Being too much “in touch” with Netflix is getting you out of sleep, isn’t it? Well, most of us experience sleeplessness these days. Ever wondered why? the answer is simple, we are not able to create a balance between our sleep-wake-up cycle. We do not prioritize our sleep over one more episode or one more movie. Sleeping is a favourite pastime for the majority of us, yet only a few have enough time to do it. Some of us are focused on raising children, while others are focused on earning, being stuck to their laptops.
The recommendation is to sleep for at least 7-9 hours a day for your brain and body to function efficiently. A good night’s slumber makes you feel refreshed, bright, intellectually agile, and ready to conquer the world. Some researchers even suggest that adequate quantity and quality of sleep are required to regroup, repair and rejuvenate the body so as to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
According to the NHIS (2002), 17.4% of the populace suffers from sleep disorders. Sleep deprivation is an alarming concern that many individuals suffer nowadays. Millions of people across the world are failing to get enough sleep at night as a result of their stressful lifestyles which adversely affect their mood and dietary habits. A disturbed sleep cycle has the ability to deplete your mental function and jeopardize your physical health.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin, commonly known as the sleep hormone is secreted by the pineal gland in our brain during the night (in response to darkness). It plays a pivotal role in synchronizing the circadian rhythm and maintaining the sleep-wake cycle, which is why the most well-known melatonin benefit is enhanced sleep. Several research suggests that melatonin may also help with insomnia, jet lag, sleep disorders in children, and anxiety before and after surgery. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant in addition to being a sleep aid. Antioxidants are excellent body defenders, shielding and neutralizing environmental stresses.
Increased exposure to blue light (digital devices), working night shifts, bad lifestyle choices, irregular mealtimes, increased alcohol consumption and inconsistent sleeping habits have exacerbated the sleep problems during this work-from-home phase. All these reasons account for low melatonin levels in the body. According to studies, two hours of continuous tablet and smartphone usage in the evening lowers melatonin synthesis by 22% in adolescent individuals. Melatonin production peaks between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. and then progressively decline with early morning strong light exposure.
Melatonin deficiency in the body can increase due to aging and other cognitive disorders. One of the ways to maintain sufficient levels in the body is to start Melatonin Supplementation. Melatonin supplementation in the form of liquid, spray, chewable, and tablets have come up as a rescue solution to disturbed sleep pattern. The main role of melatonin is to bind with MT1 and MT2 receptors in the hypothalamus and the retina, thus lowering dopamine and leading to a more relaxed body and state of mind. The two most commonly consumed melatonin supplementation are melatonin sprays and oral tablets.
Melatonin tablets are a common alternative since they are easier to measure out the exact quantity with. When taken orally, it reaches its peak concentration in the blood within 30 minutes. They also have a longer shelf life, typically have no flavour, and are the more affordable option. Also, they may be difficult to swallow and have less reaction time than sprays. Melatonin spray on the other hand is a handier alternative because it is portable. Sprays also have a high bioavailability, which means that the supplement will work faster and more efficiently than other forms of melatonin. It is believed that melatonin sprays have twice the efficacy of oral tablets as they have a better diffusion rate through the highly vascularized nasal passage.
How do you take it?
Depending upon the kind and severity of the disrupted sleep cycle, the individuals should consume the melatonin supplements in the following schedule:
Melatonin should be taken 30 minutes before bedtime
People with delayed sleep phase syndrome may benefit from taking melatonin several hours before their planned bedtime. For example, if you naturally fall asleep at 2 a.m. but want to sleep at 11 p.m., you might take it as early as 9 p.m.
Melatonin potentially has interactions with a number of drugs. Blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants are some of them. If you take any of the above, see your doctor before starting a supplement. Hence, it must be taken care that the recommended limit is not exceeded, and you get maximum benefit in improving your sleep. Happy snoozing…