Are You Supplementing With Melatonin at Night? If Not, Maybe You Should

Are You Supplementing With Melatonin at Night? If Not, Maybe You Should

Odds are, if you’ve ever complained about a lack of sleep out loud among other people, you’ve probably heard at least one of them swear by melatonin. But does melatonin really work? Can it actually help you fall asleep more quickly, stay asleep through the night, and achieve restful, quality sleep? The short answer is: yes, yes it can. But if you’re confused as to how, we will help clear the air and explain everything you need to know about supplementing with melatonin at night.

Melatonin and Your Circadian Rhythm

With the rise and fall of the sun comes the rise and fall of your circadian rhythm. The human circadian rhythm is made up of a series of biological processes which, depending on the time of day, can leave you feeling energetic and sharp or drowsy and fatigued. It all depends on whether or not you have a healthy sleep cycle.

Melatonin is a very important part of your circadian rhythm, especially after the sun goes down. Once it gets dark outside and your eyes are not exposed to as much blue light as they would be during the day, your brain starts to release melatonin into your system. This hormone lets the rest of your body know that it is time to sleep so that you can repair the wear and tear your body experiences throughout the day.

The modern world, however, is seriously interfering with melatonin production. Even after the sun goes down, our beloved modern technology – specifically, TVs, cell phones, tablets, computers, and more – are still exposing us to the blue light we would normally only get from the sun during the day. This confuses your brain, tricking it into thinking it is still daytime. This means that your brain won’t produce as much melatonin – if it releases any at all – and you won’t feel sleepy when it’s actually time for bed. If you’re an electronics junkie and you find yourself tossing and turning nearly every night, this may be the unfortunate reason why.

What Can People Do About Low Melatonin Levels?

There are some very practical steps people can take if they’re worried about their melatonin levels. Some of the best suggestions include:

  • Practicing mindfulness and/or meditating if stressful thoughts are keeping you up at night
  • Spend more time outside in natural light
  • Limit exposure to electronic lights after about 8 or 9 p.M.
  • If you can’t limit your exposure to electronics in the evening, consider buying a pair of blue light blocking glasses
  • If your bedroom has too much ambient light at night, consider investing in a quality sleep mask

We understand that making some of these changes may be hard or nearly impossible for most people to accomplish. That’s why melatonin supplements exist. And it’s a good thing they do, given how drastically our modern lives interfere with our natural circadian rhythms.

Arguing the Case for Melatonin Supplements

Yes, it’s true; taking a melatonin supplement at night (or a natural sleep supplement that contains melatonin) is a great way to help alleviate sleep problems. But that’s not the only reason you should be supplementing with melatonin. We have discovered a whole host of other health benefits that melatonin can provide. As you can see below.

Antioxidant Benefits

Many people don’t know this, but melatonin is also an antioxidant. It can help shield every cell in your body against the oxidative damage which is, unfortunately, a natural byproduct of cellular function. Over time, too much oxidative stress can damage your DNA, leading to premature aging, a poor complexion, chronic fatigue, chronic inflammation, and brain fog (among other things). And melatonin doesn’t just protect your cells from DNA damage – it helps give you more energy by maintaining good mitochondrial health. Mitochondria are little energy-producing organic machines that float around inside each and every cell in your body. When they aren’t functioning properly, you tend to feel tired all the time, and it also makes it harder to get a healthy amount of exercise. But supplementing with melatonin can help you overcome these challenges.

A Wide Range of Health and Wellness Benefits

While melatonin may help protect your body on a cellular level, it has some macro benefits as well. For starters, it’s great for maintaining a healthy and well functioning immune system. It’s especially potent when it comes to giving your immune system a boost in the face of viral or bacterial infection.

It protects your mental health as well. People suffering from ADHD, chronic anxiety, and even autism have reported experiencing less severe symptoms with melatonin supplementation. Obviously, melatonin is not a cure. You should still follow your doctor’s advice and take whatever medications are necessary if you do have any of these problems. But it can be a safe, gentle addition to help boost your current regimen.

Attention all of you headache sufferers out there: you should be supplementing with melatonin, too, despite whether you also have sleep problems or not. This is especially true if you are constantly plagued chronic cluster headaches. Supplementing with melatonin every night has the potential to reduce both the frequency and the severity of a cluster headache attack.

