Friday, February 13, 2009
Melatonin for Daylight Savings Time
Speed up your adjustment time!
It's getting close to that time of year...or should I say one of those times of year. Yes, daylight savings time is once again drawing near, and if, like me, you have a hard time adjusting to the change each time, I have a remedy for you: melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone which can help with time shifts such as daylight savings time and jet lag. For daylight savings time, I take one 300 mcg (micrograms) tablet at bedtime the night of the time change, and for a couple of nights after that.
When I take melatonin, I adjust fairly quickly to the time change, and can accurately judge what time it is during the day and if I wake up at night. If I don't take it, instead of feeling like time has shifted one hour, for some strange reason I feel about 3 hours off, and this can go on for a couple of weeks. So I try to remember to keep some melatonin on hand, and try to remember to take it!
If I forget the first night, I'll take it the next night at bedtime, and for a night or two after that. After that, I usually don't need it, and since I have a tendency toward depression, and melatonin can tilt you that way (the longer I take it, the more likely it will have that effect) I only use it for brief periods. And I take a very low dose. Notice I said I take 300 micrograms.
It's available in various strengths, up to 10 mg, but be sure to check with your doctor if you have any serious health conditions, including depression, before taking this remedy. And read up online about the recommended doses and potential side effects. (See links below, or google it yourself.)
Melatonin Information Links:
What is the proper dose of melatonin? - article on Life Extension Foundation's website.
Melatonin - article with background and safety information on the Mayo Clinic's website.
Melatonin - alleviates jet lag? - article at Go Ask Alice, with instructions on how to use it for this purpose.