While diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle are the primary keys to True Wellness, it is often difficult to get everything our bodies need. Quality supplementation in the correct quantity and format is often required.
Today in the spotlight is Melatonin – an essential hormone secreted by the pineal gland in response to the circadian rhythm of the light-dark cycle of night and day.
With shift work, travel across time zones, and the invention of the light bulb, illuminated screens of TV, computers, smartphone and tablets, modern humans are kept busy and entertained long into the evening hours. This modern need to extend waking hours has resulted in the disruption and malfunction in the secretion of melatonin. When the secretion of melatonin is disrupted over a period of time, it may result in insomnia, disrupted sleep, difficulty entering sleep, or other sleep disorders. Additionally, as people age they produce less melatonin.
Melatonin helps increase the total sleep time (aspect of sleep quality) in people suffering from sleep restriction or altered sleep schedule, e.g. shift-work and jet lag. Melatonin also helps to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep (sleep onset latency aspect of sleep quality) in people with delayed sleep phase syndrome and helps re-set the body’s sleep-wake cycle (aspect of the circadian rhythm).
We can optimize our melatonin levels by maintaining an adequate dietary intake of tryptophan, which has been shown to increase blood melatonin levels fourfold. Foods high in tryptophan include: soy flour, soy nuts, cottage cheese, tuna, oatmeal and lentils. Supplementing melatonin is also an option. Opt for lower levels (3mg or lower) and only take as necessary. To learn more about melatonin, here is a great article from Alive Magazine: www.alive.com/health/melatonin-2/
As with all herbal supplements, please consult with your practitioner if you are taking other medications to ensure no adverse reactions may occur. Could you benefit from taking Melatonin? BOOK an analysis and find out!