Restoring your levels of the sleep hormone melatonin is essential in keeping your body and mind in the best possible health, says Mike Mahler
Mike Mahler is a hormone optimisation researcher and supplement designer. He is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
ptimal melatonin production is essential for getting optimal sleep, because it’s the hormone that tells your body it’s time to start switching off and relaxing so you feel tired and want to go to sleep. You’ll know your levels are good if you always start yawning at night and feel tired and ready for bed.
Poor melatonin production means you’ll have trouble getting to sleep, then staying asleep, which puts you in a rapidly-aging state where your body can’t recuperate from the previous day’s activities.
The case for supplementation
Most people respond to poor levels by taking a melatonin supplement, but there are pros and cons to that strategy.
The pros are that it takes your levels right up straight away, so you will get a good night’s sleep.
Melatonin is also the only antioxidant that can cross the blood-brain barrier, so it’s very good for brain health, and in men it helps prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen while you’re sleeping.
However, the negatives are that when you give yourself an external source of a hormone it will – over time – shut down your body’s natural ability to produce it.
This isn’t a good idea if you’re only in your twenties or thirties so it’s best to find strategies to naturally increase melatonin levels. Some other supplements help, and I like a transdermal magnesium lotion to help restore melatonin levels, and there are a few other supplements I recommend, which I detail in the video.
Some simple quick fixes include making your bedroom as pitch black as possible because any source of external light, or electronic light from TVs, phone and other devices, can prevent you falling asleep, as well as waking you up in the night.
It’s also crucial to manage stress levels, because being in a highly-stressed state can reduce melatonin production. I find meditation a great way to unwind and help restore my mind and body to a more relaxed state.
For more tips and advice tap here or go to mikemahler.com