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How To Trigger Melatonin ?
In this article we discuss the ways in which you can trigger melatonin, naturally without the use of supplements or medication.
Your body general produces melatonin naturally. However due to poor habits that we have adopted, our bodies can sometimes not produce as much melatonin as we need to get optimal sleep and wake up feeling good.
What is melatonin ?
The simplest way to define melatonin is, that melatonin a hormone that assists in the controlling and management of our sleep-wake cycle.
As human beings it is often said that the effectiveness of sleep has less to do with the quantity of sleep and more to do with the quality of the sleep.
If one can hack the ability to get deep REM sleep, then you can have less sleep and more energy to do the things that matter to you.
Melatonin is transported by the circulation from the brain to all areas of the body
Sleep depravity or even irregular sleeping patterns can have negative consequences not only on our energy levels but the state of our emotions as well.
What exactly is melatonin ? Well the scientific name is N-ACETYL – 5 – METHOXYTRYPTAMINE.
It is essentially a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in reverse proportion to the amount of light received by the retina.
Melatonin has been known to prevent and even delay a multitude of age related conditions
Melatonin is not only unique to humans or mammals for that matter, even amphibians birds and reptiles have melatonin.
Even plants have melatonin. So as you can tell from the prior paragraphs, melatonin is a fundamental part of life on this planet.
Melatonin regulates our circadian rhythms. You can even find melatonin over the counter as a sleep aid.
But before you take any medication, please consult a registered medical professional. Melatonin also acts as an anti oxidant.
With out further ado, lets discuss the ways in which you can trigger melatonin.
1. Observe the foods you eat
Food is a necessary part of life. Along with oxygen it is one of the few things that we absolutely cannot live without.
Our pre historic relatives used food as a means of survival. Now days food is not only used for survival but distinguishes us by culture and has become a multi billion dollar industry.
Big corporations are driven by the incentive to produce more and more foods. Unfortunately as human beings we are attracted to foods that are bad for us.
The fast food producers have caught on to this and have fed us (pun intended) more and more advertising promoting the worst foods for us.
This has resulted in a multitude of health conditions, which our bodies are struggling to deal with.
People are more tired and stressed than ever before and our poor diets are a significant contributor to this phenomenon.
If you would like your body to go back to its natural state, then it is important that you get lots of exercise, drink lots of water and manage your diet.
Here are some foods that you can use to trigger melatonin, get a quality nights rest and wake up feeling like a million bucks.
Foods rich in magnesium
- Whole grain foods including whole wheat bread, brown rice and oats.
- Avocados, banana and raspberries
- Dark chocolate and baked beans
- Salmon, mackerel and Tuna
- Low fat yogurt
- Baby Spinach, kale and Collard greens
Foods rich in calcium
Apart from helping you sleep well, calcium helps you in so many other ways.
Poor calcium intake has often been associated with conditions such as osteoporosis later on in life.
Calcium makes sure that your blood clots normally and is famously known for making strong bones and teeth.
The best calcium sources include among others
- Bony fish such as sardines and pilchard
- Dairy products including milk and cheese
- Broccoli, cabbage, okra
Foods rich in vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is known as the vitamin that forms hemoglobin, which is the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
The best known sources of vitamin B6 are
- Poultry especially chicken and turkey
In addition to the foods that you eat, there are certain foods that you should avoid:
Avoid heavy meals before bed
I have been victim to this many times in my life. Sometimes you forget to eat through out the day and as a result you end up having a huge meal in the evening.
Take my advice this is not good as firstly you end up eating way more than you should and secondly you start getting tired because of all of the extra food in your system.
So over the last year I have started eating regularly and in the right proportions.
The main reason that it is advisable not to have heavy meals before bed is that your body is so focused on digestion.
In the event that you absolutely can not resist the urge to nibble on something at night it is best to go for lighter meals or snacks.
I personally like to have oats in the evenings or even boiled eggs.
