A disrupted circadian rhythm can lead to insomnia and other sleep problems. Melatonin may be able to help reset your sleep cycle. Read on to learn more.
Sleep is an essential function of the human body. It allows your body to rest, your mind to recharge, and helps you feel refreshed throughout the day. Not only does sleep make us feel great, but it is also crucial for keeping the body healthy and the brain functioning properly.
Circadian Rhythms and Sleep
Do you tend to get tired around the same time each night? Have you ever tried to sleep in on a weekend but instead woke up around the time your alarm clock usually goes off? There is a reason for that! Your body follows consistent sleep patterns, which is important for getting restful sleep and feeling your best.
If you have trouble waking up in the morning, are wired when it is time to wind down, or if sleep is generally a struggle, your sleep cycle may need a reset.
Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles regulated by the body’s internal clock. One of the main circadian rhythms is your sleep-wake cycle. When you wake up in the morning, the light from the sun sends signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up, energizing your body and helping you to stay awake, alert, and focused. At night, when the sun goes down, your internal clock tells your brain to start producing melatonin to help you relax and unwind. Your body will continue to produce melatonin throughout the night to help you stay asleep.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in your body and released when the sun goes down and it begins to get dark outside. It tells your body when it is time to relax and prepare for sleep
It also helps to regulate your body temperature, blood pressure, blood glucose, body weight, and levels of some hormones.
Supplementing with melatonin
For many people, or in certain situations, taking melatonin can help you reset your sleep cycle and get your sleep back on track!
When to take melatonin for sleep
If you’ve been traveling out of your normal time zone, your sleep-wake cycle may be off and can have trouble regulating. Taking a melatonin supplement can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, combating the effects of jet lag.
Daylight Savings Time
Whether you are falling back or springing forward, the time change can affect your sleep. Taking melatonin can help your body adjust to the time change and ensure you don't miss a wink of sleep.
Maybe you’re dealing with stress at work or had an extra cup of coffee late in the day. Many factors can affect your body’s ability to fall asleep, and you may need an extra dose of relaxation. Taking melatonin can help your mind relax, so you can get the sleep your brain and body need.
How to reset your sleep cycle naturally
If you're having trouble sleeping or your sleep schedule is off, follow these tips to get back on track.
1. Follow a schedule
While it may feel silly to give yourself a bedtime, going to bed and waking up around the same time each day is important to regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle. After a few days of sticking to your schedule, you will likely find your body getting tired around the same time each night and waking up much easier in the morning. Most adults require at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night to ensure adequate rest. For children and teens, it is even more. That may seem like a lot or more than your norm. Aim to get in bed an hour earlier and work your way to a full, 7 to 9 hours in 15-minute increments every few days.
Have you ever slept in a few hours later than normal? Instead of feeling more rested, did you feel extra tired? That’s because your circadian rhythm is thrown off, and your body is having trouble regulating. This is why a schedule is beneficial. You will find you feel more rested, get better sleep, and you’ll no longer need a day to sleep in anyway!
2. Exposure your body to the morning sun
Exposing your body to morning sunlight, ideally within an hour of waking, tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, in turn, waking up the body. Instead of producing melatonin, your body will begin to produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone that wakes you up and gets you excited for the day. Instead of sipping your morning coffee on the couch or enjoying breakfast at the table, take it outside and enjoy the fresh air and morning sun. Ideally, 30 - 45 minutes of morning sun can reset your sleep cycle and energize your body for the day. However, even a few minutes of sun in the morning can benefit your sleep and give you a boost of energy.
3. Avoid screens
The blue light that phones, computers, and TVs emit can have a similar effect to the sun. The artificial color mimics daylight to keep you alert, which isn’t what you need when it is almost time to fall asleep. The blue light suppresses your melatonin levels and keeps you awake when you should be winding down. If you spend time viewing a screen before bed, you may find it harder to fall asleep. The light from the screen will tell your brain that it is still daytime and won’t begin producing melatonin to help you wind down. Instead of an evening scroll, pick up your favorite book, and spend the hour or two before bed away from screens. If you struggle to limit your screen time, it may be helpful to keep your phone in another room or set an alarm for when it’s time to put your phone away.
4. Create a bedtime routine
Having a nice wind-down routine will help prepare your body and mind for rest. An hour or two before you plan to go to sleep, begin your mindful routine to help your body and mind relax. For some, that may be reading a book, taking a warm, relaxing bath, or practicing bedtime yoga or stretching. It’s also important to create an environment that is conducive to sleep. Dim the lights, put away the screens, drop the temperature, and fluff your pillows. Diffusing a calming scent like lavender or using a soothing pillow mist can also offer an extra level of relaxation. Setting into a calm environment instead of racing around until it's time to crash will help you fall asleep easier.
5. Try melatonin
Supplementing with melatonin can reset your sleep cycle and ensure restful sleep. Although melatonin is produced naturally in the body, sometimes you need an extra dose of support. Stock up on Pantry Food’s Nite Bites for when you are jet-lagged, during the time change, or when you’re having trouble falling asleep. Pantry’s Night Bites are adaptogenic melatonin edibles that offer a low-dose THC + CBN blend that promotes a safe sedative effect.
Take your melatonin supplement a few hours before you plan to fall asleep, so your body has plenty of time to wind down.
- Valerian Root - A natural sedative known to help treat insomnia and lower anxiety. This ancient wonder helps support heart health, improves focus, reduces stress, and promotes restful sleep.
- L - theanine - L-theanine works as a natural sleep aid that helps calm anxiety and stress to help you feel energized the next day. It's also known to help improve mental cognition and memory.
- Passionflower - Fall asleep with ease with this natural sedative known to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Passionflower can help with anxiety relief and relaxation. Find your inner calm and rest easy.
- Cacao Powder - Rich in polyphenols, which can help people address many ailments and problems by reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol. Cocoa is also known to help blood flow to your brain for cognitive support.
- THC + CBN - This dynamic duo of cannabinoids is believed to work together to provide a relaxing effect that can improve sleep quality, provide pain relief, and may also help reduce inflammation in the body.
If you’re ready to get your sleep cycle back on track, follow these tips to reinforce your body’s circadian rhythm and stock up on melatonin to help ease your body into a healthier sleep routine!