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Delayed Sleep Onset (And Melatonin?)


dizzyblonde
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Hello everyone, I have been soooo frustrated lately by my inability to get to sleep at a reasonable hour despite how tired I am! I've recently read about delayed sleep onset, which is where you get tired at a normal bedtime (around 10 p.m.) but can't sleep until well after midnight, and that describes me exactly! Once I fall asleep (usually between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.) I'm dead to the world until almost noon unless I have to get up before then. (Of course as everyone on this board knows, that's much easier said than done for us).

It's just frustrating that I feel like total crap in the morning and afternoon when everyone else in the world is functioning, then I get my "energy" around midnight when everyone else is asleep! Maybe I should make friends with some people in India or China so that I have someone to hang out with, LOL. Like last night I was tired around 8-9 p.m. and almost wanted to go to bed that early, but then I went to bed at 10:30 and laid there with my heart and mind racing for more than four hours (though I got up on and off). Just to clarify, I have this problem no matter what time I wake up, not just when I sleep in late. Obviously that contributes to my difficulty working when I'm tired and dizzy all the time anyway and then can't even get to sleep.

I searched the forum and found some really old threads that mentioned people with sleep difficulty taking melatonin and that helping. Has anyone here tried that or found other solutions to a problem like this? Also, have you done actual sleep studies or can a PCP just write a script for this? Sorry for the long post, but I know so many of us here have enormous difficulty in the morning, so I wondered if a lot of us also share the trouble of delayed sleep onset.

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For my son, while melatonin does help him fall asleep faster, it doesn't keep him out. He wakes up at 2 or 3 in the morning and then can't re-fall asleep. He prefers to take longer to fall asleep rather than wake up later and not be able to fall asleep again. I've also tried the melatonin with the same problem he experienced.

He had a sleep study done, and unfortunately slept well that night..go figure. He was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome. One of his POTS meds is doxepin. He takes that at bedtime and it helps him sleep.

Christy

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My 16 year old daughter uses Melatonin to sleep. She's been on and off it since age 8. She also uses Zyrtec (antihistamine) at night for her allergies. The combination helps her increase her ability to fall asleep sooner(still takes an hour or so as an adolescent), stay asleep and wake up feeling more rested. She is on 3 mg and currently is not using a time-released formula. You can get time-released melatonin that might help sustain sleep throughout the night. I could not take that amount without feeling severely sedated and have terrible nightmares, but it works for her. We always get her melatonin at a health food store so she doesn't have gluten or dyes in hers. Adults especially, should start with small amounts to see how they react. One mg makes me very tired within 20 mn. The capsules we use can be opened to start out with a smaller amount. She used to just stir it in water and drink it when she was first trying it out.

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I have genetic Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder. It runs in my family and I got the lion's share of the genes! It was diagnosed by my wonderful sleep doctor and did not need a sleep study. I tried chronotherapy and light therapy at his direction and found out that I can shift my "phase" to a point and then no further. We have also found that the morning beta blocker and properly timed supplemental melatonin helps tremendously, along with a fairly strict schedule. Unfortunately, you have to start with your current waking time and slowly work your way back to "normal" hours, usually it takes a week to move back one hour. If you time the light and melatonin at the wrong time you can make your sleep schedule and autonomic system much, MUCH worse! It was my first attempt at circadian shifting that created my worst POTS hole! Also unfortunate, my doc has told me that my autonomic issues will probably not get better until my kids leave home and I can sleep according to my natural (genetic) rhythm. This is a really common disorder, and every teenager goes through it as part of a hormonal shift. The good news is, for almost all people it is treatable. The bad news is, that it is hard to keep the schedule!

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I tried Melatonin but it gave me awful nightmares. My homeopathic practitioner recommended a supplement called Kavinace, which i order from amazon.com. I take two capsules to get to sleep and one more if i wake in the middle of the night. They work very well and permitted me to get rid of Ambien. Caroline

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