By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC
Why are so many people sleepy these days? Many of us lie down in bed, totally exhausted from the day and we just lie there, nothing happens. We need to drift off to sleep land, but it does not occur. The question is WHY? The answer can be one of a few sleep inhibitors which include low hormones, low melatonin, adrenal stress, blue light electronics use at night and more. My sleep troubles started when I was around 40 years old. All of a sudden sleep became a challenge when it was not a problem before. My hormones were changing, and I did not like it! I remember calling my doctor that was a good friend of mine and she giggled a bit and said: “Welcome to menopause”. She said to check my hormone levels, especially progesterone, pick up some time released melatonin and call her in a week. I did, and that really helped! To this day, I still use progesterone and the same time released melatonin she told me to get.
Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body. It can be used to adjust your internal clock. It has been used to help people fall asleep, stay asleep and it even can help with intellectual disabilities. On a side note, melatonin can help with bone loss, IBS, acid reflux, epilepsy, aging, stress, involuntary movements, jaw pain, colitis and even for cancer support including breast cancer. In breast cancer, melatonin is capable of disrupting estrogen-mediated cellular pathways, resulting in a net reduction in estrogenic stimulation of cells . Several prospective studies have demonstrated this inverse correlation between melatonin metabolites and incident risk of developing breast cancer. Further supporting this correlation is observational data that shows melatonin levels are lower in women with an established diagnosis of breast cancer.
Melatonin can help modulate immune function. One study showed that it could help reduce the cytokines activity which diminishes inflammatory cytokines.
There is one source of dietary melatonin. It can be found in tart cherries. The good thing is that tart cherries also raise serotonin which helps us feel happy. Drinking tart cherry juice right before bed may help you sleep. And if that is not enough, we suggest trying a 1-2mg time released subligual melatonin.
Melatonin levels reduce as you age which may explain why so many adults and senior citizens have trouble sleeping and are more vulnerable to disease.
Consider hormone and adrenal testing. The levels must be optimal for YOU to sleep and feel YOUR best!
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.