How Melatonin Works
Falling asleep and staying asleep can be a challenge at times. It could be that your body is not producing enough melatonin in the evening hours. There are many factors that can contribute to sleepless nights such as, age, stress or even too much coffee. It’s very important to know that this can have a negative impact on your health. When it comes to your social life, sleepless nights can impact your mood as well.
But what is melatonin and how exactly does it work?
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland. It helps your body know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Usually, your body makes more melatonin at night. Levels normally start to increase in the evening, once it starts to get dark out. Melatonin levels soon begin to drop in the morning, when the sun comes up. Certain foods such as, cherries, olives, rice, milk, and tomatoes contain melatonin.
Now, some of us may have lower levels of melatonin than others, and that’s fine! Let’s take a look at ways to increase your melatonin levels…Naturally!
Natural ways to increase melatonin levels:
-Eliminate artificial light at night: The ambient or artificial light at night, like your phone screen or TV, blocks melatonin production. Therefore, falling and staying asleep can seem impossible.
-Warm baths at night: This will have a relaxing effect on your cortisol levels (stress hormone) therefore, your melatonin levels begin to increase. Light a candle and enjoy your night!
-Regulate your caffeine intake: For those that don’t know, coffee beans are loaded with melatonin but end up being neutralized by the caffeine. Abusing caffeine can and will reduce the production of melatonin over time. Try drinking tea to break the habit!
-Meditation: Melatonin requires a settled mind for it to be produced early in the evening hours. Like warm baths, this relaxation technique lowers cortisol levels and allows your melatonin levels to settle in peacefully. RElax.
-Soak up the sun, in moderation: For an optimal amount of melatonin production, our body requires a certain amount of sunlight or daylight throughout the day. Exposure to extreme daylight can increase melatonin production at night. Get some sun but be safe and put on sun screen!
Everyone’s melatonin production is not the same, some of these tips may or may not work. The important thing is for you to find what works in order for you to live your best life.
-The REME Team