As a treatment for chronic insomnia, melatonin supplements disappoint. Internal secretion of melatonin, the hormone of darkness, begins to rise some two hours before you fall asleep. Adding to it with a melatonin supplement is often redundant.
But there’s increasing evidence that melatonin supplementation is effective for some sleep problems and may also help to treat and/or avert serious health conditions. Here’s a summary of the benefits.
Oops! Here it is just a few days before Christmas and Hanukkah and I’ve forgotten to write my annual gifts-for-the-sleepless blog.
Well I’ll just post this gift blog now and include items available from online sellers promising 2- and 3-day shipping. (Apologies to readers expecting a post about an insomnia treatment that increases sleep efficiency! I’ll publish that one next week.)
If you’re prone to insomnia when it’s chilly outside, the problem may have to do with too little exposure to daylight in the colder months of the year. Working in well-lit conditions and using a light box may help to relieve your insomnia symptoms.
Sometimes I hear from people whose sleep problem sounds more like a circadian rhythm disorder than insomnia. Laurel wrote that she’d always been a night owl. So she was taking sleeping pills to get to sleep at night.
But if her problem is due to a delayed or sluggish body clock—if what she has is delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD)—she’d be better off with other types of treatment. Here’s more:
It’s Cyber Monday, and maybe you’re looking for just the right gift for someone with insomnia. Not to worry.
Here are some suggestions for holiday gifts this year. (And if none of these suggestions appeal, check out my 2013 and 2014 holiday gift blogs.)
The worst insomnia I ever had came when I was living in Mexico. I worked a split shift then, teaching English classes from 7 to 10 in the morning and then from 7 to 9 at night. This schedule might not sound difficult: a few hours’ work at both ends of the day, with the rest of the day free for sightseeing, napping, or doing whatever I pleased.
It was tough for me.
Last week I gave a talk about insomnia and insomnia remedies, and I asked people in the audience to share what they knew. “Melatonin!” a man shouted out. “It doesn’t work!” Others laughed in agreement.
But there is at least one type of insomnia sufferer who stands to gain a lot by taking melatonin supplements regularly at the appropriate time of day. Watch this 3-minute book trailer to find out more.