Re: Melatonin, other sleep cycle affecting stuff, info please

Daniel J. Boone (
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 08:40:06 -0800

The chemical known as GABA (commonly sold OTC as a nutritional supplement) has the following effects on me, such that I would certainly use it in coping with a new work/sleep schedule (though I do not know if it would affect sleep cycles per se):

A dose of 1-2 grams puts me RIGHT to sleep, sound sleep. The brief dozing off period (which occurs despite my prior state, which may be ennervation due to caffeine overuse or adrenaline from a stressful day) is characterized by a warm, mellow relaxed feeling akin to a real good alcohol buzz.

Dreams are more vivid.

Waking usually follows in about four hours, no matter how previously sleep deprived I was. Upon waking, I usually feel refreshed and ready to leap out of bed and tackle my day. However, if time allows, or it is the middle of the night, I can readily fall asleep again.

Upon waking, I sometimes notice a very mild headache that quickly goes away.

It will come as no surprise that the effects described above are dose dependent and decline with use. In other words, to get the same effect day after day requires increased dosages after about day three.

Other people have reported similar results.

I suspect that two or three uses at the beginning of a new shift would be very helpful, if only in guaranteeing a few hours of refreshing sleep during the unfamiliar sleep period. I mostly use it in circumstances where I'm going to bed only a few hours before my next work day begins (especially after my poker game when I am jazzed on caffiene and adrenaline) to prevent painful sleep deprivation symptoms the next day.

Usual disclaimers apply. This stuff mucks with brain chemistry in ways I don't understand, so moderation is the watchword. The one time I used this stuff several days running I fell into a funk that could not entirely be explained by my circumstances, so I suspect a depressant effect from sustained use.

>> I remember reading about Melatonin - is it useful in this context? Are there
>> other drugs/supplements which can help with a freaky sleep cycle?