In the busy world we live in, sometimes to meet the demands and wants in some areas of our lives we sacrifice others. Too often it ends up being our sleep. Constant disruption of your body clock or circadian rhythm due to lack of sleep can be quite detrimental to our health and it has been linked to obesity, depression, peptic ulcers, and cancer. The most significant effects of sleeplessness are on our heart and the risk of a cardiac event. However, it also impacts your body's ability to heal.
When we are deficient in sleep there are several hormones that don't get an opportunity to be released, most notably growth hormones, which causes sleep disturbances, and sleep disturbances can alter hormone levels, turning into a vicious cycle. Growth hormones stimulate the repair and building of muscle tissue, connective tissue, bone building, and fat burning. However, the most important hormone in the body that is associated with sleep is melatonin.
So, in this article, I want to share with you the evidence on the efﬁcacy and safety of melatonin to help you sleep well. Also, you will see how this special hormone can help if you are suffering from any sleeping disorder.
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. At nightfall, neuronal signals connecting the retina and the central nervous system with the gland produce a release of norepinephrine that triggers the transformation of serotonin into melatonin, which is then released into the blood and spinal ﬂuid. Being liposoluble, it easily travels across the blood-brain barrier. Most circulating melatonin is metabolized in the liver via P450 cytochrome enzymes and it is eliminated through urine as inactive metabolites.
In humans, melatonin receptors have been identiﬁed in the membrane and cell nucleus of many tissues and systems where it exercises diverse actions, including the regulation of circadian rhythms. The rhythmic pattern of melatonin secretion is important because it provides important information to the organism regarding time, which allows for adjustments of some physiological functions according to daily and seasonal variations.
How Melatonin Helps You Sleep Better
Melatonin is very important as it helps to regulate the internal body sleep clock’s cycle and establish the conditions for sleep so that your body temperature can reduce. Your blood melatonin level usually starts to go up about 2 hours before you go to sleep. Also, melatonin is used to treat insomnia and there are two ways that you can use it. The first, which is the most common is to use it is as a sedative, to make you feel sleepy and the second is to help reset your internal body clock to a different time so it doesn’t synchronize with the time of the.
How To Ensure The Optimal Production Of Melatonin
Melatonin works by shifting the sleep-wake rhythms. You should make sure to keep your room dark when you want to sleep as it is one of the best ways to ensure the proper production of melatonin. You should try to avoid even the lowest amount of ambient light as it will greatly affect the production of melatonin by the pineal gland.
You should also be careful about the presence of your gadgets and electronics when it’s time to sleep. These include phones, computers, and TVs as the backlit ‘blue light’ which they emit have adverse effects on the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. So, you should avoid using these set of devices a few hours before it’s time for you to go to bed to reduce their impact when you go to sleep.
The kind of diet you take in daily can affect melatonin production in your body. Taking foods such as cherry juice has been revealed by different researches to help people sleep longer since it helps the body produce melatonin effectively. Drinking about 30ml of a cherry juice twice a day will be a great idea.
Using A Melatonin Supplement
One way to increase melatonin levels is to combine protein-rich foods with a fairly high glycemic index carbohydrate. However, this can be a stressful process. So, why not avoid that by just using melatonin supplements. Although melatonin supplements may be beneficial for short periods of time such as treating jet lag when crossing time zones, long-term, taking a high dosage of it is not recommended. This will disrupt the natural production of melatonin in your body and potentially suppress your ability to produce this important hormone in the correct proportion, ultimately making sleep problems worse.
If you want to take a melatonin supplement, you should do so about an hour before you go to bed. Although, some people feel a “wave” of sleepiness some 20 minutes after taking it and make the most of this by being in bed ready to sleep at this time.
Conclusively, melatonin can cause sleepiness and so should not be taken before driving or operating machinery. Also, long term use of melatonin is only appropriate if prescribed because of a significant underlying sleep disorder. Side effects are uncommon. Lastly, you should make sure to consult your doctor before you use melatonin with other medicines to ensure its compatibility.