Sleep and Anxiety
Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body characterized by inactivity of nervous system, relaxed postural muscles and suspended consciousness. Since the inception of mankind, sleep has been studied as the key to health and wellness as it is during sleep that the mind and the body reclineSleep plays a crucial role at promoting and healing health. However, with procuring age it is pretty obvious that the sleep rate declines as the sleep hormone(melatonin) level begins to drop.
What is Sleep Hormone (Melatonin)?
Melatonin is a hormone i.e. known to initiate sleep. It is secreted from the pineal gland i.e. pea-sized gland found just above the middle of the brain. Pineal gland secretes melatonin in the dark and it is for this reason that night/dark room is most suitable for a comfortable sound sleep.
Melatonin hormone typically deals in:
- Sleep initiation, and
- Sleep-wake cycle
Elders often experience diminished levels of melatonin resulting in poor sleep quality, or complete loss of sleep (insomnia). Reduction of melatonin usually occurs with age, however, with changed lifestyle pattern and poorly altered diet pattern the levels of melatonin level begins to drop at quite an early age.
Dietary Sources of Melatonin
There are not much dietary sources of Melatonin available, However, some of the best sources are:
- Tart cherries (best source)
- Rolled oats
- Nuts and seeds
Generalised causes of Reduced Melatonin Levels
Apart from aging, poor secretion of melatonin from the pineal gland can result from various factors, namely:
- Prolonged stress
- Hormonal imbalance
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic illness
To compensate with the reducing levels of Melatonin and to restore proper sleep pattern, one should adopt an active lifestyle and a healthy dietary pattern. At times, it might be difficult to consume a sufficient amount of melatonin from the diet, hence one can rely on supplements commercially available in the forms of powder and pills.
Are Melatonin Supplements Safe?
Melatonin Supplements are usually safe and can be consumed by adults. However, the best practice is to never self-supplement and consult a Health-care provider prior to its consumption.
A word of caution
- Pregnant and lactation mothers should never self-medicate.
- Keep away from children’s reach.
- Store in a cool and dry place.
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