Melatonin has become a big money-maker. Pharmacy shelves are overflowing with pills, gummies and drops. And now there’s a new melatonin six-pack elixir you can buy to help you sleep.
It comes in midnight blue 8 oz. cans and claims to solve America’s sleep problems with the right mix of melatonin.
But Big Pharma’s still getting it all wrong.
As I’ve said before, the problem is people aren’t getting the right melatonin the right way. And millions are left searching for their melatonin miracle and a good night’s sleep…
I talk to my patients about this all the time.
But I’m able to help them get the sleep they need without dangerous drugs like Ambien, Valium, or over-the-counter medications like ZzzQuil.
The secret is in your head.
New science reveals that a tiny area of your brain communicates the time-of-day to the rest of your body.1
I’m talking about the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in your brain. It tells the pea-sized pineal gland to release melatonin, or not.2 Think of it as your natural master body clock — it controls your circadian rhythm.3
And your SCN sits right over where your optic nerves cross in your brain — it lets your eyes tell your brain what time it is.4
Rewiring your body’s natural clock is so important because, if you were to ask 10 people if they’re getting enough sleep, I’d say most would say no.
Not getting enough sleep leads to diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack and stroke. Chronic insomnia can even increase risk of death by 98%.5
That’s why I help my patients activate their SCN and get the sleep they need.
As the evening light fades, your retina sees the change and tells your SCN to give you the melatonin you need.
Today’s technological world — TVs, cellphones, street lights — can all disrupt the signal. That’s when you become melatonin deprived. You go to bed but you aren’t really going to sleep.
More and more sleep-deprived Americans think that doses of 3 mg to 5 mg of melatonin will make you fall asleep faster. But you don’t need that much.
Melatonin promotes sleep in as little a dose as 300 mcg. And when you take melatonin by mouth, it breaks down in the liver. Most of it never gets into your bloodstream. So it’s important to use a spray, drops, or a sublingual tablet. They’re easier to absorb and work faster.
But melatonin is only part of my plan to restore natural sleep. There are three easy things you can do that will help you get a full night’s rest.
Supercharge Your Natural Body Clock for Sound Sleep in 3 Easy Steps
My solution for you to sleep better is all about resetting your body clock. Here’s how…
- In the morning, detox for deep sleep at night. Every six months, I encourage my patients to detox, which helps eliminate heavy metals and other toxins that sneak in through our skin, and of course, through what we eat, drink and breathe.
I recommend a combination of activated charcoal (20 to 30 grams mixed with water once daily for up to two weeks) and eugenol, which is a compound found in many culinary spices, such as clove oil.
- In the afternoon, exercise for a restful night. It may sound counter-intuitive, but a good daily dose of exercise helps regulate your body clock. Exercising during the day (morning or afternoon) will help you at night. You can fall asleep more quickly, more soundly and longer.6
- Before bed, take zinc and selenium. Supplementing with zinc increases both the duration and quality of sleep.7 I recommend zinc supplements that offer anywhere from 6 mg to 30 mg per day.
And low selenium levels are linked to very short sleep (less than five hours).8 I often recommend selenium dosages between 30 mg and 200 mcg per day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Atkins N, et al. “Functional Peptidomics: Stimulus- and Time-of-Day-Specific Peptide Release in the Mammalian Circadian Clock.” ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 Jun 20. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.8b00089.
2. Derk-Jan D, et al. “Amplitude reduction and phase shifts of melatonin, cortisol and other circadian rhythms after a gradual advance of sleep and light exposure in humans.” PLOS One. 2012;7(2):e30037.
4. Palsa M. “Discovery links breast cancer and body clock.” Futurity. May 9, 2018.
5. Parthasarathy S, et al. “Persistent insomnia is associated with mortality risk.” Am J Med. 2015;128(3):268–275.
6. Uchida S, et al. “Exercise effects on sleep physiology.” Front Neurol. 2012;3:46.
7. Cherasse Y and Urade Y. “Dietary zinc acts as a sleep modulator.” Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(11):e2334.
8. Grandner M, et al. “Dietary nutrients associated with short and long sleep duration. Data from a nationally representative sample.” Appetite. 2013;64:71-80.