Good quality sleep is the foundation to health. Eating well, exercising optimally and general wellbeing are all affected by sleep. Melatonin is a critical chemical in the sleep cycle and it is important to understand how to increase melatonin levels and “zzz” quality.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a chemical produced in the brain that makes us sleep. It is in charge of regulating the circadian rhythm to manage when you fall asleep and wake up. When your body is in rhythm, it will begin to produce melatonin when it is getting dark outside. Melatonin increases immunity and manages blood pressure and cortisol levels. This is why it is super important to stabilise melatonin levels.
How to increase melatonin levels for better quality sleep
1. Have a routine around sleep. It is important to go to bed at the same time every night. In this way, your body will start to produce melatonin a few hours before bed. You also need to keep a consistent wake up time as your body will also learn when to stop producing melatonin. Waking up will be a lot easier and you won’t feel like you are under water for the first hour of the day.
2. Ensure that your room is dark. Melatonin production is optimised when your bedroom is completely dark. Artificial light disrupts melatonin, so lights from the TV, alarm clock and cellphone should be put far away.
3. Watch what you eat before bed. Ayurvedic advice suggests that we stop eating after 7pm to ensure optimal rest. We also need to be careful of what we eat and drink before bed. Caffeine can affect sleep if consumed within 10 hours of bedtime! Sugar and alcohol also affect sleep quality.
4. Expose yourself to light during the day. Getting sunshine in the day time will reinforce your circadian rhythm and allow you to produce more melatonin at night.
Get the snooze
When you are getting enough good quality sleep your mood will be consistent, you will feel more energised and focused, you will be able to control food cravings and you will all round look great. We cannot optimise our being if we are dragging ourselves from one task to the next. When life is crazy, it is easy to compromise sleep to get a few more hours in the day, but don’t make this compromise. Rather get the sleep and be ten times more efficient the next day, and for all your days.
Have a great day.
Lots of light and love xx