For years, I've taken 3mg of melatonin at night to help me sleep. I started when a previous sleep specialist discovered that my daily rhythm was nearly a flat line, and that what little variation there was, was offset by several hours. A normal person's body cools at bedtime and warms before waking, but mine was nearly always 98.6F during my sleep study. He suggested melatonin supplementation to create a proper cycle. Mostly, it worked, except when RLS interfered.
Lately, though, it seems like results have been more erratic and diminished. I've been concerned that I've developed a tolerance/dependence. Thus, I decided to try dropping it, either in the form of a holiday, or permanently.
Here's what's been interesting:
Although the first 5-7 days were no fun, and I'd never have gotten sleep if not for being on opioids, I'm back to normal now. Not normal as in before stopping the melatonin, but normal as in how it used to be before I started taking melatonin. Not surprisingly, I still have the delayed sleep phase, but as long as I expect it to come at 3am and not 10pm, I get sleepy just fine. Anyway, a 3am bedtime just isn't the issue it seemed to be before I got RLS.
Better still, I've had a few awesome weekend naps. Man, I love naps. Not exhausted, didn't-get-enough-sleep-last-night, passing-out-where-I-sit "naps", just real, comfy, normal, dozey naps, listening to someone else mow their lawn in the distance. I've barely had more than a couple of those in years.
For now, I think I'm going to stay off of the melatonin. I think it's going okay. I like taking one less thing. As Ann says, take what you need, leave the rest.
Anyway, that's my personal experience, offered up as food for thought in case anyone else is having trouble with their own melatonin supplementing.
Please share your experiences, successes, and failures in using non-drug therapies for RLS/WED (methods of relief that don't involve swallowing or injecting anything), including compression, heat, light, stretches, acupuncture, etc. Also under this heading, medical interventions that don't involve the administration of a medicine to the body (eg. varicose-vein operations, deep-brain stimulation). [This forum contains Topics started prior to 2009 that deal with Non-prescription Medicines, Supplements, & Diet.]
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Disclaimer: I often talk about what I do and what works for me, but these are specific to me and you should always consult a healthcare professional before trying these things yourself, lest you endanger your health or life.
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