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Bruce, Caroline

Melatonin

Back in 1999, I was in trouble. My sleeping pattern was a shambles, and it was in danger of costing me my job. Basically, I'd find myself unable to stay awake past, say, 8:00 or 8:30, so I'd go to bed, then I'd wake up at around midnight or, if I was lucky, maybe 1:00 or 2:00 AM. I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep for the rest of the night, then that day at work I'd be struggling mightily to stay awake.

By early summer, I was pretty much in a panic. the situation was intolerable. It was then that I started thinking about Melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone the body produces in response to light, or more accurately, the absence of light. The body sees that it's dark, and says, "Oh, no light. Okay, time to go to bed." So it creates Melatonin, the Melatonin induces natural sleep, and voila, things are as they should be.

Now bring blindness into the picture. And not the standard blindness, which includes a degree of light perception, I mean total blindness. In my case, I have prosthetic eyes. That's about as total as you can get. And for the record, I do not see black. See a commentary I wrote some years ago called Blindness in Perspective for some thoughts on this and other things.

But back to the Melatonin. It occurred to me that if my body has no way of processing light or its absence, then my Melatonin-manufacturing ability was probably fairly screwed up as well. So I determined to buy some Melatonin, as I was ready to try anything at this point.

At the time, Melatonin was not available in Canada. You were perfectly free to order it by mail, provided you limited yourself in terms of amount, and so this is what I did.

The results were astounding, the change literally being overnight. In no time I was sleeping through the night, which enabled me to function during the day. I was back on an even keel, and that aspect of the worst year of my life heretofore was at least dealt with.

Why bring up this whole sorry topic? Last night I took some Melatonin again. Blissful slumber was mine. The stuff makes you dream a lot, but if all the dreams are as pleasant as mine were last night, noooooooooooooo problem.

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