Quote: I want to be like a caterpillar. Eat a lot. Go to sleep. Wake up, beautiful. -Dreamofsleep

LJ opened his eyes. The bright light of the clock showed it was 3:13 a.m. “This is the fourth time I’ve woken at the same time this week. What a miserable habit,” he groaned silently. He glanced over at Annie; she was asleep. He quietly got up and went to his office. “I’ll read for a while; that always makes me sleepy.” After opening his tablet to the book section, he tapped on a murder mystery and began reading where he had left off. The who-done-it was beautifully written, and soon he was engrossed in the story. Suddenly, he felt Annie’s arms gently circle his shoulders. She leaned over him and switched the tablet’s lighting to dark mode.

“Sweetheart, that bright blue light is for daytime reading. Artificial lights, especially those emitted from the TV, computers, phones, and tablets, impact melatonin production and can cause your body to stop producing it.”

“What’s melatonin?’

Annie settled on the sofa next to him, “melatonin is a hormone made primarily by the brain’s pineal gland that produces more when the sun goes down and less when the sun comes up. It’s key to sleep. How about if I make you a Cherry Turmeric Bedtime Tea? The ingredients are natural sources of melatonin.”

“Sounds good.” LJ closed his tablet and followed her to the kitchen.

“Does melatonin have any other benefits?”

Annie nodded as she was measuring the tea’s ingredients. “Yes, it’s primarily responsible for regulating your body’s circadian rhythm to help your sleep cycle; however, melatonin also has anti-inflammatory benefits that support your immune system. If your body is not fighting an infection, you’ll likely experience uninterrupted sleep.

And Research shows melatonin is a source of antioxidants that can keep your eyes healthy and treat age-related macular degeneration and retinopathy.”

“Thanks,” said LJ as he took a sip of the tea. “Does melatonin have any negatives?”

“Well, people on blood pressure medication should be cautious about taking melatonin supplements because melatonin might worsen blood pressure, so consulting with a doctor before taking additional melatonin is necessary,” said Annie. “There are natural ways to encourage your body’s production of melatonin:

  • Go for a daily walk to get exposure to the sun’s vitamin D. Research shows the more daylight exposure you get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to sleep. Low levels of vitamin D can affect your circadian rhythm.
  • Several hours before bed, stop drinking food and fluids, so your digestive system is at rest.
  • A few hours before bed, turn off all artificial lights, dim others, and wear blue light-blocking glasses for the television, computers, tablets, and phones.
  • Meditation, prayer, and gratitude practices before bedtime can reduce stress and contribute to your body’s ability to increase melatonin production.

And finally, sweetheart. Studies show one of the biggest contributors to unhealthy aging and dementia is the lack of quality sleep. Those who sleep well age well.”

LJ finished his tea, “I’m suddenly feeling sleepy.”

Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats. She writes about food-as-medicine and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com.


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