What is sleep deprivation? Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.
When you’re deprived of sleep, your brain can’t function properly, affecting your cognitive abilities and emotional state. If it continues long enough, it can lower your body’s defenses, putting you at risk of developing chronic illness. The more obvious signs of sleep deprivation are excessive sleepiness, yawning, and irritability. Chronic sleep deprivation can interfere with balance, coordination, and decision-making abilities. You’re at risk falling asleep during the day, even if you fight it. Stimulants like caffeine are not able to override your body’s profound need for sleep.
The usual pattern of waking during the day when it is light and sleeping at night when it is dark is a natural part of human life. Only recently have scientists begun to understand the alternating cycle of sleep and waking, and how it is related to daylight and darkness. A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light and darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothalamus. There, a special center called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a key role in making us feel sleep or wide awake.
The SCN works like clockwork that sets off a regulated pattern of activities that affect the entire body. Once exposed to the first light each day, the clock in the SNC begins performing functions like raising body temperature and releasing hormones like cortisol. The SNC also delays the release of other hormones like melatonin, which is associated with sleep onset, until many hours later when darkness arrives.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland. This is a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of your brain. During the day, the pineal gland is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” by the SCN and begins to produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. Usually this occurs around 9 pm. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you being to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours – all through the night – before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9am.[the_ad id=”2149″]
Why is melatonin used as a dietary supplement?
Natural melatonin levels drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.
When should you take Melatonin?
If you know you’re going to have a major shift in sleep schedule: Because of how melatonin works, it can be beneficial for those who know they will be up late for a few nights in a row and know they will have trouble getting back to their normal sleep schedule. It also works well for jetlag.
If you’re over 60 years old and are having trouble sleeping: Your body makes less melatonin as you age, so your body may need more assistance with melatonin to help you sleep better.
When shouldn’t you take melatonin?
If you can’t sleep because of issues like stress, depression or anxiety: Melatonin may not work in those cases because the problem doesn’t lie with the body’s ability to make its own melatonin. You may benefit from other supplements to help you relax.
Melatonin 5000 by MartizMayer
Melatonin 5000 formula contains 5000 mcg of Melatonin per two gummy serving. It is a dietary supplement designed to enhance restful sleep and promote relaxation and support a variety of functions within the body. Suggested use is to chew two (2) gummies at bedtime. In addition to helping you fall asleep and bestowing a feeling of overall comfort and well being, melatonin has proven to have an impressive array of benefits, including slowing the aging of your brain.[the_ad id=”2149″]
- “The Therapeutic Potential of Melatonin: A Review of the Science”– Samir Malhotra, MD, Girish Sawhney, MD, and Promila Pandhi, MD (20040
- “Repeated Melatonin Supplementation Improves Sleep in Hypertensive Patients Treated with Beta-Blockers”– Frank A.J.L. Scheer, Christopher J. Morris, Joanna I. Garcia, Carolina Smales, Erin E. Kelly, Jenny Marks, Atul Malhotra, Steven A. Shea (2012)
- “The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep”– Rebecca B Costello, Cynthia V Lentino, Courtney C Boyd, Meghan L O’Connell, Cindy C Crawford, Meredith L Sprengel, Patricia A Deuster. (2014)