If you can’t sleep properly, it can be really frustrating. In fact, countless people are suffering from similar issues and a lot of it has to do with the levels of melatonin their bodies are naturally producing. If you aren’t producing enough melatonin, supplements can often provide the help you’re looking for. In order to understand what melatonin is, you first have to understand about the circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s inner clock. It’s the thing that tells you when it’s time to sleep and get up, among other things. You might think that’s what an alarm clock is for, but we haven’t always relied upon alarm clocks.
Melatonin and circadian rhythm go hand-in-hand. Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces to help you sleep and it produces it based on your circadian rhythm. So, if your circadian rhythm is thrown off, your melatonin levels will be out of whack, too.
In general, melatonin is released throughout the night. However, there are a lot of things that can throw that schedule off. Here are a few of the common ones.
- Necessity is one reason that your melatonin levels could drop. In other words, you might have to work nights. You could also have temporary night time training or have to stay up all night for a couple nights in a row for some other reason, like being unable to sleep due to a cold or flu. Unfortunately, once you spend a couple days without sleep, your whole schedule can get completely out of whack. So, once that damage is done, it can be hard to get your body back on track.
- Bad habits are another problem. For example, some people think alcohol is relaxing. It can actually completely throw off the chemical balance in your body, though. That means trouble sleeping and a host of other potential problems. Nicotine, caffeine and sugar can also keep you from sleeping.
- Your inner clock depends heavily on outer influences, such as natural light. If you are exposed to too much natural light or too little natural light, your clock can get confused. That’s why people get “the blahs” in the winter. The days are shorter, so they aren’t getting as much natural light.
In all honesty, though, sometimes there’s just nothing you can do to prevent your melatonin levels from dropping. Certain medical conditions, like blindness, can cause your body not to produce enough of it. Plus, as you get older, your melatonin levels will naturally drop.
Solving your melatonin production problem, no matter how it’s caused, isn’t that difficult. Nowadays, there are plenty of health stores selling melatonin supplement pills that can help you. In fact, you can even order them online. Having them is only half the battle, though. You also need to know how to use them.
As an example, let’s say you want to go to bed at 11 PM, but are actually up sometimes until three or four in the morning. Well, you shouldn’t just automatically take your supplement at 10 or 10:30. Instead, you should take it a little while before you usually fall asleep. Then, once you get used to that, you can gradually move the time back until you’re taking them in time to be asleep by eleven. It’s more of a gradual process.