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How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin

by
author image Chris Daniels
Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.
How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone controlling your sleep-wake cycle. Photo Credit michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in your brain that controls your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle. When light decreases in the evening, you produce more melatonin, causing you to feel sleepy. After you sleep, and it becomes light outside, melatonin levels decrease. However, increasing prevalence of artificial light, stimulant use and other factors can disrupt your sleep cycle, causing you to feel drowsy during the day and be unable to sleep at night.

Step 1

How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Spend time in the sun during the day. Photo Credit Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

Spend time outside in the sunlight during the day. It is not only the dark at night that causes higher melatonin levels, it is the orderly cycling between light and dark.

Step 2

How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Darken your environment and allow yourself time to relax before going to bed. Photo Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Darken your environment and allow yourself time to relax before going to bed. Going to sleep is a process. You can't just flip a switch and be asleep. Relaxation without light or other stimulation allows melatonin levels to rise before bed.

Step 3

How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Avoid excessive use of stimulants such as caffeine. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Avoid excessive use of stimulants. The effects of stimulants – such as caffeine, chemicals in tea, some anti-depressants and nicotine – prevent your brain from producing high levels of melatonin and interfere with its effects.

Step 4

How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Sleeping in complete darkness or use of an eye mask helps melatonin production. Photo Credit Mirko Vuckovic/iStock/Getty Images

Maintain a dark, cool and quiet environment to sleep. Because the pineal gland that produces melatonin responds to light, artificial light, noise and discomfort can disrupt melatonin production and otherwise make it difficult to sleep well.

Step 5

How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Keep active during the day by taking a break for a brisk walk. Photo Credit felixmizioznikov/iStock/Getty Images

Be active during the day. A sedentary lifestyle can disrupt hormone production in your body, including melatonin. The rise in growth and recovery hormones following exercise also increases the levels of melatonin produced at night.

Step 6

How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Try music therapy during your time before bed. Photo Credit Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Reduce stress in your life. Physical and mental stress can lead to a rise in stress hormone levels, such as cortisol, that can interfere with your sleep cycle. Try aroma or music therapy during your time before bed to shed some of the stress from the previous day. Reducing your stress at night will help your body release melatonin.

Step 7

How to Get the Body to Release Melatonin
Take sleeping medication. Photo Credit Ihar Ulashchyk/iStock/Getty Images

Take sleep aids only as a last resort. They can be habit forming and only mask underlying problems.

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