Last week I mentioned that I was hoping to get some pictures taken out at my parent’s farm for my website and for myself. Unfortunately the weather was less then stellar and my photographer friend fell ill ? It is ok though, as we plan on taking pictures in early September when all the gorgeous fall colours are out, so that is pretty exciting! ?
Anywho, let’s dive into what we are talking about this week.
As some of you may know, I live in Yukon, which is a territory way up north in Canada. Like most Canadians, you probably love summertime: the warmth, the flowers blooming and way more daylight hours.
In the north the daylight hours are even more extreme. Heck in May, June and July you can stay up all night and the daylight will barely disappear.
It is a pretty cool experience to have, especially if you have never seen it happen up north. Of course we get the other extreme in wintertime when we have mostly darkness and very short daylight hours (ahem.. we will talk about that in November) ?
When the daylight hours are at their peak high in the summer, it is common for many people to find that they are energized in the evenings, staying up later and having trouble sleeping. Which brings us to Melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in our pineal gland, which helps to regulate our sleep schedule. Sunlight and darkness are the primary factors that set the rhythms of melatonin production.
See how this could be a problem in the summertime when it can be bright and sunny outside at midnight?
I can see why Yukon is affectionately known as the “Land of the Midnight Sun”. Our midnight sun is fabulous, but it can leave us feeling tired, and our sleep schedules out of whack.
What you can do to naturally regulate your melatonin:
- Eat regular meals. Melatonin production is strengthened by regular daily routines such as mealtime;
- Keep your diet light at night. If you eat really heavy meals before bedtime, this could affect your digestion and sleep as the digestive process slows down at night. Try to eat small light meals in the evening;
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee, black tea, sugary drinks or food, alcohol and smoking as these have a stimulating affect on the body and should definitely be consumed far away from bedtime (if at all);
- Avoid vigorous exercise in the evening as this can decrease melatonin secretion and leave you somewhat wired at bedtime. Try to exercise in the morning or afternoon in the daylight!
Other tips for a good night sleep:
- Try to create a good sleep routine. Try to do something relaxing before bedtime to wind down ex:(Journaling, reading, meditation etc.);
- Turn off electronics in your bedroom (blinking lights, cell phones, TV etc..) as they are not a good idea to have around you while you sleep (hello electromagnetic toxicity!);
- Use curtains. Make sure to properly shut out the light in your bedroom!
- Eat foods high in Tryptophan. This amino acid can assist with falling asleep. Some foods that contain tryptophan are turkey, banana, dates, nut butter and yoghurt;
- Try having a bath an hour before bed and adding some essential oils such as chamomile, which has a relaxing affect.
If you still struggle to sleep, you could consider including a melatonin supplement in your evening routine (short term). Even a small dose in the evening can help support your body’s melatonin production and regulation. Consider chatting with your doctor first if you decide to try this supplement.
Hopefully this blog was useful if you needed a little bit of help in the sleep department!
If you liked this blog, please like and share it ?
Do you struggle with your sleep? What do you do to sleep better?
Feel free to comment below!
Sleep well my friends!
Down to Earth Wellness