Melatonin is responsible for initiating and maintaining proper sleep.
It is secreted by the mysterious pineal gland deep inside our brain and regulates the Circadian rhythm (the cycles of Day and Night) of our bodies. Night time levels of Melatonin are at least 10 times higher than during the day. Additionally, Melatonin levels are higher in Autumn and Winter (longer nights) than in spring and summer. Melatonin secretion increases towards evening and peaks at night, then decreases towards very early morning and dips in the morning.
Light is the main regulator of Melatonin. Remember that Melatonin is responsible for initiating and maintaining sleep. And even extremely dim light can be sensed through the eyes. Therefore, looking at laptop, TV or mobile phone screens just before bed time or having even the feeblest of lights seeping into your bedroom while you sleep could compromise the quality of your sleep.
Three big things to do to ensure proper Melatonin secretion and therefore a great night’s sleep –
Watch the sunset – the whites and blues of the day fading into the yellows, oranges and pinks of the night are a powerful indicator to the brain to initiate the sleep cycles within a few hours.
Get away from those screens at least 45 minutes before you plan to hit the bed. Otherwise, you will undo the fabulous effect of that sunset you watched and end up with disturbed sleep.
Darken your bedroom. This ensures that your brain doesn’t get “danger” signals from unwanted lights around you and thus will allow you to go and stay in the deeper stages of sleep where all the magic of sleep happens.
BTW, Melatonin regulates your moods as well. The right amount of melatonin in your system means you will feel great about life.
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We (Bawa & Dinesh) are best-selling authors. Our three books have sold more than 100,000 copies. We have spoken at various corporate houses and educational institutions all over the world. We teach Meditation, Craniosacral Therapy and Bach Flower Remedies. We live at our beautiful home amidst nature at the Art of Living’s International Retreat in Bangalore. We love good food, music, reading, long walks and movies and theatre with happy endings.