Have Trouble Sleeping? Naturally Increase Melatonin and Sleep Better

Pin It

increase melatonin

Naturally Increase Melatonin for a Better Night’s Rest

Many have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, even if you had enough time in your day to get in 8 or more hours of rest, many have difficulty  falling asleep or wake up many times throughout the night. If you have difficulty sleeping, you’re not alone, it is estimated that 1/3 of Americans have trouble sleeping every night and over 50% have trouble at least several times each week.

One possible cause is a decrease in your body’s level of melatonin. Melatonin levels can be affected very easily and can drop off due to environmental factors, such as sleeping with bright lights on.

When you think about going back to what’s natural, hundreds of years ago we weren’t staying up late at night with artificial light, using laptops, or watching TV before bed,  instead the human body used daylight to determine when it was time to sleep and when it was time to wake up.  When this timing is altered it can result in the disruption of the circadian rhythm.

With just a few simple changes you will be able to naturally increase melatonin which will help you get a good night’s sleep.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced in the pineal gland. Melatonin production is what allows the body to relax and triggers sleepiness at night, the level decreases in the early morning.

The production of melatonin can easily be affected by environmental factors including, using artificial light and stress, which make it more difficult to fall asleep.

With the number of people who use cell phones, watch TV or use their laptop right before going to sleep, it’s no surprise that so many are low in melatonin and would benefit from increasing it.

The Super Health Benefits of Melatonin

Studies on melatonin have shown the numerous amount of health benefits. The hormone melatonin has been shown to increase the immune system and have anti-cancer benefits. It not only inhibits proliferation of cancer cells, but also triggers cancer cells to self destruct (apoptosis).

Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant, it decreases your bodies level of oxidative stress and reduces inflammation.

What Causes Low Melatonin

The most common cause of decreased melatonin is due to light exposure. Unless your going to bed at 8pm or 6pm in the winter, you’re using some form of artificial light.

Research has shown that exposure to artificial light at nighttime inhibits the production of melatonin. Even just being exposed to normal room lighting can suppress melatonin.

However, melatonin is most affected by “blue” light, which is emitted from cell phones, computer screens, and TVs.

Whether you check your phone for a minute before you go to bed or watch TV for a few hours, studies show the effect is the same and your body’s melatonin pump won’t turn back on when you turn your devices off.

There are also other factors that can influence melatonin production, including high  levels of stress and eating foods with caffeine.

How to Naturally Increase Melatonin

With these simple tips you can naturally increase melatonin and should be able to get a better night’s sleep.

1.  Go to Sleep Early- Make sure to get a full night’s sleep in order to allow your body to go through all sleep stages and to not disrupt circadian rhythm. If possible, try to turn down the lighting in your home as it gets closer to nighttime and minimize the use of computers and TV’s especially right before bed.

2. Sleep in Darkness – Completely pitch black would be best, make sure to cover alarm clocks or any small lights on electronic devices, and use blackout window curtains.

3. Avoid High Sugar and Caffeine – Several studies have shown that those with diets high in caffeine, processed foods and sugar tend to have even more decreased levels of melatonin

4. Meditate -Allow yourself some quiet time before you go to bed and practice deep breathing. Meditation has been shown to aid in boosting the production of melatonin.

5. Reduce Stress- High levels of stress result in the suppression of the production of melatonin and growth hormone secretion

6. Eat Cherries-Several foods naturally contain melatonin. To increase melatonin, the most powerful is tart cherries. Other foods that  boost melatonin levels include turkey, chicken, and almonds.

Should You Supplement with Melatonin?

You can also buy melatonin supplements to increase melatonin. However, give the natural ways a try first to see if you can eliminate what may be causing low melatonin. Melatonin can be very helpful for some who continue to have difficulty sleeping. Studies have shown that melatonin helps individuals fall asleep quicker, remain asleep, and prevent fatigue during the day.

Have you tried any of these tips to naturally increase melatonin?

 

Sources:
http://www.healthyfellow.com/1280/natural-melatonin-boosters/
http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-8-sleep-more-deeply
http://chriskresser.com/how-artificial-light-is-wrecking-your-sleep-and-what-to-do-about-it
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/19/melatonin-benefits.aspx
http://www.naturalnews.com/025210_melatonin_cherries_sleep.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/033413_melatonin_sleep_disorders.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/033213_melatonin_sleep_hormone.html

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...By Lori Klein                                                                                                                                                       Medical and Site Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health care provider regarding a medical condition. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.      ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this site. These small earnings help to cover some of the costs for this site.

Sign up for my free monthly newsletter!

Get natural health tips, recipes & my free e-book-10 Ways to Improve Your Health.

Bonus: Get my 7 day Paleo gluten-free meal plan.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve did quite a bit of research on insomnia when writing the article, “10 sleep tips for insomnia”: http://blissfulwriter.hubpages.com/hub/Sleep-Tips-Help-Insomnia

    You are correct that to have good melatonin production, we have to sleep in complete darkness and avoid artificial lights (such as your computer screen too late at night). However, exposure to bright natural sun light during the day will increase melatonin production at night and it help circadian rhythm in sync.

    Melatonin supplement might be okay if you really need it, and if you already tried all the natural remedy without success. But I would not take them long term and start with really low dose. But they are still probably safer than some of the other sleep aids out there.

  2. Rose says

    Supplementing melatonin isn’t good for everyone and I think it needs a big caution sign on the label. Melatonin naturally decreases cortisol levels in the body which is all good and fine but for those of us who have trouble maintaining normal cortisol levels it can be very harmful and greatly disturb sleep. I have struggled with adrenal problems for many years but went into crisis mode after starting to supplement with melatonin at night. Another strange thing – melatonin gives me stomach upset and so do cherries….I don’t understand it but I never knew cherries contained melatonin until this post. Thanks for the great info!

  3. eema.gray says

    I’ve found that by far the best melatonin booster is twenty minutes out in the sun as early in the morning as possible. Twenty to thirty minutes of very easy walking, playing on the slide, or just eating breakfast out there, before 8 am, makes a gigantic difference in how well me and my children sleep.

  4. Aggie says

    I am just now finding out about melatonin, and have been doing everything wrong! No wonder I have trouble sleeping.

    I’m a night owl and use the computer or watch TV right up until bedtime. Also, I found out that the blood pressure medication I take (calcium channel blocker) decreases melatonin.
    I am allergic to ACE inhibitors, so I don’t really have the option to stop taking a CCB.

    I am going to try to change my ways to boost my melatonin naturally, because I am not sure it’s OK to take a melatonin supplement along with my CCB.

    If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them. Thanks!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hope the natural tips help! I saw a great difference just from darkening the room earlier at night and sleeping in complete darkness.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>