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January 13, 2011

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the brain that helps regulate our circadium rhythm (sleep & wake pattern). It is produced more heavily in darkness and less so when the body is exposed to light. Because of this, it has been used to help with insomnia as well as a variety of other health issues. Melatonin is sold in tablet form almost anywhere and has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. (Info from WebMB & U of Maryland Medical Center)


I first heard about melatonin from a girl in my highschool class and loved that it was a natural sleep aid. I purchased it and used it often (I had trouble sleeping during my ED). Over the past couple of years I stopped taking the melatonin because I wasn’t noticing much of an effect anymore. This is likely because 1. my body was used to it and 2. I was taking it as a pill instead of letting it dissolve under my tongue like you are supposed to.

But last night, in efforts to get some sleep, I busted out my Melatonin bottle from under my sink. I placed the hardly noticeable tablet under my tongue and slept WONDERFULLY. (Note – wonderfully to me means only waking up about 3 times to pee). I had that “my head is sinking into my pillow” feeling of deep sleep and was not at all groggy when I woke up. I am so excited to get melatonin back into my life!


Needless to say, the wine and melatonin allowed me to get some much needed rest and wake up ready to hit the gym. I had an awesome workout today, primarily inspired by the saying “if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep seeing what you’re seeing”. I had mentioned that I needed to switch up my ab routine and that my weight sessions weren’t very strenuous, so I decided to step it up today!

I ran 3 miles in 25 minutes (including 8.0 mph intervals which is faster than I had been going in the past), followed by 15 minutes of stairstepper intervals. Then I I got to work on my abs! Instead of my usual routine, I did:

  • 100 bicycle crunches (instead of 50)
  • 30 regular crunches, 15 side crunches on each side
  • Drew the numbers 1-20 in the air with my legs (way more fun than standard leg lifts)
  • Bent-knee side twists holding a 10lb weight inbetween my knees  (hard!)
  • Reverse crunches holding the 10 lb weight in between my knees
  • “rowing” move to either side holding the 10 lb weight with knees bent and feet off the floor
  • 45 second plank-ups, 45 sec plank with knee bends inward
  • 45 second side plank on each side

It was so great to feel like I was really challenging my muscles with something knew! And to keep it going, I did some quick arm weights using 12.5 lb weights instead of my usual 10lb, and some plie squats becuase I heard they are good for you.

I left knowing that I pushed myself harder than I have been, which is a great feeling!



I was so tired yesterday that I didn’t even want to try on an outfit, so I just threw stuff in my gym bag that I knew would work.


Standard oatmeal breakfast + free coffee from my gym (which I get every time I go to the gym –  major perk)

And for lunch, I went out with my work program “buddy”. I wasn’t sure where we would go, but was ecstatic when he chose Bread Co (Panera). Always good healthy vegetarian options there. AND turns out he’s a little bit of a food snob like me! I had to go back because they accidentally gave me a white baguette instead of whole grain, and he had to switch his plain looking honey wheat bread for a whole grain variety.

For lunch I had a you pick two – black bean soup (which I swear is just a can of black beans dumped in a bowl but is still insanely delicious) and a classic cafe salad. I used to always pick one of their specialty salads with no chicken, but recently realized if I want veggies the classic cafe is the way to go! And obviously I had a whole grain baguette to scoop it all up with.

Lunch also included wonderful conversation. My “buddy” is the ultimate pro-active go-getter and gave me some great contacts and ideas about next steps within the company. I’m super excited about pursuiing these even though it’s a bit out of my comfort zone. He really enforced that if I want something, I need to let HR know and start the conversation. Cheesy, but it was so inspiring!


Okay okay, back to work! Last couple days of slow time before the bosses get back and we go crazy with meetings! I’m currently trying to pull inspiration pictures for Spring 2012 trends. Yeah…those are hard to find in January of 2011, but it’s such a fun change from endless spreadsheets!

Nothing like hot pink sundresses to make you forget the windchill is below zero outside:)

Happy Thursday!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2011 2:16 pm

    I’ve never heard of melatonin being used as a natural sleep aid, so thanks for the insightful information!

    Also, I can’t believe how far in advance the fashion industry works–that’s crazy you are already planning for spring/summer 2012!

  2. Laura @ Meet Virginia permalink
    January 13, 2011 2:50 pm

    I have been having trouble falling asleep lately, so I think I might give that a try. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  3. January 13, 2011 5:14 pm

    I always get that same thing at Panera!! I used to get an apple as my side but then realized I was missing out on their awesome whole-grain baguette. So glad the melatonin worked for you! And I thought I was bad getting up once or twice a night, but three times… yikes! Lovee the bright colors too… I can’t wait for warm weather 🙂

  4. January 13, 2011 5:18 pm

    I’m definitely glad I found melatonin! I try not to use it a lot, because I get addicted to it easily. But it’s great for transitioning from weekend schedule to weekday schedule. Girl, that outfit is so cute!

  5. GoodOl'WENDY permalink
    January 13, 2011 7:44 pm

    Does the melatonin really work? I’ve been in the market for a natural sleep aid for years struggling with some of your same “going” problems. I wake up and dart to the bathroom 5-7 times a night! My only concern is that falling into TOO deep of a sleep might backfire given this issue (if you know what I mean!) I’d love to hear back from you with some more insight!

    Take Care and God Bless,
    Good Ol’ Wendy

  6. January 13, 2011 7:46 pm

    Have you ever had side effects from using melatonin?

    This is timely because I am having lots of sleep troubles lately. But, I’m always leery of taking anything, even natural pills.

    P.S. Just started following your blog and noticed how much we have in common! (even our WordPress theme)! Happy to have found yours and will continue to follow!

  7. hooshealthy permalink
    January 13, 2011 8:22 pm

    great melatonin tip–never knew it did that! normally I just stick to tylenol pm or cvs brand sleep aid!!

  8. January 14, 2011 3:25 pm

    i think i need to look into melatonin! There are so many nights i cant sleep but i need it! and the head sinking into the pillow thing…i miss that! I havent been sleeping deeply or long enough to have the super comfortable feeling in a while..

    your workout was kick ass AWESOME JOB!

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