Last week was the last time I was going to allow myself to disappoint myself. It was Tuesday at 6am. My alarm went off and the last thing I wanted to do was remove myself from the cushy warmth of my down covers and the comfort of my flax-filled eye pillow. But after a week of snoozing, I had already decided that that morning I would go for a run before starting my day. While I attempted to convince myself that it was ok to stay I bed, I finally admitted to myself that I didn’t want to disappoint myself, and snoozing for another 45 minutes would be a personal let down- despite the intense desire to sleep. But I wasn’t going to let another sleepless night derail my daily life.
Falling asleep is a daily, ongoing struggle. No matter how exhausted my body is, the moment I lay in bed my mind spins into high gear. I start making lists, analyzing past mistakes, and strategizing next career steps. A few hours later I decide to check the clock. 3am. Still no reprieve. And now I’m not just stressing about my lists, to-do’s, mistakes, and goals; but I’m also annoyed that I only have an opportunity to sleep for 4 hours- most. And that’s if I fall asleep NOW. At some point I must doze off because suddenly the sound of my alarm jolts me awake.
For years I took a prescription sleep aid to force my brain to take an 8-hour break. In an attempt to kick the habit I leaned how to hypnotize myself to sleep, creating mantras that would make my mind surrender. But even my mental tricks didn’t always (or even often) work. Last Thursday I discovered Natrol Melatonin.
Having heard rumors about Melatonin’s tendency to cause nightmares (which I already regularly struggle with), I have always stayed away from the over-the-counter sleep aid. After all, I’d rather not sleep than dream I’m being chased by armed pirates. Well, last Thursday I was so desperate for sleep that I popped a friend’s Natrol Melatonin pills and hoped for the best. The next thing I knew, it was 6am, my alarm was serenading me awake, and I felt completely rested, clear-minded, and ready to tackle the day. When I went on my run my mind began to roll back a bit, remembering blips of details from my dreams the night before- brightly hued, uplifting, and even enlightening. After decades of waking up tired from being chased all night, and needing (not just wanting) a few mugs of caffeine to perk up my brain, I felt like I had found the magic bullet.
For the first time in my life, I love mornings. It’s a new day…