Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jet Lag x 30 without the Journey

The topic today is jet lag without the plane, hence I can crow bar in a cute photo of my niece on a flight. But seriously folks, a private doctor once took a test to measure my levels of melatonin over 24 hours. If melatonin is high and rising we feel drowsy and jet lagged. If it's low and falling, we feel awake. In true jet lag the body's internal clock (and its secretion of melatonin) gets out of synch. The morning reading of my melatonin was actually off the scale of the test. It was above 30 times the normal range. I still sleep for 8 hours and wake up feeling as if I am under anaesthetic; as if I have flown to New Zealand and back and forgot to get off the plane. It's a horrible feeling of being cheated. The medical books call it 'non-refreshing sleep,' which feels like a euphemism for the more common or garden 'death warmed up.' It's so mysifying and demoralising. I tried a light box, which is supposed to deplete melatonin but it didn't work for me personally;and later I read of a controlled study where it didn't work for other PWME either.
Anyway, I start the day feeling wrecked and if I'm lucky I'll get out for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I'm going for a massage later with the talented Paula who has a great turn of phrase. On the topic of trying to brush back teeth effectively she said, 'I nearly gie myself the dry boke, so I do.'


Andrew said...

Hullo Ciara!
I've been enjoying reading your blog for a while now, so I thought that I should probably come out in the open and tell you!
You might not remember me; I'm Stuart and Maddy's Australian friend Andrew. You and Maddy have recently inspired me to start my own blog, which is
So anyway, thank you so much for keeping your groovy blog!

Sue Jackson said...

Hi, Ciara -

I've been away on vacation and was glad to see that you're back on-line. I always enjoy your blog. Ah, yes, "unrefreshing sleep"is quite a euphemism but not as good as "post-exertional malaise", my personal favorite.

My sleep problems were totally turned around by taking trazodone before bed. It helps to increase serotonin, which I guess my body should do on its own but doesn't. My son has had similar success with nortriptyline.

Glad to see you back!