Release of the Dracula Hormone – The secret to a brilliant night’s sleep
There’s nothing worse than sliding into bed at 10, 11 or even midnight and still being wide awake at 3am and beyond!
The terrible tossing and turning, every single noise amplified and agitating you further, every hour passing by leaving a sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach counting down to the dreaded and inevitable sound of your alarm. Then the horror of facing another day as a sleep deprived husk, a shadow of your former glorious well-slept self.
You might be thinking that 10-11pm is a suitable bedtime. You might be under the impression that 11pm leaves plenty of time for the recommended 8 hours of sleep we require per night to be fully functioning beings.
Well, have you heard about an amazing little hormone called melatonin?
Research has shown that our brainwaves provide us with a nightly squirt of melatonin, a lovely sleep inducing hormone at around 9.30pm activating our own biological sleep clock.
This wonderful substance produces natural waves of sleepiness you may have been fighting off while insta stalking, watching Netflix or reading another ‘helpful’ Facebook article.
Melatonin aka The Dracula Hormone as it only visits us at night, is the perfect stuff that sweet dreams are made of and if we don’t catch it in time, The Health Extremist declares that our sleep quality declines rapidly and we are more likely to suffer from insomnia and sleep deprived symptoms such as clumsiness, memory lapses and difficulty concentrating throughout the day.
Other factors can also disrupt or prevent the production of melatonin including indoor lighting and blue light exposure from tv, computer screens and mobile devices, jet lag and shift work.
So, what can we do?
Try slipping into bed around 9.30pm – definitely before 10pm – and decrease your light exposure at around 8.30-9pm. It will work wonders! Not only will you experience the most brilliant night’s sleep and fulfilling dreams, you won’t be hitting the snooze button in the morning either due to your body’s natural waking time at around 7am.
Xx Dream Doctor
Kresser, Chris (2013). Health for the 21st century. How artificial light is wrecking your sleep, and what to do about it
Society for Endocrinology (2011). Melatonin