Do you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night? Did you know our body naturally produces a hormone called melatonin from our pineal gland? This hormone is what helps us sleep every night. Recently, I read a couple articles on the cycle of sleeping and waking. The first article comes from the National Sleep Foundation and they found:
“A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothalamus. There, a special center called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake.”
They explain around 9pm our bodies start to release melatonin into our bloodstream making us tired. Interestingly, this is generally the time I tend to start getting ready for bed. I highly recommend trying this natural hormone supplement to see if it will fit in your daily program. Sleep is an extremely important part of living a healthy lifestyle according to the US Department of Health and Human Services NIH (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute):
“Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.”
What if our natural melatonin doesn’t function as it should? I am sure you have seen melatonin down the vitamin aisle at stores. What is the appropriate dosage to take? The right dosage will be different for everyone and may take a few attempts to experiment at different levels. However, finding that dosage amount and what time to take melatonin (how much sleep you need for it to wear off) is extremely important.
I discussed with friends their experiences with melatonin, one friend explained 5mg works great while others need 20mg or more. Everybody is different with how much melatonin is released within your body and how much extra you need to supplement to ensure a good night’s rest. Understanding your needs for melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.