If you have been having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, you are not alone. According to research, over 60 million Americans experience insomnia every single year.
To make matters worse, having insomnia increases your chances of dying in a car accident by 67%! It also affects your mood, increases anxiety, depression, your chances of having a stroke, and obesity.
Considering we spend about one-third of our lifetimes snoozing, we must learn how to optimize our sleep so that we can feel well-rested and take on our daily tasks.
This is where it becomes important to know the relationship between melatonin and sleep.
Keep reading this comprehensive guide on melatonin for sleep, so you can have the energy you need to live the life that you desire!
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in your body, both in your gut and in your pineal gland. While researchers spent numerous years studying melatonin from the pineal gland, it was only recently when studies came out about the difference of melatonin in the gut.
According to these studies, gastrointestinal melatonin produces over 400 times more melatonin than found in the pineal gland. This also means that if you do not have a properly functioning digestive system, you may be suffering from low levels of melatonin.
Melatonin is also an immunomodulator, which means that it is needed for a healthy immune system function. Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant, which supports proper eyesight, and reduces the risks of developing certain types of cancers such as breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers.
It also supports your neurological system, improves your digestive health, temperature, blood pressure, and improves your cognitive function. Your brain also signals for the release of melatonin when it receives signals from other hormones that it is time to eat.
Melatonin and Sleep
Once it becomes darker, your brain signals for the release of melatonin which will help you to sleep; this is also known as your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your built-in alarm clock for your daily sleeping and waking schedules that is based on a 24 hour period. Instinctively, we are designed to sleep during the night and be awake for the other 16 hours of the day.
Once your brain releases melatonin, it begins to bind to brain receptors to slow down nerve activity and slow down the production of dopamine, which is responsible for staying awake.
Unfortunately, due to our current digital and fast-paced lifestyle, many people suffer from low melatonin levels because of their poor bedtime routines.
Exposure to light inhibits your brain from sending the signal to release melatonin, as it tricks the brain into thinking it is still daytime. If you have a bad habit of staying up late on your digital devices, you may be doing more harm to your health than you may think.
1. Corrects Jet Lag
No one likes the experience of jet lag. But if you love traveling, it comes with the territory. Jet lag can last up to six days, which means that if you have a shorter vacation, you may be too tired to fully enjoy it.
Thankfully, melatonin can help to correct your sleeping schedule so you do not have to suffer as long. By using the correct steps to help your body produce more melatonin, you can correct your sleeping schedule in as little as two to three days.
2. Adjusts Poor Sleeping Habits
An ideal bedtime routine for natural melatonin production includes unwinding with quiet time, with no electronics or lights for at least one hour before bed. Unfortunately, with our busy lifestyles, not many people can follow this ideal routine, which causes our body to lack sufficient melatonin for a good night’s sleep.
By ensuring you have a good bedtime routine, you are helping your body to wind down and prepare for a restful sleep, so that your lifestyle does not have to affect your health.
3. Increases Growth Hormone in Men
Human growth hormone (HGH) is an essential hormone for men’s health and well-being. Not only will it help with exercise performance, sex drive, and muscle building, but it also helps to reduce the chances of diseases, aids in recovery, and lowers body fat.
According to research, the more melatonin your body produces, the more it helps the body to stimulate and release more HGH. It can also help to reduce the release of other hormones that inhibit melatonin production.
4. Reduces Tinnitus
Sleeping with a bit of noise in the background is one thing, but if that noise is coming from inside your ears, there is no way to escape it. Tinnitus is illustrated by a constant ringing in the ears and can be even louder when the room is silent.
Unfortunately, tinnitus and insomnia are closely linked, as insomnia can worsen the stressful and emotional response to tinnitus, which prevents you from restful sleeping in the first place.
Thankfully, melatonin comes to the rescue again by lessening the symptoms of tinnitus and assists your body in having a better sleep.
5. Promotes Restful Sleep
It is great when you can easily fall asleep, but staying asleep is a major problem for most people. The more you wake up during the night, the more you are interrupting your sleeping cycle, which affects your ability to stay in deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
During REM sleep your body is repairing, restoring, and rejuvenating. Melatonin can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep, which means that your body will be able to soak up the benefits of a few full sleeping cycles.
Learn More About Melatonin and Sleep
Understanding the relationship between melatonin and sleep is a major lifesaver if you find it hard to have a restful sleep.
To ensure your body is producing enough melatonin, focus on eating whole, clean foods, and make sure you are getting enough time outside for optimal well-being.To learn more about melatonin, feel free to contact us at any time.