Sleep is obviously one of the most important things you can do for yourself, all around. A good night sleep helps with every part of my being. I look better, I feel better, I’m more refreshed, my skin looks better, my eyes are clearer, no bags or dark circles under them. But more importantly, my mood is noticeably better, I make quicker and better decisions (including diet choices), and I hit more goals for the day because I am just more motivated in general.
My whole day can feel like a waste if I’m lacking in the sleep department, so I always make it a priority.
If I know my sleep is going to be effed up, I am ready to take care of business and pop a melatonin.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone “that’s main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep. Light decreases melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake. Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. It is thought that adding melatonin from supplements might help them sleep” (source)
It is super useful for those nights you just can’t fall asleep, for whatever reason. You know those nights where your mind is going a mile a minute, thinking about work, or an issue, or something you’re excited about, and you keep tossing and turning and just know you will be up for the long haul. This is when I would take a melatonin supplement. Usually within 20 minutes, I can feel it working and I start relaxing and then doze off.
I also like to use melatonin when I’m traveling.
It really helped me get used to the time zone when I went to Europe and had to adjust to a 7 hour difference. But I even like to bring it with me when I go to Miami to visit J’s family. Even though there isn’t much of a time zone adjustment (it’s one measly little hour), there’s just something about traveling and sleeping somewhere different that can trick up my sleep schedule. I am big on sleeping in my own bed aka “the cloud” So I’m kind of a bed snob.
Melatonin would also be helpful for someone who’s work schedule shifts.
Back in my restaurant working days – when I lived in Chicago – one night, I would be closing out and leaving at 2AM and then a day or two later I would have the morning shift. I would suffer one of those nights for sure. I wish I knew about melatonin back then, because it would have majorly helped out.
I don’t use melatonin very often, but every month or so the situation will arise where I will need to take one. There are differing dosages that run from 1-10 mg. Now 10 mg is pretty high. I initially bought the 10 mg pills and they knocked me the fuck out. Like, deep ass, heavy sleep and I felt hungover the next day. My head was so heavy and groggy. So I slept a lot but I felt like crap, not what I was going for. So instead of tossing the bottle I decided to cut the pills in half, so it was more like 5 mg. MUCH BETTER. Next bottle of melatonin, I’m going to go with the 3 mg and see how that goes. I’ll update you when I get to that one.
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That’s pretty much how I use melatonin to my advantage. Let me know how it works for you or if you have any other sleep tips!