Lately I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping. It takes me forever to fall asleep and once I do finally fall asleep I am awake every hour or so. It sucks! I am exhausted every day which is not what I need right now! I've tried a few little things to see if maybe it was a schedule and/or environment issue. I've been to bed early, I've been to bed late, I lay down when I'm not sleepy, I wait to lay down until I'm nodding off on the couch, I have the tv on, I have the tv off. It doesn't matter. And then it seems like everytime I might be having the potential for a good night's sleep I get woken up by the kid or the dog and it starts all over. So, what was a girl to do?
I did some research. I knew I didn't want to go to the doctor for sleeping pills. I am a strong believer that being drugged to sleep and actually getting rest are two very different things. I found that a good place to start would be with melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the body to help control your sleep and wake cycles. Small amounts of this hormone are found in certain foods and you can also buy it as a supplement. So, I trotted down to Walgreens and bought some. Since I started taking it I have noticed a difference. It's been easier for me to fall asleep and last night I only woke up once!
There are possible side effects of melatonin however. According to Web MD they include sleepiness (I thought that was the desired effect?!?), lower body temperature, vivid dreams, morning grogginess, and small changes in blood pressure. The only side effect that I have noticed are the vivid dreams. That is actually what woke me up last night. I'm not having crazy dreams that don't make sense or anything, but they are so real that it's almost scary. I don't know what I think about that.
I feel lucky that my sleep issues are already starting to be solved just by supplementing a little melatonin. I will continue to supplement for now and hopefully as my stress levels lower (who knows when that will happen) my need for the extra melatonin will lower as well.