Melatonin Is Much Safer Than Most Sleep Medications

If you’re currently on a prescription sleep medication or taking over the counter sleeping pills on a regular basis, you may want to take a break from those (but only if your doctor says it’s safe, with regard to the prescription sleep meds) and switch to melatonin supplements for a while. This is especially true if you’ve never tried melatonin before. There are many dangerous side effects that come with both prescription and drugstore sleep medications, even though they’re downplayed by most drug companies and rarely advertised. But you should know what they are before blindly resorting to these harsh drugs every night.

Natural sleep supplements, on the other hand, are a safer and superior alternative to synthetic chemicals. Many of them, including Avinol PM, include a healthy dose of melatonin to help you sleep. Some formulas even include ingredients such as chamomile, valerian root, or hops extract to boost the effectiveness of melatonin. If you’re ready to give Avinol PM or similar supplements a try, you can learn more about them by clicking that link.

Advertisements
Test Your Sleep IQ With This Fun Quiz

Test Your Sleep IQ With This Fun Quiz

Take Our Sleep Quiz to Learn Fun Facts About Your Nightly Rest!

How much do you think you know about sleep? Well, the truth is that it may not be as much as you would assume. Below, you can take a quick, fun true or false quiz to learn new things about sleep that you never thought were possible.

True or false: People only dream in black and white – it is impossible to dream in color.

False. Medical experts used to believe this, but modern science has discovered that, in reality, less than 15% of people have pure monochromatic dreams. This means that the vast majority of sleepers who dream at night dream in vivid, beautiful colors.

True or false: Animals need about 8 hours of sleep a day, just like humans.

False. Different animals have vastly different needs when it comes to their natural sleep patterns. Cats, for example, (whether big or small) require about 16 to 20 hours of sleep per day. A giraffe, on the other hand, will sleep less than 2 hours per day and still be perfectly healthy.  

True or false: Prescription sleeping pills are more effective than herbal remedies, and have no safety concerns whatsoever.

False. There are a myriad of safety concerns with prescription sleeping pills, such as sleep driving and the potential for neurological damage. Furthermore, herbal sleep remedies have been around for centuries – so if they aren’t effective, why would anyone ever use them? Best of all, they don’t come with the risky side effects that prescription pills do.

True or false: Sleeping in specific positions can provide unique health benefits.

True. Sleeping on your right side elevates your heart, promoting better blood flow while you rest. Sleeping on your left side, on the other hand, can help those suffering from heartburn or gerd. Sleeping on your stomach discourages indigestion, especially if you sleep with your hands above your head. Finally, sleeping on either side helps improve the quality of the sleep you get. The lack of pressure along the back of your neck allows cerebrospinal fluid to flow more freely across the blood-brain barrier. This makes it easier for your brain to clean house at night, removing toxins and cellular waste to improve your neurological health.

True or false: There is no correlation between personality type and your preferred sleep position.

False. Much like your body language, the position you sleep in can convey a lot about your personality, or even the mood you were in when you went to bed. Sleeping in a fetal position, for example, conveys emotional sensitivity and higher levels of empathy – but may also indicate loneliness or a need for affection. Sleeping on your front with arms and legs splayed wide, like a skydiver, implies a very assertive personality (sometimes in a rude way) but it also suggests that such boldness is compensatory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the other way around. A shy person, for example, can’t suddenly embolden themselves by sleeping in a different position. So just sleep in whatever way makes you the most comfortable!

True or false: Couples who sleep in separate beds have a troubled relationship.

False. As a matter of fact, forcing yourselves to sleep in the same bed can foster resentment and damage the relationship. But this is only the case if you and your partner have such different sleep habits that your nightly routines interfere with each others’ ability to get quality rest. Sleeping in separate beds – or even separate bedrooms – can actually help the relationship. Spending time apart at night can make the heart grow fonder during the day. It also gives you excuses to cuddle and show affection while you are awake and can appreciate it the most.

True or false: Sleeping in high altitudes can reduce the quality of your sleep.

True. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but the strongest theory they have is that it has to do with lower levels of oxygen at higher altitudes. Breathing less oxygen while you sleep can cause sleep disturbances, aggravate sleep apnea, and prevent the cellular restoration that your body does when you sleep.

True or false: Adjusting to a shift work schedule is physically impossible to do without running the risk of serious health problems.

True, unfortunately. Even if you successfully adjust your daily schedule to get an optimal amount of sleep, the natural biological processes in your body still work according to a normal day night cycle. And when the natural human circadian rhythm is out of balance with your actual sleep schedule, it can create health problems over time. Imbalances in important hormones such as melatonin, serotonin, leptin, ghrelin, and many more will happen if you won’t let your body sleep during the night and work during the day. Over time, these hormonal imbalances can create chronic diseases like cardiovascular problems or diabetes.

