When the sun goes down, you may need to fulfil your needs of your daily portion of sleep. For some people it’s easy, they have something that is called a rhythm. But for some people it could be hard falling asleep because of the ever changing rhythm. The sleeping hormones are unable to acclimatise on your daily clock. All the hormones in your brain are connected with each other, and they can’t execute their job well, if for instance, the difference in ‘neuro transmissions and hormone levels‘ is too high.
So how would you explain a well functioning ‘rhythm’?
That means that your brain, mostly the pineal gland, produces the 24 hours hormone at the same time every day. Other hormones will adjust themselves according to your internal clock. Once again, all the hormones in your brain are connected with each other.
The reason why I just called it an 24 hours hormone and not a sleeping hormone, is because melatonin itself only tells your brain that it’s time to go to bed. But when, for example the adenosine levels are too low, you still can’t fall asleep. Adenosine is a neuro transmitter that’s at its lowest in the morning and at its highest before bedtime. This hormone binds itself to the adenosine receptors in your brain and when the receptors are packed you feel tired. One way to lower this hormone is by drinking caffeine.
Okay.. so what does melatonin actually do?
Melatonin itself will not make you sleep. Most people think it makes you sleep because of the melatonin industry. The first couple times you take it, it could definitely make you sleepy depending on the dosage you take because your body isn’t used to the higher melatonin levels.
However, after the first couple days of using a melatonin supplement, the only thing it does is resetting your internal clock over and over again. They say that 0.3mg is often enough stimulation for your pineal gland to start producing the amount of melatonin your body needs. Taking excessive melatonin may be harmful to your body.
And why do a lot of people still benefit from daily melatonin use?
For some people it keeps working for a long time to help you sleep. This is because when you take it, you think you are going to fall asleep very fast. So you go to bed with the idea of falling asleep fast because you took a melatonin tablet. The tablet will actually work as a placebo. This is what we call brain manipulation that you are unaware of.
Just like tablets with nothing in it but binding material can actually help fixing physical (and mental) issues.
So what are you trying to say?
I have had sleeping problems for months. I experienced a lot with melatonin not knowing how it really works. After some research I found out that, like you’ve just read, it’s only going to work as a placebo if you’re not having a chronic circadian rhythm disorder.
I have another question, why is it so important that I don’t stare at screens before I’m going to sleep?
This is because of the melatonin levels in the brain. When it’s day, your eyes will receive lots of blue light which is working destructive on melatonine.
The screen of the device that you are looking at will display blue light, this means your eyes are receiving blue light. This makes our brain think it’s day and it will destroy melatonin, which will reset your internal clock; creating an imbalance in hormones.
This will later be recognisable by staring at your ceiling for a couple hours, before you actually fall asleep. I highly recommend that when you want to use a device before going to bed, you find a way to filter out the blue lights of the screens you’re looking at. It’s available on almost all devices. You do this so you aren’t affecting your melatonin levels when using your device before you go to bed.
So do you have other tips at falling asleep, using your strategy called ‘manipulating’ to overcome sleepless nights?
Okay, I’m going to give an example here. Lay down and tighten every muscle in your body for approximately 5 seconds, starting by your feet and go up all the way to your head. After that you will swivel round your belly button for approximately 30 seconds and you keep swiveling slower. Close your eyes and only focus on your breath, don’t move your body. This will put your body in relaxation mode which makes you fall asleep more quickly.
What you actually did is you manipulated your brain.
133•. .•You also need to make sure that you believe in falling asleep quickly and that you don’t associate your bed with sleepless nights.•. When you have to get up early and it’s late already, don’t panic but just accept that you have a bit less sleep than normal otherwise you are trying to fall asleep as quickly as possible and that’s not going to work.