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Melatonin Helps You Fall Asleep

Posted Feb 18 2010 12:00am

I found this article today that talks about a lack of ‘blue light’, which we get from early morning exposure to sunlight. When teenagers are not properly exposed to ‘blue light’ for one week, their bodies release melatonin 30 minutes later in the day, which causes them to stay up later and fall asleep in class the next day. The release of melatonin is often also responsible for lack of sleep due to insomnia.

Melatonin helps us fall asleep. It is typically released for about 2 hours leading up to the time we actually fall asleep, based on our body’s circadian rhythm.

The message that I am taking away from this article is this: it’s not the lack of ‘blue light’ necessarily that is affecting people, it’s the release of melatonin. Therefore, regardless of what time you get up in the morning, simply supplementing with melatonin at night is one way to get yourself to sleep.

Melatonin is available in your local grocery store for about $10 for a 2 month supply. Try to get either the 3mg or the 5mg versions. There’s not really any need to take more than 5mg at night. If you can’t fall asleep on 5mg of melatonin then I think you might need something stronger.

Kids can use melatonin too, as it is not dangerous or habit forming. Doctors have recommended giving a 6 year old child 1 mg of melatonin at night if he or she just can’t get to sleep. It is tasteless, can be crushed up, and swallowed with a spoonful of pudding or something.

We all know how important a good night sleep is. Most kids require 10-12 hours of sleep each night, teenagers require 8-10 hours, and adults require 6-8 hours, with 8 being most optimal. Getting 8 hours of sleep regularly at night goes a long way towards helping you recover from intense workouts, and keep from getting sick.

If you are taking weight loss supplements, drink too much coffee, or just have insomnia, chances are good that melatonin will help you fall asleep faster and easier at night. Even if you don’t have insomnia, but you are just having trouble getting to sleep from using too many fat burners, melatonin can fix your problems. Give it a try.

Read more about the teenage blue light study here: Study sheds light on ‘teenage night owl syndrome’

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