What Causes Low Melatonin?

As an immune system modulator, growth hormone promoter, antioxidant, and sleep inducer, melatonin is essential. Low amounts of this relaxing agent may be a factor in immune system deficiencies, exhaustion, and difficulty sleeping.

Although melatonin levels in the body peak at night, a variety of factors can lower them. Among them are prolonged jet lag, working through the night, and too much light exposure.

Working Overnight

Our natural levels of melatonin can decrease when we work the night shift, which can cause a variety of health issues, including poor sleep.

In particular, insufficient melatonin can lead to mood swings, weakened immunity, difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep, and decreased growth hormone synthesis.

Furthermore, research indicates that nighttime light exposure may inhibit melatonin. This encompasses both artificial lighting sources like the sun and screens like phones, laptops, and TVs.

Thankfully, there are natural ways to raise appropriate levels of melatonin. For example, make an effort to acquire adequate natural light during the day and remember to switch off your electronics at least one hour before bed. Another option is to take a soothing bath or engage in some light exercise in the evening. In addition, you can consult with a naturopathic physician or use a melatonin test kit to ascertain your hormone levels and design a successful treatment regimen.

Frequent Jet Lag

If you travel frequently, the numerous adjustments to circadian rhythms that come with each new time zone may cause your melatonin levels to decrease. If you take melatonin the night before every flight, you can help your body clock match the time zone.

The hormone that controls your sleep cycle, melatonin, might be low in the body, which can cause sleep disruptions like nightmares and restless legs. Although getting more sleep and limiting your exposure to blue light will help, you might require medical attention to get through these symptoms.

Melatonin levels might also be impacted by menopause and age. Elevating melatonin levels via nutrition may be beneficial. Melatonin can be found in eggs and fish, both of which are rich sources of this hormone. Almonds and pistachios are two other nuts that are high in melatonin. Melatonin levels can be raised by taking a supplement, but you should always talk to your doctor before doing so. Melatonin adverse effects might occur at high doses. Melatonin synthesis can be detected by a urine test that quantifies 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (MT6s).

Food Inadequacies

A healthy sleep schedule is essential for both your physical and mental well-being. An insufficient amount of melatonin, a hormone that facilitates sleep and maintains a normal circadian rhythm, may be linked to anxiety, depression, stress, and memory loss.

Eating foods high in the amino acid tryptophan and dimming the lights before bed will help you naturally increase melatonin. Foods like processed foods, sweets, and caffeine that interfere with your natural sleep pattern should also be avoided.

Finding the root cause of your melatonin shortage is crucial if you experience it. Your melatonin levels can be tested, and a naturopathic doctor can create a personalized health plan for you that will help you regain equilibrium. A doctor can advise taking benzodiazepine medications, such as Xanax, Valium, or Dalmane, to help you sleep if the problem is more acute. These drugs can sometimes have harmful side effects in addition to being ineffective. They may also cause tolerance and become addictive.

Too much light exposure

A melatonin deficit in newborns and children might manifest as trouble falling and staying asleep. In addition, melatonin plays a critical role in controlling the body's circadian cycles and steroid hormone production, which includes progesterone and estrogen. This hormone can influence a woman's menstrual cycle, including the onset of her periods, the frequency of them, and menopause, the time when she stops menstruating completely.

Melatonin secretion is suppressed when exposed to light at night. A person's sleep-wake cycle can be affected by light, even at eight lux, which is less bright than your computer monitor. Light can also interfere with melatonin secretion. Compared to green or red light, blue light—which is present in most electronic devices—suppresses melatonin secretion more powerfully.

Your natural medicine physician might administer a melatonin test if you have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep. If the findings are encouraging, he or she may recommend a course of action to bring the levels of this hormone that promotes sleep back to normal. Dietary adjustments and supplements may be part of this. A naturopathic physician can also assist in determining the presence of additional conditions like sleep apnea or snoring that impede your ability to obtain enough sleep.

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