Can’t fall asleep? You may need to turn the lights off earlier. Studies show exposure to light after dusk, particularly light from computer screens, iPads, iPhones, televisions, and other electronic items, significantly inhibits the production of melatonin, your body’s sleep hormone.
Insomnia is a national problem, affecting about 30 percent of Americans and fueling a $2 billion sleep medication industry. Although prescription sleep medications are common, they also come with troubling side effects and a four times higher risk of death.
While the natural sleep aid melatonin may be safer, taking melatonin supplements can disrupt your body’s delicate balance of hormones and create a dependency. Research shows it also stimulates inflammation, which could worsen autoimmune disorders, such as arthritis or Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, in some people.