Not getting enough sleep seems to be on the increase and the impact on our physical and mental health can be incredibly hard. More than 1 in 3 adults in America are struggling to get a few hours let alone the full 8 hours that they say is needed for our well-being.
Lack of sleep drains our energy and can lead to many medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
There is an increase of people looking for a natural alternative to prescription medication mainly because doctors are only prepared to hand out sleep aids on a short-term basis, which doesn’t help with the long-term issue.
Melatonin is the hormone found naturally in the human body and is produced by the gland at the base of our brain, the pineal gland and in a few other places in our body such as the retina.
The gland regulates our sleep and waking cycles known as the circadian rhythm, or basically, it’s your body’s internal clock and it controls how much melatonin is produced.
It doesn’t only regulate your sleep patterns, it also helps to regulate your blood pressure which is why when you lack sleep you find yourself experiencing high blood pressure.
Your melatonin levels should start to rise in the evening as the sun goes down, and by the time you are ready for bed, it will be high. Overnight the melatonin drops gradually so when you wake up you should feel well-rested ready to face the day.
What Can Impact Our Melatonin Production
Artificial light can impact our melatonin production, especially blue light which is emitted from our phones, computers, and television. It is advisable to stop using anything that emits the blue light at least an hour before we plan to sleep but let’s be honest here no one does.
Smoking and stress play a factor too along with not getting enough natural light during the day and with such a high population working inside natural light even in a building with large windows are still hard to get.
As we age our melatonin production slows down which again makes it harder for us to achieve the adequate sleep we need.
Studies have connected melatonin suppression in the night to many health problems including obesity, cancer, metabolic syndrome as well as mental conditions such as depression.
Foods That Can Increase Melatonin
We can help our melatonin levels by adjusting our diet, simply adding oats, bananas, barley, walnuts, and tart cherries can go a long way to increasing our melatonin levels.
Benefits Of Melatonin Supplements
Taking a melatonin supplement will help not only with sleep but can also do the following:
Help prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.
Help reduce blood pressure.
Help protect the heart because of its powerful antioxidant activity.
Help protect the stomach and the diversity of gut bacteria.
Help with fertility by improving the overall quality of sperm.
Help strengthen the barrier between the brain and blood.
There are several good quality melatonin supplements, but for quality and affordability, try this Nature’s Bounty 3 mg Melatonin.
How To Make Your Own Natural Melatonin Gummies
Below is a delicious all-natural melatonin supplement that you can make at home. The cherry juice is a bonus that can also contribute to a great night’s sleep.
Liquid melatonin (available from the health food store and online)
½ cups tart cherry juice or a flavor of your choosing
½ cup water
1/4 cup gelatin powder
3 tablespoons raw honey
Bring the water and tart cherry juice to a simmer.
Add in the powdered gelatin. Mix the gelatin powder into the juice, then add the honey.
Gently whisk for 2-3 minutes until gelatin has dissolved.
Pipe in the amount of liquid melatonin you want for each gummy. Usually around 30 drops in each of the silicone cavities.
Pipe in enough of the cherry juice mixture to fill the mold. Let the gelatine mixture set until firm in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Once set, remove the gummies from the mold. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Take one gummy about 30 minutes before bedtime.