I’ve had a lot of not easy things to deal with this summer, resulting in insomnia to the max. Been lucky to get three-four hours of sleep in at a time.

I’ve been using all my heretofore tried and true remedies, old-time and new. Nothing has been working like it used to.

Even Grampa Roy’s nightly bowl of soda crackers and warm milk has not helped much. That was always my ace in the hole. There is a relaxing metamorphosis that happens with soda crackers and warmed milk. I forget what. But it works, usually.

I’ve been taking melatonin for years. It’s my standby. Melatonin is a hormone your body produces when darkness descends. The supplement normally comes in 3 mg strength and taking more will not make you sleep better. Melatonin is one of the supplements that should not be taken in higher doses than recommended, like zinc and vitamin A. So taking more than 3 mg will be wasted and some have reported incurring nightmares when taking extra. I’ve never had that problem with the stated dose.

But melatonin has a plethora of other good stuff in it, including antioxidant properties and lowering blood pressure. To help get you to sleep, instructions are to take it a half-hour to an hour before bed and to turn off the TV/computer and really bright lights. And you should always sleep in a cool, dark-dark room. I have the heat vent closed my room and the window cracked even in winter. I sleep in a cocoon of blankets and comforters with my nose stuck out for the cold air.

Another old standby for getting some sleep is my “big yellow sleeping pill,” aka a banana. Bananas, like turkey, have l-tryptophan in them. When your grampa falls asleep after Thanksgiving turkey, this is why. But I’d rather have a banana before bed.

Bananas have a lot more going for them than just l-tryptophan. And they are not fattening. They have the life-essential mineral, potassium. They are reported to be beneficial for your heart, bowels, blood cells, etc.

But all my fallback remedies have been failing me of late. I am exhausted. I will not take prescription or OTC sleep potions — talk about side effects!

Then last night I stumbled upon a YouTube video extolling the benefits of onions, especially raw onions as a sleep aid. (If you’re unfamiliar with the magical properties of onions, search on YouTube. An onion a day?) It claimed that slicing an onion and taking several sniffs up each side of your nose will send you off to a baby’s sleep.

I was at the point of trying anything. Besides, I’ve been sniffing raw garlic for years as a preventative against colds, sore throats and the flu. Whenever I feel that tell-tale sharp twinge in one side of my nose, I run for the garlic. I slice a bulb and sniff it up each side several times and repeat this every hour for the first four and then every few hours. It has worked handsomely for years. (Do not put raw garlic or onion up your nose or on your skin. It will burn. Just sniff in the vapor.)

So I figured, why not give the sliced onion a try?

I went to sleep almost immediately. I slept seven hours without waking up or getting up. That has not happened in months.

One night is not enough to testify to its efficacy, but I’m going to sniff some onion tonight with great expectations.

Now, as always, don’t take my word for anything. Researching all this is so easy these days, what with YouTube at our fingertips. I’m just relating what works for me, not "practicing medicine,” should anyone ask. (Snicker.)

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.