So I suck at sleeping. I've never really been good at it. I can remember being put down for a nap as a child and just...lying there. Forever. Staring at the ceiling. Staring out the window. Flopping from end to end of the bed. But rarely sleeping. It's not that I *don't* sleep. I'm just not very good at it.
It takes me easily 30 minutes - but sometimes up to 2 hours - to get TO sleep. MacGyver must have a button in his butt somewhere that switches him to sleep mode as soon as he passes 45 degrees as he is on his way to putting his head on his pillow. I've always envied that. Then again, he's rarely able to sleep past 0530 so I suspect it's a 'pick your poison' situation. I seem to do my 'best' sleeping between the hours of 0200 and 0600. Before and after that, it's a crap shoot.
I've tried meds. Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata...all of them do weird things to my brain (which is already weird enough, thankyouverymuch) and leave me feeling hung over for days. Ditto for Unisom, NyQuil/ZQuil, etc. And we won't even discuss the havoc that Benadryl wreaks on my brain. Have you ever read about the weird things people do on Ambien? I do them on Benadryl. I am a lightweight. My body seems to hyper metabolize medications. I've tried dietary modifications - cutting out caffeine, cutting out carbs, increasing my water intake, increasing my exercise and rarely do I see any effects. I came to the conclusion a long while ago that this is just how I'm wired.
Someone turned me on to melatonin a while back and I gave it a try. Knowing that I am a lightweight, I started with 1mg. And it worked! It's just enough to get me TO sleep without leaving me feeling like I am trying to surface after being 20,000 leagues under the sea the next day. It has literally been a lifesaver. I tried the higher dosages but I'm left feeling groggy the next day. The way my life is right now, I cannot afford to be groggy. So 1mg works pretty well.
There are some nights where my body and my brain rebel, even against the melatonin. Those are the nights I just gut it out (yay caffeine!) and hope the next night is better. Most of the time, it is but there are some nights/weeks that it is relentless. Those are tough. I'm hoping that an increase in my intake of magnesium might show some promise. We'll see. In the meantime, I'll cling to the knowledge that Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein were quite successful even though they didn't need much sleep.