Although it may be tempting to turn to a supplement, the better approach is to implement strategies to improve your sleep, which in turn will boost melatonin, and create a positive cycle for your health.
What is Melatonin?
It's a hormone that our body naturally produces by the pineal gland in your brain. It triggers the body that it's time to go to sleep. It's responsible for regulating your body's sleep cycle.
Exposure to light in the evening can block melatonin production. Some individuals who have difficulties in sleeping may have low levels of melatonin.
But how to boost natural melatonin for better sleep, you ask? While the best sleep position for you and overall preferences may vary, here are a few easy ways to increase natural melatonin!
Sleep Cooler at Night
They say it takes two weeks to embrace a new habit, but here’s a routine you can accomplish even sooner: just sleep cooler.
The key to getting deep sleep -- and boosting your body’s level of natural melatonin -- is to keep your sleep environment cool. The optimal temperature for sleep is said to be somewhere between 60-67?.
As I recently shared in a HelloGiggles article about how to create a better sleep cycle, the temperature of your bedroom plays a big role in how well you’ll be able to sleep.
A strict bedtime is a great start but you really need to adjust your sleep temperature in conjunction with other tips I share to increase your sleep quality!
While everyone has a slightly different optimal sleep temperature, we recommend setting your thermostat somewhere in that range until you find the best temperature.
Sleep Cooler and Feel the Difference
Find out which sleep system is right for you; the Chilipad Dock Pro or Chilipad Cube. Our cooling mattress pads allow you to find the right temperature, ranging from 55-115º, to improve your deep sleep and wake up rested.
Create a Day-and-Night Routine
Know when to lighten up and when to “go dark.” It’s best to get as much exposure to bright light as possible during the day -- in the evening, it’s the other way around, so keep your sleep environment as dark as possible.
Aim for some sunshine and exercise in the daytime. Scientists say that getting as little as 10 minutes a day of continuous sun exposure can lower your evening cortisol levels and allow you to wind down and get quality sleep.
In contrast, overexposure to lights from electronics or TVs can throw off your circadian rhythm by tricking your mind into thinking that it’s still daytime, causing you to be more alert, thus making it harder to fall asleep and get good rest at night. Turn off the tech at least an hour before bedtime since these light-emitting devices actually suppress the body’s natural release of melatonin.
Stick To That New Sleep Routine
As someone who has experienced the anxiety of insomnia and battled through my own weary sleepless nights, I understand how overwhelming it can seem to imagine a world of effortlessly restorative deep sleep. But it’s absolutely possible!
Mastering the art of getting really amazing deep sleep is easier than you think -- no supplements needed! What other strategies can help to boost natural melatonin?
Eat Foods That Contain Melatonin
In addition to sleeping cooler and creating a day-and-night routine, experiment with new flavors as part of your new routine. Consider adding “melatonin foods” to your grocery list. Below are foods that are considered to be a good source for naturally receiving melatonin.
- Nuts & Seeds
- Tart Cherries
- Goji Berries
Just like conditioning your body to do anything else, the key is sticking to a solid routine that works for you. Remember this: a good day starts with the night before and you can boost your natural melatonin with my tips above. Creating and sticking to better sleep habits is an investment you make every night for the health and well-being of your future self.
Other than a restful night's sleep, melatonin provides various benefits, including the following:
Melatonin and Sleep
Balancing your body’s natural melatonin can reduce the stress that can come from inflammation and illness. While asleep, breathing and muscle activity slows. This provides more energy for the immune system to perform critical tasks and upkeep. Deep sleep contributes to both innate and adaptive immunity--which is the body’s foundation for fighting foreign diseases.
How Melatonin Impacts Immunity
Better sleep enhances your immune system in several ways, including:
- Cell regeneration
- Increased blood flow to muscles
- A stronger immune system
- Energy renewal
- Development, growth, and repair of tissues and bones
Melatonin can help improve sleep, GERD, eye health, and seasonal depression, improve concentration, and provide more energy.