Melatonin kicked my arse

I’ve been getting by on very little sleep each night for many, many years now but just recently, over the past six months, it reached a point where I thought – I can’t imagine living like this for another thirty years or so. (Of course I could drop dead next week so it wouldn’t be a problem – but you know what I mean).

And yes I have tried everything. If one more person suggests I have a warm bath before bed, dim the lights at dusk, don’t watch tv for an hour before bed, meditate, listen to white noise or have a chamomile tea, I will seriously punch their face in. I think the people who have all these opinions about how you can have a good nights sleep have never had a bad one.

So, I was at the doctors for something else last week and I mentioned it to her and she suggested I try melatonin. It’s only available here by prescription and costs about a dollar a night but I said ok.

But whoa people, say no to drugs because those pills wiped me out – not through the night but for all of the following day. The first night I took the full dose and I didn’t get any sleep that night and when I got up to go to the toilet through the night I felt as if I’d had about twenty glasses of wine with a couple of rohypnols and I continued to feel like that for most of the next day. There’s no way I would have driven to the shops and I couldn’t do any work or go for a walk. So I cut the dose to half the next night and I didn’t feel as smashed through the night but it didn’t help me sleep and I still felt trashed the next day. I took another half the next night just in case it was something that you might have to adjust to but it was the same thing and I had to spend about four hours just laying on the bed yesterday afternoon because my head felt as if it was filled with cement.

So I’ll be adding that to my list of sleep remedy fails – in fact I think I’ll put it at the top.


23 thoughts on “Melatonin kicked my arse

    • I didn’t think you can get it without prescription (google tells me Australians buy it online overseas though) – I cut the tablet in half so it was only 1mg anyway so whatever you can buy otc can’t be much lower than that. I think I’ll just leave my hormones alone, they definitely didn’t like being messed with.

  1. Wow! that’s unreal! That must be a really high dose. I used to give my DOG melatonin–the same dose I took. Here you can get it without a prescription, it’s in with the herbs and supplements, I don’t even know if it’s regulated. But I think the idea is it’s supposed to work with your circadian rhythm or something, I forget now, but (not that I am giving a suggestion) it’s supposed to be taken around the same time like an hour or so before bed to help to reset your body clock? I don’t know. That just sounds like some crazy dosage you are getting or maybe your body just reacts differently to it!
    I had a bout of insomnia last week for a couple nights, it sucked. I only get it occasionally so things like chamomile tea and turning off tv & computers well before bed DO help me–sometimes. other times no. I have found that melatonin would help me to fall asleep but not stay asleep which was almost as bad. Maybe I needed another dose. I have never felt any aftereffects though. That is so weird. Nowadays if I find myself awake I just forget about even trying to go back to sleep, I just go right to picking up a book or even playing spider solitaire or something on the computer because if I’m going to be awake I may as well distract myself. Well I hope you get some rest anyway!

    • Lol – it was only 1mg! I was cutting the 3mg tablet in half after the first night so it was a teeny tiny dose and I was taking it about half an hour before bed so I guess it just isn’t for me. I don’t think it is regulated and there haven’t been a whole lot of studies on long term use etc. Dr Google has a wide range of opinions about it – people/doctors either love it or hate it.

      • I just looked at the bottle I have and it’s also 3mg! So yeah I guess it really doesn’t agree with you. yikes. To me it almost seems like a placebo.
        And don’t punch me in the face please, I’m only curious regarding meditation–do you still do it and it doesn’t help or you tried and gave up bc it wasn’t helping? I recently started practicing it and am not progressing too well,but it certainly isn’t hurting me, anyway, I signed up for this free online meditation seminar and one of the interviews said something about if you meditate on a regular basis you may not need as much sleep because it helps your brain to rest and I thought that was interesting. So again–not suggesting anything! I was just curious because of that recent tidbit I heard.

        • I started doing these meditation podcasts and borrowing cd’s from the library last year because I have a really busy brain, it never shuts up and I was interested in learning proper breathing techniques as well as I’m a shallow breather. I still do the meditations but they haven’t helped with the sleep but I am more aware of my breathing now and using it to relax in other situations. I haven’t reached a yogi state though where I feel as if I can get by on 4 hours of sleep happily.

          I also borrowed from the library a meditation CD that’s supposed to help you sleep if you listen to it for thirty days but it didn’t. Apparently it was full of subliminal messages telling me I was going to go to sleep and have a good nights sleep but he could have been telling me to go out and kick puppies for all i know. But it was quite relaxing just listening to the music.

          I also tried a couple of white noise apps as well but I found them to be really distracting, all these weird dings and nature noises and I’m sure there was a guy pretending to make monkey sounds in the jungle option. I did quite like the rain on the tent roof though – but it didn’t help me sleep because I start thinking about being out in the forest in a wet tent with the crazy monkey man and what if it floods and I get stuck there and I didn’t bring proper wet weather boots etc etc. Or like the other night I was lying there listening to the guided meditation cd but all I could think about was The Walking Dead.

          I’m like you now – I don’t even try to sleep if I wake, I just read.

          • Oh wow you really do have a busy brain! LOL (but that must be awful) That’s good though you learned the breathing stuff at least. White noise helps me a lot, lol @ the guy making monkey noises in the jungle! I usually like the ocean one since I used to live at the beach, but lately I’m listening to the chimes at bedtime. In the winter I just use the humidifier and in the summer it’s the fan or a/c usually. But then I feel sometimes like those block out too much noise, I can sleep but sometimes I think I wouldn’t hear someone sneaking into my house or somehing. But that might have been more of a worry with the dog toward the end, not being able to hear him, but then that was also why I needed it.
            I spend so much time alone I think I must just lead a meditative life anyway, but I don’t have that busy of a brain. But when I do get those sleepless nights I find this annoying anxiety creeping in about pretty much everything in my life and then I start to feel like crap about myself and that turns over and over in my mind. But insomnia only shows up every couple months it seems and sometimes I can pinpoint why, usually a late afternoon/early evening coffee I knew I shouldn’t have but did anyway is the culprit.

          • Definitely can’t do the chimes – they make me laugh for some reason, I don’t mind crickets chirping. I bought an app called Relax Melodies which is my favourite, you can put together your own combinations of sounds or you can use pre mixed ones and you can add binaural beats and your own music. I think they have a lite version as well which is good.

            Another thing I’ve found to be helpful is colouring in – it’s very relaxing, your mind just kind of empties.

  2. I have heard that “white noise” which you can play through an app, can help. My Mum was never able to sleep for more than a couple hours every night for most of her life. I often wonder if it contributed to her dementia – now you just wanted to read that didn’t you. Maybe half a valium tab might be a better solution for awhile.

  3. Melatonin didn’t work for me either. I also had a “busy brain” related to stuff that happened at work that could have easily killed me. I could get to sleep, but I couldn’t stay asleep. I take the “hard stuff” now.

    I agree with all the people trying to be helpful and offering up suggestions … and – honestly – most of the things they suggest sound more like they’d keep me FROM sleeping.

  4. your melatonin must also contain magic because, like Cranks, I take 3 or more at a time and still get no benefit.

    and like GOM, I take .5mg of xanax instead. I tried Lunesta but it didn’t work. I’m afraid to try Ambien because it’s know to cause sleep walking/eating/driving and I can’t risk that.

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