Foods with too much spice content:
Who can resist a good spicy meal every now and then. I personally am a fan of spicy foods.
However when consuming spicy foods close to bedtime you risk getting things such as heartburn.
Hart burn can cause massive discomfort, in particularly when lying down, as the acids makes its way up into the esophagus and burn the sensitive lining.
Most people would think that you fall asleep faster when you are drink, and drunk people have been known to sleep well into the next day.
However alcohol has far more negative consequences. Firstly it takes your body (especially at 30 and beyond) at least 2 days to fully recover from heavy night out.
Some people end up eating extra when drunk, so you can also pack on the pounds. Alcohol also prevents you from entering the deeper phases of sleep.
2. Take a bath or shower before you go to bed
Taking a warm bath or shower before bed can relax your muscles. The focus of the water touching our bodies, leads our brain to calm down and slow down.
Also many studies have shown that you are more likely to sleep better when you are clean.
Therefore get some nice bubble bath with a good scent (I recommend lavender) and take a 30 minute bath just before bed.
I know that this may seem counter intuitive. After all for those of us working in modern office spaces , we read all day.
In this instance, I mean, read something that is completely unrelated to the work that you do.
Read something interesting that can take your mind to a completely foreign place. I personally enjoy reading books on motivation and self help.
One of my other favorite topics is reading about the role that emotion play in our lives and how to manage and control emotions.
With reading though , it is important that you read for an amount of time that is sufficient to get your mind to relax.
You do not want to read for hours on end as you have to have the light on when you read, and having too much light on can impact the quality of your sleep.
4. Forgive and Let go
One of the main reasons that you cannot sleep is that deep down you are harboring resentment and ill feelings towards people and things that have done you wrong or treated you poorly.
One of the biggest problems of particularly negative emotions is that they require so much energy to process and to hang on to.
Negative emotions put our bodies in the fight or flight mode . This means that our bodies tense up and are constantly looking out for the next threat.
This was perfectly reasonable for our ancestors who lived in the wild and had to protect themselves against predictors.
But for the most part, (not always) the things we fear and are angry at are often related to other people and the things that we cannot control.
Having a consistently tense posture can make you paranoid and your body can weaken as a result.
Therefore it is important to let go of your pain and hurt even if you believe that it is being caused by others.
I say this because in truth the negative feelings and thoughts that we have about a situation often lasts long after the incident itself.
Meaning that our own minds and bodies reproduce feelings of hurt and frustration.
When it comes to dealing with negative thoughts and emotions, I believe wholeheartedly in activities that create more awareness in you.
Once you are aware of what is happening inside you , you are in a much better position to manage them.
For this reason I truly believe that meditation and mindfulness practices are some of the best things that you can do to help with this.
5. Eliminate Noise
If you live in the suburbs away from city life then you may not have excessive noise to contend with.
But even in those circumstances there are so many noises at night that can take away from a good nights sleep.
Noises can include noise from the fridge, crickets and other insects going on at night.
Dogs are always barking for various reasons. Sometimes people coming home from functions and parties when you are fast asleep can be an absolute sleep killer and leave you grumpy all of the next day.
But fear not. There are many ways to get rid of all of the excess noise at night. The first thing that you can do is get a good set of ear buds
You can also look at NOISE CANCELLING EARBUDS FOR SLEEPING These will give you distraction free sleep.
6. Put the phone down at Bed time
It is very common for electronics devices to emit light. This can be from the charging cable or even the surface of the laptop itself.
It has often been said that the light emitted from devices can have the same impact as sunlight on the human body.
As a result this will make you wake up during the night or it can take time for you to fall asleep.
If you do not switch off this light then it will deliver a signal from the retina to the brain and effectively deplete melatonin.
In the fast paced world that we live in, it may be sometimes necessary to look at your mails at night.
If this is the case for you then you may want to consider getting yourself some Amber tinted glasses. .
This is the best Anti Blue Light deterrent and I highly recommend it.