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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sleepless but not really tired

Lately, my sleeping schedule has been changing and I'm not entirely sure why. As a teenager and young adult in college, I found it perfectly normal to stay up till the wee hours and sleep in till eleven whenever I got the chance (as you can imagine, high school was "tiring" for me and I didn't take many morning classes in college). As a regular adult (let's assume for the sake of discussion that I became one of those at about age 25), my sleeping habits evolved into a semi-regular pattern of going to bed around 11-1 and getting up between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. Lately, though, my sleep pattern has evolved, devolved, whatever you want to call it, into something unusual, at least to me. I can now fall asleep as early as ten o'clock at night and wake up again as early as 3 am, ready to start another day.

I have no reason to account for why my sleep schedule seems to be altering. It could be the result of a somewhat hectic life or the aging process itself (I know a number of individuals whose sleep patterns have altered with age), or a combination of both factors. However, it makes me wonder if I should perhaps try melatonin. Melatonin has been used to treat sleep disorders and to help individuals reset their own internal clocks (for example, to counter the effects of jet lag).

However, melatonin can cause fatigue and anyone taking prescribed medication should probably run this by their family internist first (particularly if they take medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, hormone replacement, or to thin the blood. And I honestly don't think I will take this supplement, mainly because at this point, my reduced number of sleep hours is not making me particularly tired, or even tired at all. I just seem to be effectively getting by with less. Aging process? Perhaps.

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