True or false: Being unable to sleep because your partner snores is annoying, but harmless.

False. The inability to sleep due to your partner’s snoring comes with all of the horrible physical and mental side effects that any type of sleep deprivation does. On top of that, experiencing distress due to an annoying noise (like snoring) comes with its own unique set of debilitating symptoms, too. The condition is called misophonia, which is defined as “a strong dislike or hatred of certain sounds”. It goes beyond mere annoyance. It actually creates a physical stress reaction in your body. It floods your bloodstream with cortisol, which is the stress hormone responsible for putting your body into fight or flight mode. Obviously, it isn’t going to improve your ability to get to sleep – much less your quality of sleep – if you have stress hormones surging through your body at night. And chronic stress has been shown to exacerbate serious health problems like heart disease, mental health issues, and obesity, among others.

We hope you enjoyed taking this little quiz today. For more information on sleep, be sure to check our blog regularly for updates!

Sleep Deprivation Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Sleepless nights will happen to everyone at some point or another. You can probably count the dozens of times you’ve complained about being “sleep deprived” off the top of your head right now. But the truth is that sleep deprivation is much more serious than people think. And the longer you spend accumulating sleep deprivation, the more likely it is to have a disastrous effect on your overall health. Below, we’ll tell you all about acute sleep deprivation, chronic sleep deprivation, and tips you can use to keep these conditions from harming your health.

Occasional Sleep Deprivation

Over 90% of adults will have a sleepless night every once in a while. This is referred to in medical circles as acute sleep deprivation. In general, this type of sleep deprivation may only have mild negative effects on your health, if you notice any at all. Usually, you’ll experience these negative effects within the first 24 to 36 hours after your restless night. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Overwhelming urge to yawn frequently
  • Impulsive tendencies
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Intense mood swings
  • Dull complexion
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Unhealthy food cravings
  • Making bad decisions
  • Lack of motor control

That last one can be especially dangerous if you operate heavy machinery for a living or have a particularly long work commute. It’ll make you more likely to get into an accident both on the job and on the road. Although rare, these accidents have the potential to be fatal. Certain studies show that driving a car while acutely sleep deprived can be just as risky as driving under the influence of 1-3 alcoholic drinks.

This may sound a little scary so far, but there is some good news. With acute sleep deprivation, you can alleviate the symptoms above with a good night’s rest the following evening. A strong power nap in the afternoon may also be helpful. However, too much sleep deprivation will eventually have a cumulative effect. When restless nights pile up over time, the consequences will be much worse than dark circles and too many yawns.

Chronic Sleep Deprivation

Unfortunately, chronic sleep deprivation is an incredibly common thing. In the United States alone, over 40 million adults suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. This chronic deficit has many negative effects on your overall health. Some of these can even become permanent if the issue isn’t properly addressed.

First and foremost, getting too little sleep (or getting poor quality sleep) can you make you gain weight. When you don’t sleep properly, the hormones which control your metabolism fall out of balance. These hormones are ghrelin – the “hunger” hormone – and leptin, the “full” hormone. In a healthy body, you only produce ghrelin when your body needs calories, and you produce leptin when you have eaten just enough to fuel yourself. But in a sleep-deprived body, too much ghrelin gets produced, leading to intense food cravings. More often than not, these cravings lead you towards sugary, fatty foods rather than healthy choices. It also fails to produce enough leptin, which protects you from overeating. Most people know that when you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you gain too much weight and keep it on for many years, it’s easy to develop chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes, among other things.

Furthermore, chronic sleep deprivation can give you actual brain damage. Temporary memory problems and poor motor skills are only the tip of the iceberg. If left unchecked, you could make yourself vulnerable to depression and other mood disorders. Several days in a row with little or no sleep can cause visual and auditory hallucinations. Impulsive decisions or actions will become much more frequent. Erratic thoughts can leave you stressed out and eventually manifest as chronic anxiety or panic attacks. Over the months and years that your unhealthy sleep habits continue, these will become more permanent and more devastating.

When the brain accumulates too much physical damage, it can eventually become fatal after a certain amount of time. Animal studies have shown that continued sleep deprivation is definitely fatal, even in as little as 7 to 10 days. Fortunately, death from sleep deprivation in humans is very rare, and there are no known cases reported. But this doesn’t mean that several days of sleep deprivation won’t – for example – get you into a deadly accident.

