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The pattern of waking up during the hours of sunlight and sleeping at night when it's dark is a natural part of human life. But, if you don't get enough, everything is your life becomes a headahce (literally!). One study says that over 40% of the population around the world doesn't get 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis. I'm writing this article to help introduce melatonin, which naturally occurs in our bodies. Let's take a look at what melatonin is and does for our bodies.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin helps control your wake and sleep cycles. It is a hormone made by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland, found in the vertebrate brain, which is a part of your endocrine system.
During the day melatonin production is lowered, but once the sun goes down, its rises and tired feelings start to kick in. Some foods contain melatonin, such as tomatoes, olives, rice, cherries, and milk, which may contribute to a tired feeling after a meal.
Why sleeping in darkness is important
It produces more melatonin
Sleeping in complete darkness helps our body produce more natural melatonin. This hormone induces rest and also anti-cancer properties.
Boosts brain function
Since melatonin is a hormone produced in a penial gland located in the brain, and it also helps keep our mind sharp.
Production decreases in the day
Melatonin is produced in the night and decreases in the day. These hormones prevent diseases such as breast cancer, Alzheimer's, and even insomnia and fatigue.
Tips on how to sleep well
To make sure you rest well, your bedroom should be pitch dark. To check that, observe whether you can see your hand in front of your face once the lights go off. If you can't, then you're good. If you still can, then try dimming the lights further.
Wear loose fitting clothes
Try wearing loose-fitting clothes as it will keep your body temperature regulated. Dyed clothes will interrupt with the production of melatonin.
Make sure to turn off all your gadgets and appliances before you go to bed. Especially your mobile phone, for it can emit light even when it's not in use. Make sure that it is kept face down wherever it is held and put it on silent mode.
Electro magnetic fields
If you are watching TV before bed, make sure to turn off the main switch, and not just from the remote. Even a small red light emanating from the tv can interrupt your night.
Hungry at night
It is said that if you have a poor night of sleep your leptin level increase. This makes you hungry. So midnight cravings are a sign for your body turn off.
Soft bed sheet
Also, make sure that your bed sheet is soft and comfortable. Silk is a great fabric, and it helps your body maintain it's natural moisture as well.
Instead of the regular loud, deafening sound that an alarm clock has, be sure to have a soothing alarm tone as your wake up call. A loud alarm sound can make you wake up suddenly, giving you a headache.
An even better way to wake up naturally is to get out of the house as soon as you wake up for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. The sunlight will make you wake up from your slumber while providing you vitamin D at the same time.
Melatonin is also offered in supplement form to aid in rest. But it's important to speak to your doctor before you do decide to take supplements because the FDA doesn't regulate supplements.
Some can have a higher dose than the physician would prescribe, and that may affect other medications you're currently taking. A number of factors can contribute to a loss of sleep, so it's important to speak with your doctor about your sleep habits to see if it's something as putting away the phone before bedtime or if your melatonin levels are off.