There are many incredible benefits of meditation as well as ways to practise, but when done in darkness it has an extra magical effect.
Meditation done in a dark room is known to encourage the release of melatonin. Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone produced, by the pineal gland (area of third eye), in darkness and has numerous anti-ageing qualities.
What Does Melatonin Do?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which are both anti-ageing, it helps prevent, and treat, many illnesses including cancer, and acts as a mood booster during the long winter months.
Those suffering insomnia and sleeping difficulties are thought to have a melatonin deficiency.
The immune system does most of its work at night and is believed to be interlinked with production of melatonin. When melatonin levels are suppressed illness and premature ageing occurs.
As we age melatonin production decreases. Scientists believe this reduction is interrelated with ageing and age-related disorders. With age, the body’s cells become less tolerant of stress. Studies show melatonin can restore the ability of cells components to withstand the effects of inflammatory stress. In a nutshell this means if we are protected internally from ageing, we look younger externally!
‘Melatonin protects from the stresses which contributes to premature ageing’
To produce more melatonin, we need to spend more time in complete darkness. However, with light pollution, sleeping in darkness is not so easy to do. Because of street lighting, even with the curtains closed, bedrooms tend to stay on the light side. Which hinders the production of melatonin and in turn leads to a less than restful night’s sleep.
If you hear the birds singing in middle of the night, hours before dawn, it is a clear sign you live in an area affected by light pollution. Street lighting disrupts the birds’ nocturnal habits (the sky lightness makes them believe dawn is breaking). It’s not just humans who need complete darkness to set natural rhythms and the internal body clock.
Studies show that meditation, done in complete darkness, before bedtime increases production of melatonin and produces enough to last the night. This can be further aided by focusing on the third eye (centre of forehead) during meditation; which stimulates the pineal gland (melatonin producer).
Meditation for a Happy Mind
A regular meditation practise is essential if you want to reap the full benefits melatonin release and a quiet mind.
For better melatonin production, practice for 5 to 20 minutes before sleep, in complete darkness. You could do a guided meditation, a breathing technique, or just still the mind (click here or here). After meditation make sure you stay in complete darkness and allow yourself to drift off in a peaceful slumber.