Your melatonin level may not be the first thing you consider when you’re trying to be healthier, but I'd like to give you some reasons why you should give it some thought. Melatonin is the hormone essential for a healthy sleep cycle, but it also affects your entire body and sense of well-being. Check out these tips below and then hit the hay a bit earlier tonight, guilt-free!
1. Easily Disrupted
Our melatonin levels are supposed to naturally increase at sunset to help our bodies prepare for sleep, but many things can offset this natural trigger such as daylight saving time, stress, or even too many lights on at bedtime. Put the computer away, turn the television off and try reading, journaling, or listening to soft music to cue your body it’s time to rest.
2. Sunrise is Best
Melatonin levels are optimal when we rise and set with the sun, so go to bed by 10 p.m. and get up by 6 a.m. to improve your melatonin production naturally. Getting in alignment with the sun can make a huge difference in your sleep and your overall health.
3. Weight Control
It's more tempting to raid the fridge and eat junk foods any time you're up past 11 p.m.. This bad habit may also cause you to crave sugar and junk foods the next day for quick sources of energy, leading to weight gain. Go to bed by 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. at the latest, and keep yourself out of the kitchen!
Melatonin is one of the most important hormones that influences the crucial chemical balance needed for preventing depression naturally. It also affects other hormones in your body needed to prevent depression, such as serotonin. Got the blues? Get more sleep, dear!
5. Declines with Age
Many of our hormones decline with age, including melatonin. This makes it more important than ever to get a good night’s rest by tucking in early and setting a regular bedtime. You’ll feel much better, and even younger, by getting a good night’s rest on a regular basis - trust me!
6. Supplement with Care
If you buy a melatonin supplement to help you sleep, be sure you do so with care. When used for a couple of weeks, a supplement can help reset your natural levels, but if used too long it may cause dizziness, headaches, or brain fog.Also,make sure the supplement you choose is from a reputable brand, one your doctor or pharmacist recommends.
7. Food Tips
Choose foods that support melatonin production such as: cherries, walnuts, bananas, carrots, oatmeal, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turkey, squash, chicken, eggs, hemp, brown rice, chia, yogurt, kale, spinach, and almonds. These foods contain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that can send you off to sleep much easier. Also be sure you avoid caffeine, spicy foods, chocolate, sugar, and alcohol if you have a hard time sleeping.
Sleep is one of the most important factors of being healthy, so be sure you take care of your melatonin levels as best you can. Remember that jet lag, staying out late with friends, moving, suffering from stress, and even exercising too late in the day can all disrupt your melatonin levels. Be sure you stick a regular schedule and your melatonin levels will thank you! Do you have a tip to share for enhancing melatonin levels?