If you're having a little trouble getting and staying asleep, you're not alone. People are finding it harder and harder these days to get a restful night’s sleep.
Even with people staying home more often and having fewer things to occupy their time, sleep is becoming more elusive.
Supplementing with melatonin, the natural hormone that encourages us to sleep, is one way to help you get a good night's rest.
Why Supplementing With Melatonin Helps You Sleep
Your body naturally produces melatonin as it becomes later in the day and darker. The shift from light to dark trigger our brains to produce the hormone.
However, another hormone, cortisol, can interfere with your body's natural production. Some other things can hinder it, as well, that will go over in a bit.
When your body produces melatonin, it helps slow everything down and shift some of your metabolic processes from active to passive. It encourages others to step up, such as the glymphatic system in your brain that helps clear out waste and toxins.
Supplementing melatonin when you aren't producing enough can help get your body back on a natural circadian rhythm and let you sleep naturally without medications.
Taking A Look At The Other Factors In Not Sleeping
Stress is a huge factor when it comes to not sleeping. Stress produces cortisol, and cortisol helps you be more aware and ready to fight or flight. Your blood pressure goes up, your heart rate increases, and your energy production goes up.
In the very short-term, that's a good thing because it keeps you alive. But, if you're experiencing chronic stress, your body will produce more and more of this cortisol hormone… and it's going to take its toll on your body and your brain.
If you have enough stress, the cortisol will suppress melatonin to the point you just can't sleep.
But, cortisol is not the only thing affecting your sleep. Do you use a tablet, computer, or cell phone just before you go to bed?
The blue light from electronics tricks the brain into thinking it's the middle of the day. That stops your normal production of melatonin. It's so common you might want to look into changing your settings to reduce the blue exposure that can repress melatonin production.
Some lifestyle choices affect your ability to produce enough melatonin, such as snacking at night or overeating sugar. Cutting back on the snacking can really help both your ability to sleep and your waistline.
Losing extra weight can help you sleep better as excess weight encourages breathing issues (like apnea) that hinder a good night's rest.
Using Sleep Supplement To Help You Sleep
Choosing the right type of supplement isn't easy. You have a wide variety to choose from, spanning the very cheap brands in the grocery store to more custom label brands.
You should always choose a supplement from a company that has high standards. Many companies say they have high standards, but what is the company's overall reach? Are they looking to do good for the community or just sell a product?
Take a look at the different strengths of melatonin. Generally, you'll find the supplements in 3 mg or 5 mg doses. We recommend starting a little smaller and see if that helps. However, if you're truly having difficulty sleeping, jumping into the 5 mg dose will get you results faster.
Be sure to follow the dosing and timing requirements, some supplements will add a protective coating for slower dissolving so people can take the supplement earlier in the day. Others are fast dissolving and can be absorbed quickly.
Generally, you want to take it within 2 to 3 hours of when you want to sleep. That will give you the highest dosage to fall asleep with.
Melatonin doesn't force you to sleep, but it does give you the natural sleep you desire. It lets your body work the way it's supposed to by adding a little supplement to your routine.