Melatonin, you´ve heard about it right? We´ve mentioned it in some posts. Some people take it as a supplement for sleep, so we need to learn more about it and find out if those supplements are really helpful.
When we talk bout melatonin we need to talk about light and the cycles of sleep/wake, we mentioned in others posts that we send signals to our body and one of those signals is send through the eyes, light turns off melatonin and darkness turns on melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain and this gland receives the signal through the eyes, we´re supposed to be in contact with nature and our wake/sleep cycle is supposed to work according to our environment the problem is that we´re exposed to blue light a huge part of the day and we don´t go outside and get sunlight exposure and this takes the circadian rhythm out of sync and we don´t send the right signals to the pineal gland.
If you find it hard to fall asleep and right before you go to bed you were sitting in front of your computer, laptop, tv or any other electronic device then that light is sending the wrong message to the pineal gland and melatonin production is turned off.
When we talk about supplement we need to understand the melatonin does not makes us sleep, it helps our body regulates the circadian rhythm. You may not need to take melatonin the problem may be that you´re sending the wrong messages to your brain and body so the pineal gland is not receiving the right message and it does not secret melatonin.
Taking melatonin as a supplement can be beneficial when for any reason the circadian rhythm is out of sync like jet lag, you can take a low dosage around 60 minutes before going to bed and it helps. It´s not necessary to take daily supplement and it can be counterproductive because your body gets use to receiving it and the pineal gland stops producing it.
Some steps or tips to help you improve sleep and the production of melatonin are:
1.- Go outside for a walk, exercising in the gym is great but we also need to get sunlight exposure,
2.- Turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. If you like to fall asleep with the Tv on you need to change that habit because you´re not getting good quality sleep as you could. The room need to be dark so that the pineal gland secret melatonin and you get enough high-quality sleep.
3.- Have a sleep schedule to keep the circadian rhythm in sync and you send the right messages to your body and brain.
Poor quality sleep is in most cases caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, eating unhealthy foods, lack of physical activity, lack of sunlight exposure, too much exposure to blue light. You may have enough melatonin and you don´t need to supplement the problem may be that your body is not secreting melatonin at the right time because the circadian rhythm is out of sync. Follow the steps we share with you in this post for a couple of weeks and let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you saw an improvement or some change on the quantity and quality of sleep also if those steps make it easier to fall asleep.
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