Pros: Works within 30 minutes, non-addictive, time released.
Cons: May leave you feeling groggy or listless in the morning.
The only thing worse than tired and not being able to fall asleep is falling asleep and waking up twenty minutes later. For many years I’ve lived with insomnia, something that most people dismiss as a casual sleep disorder easily rectified with over the counter medicines. Insomnia has a few different levels, stress related insomnia is the most common and is usually triggered by a change in your work schedule or day-to-day stress. Sleep distress, falling asleep and waking up a short time later, is something that – over time – will leave your immune system compromised and could affect your ability to function to the best of your ability. In order to be diagnosed with insomnia you need to establish if your sleep problem is ongoing or short term. Only then can your doctor help you with medications to treat your disorder. Some doctors still cling to the old notion that insomnia isn’t a major problem and they’ll pat you on the back, tell you to relax and change your diet. If you don’t feel that your doctor is taking your situation seriously, it may be time to start looking for a new health care provider.
Outside of prescription drugs like Ambien and Sonata, your choices are rather limited. Tylenol PM, Sominex and Unisom are a few of the most popular choices for short term insomnia but if taken for an extended period of time, your body may start to build up a tolerance to them. I’ve used both Ambien and Sonata and they worked great but put me into an extremely deep sleep. This is great if you are going to bed at 10:00 pm and are expecting to wake about six to eight hours later, but for me they only gave me – at the most – five to six hours of non-stop sleep. Melatonin is nowhere near as strong as Ambien or Sonata but it will allow you to drift off to sleep and stay asleep longer.
Melatonin [N-acetyl-5 methoxytryptamine]
Naturally created in the human body, this is what triggers sleep – not the feeling of being tired or depleted of energy – but the actual compound created in the pineal gland. The release process starts in the evening with a bulk of it being discharged in the early morning hours – this is what allows you to stay asleep after a few hours of rest. In insomniacs the melatonin release might not be triggered or is misfires and only releases a small amount which allows you to fall asleep for a short period of time then you wake up and are unable to fall back to sleep. If you make the decision to supplement your body with additional melatonin you should do some research about the possible side effects such as grogginess, feeling hung over or overly tired the next morning.
Melatonin comes in either a capsule, pill or in a raw form as a powder. The two most common forms are the pill and capsule. Strengths range from micrograms to milligrams but lately the 3 milligram is the one I have seen the most of in stores. I picked up the Natrol Melatonin for $3.49 at the drug store when I ran out of the brand that I normally use. While some people may disagree, I honestly feel that most Melatonin is the same – the only difference being the strength and the format that is comes in [pill or capsule]. The Natrol Melatonin is time released so that you’ll be able to fall asleep and stay asleep for about five to six hours. This time frame all depends on your body size, use of melatonin in the past seven days, level of insomnia and how your body reacts to having additional melatonin added to your system.
I’ve used a few different types of melatonin – different strengths and forms – and the 3 milligram variety works the best for me. If I know that 3 mgs isn’t going to do anything for me, I’ll take two. You should start out with one pill and see how you react to it as well as how you feel the next morning. Some side effects that you may get from melatonin include depression, listlessness, grogginess and delayed reactions. I recommend that you try this on the weekend in case any of the side effects occur so you can deal with them without having to get behind the wheel of a car and drive to work. Since the Natrol is time released you have more of a chance of getting a solid block of sleep rather than a few hours then feeling recharged only to ‘crash’ a few hours later.
This contains 3 milligrams of Melatonin, 63 milligrams of Calcium [calcium sulfate]. It also includes the time release agent – hydrogenated vegetable oil – stearic acid, silica, magnesium stearate and cellulose gum. The back of the bottle says that this is ��% Vegetarian” – so take that for what its worth. This contains no wheat, milk, corn, egg, soy, sugar, animal products, glutens, preservatives or coloring. The tablets are not coated but rather infused with a time-release product – this makes them a little easier to swallow. The pills are about the size of a pea so they aren’t very large – a true blessing for people who have a hard time swallowing pills.
The bottle only gives you the basic “take one tablet 20 minutes before bedtime” suggestion but some people may start to feel the effects in less than 20 minutes, others may take longer. It’s important to resist the urge to take an additional dose the first few times you take this. If you take one and do not feel at ease or sleepy within an hour you might want to try one and a half tablets the next night. Taking an additional dose the first time might knock you out and lead to oversleeping or the possibility of intensified side effects. You might want to ask your doctor if he or she has any suggestions about dosage amounts and which strength might work best for you.
Things To Know
Like almost every other brand of melatonin, none of the claims made by the manufacturer have been evaluated by the FDA [Food & Drug Administration]. This shouldn’t be used by anyone that is currently taking any type of prescription sleep aid like Ambien or Sonata. If you are currently taking a prescription sleep aid and it is not working or has started to agitate you, leave you with an upset stomach, caused any intestinal distress or left you feeling lethargic, contact your doctor about adjusting your dosage amount or trying a different type of drug. Natrol Melatonin shouldn’t e used by women who are breast feeding or pregnant, anyone that is on any type of a medication for depression or anxiety or are suffering from a weakened immune system. If you have any concerns about taking melatonin, please contact your health care provider.
The Natrol Melatonin bottles do not have a safety cap on them so you will want to keep these out of the reach of children. If you have any concerns about having these in your house without a safety cap, please ask your pharmacist for a bottle that has a ‘press and turn’ type of locking system. If your child accidentally ingests these, please contact your local poison control center or dial 9-1-1 for immediate assistance. The fatal exposure levels of melatonin have not been established so there is no documented proof of what an actual overdose is, however is children it is extremely important for them to be thoroughly examined and a course of action to be taken as soon as possible to avoid any serious health issues.
The Bottom Line
The little purple and pink bottle has become a great friend over the past few weeks. Since I’ve taken melatonin from other companies in the past, I knew what the possible side effect were and how to avoid them. The Natrol brand works just as well as the more expensive products so it looks like I’ve found a new brand to add to my list. If you are experiencing periodic insomnia or seem to toss and turn when you try to sleep, melatonin is a relatively safe over the counter aid that will let you get the rest you need. For more information on melatonin as well as the Natrol company, visit their official website at www.natrol.com.
As always, thanks for the visit!
^V^ Freak ^V^
© 2003 Freak369
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