Long-term sleep deprivation makes the likelihood of serious accidents much more common with time. Factory, dock, and warehouse workers are extremely vulnerable to this based on their odd sleeping schedules and the abundance of heavy machinery they work with. Even those with a normal desk job can get into an accident on the road if they have gone weeks or months (or longer) getting poor sleep at night. And you aren’t just putting yourself in danger, either. Pilots, surgeons, air traffic controllers, and the like have caused serious – and sometimes fail – accidents due to chronic sleep deprivation.

Thankfully, There Are Solutions

Whether your poor quality sleep is causing acute or chronic sleep deprivation, there are things you can do to help eliminate it from your life. For starters, stay away from harsh, chemical sleep aids. Yes, we know that most people reach for an over-the-counter sleeping pill or ask their doctor for a prescription sleep aid – but this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the quality sleep necessary for your brain and body to operate at their best. In some cases, these drugs can alter your brain in ways that make it difficult or impossible to get a restorative rest when you don’t take them. These effects can last for months or even years, depending on how long you take these drugs.

In our expert opinion, the best thing you can do for your health and safety is take a sleep aid that is made from natural ingredients. We’ve reviewed many of them, but we believe that Avinol PM is the safest and most effective formula you can get. If you’re ready to start sleeping better, go ahead and check it out.

Is Your Prescription Sleeping Pill Secretly Harming Your Health?

Is Your Prescription Sleeping Pill Secretly Harming Your Health?

Have you ever wondered exactly what prescription sleeping pills are made out of? Well, a lot of people have. And the answer is: nobody really knows, except for the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture them. All we know 100% for sure is that they aren’t made from anything natural. They’re chock-full of synthetic, manufactured molecules which some scientists – many of whom have been hired by pharmaceutical companies, for pharmaceutical companies – claim can help us alleviate our sleeping problems without too many harmful side effects.

But how true is that statement, really? We decided to do a little digging to find out the truth. And after you read what we have found, you may never want to take another prescription sleeping pill ever again.

Scary Side Effects of Prescription Sleeping Pills Even Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About

Have you ever wondered how your doctor knows which prescription medicines are best for which patients? Or when it’s okay to prescribe one patient a certain pill, but refuse to give it to another sick person with the same condition? In a perfect world, your doctor would occasionally crack open a medical journal to refresh and/or update their medical knowledge. This research helps them be a better doctor by learning which medications, as well as medical practices, are the most affordable and effective for patients today.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Often, doctors don’t have the time to search out the best medications for their patients. That’s where pharmaceutical reps come in. They visit doctor’s offices with the latest information, hoping that the doctor will agree to start prescribing it to their patients. But sometimes, these reps aren’t always honest with the doctor about which drugs are safe, and which aren’t; their main job is to get drugs sold so that they can keep their job and make money. Patient safety is, unfortunately, secondary.

If your doctor fell victim to a less-than-scrupulous pharmaceutical rep, he or she may be prescribing sleeping pills right now that are extremely hazardous to your health. And yes, there is proof out there that there are more risks than we know of. For starters, there is the BMJ Open, which recently published a study linking prescription sleep medications to cancer. The study has shown a positive link between high mortality rates in recently diagnosed cancer patients and people who take prescription sleeping pills. To be fair, the study in question has only established a correlation between high cancer mortality rates and those who depend on prescription pills in order to get to sleep. Scientists have yet to prove that there is a direct cause of higher mortality because of sleeping pill use (or abuse). But we suspect it won’t take much further study to uncover the truth.

A less fatal, but still serious problem associated with sleeping pills is the fact that they can cause withdrawal symptoms. If someone tries to quit taking a sleep medication all of a sudden – often referred to as “cold turkey” – they can experience a myriad of horrible side effects. Thankfully, most of these side effects aren’t as bad as quitting narcotic drugs or ending decades of alcohol abuse. But you may suffer anxiety, panic attacks, extreme irritability, and even rebound insomnia as a result. Millions of people have developed an unhealthy dependence on sleeping pills, even after they no longer need them, simply because they want to avoid these side effects.

Of course, we can’t gloss over the fact that many prescription sleeping pills can trick your brain into doing dangerous things while you are still technically “asleep”. Even when you are incapable of conscious thought, your body’s still capable of moving and acting out on wants or desires. People have found themselves binge eating, driving, and even having cogent conversations with friends and loved ones all while their brain is incapable of exercising good judgment or reacting as quickly as a sober mind would.

