One very important struggle in my quest for wellness has been my constant struggle with sleep. To say that I love to sleep is a gross understatement. I often list my bed as my single favorite place in the world. In college, I spent an entire week of poetry class writing a poem about staying in bed, and my dream vacation involves me alone in a Hilton for a weekend. I love to sleep more than I love food, and I love food!
Before we get too far into this, I should say that I have had a sleep study and there is nothing wrong with the way I sleep, well except for when I sleep. My body wants to sleep every hour of the day, with the exception of normal bedtime hours. It is late evening when my body decides it is finally time to get going. The doc calls this “late onset sleep disorder,” and the treatment is 3mg of Melatonin taken four hours before I want to sleep. Let me tell you that 3mg of Melatonin taken at 7pm results in me falling fast asleep on the couch by 7:30pm and sleeping through the entire next week. At first, I assumed I was just playing catch-up, but I continued to sleep around the clock. I consulted the Dr and we settled on 1mg of Melatonin, but even that I use sparingly.
I work hard at finding a middle ground between sleeping too much and not at all, and as 2010 was winding down, I was wearing out. I felt as though I was sleeping enough that I should have felt well rested, but was not feeling like it. Having already used Melatonin to induce sleep on a regular schedule, I was looking for something more, something to help me sleep well. Then it occurred to me that if I am going to kick this project off the right way, going to bed early was the only proper way to bring in the New Year. So I hit a vitamin store, and looked for tryptophan (the amino acid that is often blamed for Thanksgiving naps). I was directed to 5-HTP, which is a more easily metabolized form, and I headed home for my New Year’s Eve snooze fest. My husband and I excitedly swallowed our pills, turned off our phones, and giddily crawled into bed, leaving our children awake to ring in the New Year together without us. I have never felt so good on a New Year’s Day in my whole life, and I could not think of a better way to ring in 2011!