Friday, July 2, 2010

Frugal tip friday - for your jet lag!

My husband works long hours, sometimes even overnight shifts when he has to for overtime. He's a wonderful man and I appreciate all the hard work he does! Unfortunately with all those late hours/overnights, he has a hard time sleeping when he has to so that he can go to the next shift, and then after the crazy hours are overwith, its also difficult to start sleeping at normal times again. On those occasions when he works late, I stay up too sometimes! I think its just odd for me to go to sleep without him so my body just naturally stays up. I've looked into tylenol PM and other sleep aids. The best that I've found is a supplement called melatonin. Besides that melatonin costs less than the name brand sleep aids, its also all natural. Melatonin is actually a hormone that your body makes in the pineal gland in the brain that controls sleep and wake cycles. When melatonin begins to rise in the late evening, you get tired and go to sleep. The levels drop in the morning when we normally wake. When a person starts staying up beyond the normal sleep time, and sleeping during their normal wake time, the body can become alittle out of wack and stop producing melatonin at the times when the person needs sleep, so the person doesn't get tired, start the cycle again and then they don't sleep at all!  We've used melatonin when we travel if we have jet lag and Martin uses it to get back to a normal sleep cycle after lots of overtime. 

It does have side effects but they end after you stop taking the melatonin: Sleepiness, Changes in blood vessels that may affect blood flow, lower body temperature, Stomach problems, Headache, Morning grogginess and Vivid dreams. You should always consult your doctor though if you are pregnant or have any medical conditions before taking!

Those compared with the slew of Tylenol PM's side effects: Liver warning: This product contains acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you take more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen in 24 hours. with other drugs containing acetaminophen. 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product. Do not use:
With any other drug containing acetaminophen (prescription or nonprescription). If you are not sure whether a drug contains acetaminophen, ask a doctor or pharmacist.
In children under 12 years of age.
With any other products containing diphenhydramine, even ones used on skin.
if you are allergic to acetaminophen or any of the inactive ingredients in this product
Ask a doctor before use if you have:
Liver disease. A breathing problem such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland. Glaucoma. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking the blood thinning drug warfarin. taking sedatives or tranquilizers.
When using this product: Drowsiness will occur. Avoid alcoholic drinks. Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery.
Stop use and ask a doctor if: Sleeplessness persists continuously for more than 2 weeks. Insomnia may be a symptom of a serious underlying medical illness. Pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days. Fever gets worse or lasts more than 3 days. New symptoms occur. Redness or swelling is present.

The price of melatonin is 6.99 for 90 tablets.
The price of Tylenol PM is 5.49 for 24 capsules.

Definetly more frugal to go for the melatonin!
From University of Maryland Medical Center:  "Some researchers also believe that melatonin levels may be related to aging. For example, young children have the highest levels of nighttime melatonin. Researchers believe these levels drop as we age. Some people think lower levels of melatonin may explain why some older adults have sleep problems and tend to go to bed and wake up earlier than when they were younger. However, newer research calls this theory into question. Melatonin has strong antioxidant effects. Preliminary evidence suggests that it may help strengthen the immune system."

Happy Friday to you! Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!



  1. This never seemed to work for me. I always end up taking a Tylenol pm or something along those lines. :)

    I'm visiting for New Friends Friday from the Girl Creative! Nice to meet your blog. :)

  2. I love my Melotnin! I don't keep crazy hours or anything, but as you get older well you just don't sleep right. I would go to sleep. Wake up. Fall back asleep. Wake up. Etc all night. The Melitonin saved me. I got my husband taking it too.

  3. Hmm..I am certainly going to look into this more. I have been sleeping rather..badly lately!!


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