Despite all of the warnings, some people still insist on asking their doctor for a sleeping pill prescription because they don’t think they have alternative options available. But that isn’t the case. Although, we should mention that some alternative options are better than others.

Discussing Alternatives

Really, the best way to improve your inability to get to sleep at night is with a good diet, some healthy exercise during the week, and anything that can reduce your stress (like meditation, for example). But like we said a minute ago, we don’t live in a perfect world where most people have the opportunity to change their entire lifestyle in this way. So the quick and easy solution is to take something – anything – to alleviate their sleep problems.

One of the solutions people typically go for if they can’t or don’t want to take prescription sleeping pills are over-the-counter sleep medicines. They’re cheaper, easier to get, and many of them are pretty effective. But this comes with some inherent risk. Abusing over the counter sleeping pills over the long term may lead to an increased risk of brain diseases, such as alzheimer’s and dementia, developing later on in life. There are many medications, prescription and OTC, that can have very dangerous if not deadly reactions to an over the counter sleeping pill. Despite claims by the manufacturers who sell them at these pills or anything but habit-forming, most people who buy these pills fail to follow the “don’t take for longer than 2 weeks” disclaimer that is on the back of most packages. Despite all of these unnerving facts, combined with the threat of liver and kidney toxicity in high doses, along with sometimes dangerous next day drowsiness, it’s a wonder anyone ever takes an over the counter sleeping pill.

Natural Sleep Aids

So what else is there, you might be asking? Well, there are natural sleep supplements out there which are safer and much less expensive than either prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills. They are made with natural ingredients which are proven safe when used as directed, and they don’t leave you with that next day groggy feeling. Avinol PM just so happens to be one of those sleep supplements. If you’re curious about what a natural sleep aid like Avinol PM can do for you, feel free to read up on how it works or visit their main website.

How Avinol PM Works

If you can’t sleep, regardless of the reason, consider Avinol PM, which may be the perfect choice, as an excellent, all-natural way to help you get a great night’s sleep. Sleep is very important, and when you lack it, you are less likely to be able to do your job. Worse, you will find it harder to do safely, thus putting others at risk. Of course, if you take a chemical sleep aid that puts them to sleep quickly, they often wake up with a “hangover” of sorts, which may or may not be better. This is why the makers of all-natural Avinol PM created their product in the first place.

The maker of Avinol PM understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, but they also wanted to create a sleep aid that contained ingredients that were good for the mind and body and also good for maintaining good health. The primary reason so many turn to Avinol PM is because its all-natural formula can help anyone overcome any sort of sleep disorder or other reason for insomnia in a way that allows the person taking it to gently slip into quiet slumber. Avinol PM gives your body the substances it needs to calm everything down so that you can drift off to sleep.

The key ingredients in Avinol PM may in fact restore balance to your body and your mind, which means you may get the sleep you need and also improve your overall health. While many sleep aids contain some potentially harmful chemicals, Avinol PM is a highly effective sleep aid that is safe. The ingredients work together to tackle a variety of sleep problems, including restless sleep and conditions like sleep apnea.

The Importance of Sleep, with Avinol PM

Let’s face it; we all need sleep. In fact, in order for the body and the mind to function properly, getting a sufficient amount of sleep is vital. Failure to make sure you get proper sleep can lead to a lot of problems, from increased mood swings to memory lapses to serious cognitive problems. When you lack sleep, you are more likely to be unable to do your job at all, or to at least do it safely. That is why the makers of Avinol PM created their product. They understand the importance of a good night’s sleep and they realize that getting a proper amount of sleep might be very difficult. However, they also realized that many sleep aids on the market contained ingredients that weren’t the best for maintaining good health.

The reason many turn to Avinol PM is because its all-natural formula can help anyone overcome any sort of sleep disorder or other reason for insomnia in a way that allows the person taking it to gently slip into quiet slumber. Many other sleep aids tend to knock users out immediately.

That sounds great, until you wake up with something resembling a hangover in the morning. Avinol PM eases you into sleep and it helps you stay there for the entire night. However, because of Avinol PM’s unique combination of natural herbs and other ingredients, you won’t wake up feeling cloudy. You wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. The best part is, since Avinol PM is all natural, it is safer than the ingredients in many other sleep aids and there are no negative side effects.