Human growth hormone (HGH) is an endogenous hormone released by the human pituitary gland which is in charge of the overall bodily growth and development in children. The hormone’s secretion is at its highest in childhood and slowly decreased as the years pass.
If HGH levels are low, children might not reach the height determined by their genes. Scientists and various researchers believe that the first signs of aging are due to the partial decrease of the growth hormone serum levels and research are underway trying to find ways to slow down the aging process with various forms of supplements containing growth hormone.
HGH is released by the anterior pituitary gland in our brains and it has an absolutely essential role in the proper functioning of our bodies. Acting somewhat as our body’s foreman, HGH tells our skeletal muscles and bones to grow stronger and larger while at the same time increases excess fat conversion into energy. HGH is basically responsible for getting a youthful look, energy, vitality and all the characteristics we usually relate to youthfulness.
HGH contributes to growth in children and has an essential role in adult metabolism. The gland releases the hormone, in gradually decreasing amounts, throughout our entire lives. How much HGH we have in our body can be calculated by the levels of Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1). HGH has a bigger effect on every cell in our body than all the other hormones mainly because it’s the cell generator.
There is a genetic limit to how much growth hormone our bodies can produce in our lifetimes, however, there are some things you can do to force the pituitary gland to release more HGH in a natural way:
1. Proper sleep and rest
Every normal individual has the majority of his/her growth hormone released during deep sleep stages. Studies have shown that the duration and quality of your sleep plays an essential role in the growth and development because of the fluctuations of growth hormone production. The average recommended sleep of 7 to 9 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep has proven itself to be excellent in the natural release of growth hormone. Even though the time of day you sleep does not matter that much, sleeping at night is more helpful since melatonin secretion is higher at night due to the dark environment. Here are some tips you can use to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Lower your room temperature before going to bed.
- Do not drink soda, caffeine or too much water before going to bed.
- If you have insomnia, you might want to try aromatherapy, massage or sound therapy.
2. Lose fat
How much body fat you have is directly connected to your HGH production. Those people who have higher levels of body fat or more fat around their belly are more likely to have their HGH production impaired and have an increased disease risk. One study showed that people who had three times more belly fat had half the HGH amount as slim people.
What’s interesting is that studies show that excess fat has a bigger effect on HGH levels on men than on women. Nonetheless, both genders should decrease their body weight. One study showed that obese people had lower levels of HGH and IGF-1. After they lost a significant amount of fat, their levels got back to normal. Out of all fat deposit areas in the body, belly fat has been proven to be the most detrimental type and it is related to many illnesses. Losing the fat around your belly will optimize your HGH levels and many other health aspects.
3. Do not eat before you go to bed
Nutrition experts advise that one should avoid eating heavy meals couple of hours before bedtime. This is important due to several reasons including an increased risk of obesity, impaired digestion and insulin response, as well as lowered secretion of HGH. Serological tests have shown that HGH release in the body decreases when levels of insulin are high.
4. Intermittent fasting
As we previously discussed, higher levels of insulin in our body decreases Human Growth Hormone production. Intermittent fasting has gained popularity just because of its ability to improve your blood sugar profile and ease digestion, as well as increase the release of HGH. How much one should fast varies according to the person’s preference, but generally a fast of 10 to 18 hours a day, three times a week is recommended for maximal health benefits and increased HGH secretion.