Sunday, November 6, 2011

Melatonin, A Natural Sleep Aid


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.

Credit: Free photos from acobox.com
After over a year of simply sitting up at night surfing the computer, waiting to get sleepy, I finally asked my doctor, "What can I do to fall asleep? It's driving me crazy!" I was very happy with her answer, too. Instead of just writing me a prescription and sending me on my way, she told me to try melatonin. So, I picked up a bottle hesitantly, and tried it. And guess what? It worked!

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... ;)



Sources:
http://www.melatoninfaq.com/
http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep



The information provided here is for informational purposes only. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement.

3 comments:

  1. Hi. I found you through The Barn Hop. I'm so glad you found something that works. Wearing blue light blocking glasses after 7:00 p.m. helps balance the circadian rhythms too. The idea is that being exposed to unnatural lighting in the p.m. throws off our circadian rhythms and the glasses block the portion of the lighting (from our light bulbs, computer screens, tvs) that does this. I had such sleep issues and nothing seemed to help enough, not the glasses or melatonin. Only hypnosis worked for me.

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  2. That is really interesting! I knew that it is suggested that you don't watch TV or use the computer before bedtime. I had never heard about the glasses though. Thanks for visiting :)

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  3. I enjoyed reading this article. PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from beddingstock

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