Have you ever gone to sleep when you were tired and got to sleep until your body naturally woke you up? No alarm clocks, no need to be up for this or that, just natural sleep on your biological clock. It feels completely different. When you wake up to blaring alarm clocks before the sun comes up, you sometimes wake up feeling groggy, exhausted, and wishing for more sleep. When you go to sleep and wake up naturally, you feel relaxed, refreshed, and happier because of it.
Your body’s internal clock makes you sleepy at nighttime, awake in the morning, and it is what generates physical and mental behaviors that follow. Those behaviors are called your circadian rhythm. And unlike your alarm clock, you can’t “snooze” your circadian rhythm.
Every organism has a biological clock. Your biological clock is controlled by nerve cells in your hypothalamus that are connected to cells that can sense light and dark. Once the cells sense light, they produce cortisol and other chemicals that wake you up and kickstart your memory, alertness, and concentration. On the contrary, when it’s dark, your pineal gland produces melatonin, therefore making you feel tired and preparing your body and mind for sleep.
Circadian rhythms affect numerous functions in your body. They can affect your quality of sleep, sleep schedule, hormone production, eating habits, your immune system, and more. But what happens when you throw a sleep supplement into the mix? Some of the top sleep aid supplements include:
Melatonin is your body’s response to darkness. When it is dark, your brain produces melatonin, which lets the rest of your body know it’s time for sleep and gives you that tired feeling. Many people take a melatonin supplement to “naturally” increase the amount of the chemical in their brains.
According to Dr. Michael Breus, PhD, “Lavender interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to help quiet the brain and nervous system activity, reducing agitation, anger, aggression, and restlessness.”
Low magnesium may be a possible culprit in sleep issues. In fact, studies suggest that 75% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
While sleep supplements are popular and may be said to be natural, it doesn’t mean they’re safe! They are unregulated by the FDA and can be harmful for some people, as they can have many (sometimes unknown) side effects. It’s also important to remember that supplements will not help you optimize your circadian rhythm and improve sleep patterns naturally. They also cannot cure sleep problems you may be experiencing. Therefore, it’s better to turn to behaviors and actions you can take to improve your sleep patterns!
Other related Neuvana blogs: