Sleep is about the only thing people think of when they heard the word “melatonin.”
After all, melatonin has been a known sleep aid for hundreds of years. Its nickname is even “the sleep hormone!”
But there’s more to melatonin than meets the shut-eye.
Its powerful health benefits go BEYOND even what sleep can do for you.
In fact, the compound can help defend you against the No. 1 killer disease in the United States…
Melatonin is more than just a sleep aid
Melatonin, believe it or not, is a powerful antioxidant – but not in the normal way you think of them.
Rather than targeting free radicals, melatonin works by stimulating enzymes to destroy free radicals… and it also stops pro-oxidant enzymes.
It’s also been shown to help chelate metals, which makes your body produce fewer damaging free radicals.
In other words, melatonin does A LOT to stop oxidative stress from wreaking havoc upon your body!
And there’s yet ANOTHER benefit…
Previously, scientists thought melatonin could prevent heart attacks and strokes by using its antioxidant powers on your ticker.
But when they gave rats melatonin and observed their hearts, they didn’t see proof the compound worked its antioxidant magic there at all.
However, they found something even better…
Melatonin receptors directly protect the heart!
Getting enough melatonin
So now you know melatonin can keep your heart healthy, but don’t go running to the store just yet.
Melatonin is a hormone, unlike hard-working antioxidants similar to curcumin and vitamin C. This means that too much can be a bad thing.
Here are the best ways to optimize melatonin in your body in the RIGHT AMOUNTS:
Melatonin thrives in the dark
You want to up your melatonin levels as naturally as possible, so your first step is simply turning down the lights an hour before you go to bed and turning off your electronic devices.
The blue light hidden in your screens (tablet, phone, TV) inhibits melatonin production. Meanwhile, your melatonin production gets kicked into high gear as the sun sets… or your lights dim!
Melatonin needs help from nutrients
In order for your body to produce melatonin, it also needs vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium. Almonds and fish (like salmon and tuna) are great ways to get these much-needed nutrients.
Melatonin from tart cherries
You can also drink tart cherry juice. It’s one of the only ways to get melatonin naturally that doesn’t involve light. If you go this route, find tart cherry juice that doesn’t contain additional sweeteners or sugar. You’ll destroy any benefits you might have gotten.
If all else fails, you can always take a melatonin supplement.
Choose your favorite way to take it. Melatonin is available in fast melting tabs, pills, capsules, gummies, lozenges, etc.
Whatever your choice, take it about a half hour before bed and start at the lowest possible dose. Slowly work your way up from there till you hit the mark.
Just remember, the hormone is powerful and affects everyone differently. You’ll know you took too much if you wake up feeling groggy, like you drank too much the night before.