Melatonin is a hormone that helps us regulate sleep and wakefulness. It's part of our circadian rhythm, which is our 24 hour internal clock. That cycle dictates when we feel alert and drowsy, in intervals that hopefully coincide with morning and night. When we are sleep deprived, don't have a regular sleep routine or have a lack of melatonin, our ability to get deep, unbroken sleep is jeopardised. This may be something you've noticed with your own sleep cycle, or with your children's. Although melatonin supplements are available to help induce drowsiness, we recommend trying to implement these simple steps pre-bedtime to help regulate the hormone naturally.
No Blue Light Exposure
Reduce your exposure to blue light 2 - 3 hours before bed. Blue light is emitted from smart phones, TVs, computers, laptops and tablets. If your children are iPad savvy or enjoy some pre-bedtime Netflix, try and shift their routine so their circadian rhythm can fall back into a normal cycle. Blue light disrupts your natural sleep cycle because the artificial light confuses your body, as it is expecting darkness rather than penetrating bright light before bed. The best way to boost melatonin is to have a circadian rhythm that is effective.
Eating certain foods that are rich in melatonin can also help naturally raise your levels. Goji berries, walnuts, almonds, pineapple, bananas and oranges all contain substantial amounts of melatonin. Perfect for a healthy, pre-bedtime snack!
Lavender scents induce a state of relaxation, which raises your melatonin as a response. It is the main essential oil in our Glow Lullaby blend (made for that exact reason!). As part of your child's bedtime routine, make sure to get your Glow Dreaming going before sleep time, so that the lavender scent fills the room and starts to do its magic!
Getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D during the day is integral in producing melatonin at night. In order to shut down your melatonin levels during the day, you need to be exposed to bright sunlight for about 10 minutes around noon. This amount of exposure to sunlight will help you feel more energised throughout the day, and assist in boosting your melatonin levels at night.
Red LED Light Therapy
It is often recommended that the best sleep is achieved in perfect darkness and in theory that’s a great idea but too often it is simply unrealistic. More recent studies have shown that getting bubs accustomed to perfect darkness is actually causing sleep issues as your child gets older. Too often it simply can’t be achieved.
Glow Dreaming not only helps your child get use to not requiring perfect darkness but also trains the body to produce the natural hormone melatonin in the evening when it’s needed.
Don’t be scared to use the red LED light, embrace it and have a little patience because on the other side of the little bump you may experience is a life time of beautiful deep sleep.
Not only does the red LED light stimulate melatonin but it also helps comfort your child relaxing and teaching them how to self settle when they do wake up.
Here is a link to our blog on the science behind the Red LED light and its importance.
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