I’m continuing my procession through the Endocrine system and today the focus is on the Pineal Gland. There are lots of folks who struggle with experiencing deep and meaningful sleep cycles.
One of the hormones this gland produces is Melatonin, and the job of this hormone regulates circadian and ultradian rhythms, this gland is often referred to as the body’s biological clock.
This important gland is located in the center of the brain. It has been much of a mystery to Western medicine for many decades. But according to Dr. Bernard Jensen, Ph.D. in “The Chemistry of Man,”, “More recent research, however, shows that the pineal gland plays an active role in health and wellness at the mental and physical levels.
The pineal gland scientists theorize, is a Light-sensitive organ which requires stimulation from electromagnetic impulses from the optic nerves. Meaning when sunlight enters the eye and triggers retinal nerve impulses which travel to the pineal gland. From there, the resulting nerve impulses from the pineal gland are fed to the hypothalamus and pituitary, which control, mediate or affect many of the vital functions of the body. Additionally, only the pineal gland makes melatonin from serotonin, a process which operates strictly according to day-night cycles.
Melatonin formation is stopped by light and proceeds in darkness. So, we find the pineal gland, because of its sensitivity to light, has a profound effect on the biorhythms of the body. Its sort of a biological clock that affects the timing of certain physiological functions in the body.
Melatonin works together with tryptophan in the brain to regulate the sleep/wake cycle. We find that alpha is the healing state of the conscious, awakened mind, while sleep interspersed with vivid dreams is known to be a wonderful restorative. The pineal gland, in others words, may be called the “peace gland” because of its biochemical role in rest, relaxation and healing.
Because the pineal gland strongly influences the brain-wave pattern and sleep-wake cycle, we can be sure it is involved in coming to the state of consciousness in which spiritual processes take place, and this, too, profoundly affects our health.
The life of the spirit is a fundamental harmonizing factor, a guiding factor in leading us to that path in life that is uniquely ours. It is the “quiet place” within that we meet with God to seek the wisdom we need for right living and right understanding Here is the fountainhead of truth, and when we “exalt the Great within”, this truth comes down through the soul and body to manifest in our lives. When we seek that place of peace and quiet within, stilling the noise of the mind, truth works in us.” (Ph.D n.d)
Further agreement on the benefits and attributes of the pineal gland is stated by Dr. Norman Walker in Become Younger, “The Pineal gland is more actively engaged in the business of our “higher” or spiritual self. It is involved, usually in cooperation with the Pituitary gland, in the activities of the brain, such as memory, judgment, reason, contemplation, reflection, love, adoration, pure worship, etc. These activities work along lines of vibrations which are set in motion by the Pineal gland, much like the vibrations of the loud speaker in your radio, only several million times faster.
The activities of the Pineal gland depends upon the spiritual plane on which the individual is living. If he is on the higher spiritual planes, its vibrations have an uplifting emotional influence, if he lives in the lower, material gross, physical plane the emotions are more in the same class as that of the animals.” (Dr. N.W. Walker n.d.)
It’s amazing to me how our unique intricate workings of our body are designed to function in a particular fashion, even correlated with that of nature, meaning our sleep cycle is dependent on the day/night rotation, The fact that our eyes take in the detection of light and darkness and the shifts in those is what triggers our body to manufacture melatonin, this is fascinating stuff.
Folks who tend to work swing shifts find their sleep cycles and metabolism ends up “off”, as the body by design is meant to be awake during daylight hours, and asleep during the night.
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep and consider yourself a night owl, might I suggest you consider supplementing some melatonin, and begin eating some foods that are high in Tryptophan as well to work together in helping your body reset your natural sleep/wake cycles.
I know this one was long and for those who actually read to the finish….. CUDO’S, you are learning more about how your body works. Stay tuned because tomorrow I will post about the Pituitary gland and what important job it holds in the function of our bodies!
Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.
Harvested Health LLC