Melatonin and Sleep – Uses and Ways to Improve It
Quality sleep is essential to live a long and healthy life. Melatonin is an often-quoted term in discussions about improving sleep health. What exactly is Melatonin? Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in your brain in response to darkness. This hormone helps to regulate your circadian rhythm (your internal clock) synchronise your sleep-wake cycle with night and day. In short, it lets your body know when its night-time, so you can relax and fall asleep.
We’ve all had those days when we felt more tired in the morning even though we technically slept the night. This was probably due to low levels of melatonin produced in the body. Alcohol or caffeine consumption, smoking, aging and even too much exposure to light before bed can cause us to have low levels of melatonin.
Why is Melatonin Important for Sleep?
The main benefit of having healthy levels of melatonin is that they ensure that your sleep cycle remains regular. Maintaining a consistent internal body clock helps you fall asleep faster, get good quality sleep throughout the night, and wake up feeling well-rested and refreshed the next morning.
Good melatonin levels in your body also impact the rest of your physical and mental health both directly and indirectly. Letting your mind and body get the necessary rest they need to recharge helps to improve cognitive functions. You’re more alert, lively, and sharp throughout the day. Your cardiovascular and metabolic health is also intrinsically linked to your melatonin levels and sleep health.
How to Improve Melatonin Levels in Your Body?
The first step to improving your sleep health is to improve your melatonin levels in your body. Night-time routines like reading, meditation and avoiding electronic devices before bed help in building healthy sleep habits to ensure that your body is ready for sleep. Complementary to those efforts, you can also directly improve your melatonin levels through:
- Melatonin Supplements – this is the most direct way to boost your body’s natural supply of melatonin. Since it is generally safe and non-habit forming, it is a popular method to treat short-term sleep disorders like delayed sleep phase syndrome and even jet lag. It helps to reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep and increase your total sleep time and quality.
- Melatonin-rich food – For those who take prescription medication and are more susceptible to the melatonin supplements’ side effects, eating melatonin-rich food can help to raise the level of melatonin in your blood. Food like cherries, goji berries, eggs, milk, salmon, and almonds are great sources of melatonin. They are also rich in other nutrients that are essential for your overall health.
- Sleep Therapies – Sleep therapies are a way to complement your other efforts in improving your sleep hygiene, as they help to reduce stress levels while improving melatonin levels.
One such therapy is Soma Haus’s Infrared Sauna therapy. Research has shown that infrared therapy helps with the release of melatonin by influencing the amount of serotonin and dopamine that is produced by your body. The thermoregulation that takes place when your body’s core temperature rises in the sauna and drops after you’ve stepped out, also helps to signal to your body that you are ready for a good night’s sleep.
Another therapy that helps in priming your mind and body for good sleep is their Float Pod Experience. Floating has been shown to alter brain wave activity leading to a deep shift in consciousness akin to light sleep which is where blood pressure and heart rate drops. It’s a deeply restful state.
The Epsom salts used in the float pods to create the weightless environment in the pod are magnesium and sulphate, that help to release muscle tension, calm the nervous system and raise melatonin and serotonin levels.
Studies also show how floating regularly helps reduce the symptoms of insomnia and revealed that people who use float tanks were able to fall asleep more easily, with the benefits of floating lasting for up to 12 weeks.
Get started on your journey to better sleep at Soma Haus, a newly launched holistic wellness brand in Singapore, looking to empower you with the knowledge and body awareness to take charge of your own healing journey.
Enjoy 20% off your Float Pod experience with the code <RBSOMA> when you check out in-store or online at Soma Haus!
Offer available until 15 September 2022, and valid for 1 month after purchase.