Melatonin: Does anybody know where I can... - Sleep Matters

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Melatonin

catman68 profile image
catman68

Does anybody know where I can purchase melatonin, not available via NHS

9 Replies

You can buy Melatonin at iherb.com. Get the 3 mg tabs NOT the 5 mg ones

I get it from Life Extension on line or Amazon should have it.

I like getting my melatonin from vitaminexpress.org/uk/melat.... The website is user-friendly and there are different brand options in case you have a preference. You can check if they deliver to your place.

Not a good approach at all, imo.

(hmm, perhaps that's why it's not on your NHS?)

~wbic, member sleep-matters forum

catman68 profile image
catman68 in reply to wbiC

Why?

I find melatonin is about the worst otc solution to sleep problems out there. People like to simplify it as serotonin=awake and melatonin=sleep but that is not at all how it works. It is way more complicated and melatonin is just one of several signaling hormones that triggers the long list of other important things needed to help you sleep. The effect of melatonin when seen on an eeg or devices that track sleep quality is about equal to drinking alcohol in order to get to sleep.

Many people think such things are useful simply because they fall asleep a bit sooner but more hours unaware of your surroundings does not necessarily equal more sleep. You might fall asleep faster but often you'll wake up more tired than you should be after that long of sleeping. Possibly you'll also remember some weird dreams because of the microawakenings. Microawakenings are when your brain goes from rem to awake but it's so brief and borders on light stage 1 sleep that you are never conscious. It's just enough to be able to put dreams into memory while not otherwise being aware of anything. The brain then has to cycle back down into deeper sleep stages. It costs you many minutes and sometimes may keep you in light sleep for several extra hours.

So you might fall asleep 30mins faster on melatonin only to lose an hour or for those sensitive to it maybe even 3-5hours of useful sleep in exchange for light sleep that accomplishes very little. It's good for temporary jet lag, circadian rhythm disorders, if you don't get enough daylight exposure, or other situations that throw off your sleep/wake cycle in order to provide a missing trigger. It is only sometimes useful for insomnia if you can avoid the risk of losing more quality sleep than the extra time you gain. It is generally a bad idea if the reason you feel you aren't sleeping is already due to the lack of sleep quality, vivid dreams (sign of microawakenings), or frequently waking up instead of only having trouble falling asleep at the beginning of the night.

It can be very hard to judge a sleep quality problem versus a sleep quantity problem just going off your own perceptions. More time in bed often seems like an improvement but when it comes to using meds and supplements it frequently isn't.

catman68 profile image
catman68 in reply to kaliska0

Thanks, I my book any sleep is good sleep . Have to try and snatch a couple of hours before the severe tinnitus kicks in and spoils another night.

It feels that way when you are still getting some proper sleep and get used to the sleep deprivation over the years but at some point when sleep quality drops enough you start debating if it's worth sleeping at all. At least then you don't have to try to drag yourself out of bed still exhausted and partially asleep while still spending the day feeling like you never slept.

From 12-16years old I spent 12hrs in bed mostly watching my dreams go by because I was sleeping so lightly. The final emergency method your brain uses to make up for lost sleep is to shut down portions at a time throughout the day. It leaves you still technically conscious and reactive but functioning sort of on auto pilot all the time. Staring at the wall with my eyes unfocused until the bell rang for the next class was pretty much my entire last 4 years of school.

It wasn't until a psychiatrist with no idea what was wrong started throwing random antidepressants at my teenage self that I even realized I hadn't truly been sleeping. It turns out about 2-4hrs of each night was doing anything useful. Sleep deprivation sometimes sneaks up on you until you forget what the world and your own thought process used to be like.

After 15 years of trying to force every little bit of sleep possible with every method I could find I realized no matter how many extra minutes I managed to tack on I was still suffering a major decline in mental and emotional abilities. Plus the side effects to all the sedating meds and supplements I was using in combination. Everything was just "blah" all the time and it took too much effort to solve the simplest daily problems but I was supposedly sleeping 10-12hrs a night.

I bought an oura ring to objectively measure sleep quality and started concentrating on what gives me better sleep even if it results in less hours of sleep. I both feel better and function better on half as much sleep per night. It takes at least 48hrs of zero sleep to begin to get to that state I thought of as normal for all those years I was forcing a 10+ hr night. I don't have to go lay down and space out part way through the day because my brain is too fried. I can play far more complex computer games, come up with creative solutions, and figure out renovating, plumbing, and basic masonry on an old 1800s farmhouse by myself.

Trust me. Sleep quality matters and if you still feel tired after your extra bit of sleep then it is worth trying other things instead of settling for what might only be the illusion of sleep. If you can get better sleep then you don't feel that desperate need to eek out every minute of sleep possible because your brain at least partially makes up for even numerous missed hours by adjusting the percentage of deep and rem sleep you get during those reduced hours. If natural causes or meds/supplement prevent it from doing that then more sleep has less positive effect and even a little extra lost sleep from usual has a huge negative impact.

catman68 profile image
catman68 in reply to kaliska0

Seems like you went through the mill when you were young, I live in the UK and melatonin is not an over the counter medicine here, probably would be difficult to get hold of. I don’t sleep because of my severe tinnitus 24/7 it’s hissing and whining. The sleeping pills don’t work so well I manage to get off to sleep for about an hour or two then it’s tinnitus fighting for the rest of the night. Can’t remember when I had a decent nights sleep.

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