I know this may be a bit ironic to write about this topic while it's a little after 2am, but I know a lot of people struggle with falling asleep and staying asleep. Since I started working 3rd shift over two years ago, I have had trouble sleeping on my nights off.
I waited to say anything to my doctor because I was afraid she would immediately put me on a prescription drug. Prescription drugs are useful in many situations, but I was hoping there would be a simpler answer.
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Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in your body, that helps you fall asleep. According to Melatonin FAQ, the pineal gland begins producing melatonin when it the body is exposed to darkness, and the production peaks around 2-4am.
Taking melatonin supplements has been found to help people that cannot sleep due to shift work or simply because their biological clock is not working as it should.
The recommended beginning dosage is about 1mg, although you may need to increase the dosage. In my personal experience, I have had to gradually increase my dosage from about 1mg to around 6mg to stay asleep through the night, over the course of about 6 months.
If you are having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, talk to your doctor about this possible prescription alternative.
(It normally works too, I just have to remember to take it before bedtime, unlike tonight... ;)
The information provided here is for informational purposes only. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement.