It's impossible to have a conversation about sleep improvement without mentioning melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone in the body whose primary function is to regulate the body's circadian rhythm, or internal clock. Melatonin is produced naturally by your body and responds to light and darkness to help control when and how you sleep.
Melatonin tends to increase in the evening as the light levels decrease, promoting sleepiness, and decrease in the morning when light levels increase, promoting wakefulness. This natural process is disrupted by artificial light - particularly blue light from our devices - which can suppress the hormone production and make it harder to fall asleep.
Melatonin as a Sleep Aid
While most people’s bodies naturally produce enough melatonin for sleep, melatonin supplements can be extremely effective for people looking to realign their circadian rhythm, following episodes of jet-lag or delayed sleep patterns, or circadian rhythm disorders. Because melatonin reduces the length of time needed to fall asleep, it can help you regulate your sleep cycle and improve your sleep efficiency.
Is melatonin right for me?
While research has shown that melatonin could be a safe and effective way to improve sleep, experts generally advise against long-term use. Supplements are best for short-term basis if you’re experiencing insomnia, want to overcome jet lag, or need to sleep earlier than your normal bedtime. Melatonin supplements are most effective in combination with other healthy sleep practices. Please find our list of sleep improvement tips here.