Melatonin Regulates Sleep

Screen time and sleep disruption deplete sleep hormone in the body

Melatonin Regulates Sleep. Healthy Living Magazine

Melatonin Regulates Sleep. Healthy Living Magazine

The National Sleep Foundation 2007 “Sleep in America Survey” says 67% of women experience regular sleep challenges and a 2005 “Sleep in America” poll reports 35% of all adults can’t sleep on a nightly basis. So can a pill truly produce better sleep?

One of the most studied causes of sleeplessness and aging is melatonin deficit. Melatonin is a hormone that seems to be in short supply among those suffering insomnia. Note that melatonin depletes in the body with age; yet, although, people produce more melatonin when younger than when they are older, disruptions to sleep like stimulants (coffee and alcohol), blue screens and artificial light also cause the body to produce less melatonin, the production of which is triggered by the onset of darkness. One study documents that exposure to too much blue-light at night inhibits the secretion of this messenger chemical. In an empirical study using 21 subjects, melatonin concentrations after exposure to the blue-light “were significantly reduced…”

Read: Sleep, The Only Time That Repairs Aging

Good Sleep Habits

• Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime.

• Make nighttime teas a part of your routine—chamomile, ashwaghanda, Jamaican dogwood, passionflower or similar, preferably warm and with a spoon of honey.

• Turn off blue light sources in the bedroom. Turn off the television completely, not just the sound.

• Like many of us, you probably like to flip through your cell phone while in bed but try to keep your surfing to about 20 minutes then put it down, turn off or place in hibernation.

Read: Sleep, Dream, Live

• Love your bed—arrange color palette, quilts and pillows to your liking, but beware of bright or dark colors. Make your bed comfy and inviting with warm blankets, sheets, calm colors and pleasing aesthetics. And don’t underestimate the latter.

• Get a pillow that loves your posture and spine.

• Establish a regular and early-to-bed routine: warm bath, reading paper books, drinking herbal tea to allow for enough time to actually fall asleep.

• Try melatonin for sleeplessness due to its safety and efficacy.

A “light at night expert” recently commented: “Every time we turn on a light we are inadvertently taking a drug... We think Thomas Edison had a bigger effect on the human body than anyone realized.”

Drug-Free Sleeping Pill

Melatonin supplements are sleep inducing. One of the studies with melatonin was with shift workers whose sleep is often disturbed and of bad quality. The study used 3 milligrams melatonin taken 30 minutes before night time sleep on shift workers with difficulty falling asleep. Among the 295 analyzed, 103 had difficulty falling asleep. From 50 randomly selected workers with difficulty falling asleep, 39 completed the study. Melatonin use “significantly increased” sleep efficiency and decreased sleep onset latency in comparison with baseline and taking placebo.

Read: Need Brains?- Sleep!

A meta-analysis published in PLoS One examined 19 studies involving 1683 subjects. “Melatonin demonstrated significant efficacy in reducing sleep latency…and increasing total sleep time…. Overall sleep quality was significantly improved in subjects taking melatonin…” The effects do not appear to dissipate with continued use.

Choose slow release formulas that might be helpful to achieving a deeper longer REM sleep (the most rejuvenating portion).

Luthringer R, Muzet M, Zisapel N, Staner L. The effect of prolonged-release melatonin on sleep measures and psychomotor performance in elderly patients with insomnia. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Sep;24(5):239-49. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e32832e9b08.
Leary, W.E. “Tired and run down? Could be the light.” The New York Times, February 8, 1996: A14.
Sadeghniiat-Haghighi K, Bahrami H, Aminian O, Meysami A, Khajeh-Mehrizi A.
Melatonin therapy in shift workers with difficulty falling asleep: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover field study. Work. 2016 Sep 7. [Epub ahead of print]
Ferracioli-Oda E, Qawasmi A, Bloch MH. Meta-analysis: melatonin for the treatment of primary sleep disorders. PLoS One. 2013 May 17;8(5):e63773. doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0063773. Print 2013.
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