I have absolutely no problem falling asleep. When I go to bed, I am usually out within a minute. I then sleep solidly through the night but I usually find myself waking up around 5:30 regardless of how much sleep I have had or yet still need. As if by an alarm clock, I’m awake. In the summer when morning breaks around five, I usually wake up with the sun. Getting only about six hours of sleep each night is not really an issue for me because I have the luxury of being able to take a nap in the afternoon, which may be another problem.
Someone suggested to me to try taking melatonin supplements for increased sleep so I went to my local Kmart and purchased a generic brand (I won’t name it so I don’t to endorse any particular brand (but I gave it away by saying I got it at Kmart)) and started taking them. Upon the initial observation, the supplements didn’t seem to do anything for my sleep pattern but, since I wear a Garmin Vivofit wrist band which also monitors any movement while I sleep, by looking at my sleep reports I noticed a difference in my patterns.
I have uploaded six graphs of my Vivofit sleep patterns. The first three are pre-melatonin and the second three are from nights where I took melatonin.
In figure A, you can see I went to bed at 11:00 and per my usual routine, I watched TMZ from 11:00 to 11:30. At around 11:30 when I turned the TV off, you can see I was out. A little before 5:00 you can see I woke up and tossed around a bit and finally got up around 5:45.
In figure B, I was in bed watching TV and watched some of the 11:30 news before falling asleep a little before midnight. I woke up around 5:00 a.m. with significant movement. I usually turn on the TV in the morning and watch the news in bed for about half an hour before getting up.
In figure C, I watched TV at 11:00 and at 11:30, turned the TV off and promptly fell asleep. I had an unusual morning and slept to a little before 6:00.
Here is where I experimented with taking a single dose of Melatonin before bed. In figure D, you can see at 11:30 I fell immediately asleep but notice the periods where the flat lines are. Those are times where I was completely motionless.
On the second night, In figure E, there are periods of motionlessness and also notice that I slept a bit past 6:00.
Likewise in figure F, the slightly longer sleep period and significantly longer periods of restfulness. That 12:30 spike is where I got up to take care of some business because I took water with the supplement. I won’t do that again. Notice that I slept right up to 6:00.
In the final analysis, I can’t say that by taking melatonin supplements I have noticed anything different about my sleep habits or how I feel but, my Garmin Vivofit has been able to discern pattern deviations which can’t be ignored.
I will continue to take the melatonin supplements until they run out and will closely monitor my Vivofit graphs for a few weeks thereafter to see if anything changes.