When you see the word melatonin, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Sleep! Sleep deprivation occurs when a person gets less sleep than they actually need to feel fully recharged and awake. There isn’t a set number on sleep deprivation; it’s different for everybody. Adults seem to be more resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation, while others, such as children and older adults, are more vulnerable.
Although occasional sleep interruptions are generally common, prolonged lack of sleep can lead to mood issues, poor job performance, excessive daytime sleepiness, and obesity.
The importance of restorative sleep should never be taken for granted. We sleep for a reason, and that reason goes beyond getting us prepared for the next day. Before we dive into the inner workings of sleep deprivation, let’s talk about melatonin.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland. This hormone is responsible for the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle in every individual. Interestingly, the release of this hormone is largely influenced by the daylight/nighttime cycle.
The production of melatonin is first triggered in the evening, but the hormone continues to be released throughout the course of the night. Levels of melatonin then drop with the breaking daylight. It won’t start producing any more until the next evening.
There is an apparent link between darkness and melatonin. This is why every health provider will advise you to keep your bedroom dark and free from light-emitting electronics. In fact, research has shown that both melatonin production and deep sleep phases are better maintained in the dark.
Why Sleep Deprivation Is a Serious Problem
Lack of sleep is a gateway to a myriad of health problems. When you fail to get sufficient sleep, you start to accumulate a sleep debt. For example, if you need 8 hours of sleep to feel awake and refueled, but only get 6 hours, you have acquired a sleep debt of 2 hours. If you continue that pattern for a week, you have an accumulated sleep debt of 14 hours.
In order to be free of sleep debt, it is imperative to start getting the amount of sleep you need until that debt is paid. You will know you have paid back your sleep debt when you wake up feeling completely refreshed.
1. Learning and Remembering
Sleep plays a vital role in the thinking and learning process. Lack of sleep harms these cognitive processes in two ways. First, it impairs alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving. This makes it extremely difficult to learn efficiently.
Secondly, if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to recall what you learned and experienced during the day.
2. Your Heart Needs That Sleep Too
In addition, sleep deprivation can put you at risk for:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
According to some estimates, 90% of people suffering from sleep deprivation also have another health condition.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation and Its Solutions
By now, you know that sleep deprivation can negatively affect a range of systems in the body. Its effects include:
- Lack of sleep prevents the body from strengthening the immune system and producing more cytokines to fight infection. To put it simply, a person can take longer to recover from illnesses as well as having an increased risk of chronic illness.
- Sleep deprivation can directly affect body weight. We all have two hormones in the body- leptin and ghrelin. These hormones regulate feelings of hunger and fullness. The levels of these hormones are affected by sleep. Sleep deprivation causes the release of insulin, which leads to increased storage of fat and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Sleep helps restore heart vessels as well as affecting processes that maintain blood pressure and sugar levels. In other words, not sleeping enough increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Melatonin for sleep is one well-known solution against sleep deprivation. Melatonin supplements such as melatonin pills or syrups may help people with sleep problems fall asleep faster.
CBD May Promote Improved Sleep
Cannabidiol or CBD is a compound found naturally in hemp plants. This new compound is known to promote a sense of relaxation while enhancing the function of the endocannabinoid system, the regulatory system that is responsible for appetite and mood.
Some research hints that CBD may affect sleep directly by interacting with receptors in the brain that regulates the body’s daily sleep/wake cycles. But there are still many questions that scientists and pharmacists alike are still trying to solve. Questions such as “what’s the right amount to take?” or “should I take it right before bedtime or hours before?”.
There’s still more scientific research to be done to fully understand how CBD correlates to sleep, but there is hope. Preliminary studies have been in favor of CBD oil as an effective alternative for people with sleep deprivation.
Talk about CBD gummies
What’s It Going to Be?
Many people are turning to CBD Oils as their go-to CBD products. These oils are popular because they take effect relatively quickly compared to the other methods. However, there are all sorts of products available, including CBD-infused Coffee, CBD gummies, and CBD Syrups.