If you are one of the millions with sleep problems, you've probably tried melatonin. For most people, melatonin works great. The only problem with it is that it can make you feel groggy in the morning. This happens largely because the melatonin hits you with a full dose all at once. If this happens to you, there's something you might want to try.

There's now a time-released melatonin that appears to lessen the groggy feelings.

Researchers recently studied a group of 170 older people with sleep problems. They gave each of the participants a time-release melatonin (2 mg daily for three weeks). They had improved quality of sleep and morning alertness (not grogginess). The researchers noted very few side effects.

The prolonged release mimics the secretion of melatonin from your pineal gland. Instead of absorbing a full dose all at once, the gentle overnight absorption might be all you need for a good night's sleep.

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There's no reason to take an over-the-counter Big Pharma sleep potion. Most of them have the potential for addiction. And they can cause other health problems, including memory problems. Instead, you might try prolonged-release melatonin. Take it about 60 minutes before bed - instead of the usual 30 minutes for regular melatonin products. You can find prolonged release melatonin at many health food stores and on the Internet.

Ref: "Prolonged-release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects," Lemoine P, Nir T, et al, J Sleep Res, 2007; 16(4): 372-80.

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