Do you commonly find yourself tossing and turning late into the night, then feeling lethargic and tired during the day? Do you frequently feel the urge to nap but wake up feeling more sluggish than before? You may be experiencing a disruption to your circadian rhythms – and taking some melatonin orally may be just what you need to fix it.
If you find that you are sleeping poorly, there are a number of steps you can take to amp up your “sleep hygiene.” Avoid watching television or using computers, tablets, or smart phones for at least one hour before going to bed. These screens give off blue and white lights, which can decrease natural production of melatonin. Try getting 15-30 minutes of natural sunshine in the morning hours to help reset your biological clock and sleep better. But in addition to these tips, supplementing with melatonin may be the perfect boost.
The body operates like a highly tuned machine that adheres to natural circadian rhythms. This internal automated rhythm regulates your sleep-wake cycle. This biological process repeats on a never-ending loop roughly every 24 hours and tells your body when to be tired and when to wake up and be alert.
However, it’s possible to disrupt this rhythm, leading you to sleepless nights and tired afternoons. Circadian rhythms are commonly disrupted when traveling to different time zones or working during the evening hours. Daylight savings time changes and seasonal changes can also disrupt these rhythms. When it begins to get darker outside earlier, your internal clock can slowly be thrown out of whack. These disruptions can lead to pesky problems such as weight gain, impulsivity, slower thinking, and other unwanted physiological and behavioral changes.
Luckily, there is a simple way to remedy this problem. One of the important benefits that your circadian system controls is the secretion of the hormone, melatonin, produced by the pineal gland at night. It serves as a nighttime cue and promotes the anticipation of sleep. Melatonin is responsible for making you feel sleepy, and often helps you drift off into deep sleep. This hormone is naturally released by your body when it becomes dark outside. If your circadian rhythms are off, try adding a melatonin supplement to your nightly routine. Supplementing small amounts of hormone can be amazingly helpful to help cue your body when to sleep and allow you to rest more peacefully.
In addition to helping maintain normal sleep cycles, melatonin may be beneficial for other reasons, including regulating metabolism and energy balance, providing anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions, and providing antioxidant properties. One study noted that “melatonin supplementation facilitated body weight reduction, improved antioxidant defense, and regulated adipokine secretion.”1
Taking a natural melatonin supplement in the evening right before bedtime can help you drift off peacefully and help your body achieve deep, restful sleep. If you have been struggling to maintain a consistent sleep schedule for a while, consider melatonin – and enjoy the rejuvenating sleep it may help you achieve!