In addition to the body's circadian rhythm, which runs in a cycle of approximately 24 hours, melatonin powder also has a seasonal cycle. When the nights in autumn and winter get longer, the melatonin levels are usually higher. Conversely, during the spring and summer seasons, melatonin levels will be lower.
Because the day time is short and the night time is long in winter, the body's natural wake-up cycle is disturbed. This causes depression at about the same time each year. This condition is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and symptoms may include sleep problems, agitation, lack of energy, changes in appetite, and low mood.
Melatonin is not only affected by sunlight, but also by artificial light. Even weak light will inhibit the normal production of melatonin at night. Therefore, if you use a smartphone, TV, or computer before going to bed, the light on the screen will reduce the secretion of melatonin, which will adversely affect sleep.
In addition to light, certain foods can also affect melatonin levels. Rice, walnuts, olives, cherries, tomatoes, strawberries, and milk contain melatonin. After absorbing melatonin from these foods, your body may begin to relax, making you feel calm and sleepy.
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