Melatonin Is Critical For Sleep
Melatonin, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a hormone that is naturally occurring in humans, animals, and plants.
In humans, the hormone is produced in response to darkness by the pineal gland, an endocrine gland located deep within the brain. Melatonin is sometimes called the “sleep hormone” or “hormone of darkness” since our bodies generate it at night as we lie sleeping. Levels of melatonin taper off as light begins to enter the room with the sunrise.
The darker the room, the higher your levels of melatonin will be. If your bedroom faces east, or your room naturally is bright, black-out shades and sleeping masks can help reduce light that could impact your production of the hormone.
Melatonin is critical for sleep as it helps establish your sleep cycle and signals to your body when it’s time to go to sleep, and when it’s time to wake up. Without proper levels of the hormone, your body may have a difficult time differentiating day and night and your sleep could be interrupted.
When we are younger, our production of this hormone is often strong. However, starting around age 40, our levels of melatonin naturally decline. If you have found that your sleep patterns have started to get out of whack, you could have low levels of this essential sleep hormone.
Melatonin is naturally present in very few foods. Cherries are one of the only natural sources of the hormone. If fresh cherries are out of season, try dried cherries or cherry juice. Tart cherry juice, in particular, has been shown to have a positive effect on sleep. Grapes also contain some melatonin. However you have to each much more of them to raise your levels of the hormone.
Supplemental melatonin has been shown to help improve the quality of sleep in adults. In one experiment conducted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), taking a melatonin supplement was shown to help men fall asleep up to 5 times faster than those who did not take the supplement.
It's important to watch your dosage of melatonin, as taking too much could leave you feeling groggy the next morning. Many industry experts recommend 3 mg per night, 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime for healthy sleep.
Our Sleep Wave gives you that exact dose of melatonin, along with other natural sleep aids to help enjoy deep, natural sleep each and every.