Sleep and Melatonin

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.

If anyone has been having sleep issues, maybe melatonin will prove useful for you.  If you’ll excuse me, the sun is shining and I am going to go take a nap in all its gloriousness.  figure afigure bfigure c figure d figure e figure f

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