Those nights when you are tossing and turning can feel like an eternity. You may pop a melatonin pill to help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. But what if there was a way to better your quality of sleep—without supplements? Meditation increases the natural melatonin in your body. Let’s dig in.
What is melatonin?Melatonin is made by the amino acid tryptophan in the pineal gland. In other words, it’s a hormone produced by your brain to help upkeep your body’s natural rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm, or your body’s 24-hour internal clock. The brain’s production and release of this hormone is related to the time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light. It is also available as a supplement, usually taken as an oral tablet, made in a lab. Oral tablets can be helpful for difficulty sleeping, jet lag, and more.
Effects of SupplementsTaking melatonin supplements is generally safe, though should always be used under doctor’s supervision and for only a short time. Mayo Clinic states, “[These supplements] can be used to treat delayed sleep phase and circadian rhythm sleep disorders in the blind and provide some insomnia relief.” While taking supplements can be a helpful temporary solution, it can have negative effects:
- In rare cases, can increase feelings of depression and anxiety, irritability, confusion, grogginess, or disorientation