Getting the correct amount of sleep is incredibly important for one’s health. Sleep helps the body and brain function properly and can improve learning, memory, decision-making and even creativity. It’s been suggested that getting enough sleep also lowers the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, stroke and obesity. If falling asleep is not as easy for you, then taking a supplement could make a huge difference. When it comes to the best supplements for sleep, which is best?
It doesn’t make you sleep, but as melatonin levels rise in the evening it puts you into a state of quiet wakefulness that helps promote sleep
Sleep expert Luis Buenaver
Melantoin is a key sleep hormone that works by telling the brain that it’s time to relax and head to bed.
Melatonin supplements are extremely popular sleep aids and are useful went travelling.
It’s thought the supplements help with a person to adjust to new time zones and also helped the body’s circadian rhythm to return to normal.
Sleep expert Luis Buenaver from John Hopkins said: “Your body process melatonin naturally.
“It doesn’t make you sleep, but as melatonin levels rise in the evening it puts you into a state of quiet wakefulness that helps promote sleep.
“Most people’s bodies produce enough melatonin for sleep on their own.
“However, there are steps you can take to make the most of your natural melatonin production, or you can try a supplement if you’re experiencing insomnia, want to overcome jet lag, or are a night owl who needs to get to bed earlier and wake up earlier.”
In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, melatonin was investigated to see it’s potential in aiding sleep.
The study reviewed the evidence that melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland during dark hours, played a major role in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.
The study suggested that administered melatonin could be beneficial for certain types of insomniacs.
Melatonin supplements may also help with mental health in children according to another study.
The study found that melatonin treatment in children can be sustained over a long period of time without substantial deviation of the development of children relating to sleep quality and also aided in puberty development and mental health.
In some countries, a prescription is required for melatonin. In others, melatonin is widely available in stores or online.
The recommended amount of melatonin before bed is around one to five mg taken 30 – 60 minutes before desired sleep time.
Health professionals advise with starting with a low dose of the supplement to help assess one’s tolerance and then increasing the dosage slowly as needed.
It’s advised that you should speak with your GP before taking melatonin supplements for sleeping as it’s been proven the supplement may alter brain chemistry.
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