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Monday, January 25, 2010

To Sleep or Not To Sleep?

I think I might be addicted to melatonin.  Well, not really, but I do rely on it (possibly more than I should).

It all started with me and my non-stop brain.  I'd be exhausted yet get in to bed and that's when the thinking started.  The most trivial details would all of a sudden become important.  "I needed to email so and so and tell them something and i'd start the email like this, and then they'll say this....." and on and on it went.  Knowing I definitely didn't need a prescription to help me sleep, I tried melatonin.  While it wasn't anything drastic, I did feel like it might have helped.

Jump forward to a year or so later.  I'm working out at night and after a hard workout find that while my body is exhausted, my mind is riled up.  Once again, enter melatonin.

As a rule I try not to take it on weekends.  I also try to only take it on nights when I workout in the evening (alhtough I broke that rule the other night).

So, what's the deal with melatonin?  Does it work?  Is it good for me?  Is it bad for me?

Here's some info from WebMD.
Dosages can range from .2mg to 20mg depending on the need.  (I stick with the standard OTC 3mg.)  So far it seems to have been proven safe for long and short term use but may have some side effects.
Enter the side effects..
  • sleepiness (duh!)
  • changes in blood vessels that may affect blood flow
  • lower body temperature
  • headaches
  • stomach problems
  • morning grogginess
  • vivid dreams
What the piece really seems to say is that it's vital to clue your doctor in to what you're doing.  If you are taking melatonin, make sure to tell your doc, whether it's one a month or every night. 

Based upon what i've read, i'm going to deduce that my Melatonin habit just may be alright, but i'll also make sure to discuss it with my MD at my next appointment.

Please don't take my information as a recommendation or endorsement.  Check with a doctor before taking any new supplement.  (that's my version of a disclaimer)

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