half of the night, during which our body activates the “maintenance” processes. 

The REM sleep phase – which occurs for the first time 90 minutes after falling asleep – is when most of our dreams take place. Brain wave activity becomes more similar to the waking status, our eyes move quickly behind closed eyelids, our breathing becomes faster and irregular and our heartbeat and blood pressure increase. 

If our sleep is disturbed by many factors, “microawakenings” occur, interrupting the normal sleep phases, and with them the required self-repairing procedures 

It is known that hormones follow a typical cycle and quantitative variation during 25 hours, which are altered by many factors, such as stress, anxiousness, diseases, jet-lag, lack of sleep and many other aspects.

Sleep, facilitated by melatonin

Sleep induced and facilitated by melatonin produces a youthful type of sleep, inclusive of the REM phase, which helps to reconstitute the psychic and physical forces of the body as in juvenility.

In order to mitigate insomnia, it is important also to recreate a periodicity and a quality of sleep that can be achieved with melatonin. Progressive restoration of the hormonal cyclicity produced through the protective action of melatonin on the pineal gland, produces a cascade of positive events that naturally restores a healthy and deep sleep, regardless of its duration.

Sleep and immunity

It has also been observed that sleep affects immunity because its deficiency produces stress and anxiety, conditions that have serious effects on the resistance of the immune system. Melatonin can therefore help restore sleep and sustain immunity.

There is nothing more damaging than a permanent imbalance in natural biological rhythms, which are controlled by the night-day or light-dark circadian periods that are part of our genetic make-up and regulate precisely the cyclic secretion of all hormones, which in turn control immunity.

Therefore, melatonin, by aiding our sleep, can also positively affect immunity.


Nervousness and irritability, as well as mood, also express a manifest or unconscious situation of stress produced by a neuroendocrine system altgered by aging.

Nervousness is a biochemical expression

Anxiety and nervousness are also the psychic expression of an unbalanced brain biochemistry by an insufficiently precise control of the synthesis and secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain.

Melatonin and nervousness

La melatonina, per la sua azione sulla funzionalità dell’epifisi, possiede la capacità, nella maggioranza delle persone, di aiutare a riequilibrare e di regolare progressivamente la ciclicità ormonale circadiana.
Il risultato potrebbe essere uno stato psichico di benessere e serenità in particolare al mattino al risveglio e in condizioni di tensione sociale: si torna padroni di se stessi.

Stress and distress

Stress is a rather undefined word to explain a condition of discomfort and restlessness, of tension and of environmental, mental and psychological inadequacy. However, there is a more precise definition of this state in the word distress, or negative reaction to potentially positive situations

Acute, temporary, permanent, conscious or unconscious stress is linked to a myriad of social and personal situations and is basically a strictly individual condition since the same situation evokes different reactions and feelings in constitutionally different people.

Consequences of stress

 Stress is basically a psychological condition that can however lead to many autoimmune, cardiovascular and cancer diseases. These are typical stress-related diseases which are also linked to aging.

Stress perceived as an adverse and negative reaction inevitably accelerates the course of aging. Individuals and populations with a long life span experience or perceive low levels of social and environmental stress.

Melatonin contributes to the balance that reduces stress

To simplify, stress is a normal condition of life, with the difference that the individual reaction to stress is different. Of course through its ability to balance a neuroendocrine and immune system (through action on the epiphysis), improve sleep and mood, melatonin is a good scientific remedy to combat stress and help replenish a joyful and positive psychic state capable of promoting adaptation to problematic personal and social situations.