Every year the same thing happens in the US – in the autumn people are happy for an extra hour of sleep when the clocks change and every spring it’s a pain when you lose an hour of sleep due to the time change.
The funny thing is, your body tends to still wake you up at the same time in the fall and wants you to sleep until the same time in the spring. It’s the topic of conversation at home, work, radio and tv shows, etc. You can do something to help with this and end up getting better sleep.
You can basically do a reset of your body clock and get better overall sleep through the use of melatonin. This post will highlight the benefit of melatonin in general and how it can help you reset your body clock more quickly, whether it is because of a seasonal time change, or travel to another time zone.
What is melatonin? Melatonin is a substance that your body naturally produces (in the pineal gland in your brain) to help regulate the sleep/wake cycles. It is inexpensive, readily available, and effective from any corner drugstore, health food store, or from online sources. I recommend a dissolvable or sublingual lozenge. Some people find that a time-release formula works better for through-the-night sleep.
It is best to start with a small dose and work up from there – you may not require much for it to be effective (2, 3 or 5mg). With drastic time changes, it may take a bit more to help do the initial reset of your body clock. Many people find that they can back down your dosage once the re-establish healthy sleep patterns. This can also be a great benefit when traveling, especially if you have changed time zones.
Side effects – typically none, though many people report that they experience more vivid dreams than normal. Also, make sure you don’t take melatonin during daytime hours as it will make you tired and will tend to throw off your normal body clock. Also, keep in mind that melatonin is not able to make up for lack of or too little sleep.
For more on sleep, make sure you check out the posts on healthy sleep part1 and healthy sleep part 2.
Do you have questions about melatonin or anything related to a healthy lifestyle? Use the reply form below – I’d love to hear from you.