You already know melatonin is a great natural sleep aid. But that’s not all this hormone is good for. Getting more melatonin can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. And it’s a safe way to adjust your sleep pattern when you travel to a different time zone. Its antioxidant activity may even help fight aging.
Here are five natural ways to boost your melatonin levels:
1. The Mineral That Feeds Melatonin
One of the easiest ways to support your body’s ability to produce melatonin is to consume more magnesium. Start by adding foods like almonds, avocados, shrimp, and spinach to your shopping list. This mineral relaxes your muscles and keeps cortisol levels in check. It also helps regulate your blood pressure.1 These can all help lower stress levels… And keeping stress low may help add years to your life.
2. Increase Your Levels in Only 10 Minutes
We weren’t meant to stay indoors all day… It only takes a few minutes in the sun to start seeing the benefits. Exposing your eyes to bright light when you wake up can help you produce more melatonin later at night…when you need it most. This makes it easier to fall asleep—and stay asleep.2 And spending as little as 10 minutes in the sun can help reduce your cancer risk by up to 50%.
3. After-Dinner Sweets You Should Indulge In
Tropical fruits like pineapples, oranges, and bananas are great sources of natural melatonin. One study found these three fruits increase the amount of melatonin in your blood. And the highest concentration built up within two hours of eating them.3 Try enjoying them after dinner to help prime you for a restful night of quality sleep. Just don’t go overboard… These are high-sugar fruits.
4. This Juice is Better Than Fresh Fruit
Tart cherries are loaded with melatonin. They contain more of this vital hormone than most other whole food sources. But tart cherry concentrates contain even more…up to about 13 times more.4 Just be sure to check the sugar content. Some juices contain added sugar. You’ll want to avoid these. The concentrate on its own has about 15 grams of natural sugar per serving.
5. Common Trap Sabotaging Your Sleep
We all do it at one point or another…but resist checking your phone or using a tablet in bed. It may seem harmless. But melatonin reacts to light exposure. So the more light you see, the less melatonin your body creates. This is great if you are trying to wake up. But not when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Research shows viewing an iPad screen on its brightest setting can prevent your body from releasing melatonin.5 White and blue light wavelengths are the main culprits. The easiest solution is to avoid using electronics right before bed. Or you could buy blue light filters online and in electronics stores. There’s even a filter app for some smartphones.
Remember, melatonin is a hormone. Taking it in supplement form may disrupt your natural production over time. So don’t rely on that to boost your levels. They’re a quick fix for a sleepless night or jetlag. But they aren’t a long-term solution for making your body produce more on its own.
In Good Health,
Publisher, INH Health Watch