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良質な睡眠をとるためのメラトニンを増やす方法

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睡眠の質を向上させて深くい眠りを取るためには、一つの視点としてメラトニンという物質に着目することが効果的です。メラトニンは体内で生成される自然の睡眠薬であり、メラトニンの分泌が正常であると、良質な睡眠をとることが可能となります。このメラトニンを増やすためにはどのような点に配慮することがポイントなのでしょうか。

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メラトニンって知ってる?

錠剤

メラトニンという言葉を聞いたことがあるでしょうか?睡眠にご興味がある方など一度は耳にされたことがある方が多いのではないかと思います。

メラトニンは睡眠に関係する体内ホルモンです。

メラトニンは体の中でセロトニンという物質が材料となって作られるものです。メラトニンは増えていくと眠気が襲ってきます。眠気といっても突然意識を失うというような意味ではなく、自然な、非常に心地の良い眠気です。

イメージで言えば、メラトニンは体内で自然生成される良質な睡眠導入薬ということができます。そのため、メラトニン・あるいはその材料となるセロトニンが不足すると睡眠バランスが崩れ、良質な睡眠をとることができなくなってしまいます。このようにメラトニンは睡眠にとても大切な働きをする物質です。

ではこのメラトニンを増やすためにはどのようにすれば良いのでしょうか。

メラトニンの増やし方1―朝の光

メラトニンを増やすためにはその材料となるセロトニンを増やすことが重要です。メラトニンの材料となるセロトニンがなければ、メラトニンが生成されるはずはありません

では、セロトニンはどうすれば増えるのかというと、光を浴びるということがセロトニンを増やす上でとても重要になります。特に太陽の光はセロトニンを作り出す上でとても重要です。

朝、太陽の光を浴びていると自然に目が覚めてくるということはないでしょうか。セロトニンは太陽の光(雨の日は電気の光でも構いません)を浴びることで生成されます。そしてセロトニンは興奮・起床をつかさどる交感神経を活発化させます。太陽の光を浴びることでセロトニンは大量に生成されるので、自然と目が覚めることになります。

このセロトニンは生成後、13時間から14時間程度が経つとメラトニンへと変化していきます。そのため、起きてから10数時間程度が経つと自然に眠くなり睡眠欲求が生じることになります。

このようにメラトニンの量を増やし、良質な睡眠をとるためには朝の光を浴びてセロトニンを作るということがとても重要です。可能であれば朝、軽い散歩や体操をされることでとても快適な睡眠を得ることが可能となります。

メラトニンの増やし方2-食べ物

次にメラトニンを増やすために食べ物に着目することも重要です。メラトニンはトリプトファンという物質を摂ることで生成が容易になります。その結果、メラトニンが増えて良質な睡眠をとることが可能となります。

トリプトファンが含まれる食べ物としては、バナナや牛乳(特に温めたホットミルク)、肉、赤身の魚などが挙げられます。これらの食べ物を積極的に夕食時などに取ることでメラトニンが生成され、自然と良い睡眠をとることが可能となります。

トリプトファンが含まれる食材のメニューなどは書籍やインターネットで簡単に情報を得ることができるので、美味しくてよく眠ることができるメニューを検討されてみてください。

メラトニンの増やし方3-サプリメント

メラトニンを含むサプリメントを購入して服用するということもひとつの方法です。ただ、サプリメントは相性があったり、過剰に体内で生成されてかえって睡眠をとりすぎてしまうなどのおそれもありえます。

また先ほど述べましたようにメラトニンは適切な食事を取ることで十分に摂取することが可能ということができます。

サプリメントは不眠症の方など特に睡眠に困難を抱えておられる方が利用を検討されることがおすすめできると言えます。

なお、メラトニンをあまりに取りすぎると睡眠をとりすぎてしまうという問題のほか、血圧が低下したり、吐き気や腹痛等が起きるなどの副作用が生じることがありますので、サプリメントを利用される場合には特に注意が必要です。

まとめ:メラトニンを増やして良い睡眠をとるためのポイントのまとめ

以上、本文で述べましたメラトニンを増やすためのポイントなどをまとめますと以下のように言うことができます。

  • メラトニンは自然な眠気を引き起こし睡眠を促進するホルモンです
  • メラトニンを増やすためには、まず、材料となるセロトニンを増やすことがポイントです。セロトニンは太陽の光などで生成されますので朝、太陽の光を浴びることがメラトニンを増やすためのポイントです
  • メラトニンを増やすためには、食事に配慮することも効果的です。具体的にはトリプトファンという物質を多く含む食事を摂ることでメラトニンが生成され安くなります。トリプトファンは肉や赤身魚、バナナ、牛乳などに多く含まれます。また、メラトニンを含むサプリメントの活用も考えられますが、サプリメントは副作用のおそれもあるので、不眠症など特に睡眠に問題がある方が利用されることがおすすめです

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