Melatonin is a hormone from the penial gland which helps control your natural body cycle. According to Sleep.org, the production of melatonin rises as the sun sets, and continues as you sleep. When your body produces enough melatonin, you enjoy a proper sleep-wake cycle, which enables you to function properly throughout the day.

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On the other hand, a lack of melatonin makes you feel week and fatigued, as if your body is out of sync. In worse cases, Livestrong notes that melatonin deprivation can cause faster brain aging, high blood pressure, and even cancer.

This is why it’s important for you to slow down at night and allow your body to prepare itself for the production of melatonin through sleep. In the recent introduction of Kojie San Dreamwhite’s B.E.D. (Breath, Enrich, Dream) Ritual, sleep expert Dr. Michael Sarte lists down three things that you should stop doing in order to get quality sleep and help your body produce the melatonin that it needs: 

1. Exercising late into the night

“Sometimes for us, when we can’t sleep, we exercise. There’s nothing wrong with exercise, but we are on a clock,” says Dr. Sarte. “Exercise is best done during the time that the sun is up… because that certain sleep hormone—melatonin—that is also an anti-oxidant, is most active at night. At 9pm onwards, that’s when it comes out.”

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If you can’t move your evening workout schedule, try finishing up at least before 9pm so that your body will have enough time to wind down. 

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2. Eating a heavy dinner

Dr. Sarte cites that dinner should not be the most important meal of the day. “A lot of us during dinner go to sleep right away. That’s not correct… It either should be breakfast or lunch, because at dinnertime, that’s also when lesser acids are being produced in preparation for going to bed.”

Every part of your body, even your stomach, slows down when the sun sets. Sleeping with a full stomach isn’t only wreaking havoc on your metabolism according to Prevention, but it also gives you poor quality sleep and robs your body the chance to properly repair and restore itself for the next day.

3. Staring at screened devices while in bed

“Some of us when we go to sleep, we watch television. Remember that the bright light prevents the melatonin from coming out.”

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Any light can trigger sleeplessness, but blue light, which screened devices such as HD TVs, laptops, and phones produce, is considered the harshest and can definitely make a negative mark on your sleep cycle. To get quality sleep, it’s best to steer clear of your devices thirty to sixty minutes before going to bed. If you can’t sleep, Dr. Sarte recommends milder forms of pampaantok: “Might as well read a book, listen to music, and prepare yourself so that both the mind and the body will follow that [natural] rhythm.”

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