Sleep’s New Nemesis
Posted on May 25, 2018 by Kali Patrick, One of Thousands of Health and Fitness Coaches on Noomii.
Why should we stay off our screens at night? And does melatonin really work?
When I coach individuals, or talk with groups about improving sleep, I tell them: “I’m not going to tell you to turn off your screens a few hours before bed, because it’s very likely you’ve already know that. Whether you do it or not is another matter.” People laugh, and are relieved because it’s true; they have heard this advice already. Yet they’re often surprised about why it’s important.
If you have trouble sleeping, odds are you’ve experimented with natural sleep supplements such as melatonin. These are synthetically (i.e. human) made, are not regulated by any agency for consistent content, and have not been proven to be effective.
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your brain—specifically your pineal gland—at the onset of darkness. Melatonin is responsible for making us feel tired and ready for sleep.
Interestingly, when we work into the evening and often the night on our laptops, play on our iDevices, and watch our favorite shows (often doing more than one at a time!), we’re interfering with our brain’s ability to produce this natural “sleep hormone,” which is triggered when lights are low or out.
Because we’re unwilling or unable to stop interacting online, we attempt to replenish something that works and is natural with something less effective and artificial. Sounds kind of silly doesn’t it?
If you’re interested in natural techniques for dealing with acute or chronic insomnia (trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both), reducing your screen use to restore your natural melatonin production is one of the very best things you can do. Learn how on my website at ajourneyintoheallth.com/self-study-programs