Unlocking the secrets of melatonin

Unlocking the secrets of melatonin
Melatonin is in one of the key hormones involved in regulating your sleep-cycle and making sure you wake up feeling refreshed.
 
How much melatonin your body produces is controlled by your exposure to light. When it’s dark your brain secretes more melatonin, making you tired. During the day when you’re exposed to light the body secretes less melatonin making your feel alert.
 
However, our modern lifestyle can interrupt the body’s melatonin production, meaning our bodies sleep-wake cycle is disrupted too!
 
Spending long periods of time during the day away from natural light, such as going to work when it’s dark and coming home after the sun has gone down, can fool your body into producing too much melatonin during the day. This makes you feel sluggish and tired.
 
Equally, spending the evening glued to the bright lights of your TV, iPad or computer screen can fool your body into not releasing enough melatonin making it harder to fall asleep.
 
However, there are ways to naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle, keeping you alert during the day and sleepy in the evening
 

Increase light exposure during the day

  • Spend more time outside during daylight. Try to take your work breaks outside in sunlight, eat your lunch outside and go for a walk around the block.
  • Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day and move your desk closer to the window.

Boost melatonin production at night

  • Turn off your television, computer and iPad. Remove yourself for technology in the evening, rather than sitting glued to the TV screen try reading a book or even doing some around the house that doesn’t involve bright lights.
  • Dim the lights. Avoid bright lights before bed and install dimmers or use lamps to lower the lights while you’re preparing for bed.
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