6 ways to increase melatonin production for better sleep
Higher melatonin production leads to better sleep. Check out six ways to increase its production in your body for a restful night’s sleep.
Melatonin is necessary for restful sleep. Our body naturally produces this hormone. When it begins to get dark outside, our melatonin levels rise noticeably, signaling to our body that it is time to sleep. Melatonin is a sleep hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain in reaction to darkness. It spreads throughout our bloodstream and interacts with brain receptors to lessen nerve activity, which promotes relaxation. In order to get a good night's sleep, melatonin makes it easier for us to fall asleep fast and wake up less frequently. It controls the body's intrinsic circadian rhythm, which is the 24-hour cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
(Also read: How to sleep better? An expert suggests 9 effective ways )
Dr. Joseph Mercola, Osteopathic Physician, suggested six ways to increase melatonin production for better sleep in his recent Instagram post.
1. Get sunlight
Get at least 15 minutes of sunlight in the morning. This helps regulate melatonin production by reducing its levels to make you feel awake during the day and sleep better at night.
2. Sleep in a completely dark room
This will improve your sleep quality as your body produces and secretes melatonin in the dark.
3. Cut back on caffeine
Caffeine consumed at night can cause more harm than good. To sleep better at night, avoid consuming caffeinated foods and drinks after lunch.
4. Reduce screen time at night
Put your computers and digital equipment away at least an hour before bed. The blue and white wavelengths from these devices can affect melatonin production.
5. Manage your stress
The stress hormone cortisol can inhibit the release of norepinephrine and therefore the release of melatonin. When melatonin levels are high, cortisol should be low, and vice versa. Melatonin and cortisol have an inverse connection. Our capacity to sleep is impacted when one of these is out of balance.
6. Eat magnesium-rich foods
This nutrient plays a role in slowing brain activity at night. Great sources include avocados, almonds, pumpkin seeds and green leafy vegetables.