Melatonin, sleep, and anti blue light glasses
What is melatonin?
Melatonin, ofen known as the sleep hormone, is a natural hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and then released into the bloodstream. It is well established that melatonin produced by the body plays a fundamental role in getting quality sleep. Darkness prompts the pineal gland to start producing melatonin, while light causes that production to stop. As a result, melatonin helps regulate the circadian rhythm and synchronize the sleep-cake cycle with night and day. Our bodies produce melatonin naturally. They don’t make us sleep, but as melatonin levels rise in the evening, it puts us into a state of quiet wakefulness that helps promote sleep. Most people’s bodies produce enough melatonin for sleep on their own.
There are steps you can take to make the most of your natural melatonin production.
A simple yet effective way to increase melatonin production and to help you sleep is to dim your lights at least one hour before bedtime. And research has shown coffee disrupts melatonin production. It’s recommended that you stop drinking coffee at least six hours before your bedtime. Melatonin production is different for everyone. So, make note of your sleep to see if you need to make any adjustments to your coffee consumption and cut off time.
Also, getting some sunshine each day helps regulates your internal clock and aids the production of melatonin. Sunlight makes serotonin which precursor of melatonin. It’s recommended that you expose yourself to sunlight for 30 to 45 minutes within an hour of waking. What's more, there is a range of foods that have high levels of melatonin naturally. These include: cherries, goji berries, eggs, milk, fish and nuts – in particular almonds and pistachios.
Our stress hormone (cortisol) plays a role in our internal clock. Typically, our body’s cortisol levels are high during the day and lower at night. However, stress can throw this balance out and disturb melatonin production with chronic stress leading to insomnia. That’s why focusing on relaxation and trying to relieve stress before bedtime will help you sleep better.
Although research has shown that melatonin supplements may be useful in certain situations related to sleeping difficulties and as such, you can try a supplement on a short-term basis if you’re experiencing insomnia. There are certain risks that should be evaluated with a doctor or health care professional. The safety of melatonin supplements for children in particular has not yet been fully determined. They are not for everyone.
A lot of people tend to stare at their screens before they go to sleep whether that be reading or watching tick tocks or whatever it may be. The blue light emitted from devices has the biggest impact on melatonin production compared to other lights. Smartphones, tablets, televisions, and computers all have screens that emit blue light, which can interfere with the circadian rhythm that guides your sleep cycle as they wreak havoc on the natural process and can prevent the body from producing melatonin. Studies have shown that reducing your exposure to screened devices can help you fall asleep more easily. If you cannot reduce your screen time, invest in blue light blocking glasses. PERFECTSIGHT blue light filters block harmful blue light before it reaches your eyes. This reduces your exposure to the blue light as well as protecting your eyes.
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. It is not a throwaway thing. Instead, it’s a biological necessity for everyone. As best you can, try to make sleep a priority.