Have you ever taken melatonin? You may have tried it for jet lag (I have), or when you go through periods of sleep disruption (I have), and I have personally found it to be extremely useful in treating jet lag. Since I travel at least twice a year from LA to London, truuuuuuuust me – I have experimented! Also, I don’t know about you, but I’m a Mom and going-back-to-school is looming. I loooooooove the long summer days. I love not having to get up at the crack of dawn and dive into the somewhat tedious school routine, but that day will inevitably arrive, and I want to be prepared. I have to say that when school starts for my daughter, I have to get up extra, extra early because you know me – gotta get in my meditation, exercise, and smoothie before the day even starts. And this means that I have to get to bed earlier. Here’s the thing though: I can get into bed with my cozy jammies and my Pomeranian, Sunshine, but falling asleep is a whole other thing! That’s why Natrol melatonin can be really helpful for this seasonal transition. It helps me to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and thus I wake up feeling refreshed. And unlike a sleeping pill, it’s non-habit forming and 100% drug-free.
And the cool thing is that the hormone melatonin has many other health benefits besides being a drug-free sleep aid. Let’s explore.
What the heck is melatonin?
It is a hormone, which your body makes. It’s secreted by a tiny little gland in your brain called the pineal gland. When that gland is signaled by lack of light (when the day comes to a close), it secretes this hormone, which makes you feel sleepy and ready for bed. It’s all about your circadian rhythm, which runs on nature’s 24-hour schedule. Once nighttime hits and it starts getting dark, your body will typically release melatonin around 9pm. In a healthy sleep cycle, it stays elevated until about 9am in the morning. So, if you think about it, in our modern day lifestyle, where we keep ourselves up late by staring at blue screens (TV, tablet, phone, etc.), we are going against our body’s natural biorhythms. By the way, that blue light signals the pineal gland NOT to secrete melatonin – yep, our screens and devices mess up the whole process. And all of this leads to sleeplessness, increased stress and inflammation, and can be extremely aging. Whaaaaaaat????? Yes, if your body is not producing adequate amounts of melatonin at the time of the day when it’s supposed to, it can lead to premature aging.
When a big lifestyle schedule change hits, such as your kiddos going back to school, the problem is that you might want to go bed earlier but your body may not be ready for sleep. You might not realize it, but your body might not have released enough melatonin yet since you typically go to bed an hour or so earlier. That’s why I tend to use melatonin supplements, such as Natrol Melatonin, in order to allow me to get the sleep I need to tackle my hectic weeks. I’ve found that taking a melatonin supplement can help my body adjust to this schedule change so I can wake up earlier to ace all my responsibilities for the day.
How much should I take?
Natrol is the #1 melatonin brand in America. You can recognize the brand by the purple bottle top, so it’s very easy to pick out in the health store aisles. They carry 1, 3, 5, and 10mg fast-dissolve melatonin pills that can be taken anytime – no water needed. There is no recommended dosage for melatonin, so I recommend you start off with a low dose (either 1 or 3 mg) and see how it goes for you. For a 100% drug-free temporary sleep aid, I take the Natrol Fast Dissolve 5mg. They also have a new lineup of Natrol Gummies including Melatonin in 5 mg and 10 mg form, which is delicious. It’s made with organic ingredients, non-GMO, and is strawberry flavored. It’s also vegetarian and gelatin-free. If you have a lot of trouble staying asleep, you might want to consider a time release tablet such as Natrol Advanced Sleep Melatonin, which is a 2-layer controlled release tablet that immediately releases an initial melatonin dose to help you fall asleep fast, and then releases the rest over time to help you stay asleep through the night. It might well give you your sweetest sleep yet:)
So, if you suffer from sleep disruption, taking a melatonin supplement is definitely worth trying.
Check out all the different Natrol Melatonin supplements to choose from here.