There are many natural remedies for sleep problems, and science is quickly discovering that some of these therapies work by causing an increase in the body’s melatonin secretion. If you’re still looking for an effective solution to your sleep problems, knowing how to increase melatonin in your body through natural means may be the answer.
How to Increase Melatonin?
To sleep like a baby is a luxury that not all adults are still able to enjoy. And while this gold standard for sleep is not as critical to adult health as it is to the growth and development of the young, rejuvenating sleep still has a great impact on our body’s optimal day-to-day functions.
With the help of melatonin, hitting the sack should be easy at the end of the day and sleep, peaceful. As the body’s “sleep hormone,” melatonin is the key ingredient to a good night’s sleep; knowing how to increase melatonin levels naturally might work more effectively for you than counting sheep will.
Article at a Glance
- Your body’s melatonin production may be negatively affected by external factors and certain lifestyle habits, leading to sleep difficulties.
- Directly addressing the disruptions to melatonin production may effectively provide relief from insomnia and other sleep issues.
- Studies have found that some strategies can naturally increase melatonin levels in the body.
Meditation and Relaxation Techniques
Meditation and relaxation techniques, especially when practiced before bedtime, may effectively boost melatonin production. This link was first observed in a 1995 study, which found that women who meditated had higher melatonin levels than those who did not.
Another study determined that regular meditation is necessary to affect an increase in melatonin levels, as there were no increases observed during nights when study participants didn’t meditate.
Experts recommend practicing meditation and relaxation techniques for 20-30 minutes before going to bed.
Aromatherapy is a time-tested remedy for many ailments, including sleep issues. Certain aromatherapy oils may help induce sleep and promote better sleep quality, in part, as a result of their stimulating effect on melatonin production.
One particular study looked at the popular essential oil, lavender, and the mechanism by which it attenuates sleep disturbances among the elderly — who have much lower melatonin levels and often suffer from insomnia and other types of sleep disorders. The results revealed that “Aromatherapy with lavender essential oil similarly favors an increase in blood melatonin levels in both older adult men and women.”
Food and Diet
In the body, melatonin is produced by the pineal gland. But melatonin can also be found in certain foods. Eating melatonin-rich foods a few hours before bedtime can help boost melatonin production at night and just in time for your precious zzzs.
According to one study, foods containing melatonin or promoting its synthesis by providing necessary co-factors “may modulate the levels of melatonin.”
Foods that deliver significant amounts of dietary melatonin include fruits like tart cherries, pomegranates, and olives; vegetables like asparagus, corn, and cucumber; nuts and seeds like flax and walnut; whole grains like barley and oats; and fatty fish.
It is also important to avoid certain foods and drinks that may disrupt your circadian rhythm, especially if you’re already suffering from a sleep problem.
Evidence indicates that exercise may have both a rapid and delayed effect on melatonin secretion, depending on the timing of the exercise.
According to one study, exercising at night when melatonin levels are on the “rising phase” may impair melatonin secretion. On the other hand, high-intensity exercise when melatonin levels are already elevated can further increase melatonin by nearly 50%. Low-intensity exercise, whether during the rising phase or elevated phase, did not show any effect on melatonin secretion. However, the study also found that nighttime exercise may cause a delay in melatonin onset on the day after. These results suggest that regular exercise is important in facilitating consistent melatonin stimulation.
Other Ways to Get Better Sleep
- Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m.
- Have an early dinner; ideally, you should eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid screen time one to two hours before bedtime. The blue light from phone and computer screens interferes with melatonin production.
- Stick to a bedtime ritual; your ritual should include adequate time for winding down physically and mentally. This is the perfect time to practice your meditation and relaxation techniques.
How to Increase Melatonin Levels Naturally – Final Thoughts
More often than not, sleep problems are the result of certain lifestyle habits and/or external stressors. Addressing these causative factors is often enough to find relief from insomnia, disturbed sleep, and other types of sleep issues. Knowing how to increase melatonin secretion in your body can further improve your chances of catching your forty winks. By combining good sleeping habits and some natural ways to increase melatonin levels, you’ll be snoring off in no time.