When I was a teenager, I’d end up staying awake quite late into the night and sleeping in very late, especially during summer holidays because the lack of structure and regular activities made me feel very disengaged and I thought I might as well sleep. At university, my erratic sleep pattern continued because there were always far more interesting things going on with my hall mates, so again I’d survive on only a few hours of sleep. By the time I made it to grad school, I needed to have more discipline with my sleep routine, as my classes were more regularly timed and my work and internship patterns were more consistent. In the US, Melatonin is available to buy without a prescription, and I started to take this and found it helped my sleeping pattern significantly. I brought a bottle over with me when I moved here, but when I realised that it was only available on prescription, I panicked. I have since found that a supplement that Holland & Barrett sells (5-Hydroxytryptophan) mimics the effects of melatonin, so I’ve been taking that for years – almost as long as I’ve been in the UK.
I feel that I would benefit from a melatonin prescription, but felt like up till now that I wouldn’t have been taking seriously and would have been prescribed sleeping pills, which I do not want to take; melatonin and 5HTP help me to fall asleep without feeling groggy or drugged in the morning.
- These have been known to help those with AS: 5HTP [which sounds like a motor oil but is actually a natural supplement you can get in a vitamin shop]…(Rudy Simone – Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome) [UK Kindle Edition]
Also, since about 2010, I’ve been using a white noise app to help me get to sleep and stay asleep. I cannot sleep in a quiet room, as I end up hearing every creak and groan in the house, which keeps me awake and alert, and my brain is constantly running, thinking about what I have to do over the next few days, and I need the white noise to drown out the running commentary in my mind about what’s to come. I put the timer on the app to turn off when I want to wake up, and I’ve naturally been able to wake up like this for the last three years with no supplementary alarm. I also have to sleep with the window on the latch and a fan going to move the air around in the room because otherwise, I wake up with a headache due to the stuffy and stale air. Also, I have to sleep with the sheet tucked up under my chin, because I don’t like the ‘draft’ created by my breathing on my skin.