How Melatonin Helps You Get a Good Night Sleep
Poor sleeping habits are on the rise now more than ever before. With the blue light from our phones interrupting our sleep patterns, the stressors of social media giving us unnecessary anxiety, and all the other daily factors that keep us going, it’s getting harder and harder to sleep. According to recent studies, poor sleeping habits affect between 50-70 million Americans. Needless to say, having trouble sleeping is a common problem in today’s modern age.
Having poor sleeping habits can quickly lower your productivity, zap you of all energy, and increase your risk of certain diseases. This is why the National Sleep Foundation says that it is crucial to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night as an adult. This is where melatonin comes in.
Melatonin supplements are becoming extremely popular today. In fact, studies have estimated that over 3.065 million adults report taking melatonin supplements. In my own personal experiences, I can tell you that taking melatonin not only helps me fall asleep, but it also helps me feel more well-rested when I wake up in the morning. But what is melatonin and how does it help you sleep?
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body makes on its own. It is often called the “sleep hormone” because it’s the hormone that tells your body that it is time to relax and nod off to sleep. It doesn’t force your body to sleep, rather alerts your body to prepare for the normal sleep process. Needless to say, Melatonin is a crucial element in your sleep cycle.
How Does Melatonin Help You Sleep?
Your body’s natural melatonin levels begin to increase when it gets dark outside each night, alerting your body that it’s time to sleep. It begins to regulate your body temperature, your blood pressure, and your hormone levels as it rises. Your melatonin then binds to receptors in your brain to help you calm down. If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, it is possible that your body is not making enough melatonin. Smokers, those under severe stress, or those who are exposed to too much blue light have trouble regulating their circadian rhythm and, therefore, can easily have lower levels of melatonin.
What Can You Do If You Don’t Make Enough Melatonin?
If you find that you don’t make enough Melatonin or if you are just having trouble nodding off to sleep each night, melatonin supplements may help you decompress and inevitably, fall asleep. Providing your body with a nudge to let it know that it’s nighttime is not a bad idea. Aside from taking melatonin supplements, it may also help you to sleep with your phone outside of the room, so you aren’t enticed to be up on your phone for all hours of the night. After all, the blue light from your phone screen can easily keep you awake even longer. It’s also a good idea to turn down your lights and read a book or do a calming activity an hour before bed to help yourself disconnect from your daily stressors and calm down.
So, if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it’s likely that your body isn’t making enough melatonin, whether it be from natural causes or because you are tricking your own circadian rhythm through blue light and stress. Regardless, you should come up with a plan that works for you to help you decompress each night. Adding melatonin supplements to your routine could easily become an integral part of your new sleep regimen.