Melatonin for sleep medications help people get much needed rest.
The pineal gland is a tiny endocrine gland situated at the center of the brain.
Melatonin is the only hormone secreted by the pineal gland.
The production of melatonin by the pineal gland is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. Photosensitive cells in the retina detect light and directly signal the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), entraining its rhythm to the 24-hour cycle in nature.
Serum concentrations of melatonin are low during the daylight hours, and increase to a peak during the dark.
Natural light is critical to our natural sleep cycle, and you should get at least 30 minutes of natural light a day to help you sleep at night.
Medications and treatment for sleep disorders
A popular topic being discussed is how to treat sleep disorders using melatonin alone, or in combination with phototherapy.
Phototherapy is a form of medical treatment in which some form of light is used to address a medical issue. You may also hear phototherapy referred to as light therapy.
Supplementing melatonin for sleep problems has been shown to decrease motor activity, induce fatigue and lower body temperature. The effect on body temperature may play a significant role in melatonin's ability to entrain sleep-wake cycles, as in patients with jet lag.
Jet lag (e.g. crossing many time zones), is a condition involving disruption of circadian rhythms. In this case, it has repeatedly been demonstrated that taking melatonin close to the target bedtime of the destination can alleviate symptoms. It has the greatest beneficial effect when jet lag is predicted to be worst.
Whether you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, these following tips can help you get the much need sleep.
Get at least 30 minutes of natural light a day.
Natural light helps us reset our natural alarm clocks so we'll want to fall asleep at the right time.
Take a walk.
In one study of more than 700 people, those who took daily walks were one-third less likely to have trouble sleeping until their normal wake-up time.
Walk at the right time.
The best time to walk depends on the sleep problem. For some people, walking early in the morning within 15 minutes of awakening will help strengthen normal circadian rhythm. For others that tend to doze off in the early evening, walking in the late afternoon might be best.
Make your bedroom as dark as possible.
Darkness stimulates the pineal gland, causing it to produce more melatonin. Melatonin is a light-sensitive hormone that can help remedy insomnia.
Exercise early in the day.
Regular exercise is important because it's a natural drug-free sleep aid, alleviating stress. It's not best to exercise before bed because exercise tends to increase cortisol levels, making it harder to fall asleep. Late afternoon is usually the ideal time.
Make sleep a priority.
No matter how busy your life, reserve at least 8 solid hours each night for sleep.
Reduce or eliminate coffee and other caffeine-containing foods and beverages. This includes tea, cola drinks, and chocolate. Also cut back on nicotine and sugar before bed. These are all stimulants and can interfere with falling or staying asleep. Also avoid alcohol because even though it's sedating, it disrupts sleep.
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