This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
To conquer any day, you need to be well-rested. So how many hours classify as well-rested? While there is no right answer to this question, the most prominent one is that a few hours of deep sleep is all you need to feel like a pocketful of sunshine each day.
We already spoke to you about lifestyle choices that can help you sleep better. Today we will focus on Melatonin - is it good or bad?, GABA and Serotonin. And how these work together to put you into a state of slumber.
Melatonin, the darkness hormone, has been a much-disputed supplement. To take or not to take, that is the real question. Before we discuss whether melatonin supplements are good for you, we must know that your body knows how to produce its melatonin. Melatonin, secreted by the pineal gland, in response to darkness, acts in coordination with the circadian rhythm to regulate sleep function. The most amount of melatonin is secreted as a response to it being dark and is usually between 11:00 PM- 4:00 AM. Maintaining the melatonin secretion rhythm is extremely important for sleep, neurological, and other health issues. Remember when your mother asked you to go to bed cause ‘it is way past your bedtime?’ She was not wrong, was she?
Now let’s add another chemical to this mix. It’s called GABA Or the Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and is produced naturally in the brain. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The role of GABA is to work to lower the activity in the central nervous system. No, this is not risky. Your mind and body need to pause on a day-to-day basis. GABA helps calm the mind and body down, increases relaxation, alleviates pain, and induces sleep. It is also known to regulate appetites and metabolism. Low GABA activity hampers sleep patterns, increases stress and anxiety, and leads to depression.
The third in this mix of sleep is Serotonin. Although serotonin is the happy hormone that makes you move, it is also a major neurotransmitter responsible for putting you to sleep. Odd one right! It actually helps prevent REM or rapid eye movement sleep, which is when you are asleep, but brain activity is on the same level as that when you are awake. That is the stage where you are actively dreaming. The longer the REM sleep, the lower the quality of your sleep that night. Serotonin makes you sleep and also keeps you awake. It is a chemical precursor to melatonin production. It synthesizes melatonin in the pineal gland when it's dark and helps put you to sleep.
As always, we will now pivot to the importance of nutrition. As you are aware, good quality food and nutrition play a part in how your body functions. A lack of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help boost the production of the three major chemicals involved in sleep will inevitably lead to insomnia, poor sleep, and a school of health issues that stem from a lack of sleep. While many over-the-counter Melatonin pills are available, most give your body synthetic melatonin rather than encouraging your body to produce its own. That makes your body dependent on external sources of melatonin and makes it forget how to make its own melatonin. This makes it imperative to supplement the lack with plant-based natural pro-melatonin formulations that help kick start your natural melatonin production.
Outside of melatonin, it is also essential to supplement for the proper functioning of GABA and Serotonin in the body. A lot of natural plant-based ingredients like walnuts, nutmeg, St. John's Wort, and more, work synergistically to give you a restful night's sleep - so you can say bye to sheep and hi to great sleep.