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Melatonin instead of coffee?





Texas Al
Wow. I never thought I'd see myself not only quit coffee cold but start taking what amounts to a sedative instead, on the same week.

Let me explain. I haven't had a day without coffee since a brief period in 2003. I thought I was drinking coffee to stay alert and motivated. Problem was, it wasn't really doing that. It was just keeping me awake wishing I could be asleep. I felt like a zombie. And it was starting to make me sick (heartburn).

But why melatonin? It's a hormone that naturally regulates circadian rythms. Back in college I had noticed that it allows me to fall into a satisfyingly deep sleep whenever I took it, but unlike sleeping pills I wouldn't be drowsy when I woke up. I had some around for when I thought I had "time" to sleep... but now I started taking it every night.

You know what? I can get up at like five or six AM totally refreshed, with no alarm clock. I didn't realize just how much of my hating mornings came from the alarm clock. Today I woke up 3AM (got to sleep at 9PM or so). I go to work, and I don't hate my coworkers anymore... they're still annoying, but I don't feel bitter about it.

But it wasn't without sacrifice. First, I had headaches the first few days, but they're gone now. Secondly, I think I realize now why "adults" don't seem to go out as much-- there's only so many hours in the day to work, take care of business outside of work, and sleep. So I've really scaled back social activities. I still hang out with my friends, just not till midnight. It's worth it though-- it gets me to really think about what is a rewarding use of my time and what isn't.

I could be full of it, though. This is just the first week. I know anytime you change your life somehow there's a big placebo effect. Let's see if this lasts...
ajoaktree
Thanks a million for the above post. I had taken Melatonin years ago for the same issues, but got stationed overseas and couldn't get it. After 4 years of being outside the U.S. I had forgotten totally about it. I'm gonna tell my wife to grab some when she goes grocery shopping today.
SunburnedCactus
There's not much that makes me feel better than a night of good sleep, when you actually wake up feeling really good. I'm definity going to have to look into this. Coffee really isn't very good for you at all.
lycadia
I'm going to try that, since I have trouble falling asleep myself. Several of my friends do too. Even when there is time to sleep, it's hard to relax and fall asleep, but sleeping pills aren't something I want to take if it's avoidable.
rwojick
I am glad that the meletonin is working for you but I think the goal of health is to work with the body God gave you and try to get it "regulated" with the food you eat and the choices you make.

I am not the one without sin here. I drink to much coffee and when my old hippy friends come around-they don't look like hippies not-we tend to slip back into so mary jane....no, I am not that old....but you get my drift.

As we age we need to find ways to maintain health that were not the same as when we were in high school or playing sports.

"Keep janglin" is what Satchell Page used to say.

Health boils down to what you eat, how you move, and what you think. It is not dependant on some pill in a bottle, at least it it is not if you are doing it right
Texas Al
I'm glad you're not a doctor.

I'm SO tired of this "nature takes care of everything" mindset that people who know nothing about biology have. It's not that simple. When we're young, most of us are "naturally" healthy, though quite a few of us are born with problems that can be alleviated by the use of modern medicine. As we grow older, more and more of our self-repair and stress-resistance capacity erodes. Some faster than others. To take a blindly naturalistic approach would for many people mean dying at 50, and putting up with all sorts of unnecessary and preventable discomforts until then.

How exactly would you propose to alleviate diabetes, cancer, acoramegaly, growth hormone deficiency, or familial hypertension? How about infectious diseases from which recovery odds are much lower without pharamceutical intervention?

The fact is, nature doesn't care how well we feel or how long we live. As long as a disease didn't prevent ancient humans from having the average number of surviving offspring, the evolutionary pressure to develop "natural" defenses against that disease was minimal. So if we see some greater purpose to our lives than this mindless Darwinian struggle, we shouldn't be ashamed to admit that we are in fact trying and succeeding in improving what nature has given us.
hades9366
I hate sleeping pills. When I've taken them I tend to wake up after 12 or so hours of sleep still feeling exhausted because it's not like natural sleep and not refreshing. I tried melatonin a few times while I was overseas though I don't think it's so readily available here in Aus. Melatonin seemed to work pretty well with minimal side effects I suspect that's because it mimics naturally occurring chemicals in the brain. I'd still be wary of any long term use, not that I can really talk about "healthy living" my favourite soporific is still a glass or three of wine to help me get to sleep.
Texas Al
Actually, there's some preliminary hints that melatonin might increase lifespan. Not sure I believe it, and as always, it takes a long time to find out if it works in humans as well as in mice.
Soulfire
Heck I'm young, and I already hate mornings. I go to sleep with a sick feeling in my stomach, just dreading the sound of my alarm clock. Maybe something like this will help.

Any age requirements?
Texas Al
Dunno. Legally, probably no requirements. It's a supplement, in the same regulatory category as vitamins and herbs.

Health wise? My rule of thumb is "play it safe until you're well past puberty and have attained adult height". Not sure if that's a particularly scientific rule of thumb, possibly one that's over cautious.

I'd do a web-search on melatonin and see what you come up with (and ignore the people who make completely crazy sounding claims about it, they're probably trying to sell mail order supplements). If you really want to get hard core, try searching for it here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

That site is the real deal-- what scientists use to keep up with research in their field. But not exactly light reading. :-/
smokey4life
I should try this as well ive had probelms falling alseep for the past 6 years! I stay up until 5 in the morning and turn around and wake up at 9 or 10. 5 Hours of sleep just doesn't cut it.

I would like to know where this is available at what type of suppliment is it a drink or what?
Texas Al
Where I am they sell it in pharmacies and health food stores. It's white pills, and they come in either swallowable or chewable/sublingual kind.

The people I've met who tried it and said it didn't work all were using the kind that you swallow. I use the chewable or sublingual (under the tongue). I think this works much better because if a pill goes through your stomach some of it gets digested and a lot of the rest gets caught and broken down by your liver without even seeing the general circulation. When you dissolve something under your tongue, it diffuses right into your circulation, so you get more of an effect with less.
madsencarl
smokey4life wrote:
I should try this as well ive had probelms falling alseep for the past 6 years! I stay up until 5 in the morning and turn around and wake up at 9 or 10. 5 Hours of sleep just doesn't cut it.

God I know how you feel. I'm 15 and haven't had a proper nights sleep for at least a few months.
Texas Al
What's ironic is that I'm still sitting here posting and it's 13:33 my time. But I was procrastinating on taking the melatonin. Now I have and am starting to feel sleepy.

Now, if there was some kind of supplement that made us stop procrastinating, that would really change the world!
mschnell
Shoot--I've been meaning to get my melatonin from home for my dorm room all year. I drink coffee all the time and feel best from 10PM on. I hate it. I've used melatonin in the past and I like it. Thirty minutes after taking it you feel ready to sleep--peaceful sleep at that.
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