How can sleep help improve your macular degeneration?
Recent studies have indicated that a very important part of a healthy eye is the melanin contained in the retinal pigment epithelium of the retina. Researchers have observed the earliest changes in macular degeneration occur in this layer of the eye. As we age changes in the pigment layer of the eye develop along with the development of Drusen. I like to describe drusen as waste material that accummulates as our retinal cells become sluggish.
How can we keep the melanin levels healthy in our eyes?
Even the slightest amount of light will reduce the melatonin production . During the night, sleep in complete 100% darkness.. Even remove the lighted LCd-display from the alarm-clock can reduce the melatonin production. Also be sure to get enough sunlight during the day.. With a good contrast of light (during the day) vs complete darkness (night), the pineal glands produce the most melatonin.
A recent article was published studying the effects of melatonin in macular degeneration by the New York Academy of Sciences. Effects of Melatonin in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Reversal of Aging: Resetting the Pineal Clock Volume 1057 published December 2005 Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1057: 384–392 (2005). CHANGXIAN YI et al. They proposed that the decrease in melatonin in the elderly may be an important factor in RPE dysfunction, which is a well known cause for initiation of AMD. 100 patients were given 3 mg of melatonin at night for a minimum of 3 months. Fifty-five patients were followed for more than 6 months. At 6 months of treatment, the visual acuity had been kept stable in general. The majority of patients had reduced pathologic macular changes. We conclude that the daily use of 3 mg melatonin seems to protect the retina and to delay macular degeneration. No significant side effects were observed.