Most of us have problems with sleep, whether we have insomnia, we can´t get asleep, we wake up at night, we don´t sleep enough and most of this sleep problems are caused by stress. Some of us have listen about melatonin and most of us know that it´s related to sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone and it regulates our sleep patterns it tells our body when it´s time to sleep and when it´s time to wake up. As any other hormone it´s levels go up and down throughout the 24 hours of the day, melatonin starts to increase around the evening when the sun sets and it lowers in the morning when the sun rise. Since this hormones works according to the sun set and rise set the amount of natural light you get during the day will affect its production.
One of the reasons why it is beneficial to get sunlight exposure everyday in the morning is to keep the internal clock of the body balanced so that hormones like melatonin are also in balance.
Melatonin is regulated by light and the problem nowadays is that we don´t spend as much time as we need outside to get natural light exposure and we spend too much time inside where exposure to light bulbs and blue light from electronics is really high and this affects melatonin and the circadian rhythm of the body.
Since melatonin plays an important role on regulating our circadian rhythm we need to make sure that it is working efficiently so that we get enough quality sleep every night so that all other hormones and functions in the body are working properly otherwise if hormones and systems get out of balance it is harder to stay on track with our nutrition program, stress increases, energy levels are highly affected it is harder to control our weight.
Melatonin also helps regulate the temperature of our body which improves our sleep quality. Good levels of melatonin improves concentration and focus and you have more energy during the day.
Melatonin supplements have become very popular among people who have sleep problems, even when it has benefits and it can help you fall asleep if you are jet lag after a fly or vacation if you take it consistently your body becomes dependent of it so with time you´ll need more and more. There´s research that shows that melatonin supplements can have more benefits apart from helping sleep like helping with weight loss.
What I prefer as always is to make better choices during the day and improve our lifestyles, spending some time outside every day specially in the morning and reducing light at night from bulbs and blue light from electronics is very beneficial. Doing some meditation before going to bed can help settle the mind and reduce stress which also helps increase the production of melatonin.
Some studies show that milk and bananas before bed also helps with melatonin production, I´ve heard people say that if you drink a hot glass of milk before bed you´ll sleep better. I haven´t tried this and I´m not thinking of trying it out because I don´t like the taste of hot milk.
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