For a couple months, I was struggling with getting a good nights sleep. I would find my mind racing at night, reminding me of all the upcoming things that I needed to get done. My body would be tired, yearning for sleep, but my mind would be going a million miles an hour. When I finally would fall asleep, I would wake up every couple of hours, look at the clock, get frustrated, roll over, fall back asleep again, then wake up again shortly and repeat this cycle many times throughout the night.
Have you been there? I would venture to say that all of us have experienced this at one time or anther.
The next day I would feel the consequences of not getting a solid nights rest: sluggish, irritable, apathetic. I would come home from classes, eat, take a nap, then begrudgingly force myself to go to the gym- which often times than not, would lead to a less proactive gym sesh than when I would occasionally get a good nights sleep.
Not being able to fall asleep and/or stay asleep can be a result of several factors: caffeine, stress, anxiety, depression, other health reasons, etc.
I have found, like many college students, that taking a small dose of melatonin
an hour before bedtime has helped tremendously with falling and staying asleep.
Now, you don’t have to look very hard online to find controversial opinions regarding if melatonin is safe. Let me furthermore say, I am not claiming to be an expert or diagnose you. I am merely trying to share my experience with sleep, and how I have found a supplement that has aided me greatly. Personally, I haven’t experienced any side effects- like morning grogginess. In fact, in the morning I feel more awake and alert after sleeping so well. I do however experience extremely vivid dreams, and have heard from my fellow friends that they have experienced this effect as well.
I have also found cutting back on caffeine to help as well, of course. Since doing so, I have found it easier to fall and stay asleep- but there are times where a small dose of melatonin further helps.
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6 thoughts on “Melatonin”
Periodically, I have problems, not so much falling asleep, as staying asleep. It’s been a real pain and I can’t live on coffee day after day.
There are numerous ways to “hack” sleep such as taking products called RelaxMax and 5-HTP (I don’t want to “spam” you by posting endless links either to their product pages or to my multiple blog posts where I discuss all this).
I’ve even tried my wife’s sleep induction mat (yes, that’s a thing). Magnesium before bed (which is the main ingredient in RelaxMax) is also supposed to be effective.
A big sleep “no-no” is using electronics, either your smartphone, tablet, or other computing device within an hour or two of bed. Turns out that the type of light emitted by these screens really messes up a person’s sleep cycle.
So it’s better to take a hardcopy book to bed with you if you want to get a little reading in before sleep.
Frankly, I’ve never found melatonin to work that well for me, but then again, I’ve only had limited success with everything I’ve just mentioned above. I’ve sort of gotten used to waking up a few times every night. I compensate by going to bed earlier (8 or 9 p.m. during weekdays) but then again, I have to be up by 4 a.m. to be at the gym by 5, so it all works out.
Some days are better than others.
Often, I’ll wake up, look at the clock to see if it’s anywhere near 4, and if it’s not, roll over and go back to sleep. If it’s past 3:30, I’ll just get up.
In extreme cases, if I can’t sleep, I’ll noodle around on the computer for a while, which I probably shouldn’t. Better to read/study a paper-and-ink book. I know a guy where I work who has a similar problem and he uses the time to study history, not for a class, but just because he enjoys the topic.
Of course, it’s possible to overwhelm any of these methods if you’re depressed, anxious, or otherwise agitated. The “sleep hacks” are mainly to train a person how to put their body in a state conducive to sleep assuming nothing else is really interfering with that process.
You could probably Google something like “sleep hack” to see what else you can find if the problem persists.
Oh, a no-brainer, but I guess I should mention that no caffeine or alcohol within a few hours of bedtime.
Use melatonin every night with ear plugs. Can’t sleep without! Thanks for this!
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Melatonin plus some form of carb shortly before bed (assuming it fits your intake) = sleep for daysssss.
Great post as always!
Thanks CV_fit! 🙂
Greetings Hannah! Your blog is informative, motivating and well written. 😃 Keep up the great work!
Thank you! 🙂