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Why Laughing In the Evening Helps You Sleep Better at Night

Laughter increases the body’s production of melatonin

A group of Japanese researchers found that laughing in the evening causes the body to produce more melatonin (the hormone released by the brain at sleep onset).

Forty-eight nursing women participated in this study. At eight PM on the night of the study, half of the women watched Modern Times by Charlie Chaplin; the other half watched what was described as a “non-humorous weather information DVD.” Both videos ran for eighty-seven minutes.

After that, breast milk was collected every two hours across the night, and its melatonin content was analyzed. Melatonin levels were higher in those women who had watched the Chaplin movie than the weather video.

Interesting, useful perhaps, and counterintuitive. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to imagine being able to stay awake through more than fifteen minutes of weather forecasts, let alone eighty-seven!




Dennis Rosen, M.D.

Learn how to help your child get a great night’s sleep with my new book:

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids: Helping Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up With a Smile!

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