I’ve had this weird insomnia thing for the last week.
I think it was due to the fact that my circadian rhythm never caught up as I flew over here from the US a few weeks ago.
Another issue is how screwed up my travel schedule is. Between waking up at weird hours for flights, and going out every night, my body has no clue when it should be sleeping or awake.
So I was having these weird issues where I would either be up until 7-8AM, and then sleep the day away, or I would be tired as hell, but right as I would doze off, my body would shudder and I would wake back up.
The other side of this is that I recently tried out the new iPhone app called Sleep Cycle.
Let me just say I was VERY skeptical that this thing would work.
Basically you set it by the side of your bed, and using the accelerometer in the iPhone, it can tell if you are in a deep sleep or not based on how much you toss and turn while sleeping.
So, as skeptical as I was, I tried it out. And it worked fairly well. The moments where I felt awake, and had the opportunity to check the clock, correlate to the most movement on the graph.
Let me show you the first 2 days I used this cool app.
As you can see, on the first day I had 2 fairly long sleep cycles. Nice.
Day2 was a little more sporadic but still had a decent sleep.
The next 2 days were much more erratic. Check it.
The third day wasn’t horrible, but day 4 I didn’t sleep AT ALL.
Something needed to be done.
Now, I’ve never taken a sleeping pill or anything before, and I am always very apprehensive when it comes to dependencies and drugs, but I had remembered Tyler talk about Melatonin, and how it is a natural hormone that we release about half an hour before bed, helping you fall asleep.
Here’s a little wikipedia description:
Melatonin, also known chemically as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants, and microbes. In animals, circulating levels of the hormone melatonin vary in a daily cycle, thereby allowing the entrainment of the circadian rhythms of several biological functions.
There seems to be little to no side effects from taking this natural supplement, and it may also be a good antioxidant source as well.
So I went out, and luckily here in Amsterdam they seem to have everything, and bought some 100mcg pills of Melatonin.
The guy behind the counter said these were pretty weak, and when I look online I’ve seen them as high as 5mg.
About 30 minutes before bed I took 2 of these bad boys, and I’ll just let the picture do the talking…
Ahh, nice sleep all night with no interruptions.
I feel more relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to rock!
I’m not sure how often I’ll be supplementing with melatonin, I think it is great for switching up your long term circadian rhythm if you are traveling, or if you are having trouble sleeping, but like I said before, I already take 10 or so supplements, and don’t want to add any unnecessary extras to the regimen.
But the proof is in the pudding, this stuff works, and I’m happy I’ve found it.
I’ll try it again a few times and get back to you about long term results.
What are your experiences with melatonin? Any side effects? How often do you take it?