Can melatonin help you to sleep better and feel better the next day? Millions of people are affected by poor sleep and such poor sleep can negatively impact your health, your work and anything else you do. It can lower your productivity, reduce your energy and also increase the risk of different diseases including high blood pressure and diabetes.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that informs your body when it's time to go to bed. It is a very popular supplement among people who find it difficult to fall asleep. This is a hormone that your body makes naturally and it is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is known as the sleep hormone because it helps you to fall asleep.
Besides helping you to sleep, it is also a powerful antioxidant and it can offer you several health benefits including-support your eye health, treat stomach ulcers and heartburn, reduce tinnitus symptoms and raise growth hormone levels in men.
Melatonin works together with your body's circadian rhythm. It is your body's internal clock and it is necessary because it helps your body to know when it is time to sleep, wake and eat. Melatonin can also help you to regulate your body's temperature, blood pressure and the levels of some other hormones. As it grows dark outside, melatonin signals your body that it's time to sleep. It can also reduce the levels of Dopamine, which is a hormone that helps you to stay awake. It also binds to receptors in the brain to help reduce nerve activity in your brain. These processes help you to fall asleep.
When in the morning, light comes on, the light can suppress melatonin production and then your body knows that it's time to wake up. If your body is not making enough of melatonin at night, you may have problem falling asleep.
Stress, exposure to too much light at night, smoking, exposure to blue light, not getting enough natural light during the day, shift work and ageing can result in reduced melatonin production. In that case taking a melatonin supplement will help you to counter low levels and that will help in normalising your internal clock.
Melatonin and sleep
Different scientific research suggest that when you take melatonin before bed, it can help you to get to sleep. Different scientific studies have been done on the subject and found that melatonin can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep by several minutes. Such studies also found that people who took melatonin supplements also reported significantly better quality of sleep.
Melatonin is also effective against jet lag, which is a temporary sleep disorder. Jetlag happens when your body's internal clock is out of sync with the new time zone you are in. Many shift workers may also experience jet lag symptoms because of their shift timing. Melatonin helps in sinking the internal clock with the time changes and thereby helps you to fall asleep and sleep better.