Melatonin is a hormone produced by your body to regulate our sleep cycles. It is controlled by light exposure, which means at night your body releases more melatonin to help you sleep. However, your lifestyle can alter your melatonin production. It doesn't take much to imbalance your melatonin levels, and that imbalance negatively impacts your sleep cycles. No matter how comfy your mattress is or how supportive your pillow is, if you aren't producing enough melatonin at night then you won't be able to get good sleep. To keep your melatonin production at optimum performance, here are some things you can do:
- Take a break and go outside: Many office buildings have limited exposure to natural sunlight. If you work somewhere that doesn't have a natural light source then you should take a break a couple times a day to go outside for a few minutes and soak up the natural sunlight.
- Sit by a window: Relocate to be near a window so that you can be exposed to natural light. Don't forget to open the curtains or blinds!
- Unplug before bed: It's a common practice to watch TV or use the computer whilst in bed to unwind and relax. However, your mind mistakes a screen's glow for daylight causing your body to produce less melatonin.
- Use a sleep mask: When you cover your eyes your body produces more melatonin because there is less light getting to your brain.
- Turn the lights off at night: If you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, turning on the light can inhibit melatonin production. You should use a nightlight that produces soft, dim light in the bathroom so that it's not too bright.
What are some things that you do to help you sleep at night and keep your melatonin production on the right track?