The good night sleep is crucial for proper body function. According to the School of Public Health, “sleep is essential to every process in the body, affecting our physical and mental functioning the next day, our ability to fight disease and develop immunity, and our metabolism and chronic disease risk. Sleep is truly interdisciplinary because it touches every aspect of health.”
Sleep deprivation, however, occurs more often than we think. A number of people experience problems falling asleep, a condition known as a sleep disorder or insomnia.
So what interrupts our sleep? It is definitely the stress that comes with our daily life.
We spend around 33% of our life sleeping and we should do all in our power not to throw our sleep out of its cycle.
The sleep is triggered by the hormone melatonin, the main sleep hormone which is produced by the body internally. Now since the body produces melatonin internally it is important to support the body in doing this, naturally.
What we should have in mind, is that melatonin is usually produced at around 9 p.m. because the brain gives the body signals that it is night and time for a good night sleep. Sometimes, we disturb this process by getting exposed to bright lights during the night. Receiving these lights, we trick the brain into thinking that it is still daytime. By turning down the lights, and avoiding bright white (or blue, or green) lights at night we remind our body that it’s time to wind down.
When taking melatonin supplements, we give the brain information that our body has already produced the hormone, and as a result, it won’t produce more. In a long term, this becomes an issue because as much supplements we take, the less the body will produce it and would eventually find it hard to produce enough melatonin for us to have a quality sleep. In other words, overusing melatonin supplements can make us dependent on them.
Instead of turning to supplements when experiencing issues with our sleeping, we should use natural ingredients like herbs, flowers or other calming aids such as magnesium. This, however, doesn’t mean that we should avoid the supplements at all cause. On the contrary, they can be useful if used with caution.
For example, melatonin supplements can come in handy while travelling and changing time zones.
Certain foods have in them naturally occurring melatonin and their consumption can enhance our sleeping. Among them are pistachios, tart cherries, fatty fish, rice, goji berries, oats and mushrooms.
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Love and Peace