Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Melatonin Helps Your Rest

By Mark Sanderlix

For as long as I can remember, Ive had a difficult time falling asleep anytime before 12 midnight. Even when I was a kid it was a struggle to get to bed at a decent time. This always left my tired and not at my peak when I should be trying to learn as much as I can. This bad habit, or condition, has followed me through my adult life. If I have an important meeting in the morning I know it is going to be critical to get good sleep the night before, but I just cant talk my body into falling asleep at a reasonable time. So, at the meeting, instead of being refreshed and ready to go, I have to fake it. Ive tried many different options for getting to sleep; over the counter drugs, drinks, mixes, and a change in the surroundings, but nothing worked as well for me overall as melatonin.

Many people who have sleeping issues turn to Nyquil or Theraflu to help them fall asleep quickly and easily. While both of these solutions are effective, they just werent for me because I didnt feel that they were good long term solutions. Neither were made for just falling asleep, so I felt like I was taking a bunch of extra drugs that I didnt need. There are some over the counter drugs that are made specifically for falling asleep, such as Tylenol PM, but that did not feel natural to me either. As effective as these options are, none of them seemed like effective solutions to me for the long-term.

Some experts advise that where you sleep should be designed solely for the purpose of sleeping, nothing else. That meant you had to remove TV from your bedroom and all other forms of entertainment and to buy a comfy bed and center the room around sleeping. After trying this (it was hard to give up the TV), I found that it just didn't help me fall asleep. I found myself just laying there, staring at the ceiling or thinking about work instead of falling asleep.

Then, one night at a party, I overheard something that changed everything. Two ladies were talking and one of them mentioned that they are taking a prescription drug to fall asleep early. The other said, Oh, really? Have you tried Melatonin? and they went on to talk about the supplement for a little while. I admit, I was eavesdropping on them, but that little bit of information really appealed to me. I didn't know that there was a supplement that you could buy, that already existing in your body anyway, that could help you fall asleep. I immediately thought that I had to try it.

I went to the drug store to find this Melatonin product. I walked up and down the aisle looking for it with the other OTC sleep drugs but I couldn't find it anywhere. I asked a store employee and she pointed me to the herbal supplements section, and there I found the Melatonin. I purchased a bottle with the intent of trying it out that night. That evening, about an hour before I wanted to fall asleep, I took a pill. As if my magic, 60 minutes later I was ready to go to bed. I wasnt knocked out tired, but I was sleepy, and sleepy enough to fall asleep. I considered Melatonin a success. Ever since that night, Ive had exactly the same experience. The melatonin has been very effective in getting me to sleep, and I have no problems with waking up in the middle of the night. Also, in the morning, I don't wake up groggy or tired. As long as Ive gotten at least 7 hours of sleep, I wake up rested and ready to start the day.

Since melatonin was working so well for me, I decided to do a little digging online to make sure it was safe. The first tip I have is to take a small dosage, the smallest you can find. In my case, that is 3mg. Many experts believe even 3mg is too much at once, so be very careful before ever using a dosage larger than that. Next, ensure that the melatonin you take is 'created in a lab' and not 'harvested naturally'. The natural stuff may actual contain bacteria or toxins that you shouldn't put in your body. Finally, it is very important that you consult your doctor first before taking melatonin.

As you can see, I am have great results from taking Melatonin. I think that Melatonin can be very helpful for people with mild sleeping problems such as falling asleep. Its important not to rely to heavily on it as you don't want to become dependent or addicted, but for the occasional use, I reach for it every time now!

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