Melatonin Dosage: How Much Melatonin Should You Take

We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.

Medical Disclaimer: The content on this page should not be taken as medical advice or used as a recommendation for any specific treatment. Always consult your doctor before taking any new medication or changing your current dosage.

Melatonin, a hormone your brain produces when it senses darkness, helps regulate when you feel drowsy at night. You can also purchase melatonin as a dietary supplement in the United States. Supplemental melatonin comes in many forms, including tablets, liquids, patches, gummies, and sprays.

Most people take melatonin on a short-term basis to relieve temporary sleep issues, such as those caused by jet lag. Melatonin can also help some people, such as shift workers or those with delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, reset their internal body clocks to get better sleep. While melatonin is primarily known as the sleep hormone, it may serve other important functions beyond regulating sleep. For example, it may help relieve anxiety prior to surgery.

Melatonin can be a safe short-term solution for sleep problems, as it is generally well tolerated without causing the side effects common to most prescription sleep medications. Studies show it can help you fall asleep faster, increase your total sleep time, and improve sleep quality overall.

Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers it a dietary supplement, there are no official guidelines for melatonin dosage in the United States. A safe melatonin dosage is determined based on your age, body weight, and personal sensitivity.

Melatonin Dosage for Adults

There is no official recommended melatonin dosage for adults, but a range of 1 to 5 milligrams generally appears to be effective. Adults can take melatonin a few hours before bed.

Melatonin for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using melatonin without first consulting their doctor. There has not been sufficient research into the safety of melatonin among this population.

Melatonin Dosage for Older Adults

Melatonin levels naturally decline as a person ages, disrupting the sleep-wake cycles for many older adults. As a result, older adults may have an increased sensitivity to melatonin.

In a meta-analysis of 16 studies, melatonin dosages between 0.1 and 50 milligrams per kilogram were administered to older adults aged 55 to 77 years old. In all of the studies, the melatonin levels remained higher among the older adults when compared to younger adults and stayed higher for a longer period of time — leading to increased daytime drowsiness. The more melatonin the person took, the more pronounced these effects.

As a result, researchers recommend older adults start with the lowest dose of melatonin possible. Lower doses may help older adults sleep better without disrupting their circadian rhythms and causing prolonged drowsiness.

Older adults with dementia should avoid melatonin, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Melatonin Dosage for Children

Infographic explaining melatonin dosage should not exceed 5 milligrams.

Short-term use of melatonin in small doses appears to be well tolerated by most children, though parents should consult with their child’s doctor prior to administering melatonin. The effective dosage for children depends on the sleep issue they are experiencing. Typical dosages for treating insomnia in children start at 1 to 2 milligrams and increase based on age.

When children experience side effects from taking melatonin, they are usually mild and may include:

  • Agitation
  • Bedwetting more than usual
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches

Medical professionals may recommend melatonin for children with conditions that affect their sleep, such as insomnia, autism spectrum disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Several studies have shown melatonin supplements can significantly improve overall sleep times by 25 minutes to 48 minutes, on average, for children with these conditions.

However, there have not been enough studies of melatonin in children for experts to determine an official recommended dosage or any potential long-term safety risks. Since melatonin is a hormone, it’s possible that taking supplemental melatonin could affect other aspects of hormone development in children, but further research is needed.

If your child is having sleep problems, experts recommend consulting your doctor before giving them melatonin. Research indicates that for half of the cases where melatonin was used to treat pediatric insomnia, better sleep habits were just as effective at relieving the child’s sleep problems.

How Much Melatonin Should I Take?

It is best to start with the lowest recommended dosage of melatonin for your age. From there, you can gradually increase your dosage until you find a dose that helps you fall asleep without causing any side effects. Generally, a safe starting dose for adults is between 1 and 5 milligrams of melatonin. Older adults may find doses lower than 1 milligram to be effective. Children should not take melatonin unless recommended by a doctor.

Over-the-counter melatonin may come in standard amounts like 1 milligram, 3 milligrams, or 5 milligrams. You can use a pill-cutter to cut the tablets in half or quarters to create a smaller starting dose.

When to Talk to Your Doctor About Melatonin

To ensure safe usage, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter sleep aid, including melatonin. They know your personal medical history and can best advise you on the appropriate melatonin dosage for your needs. They will also know whether melatonin might interact with any other medications you may currently be taking.

Read Post  Where can I go on holiday? The 19 countries you can visit without having to quarantine

Certain health conditions and medications may increase your risk of side effects when taking melatonin. If you take any of the following medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking melatonin:

  • Birth control or oral contraceptives
  • Blood thinners
  • Immunosuppressants or corticosteroids
  • Medications that lower blood pressure
  • Warfarin or other anticoagulants

Additionally, the following types of people may have an increased sensitivity to melatonin, and should avoid taking it before consulting their doctor:

  • Children
  • People with dementia
  • People with depression
  • People with epilepsy
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Shift workers

The research into melatonin’s potential benefits and use cases is still evolving, and its long-term effects are still unknown. For many people, melatonin offers mild improvements to sleep problems when used on a short-term basis. For others, it may cause side effects or not impact sleep at all.

If you find your sleep problems persist after trying melatonin, it may be time to talk to a doctor. They can recommend other strategies for improving your sleep, such as better sleep hygiene, changes to diet and exercise, or cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia. They can also evaluate other possible causes for your sleep problems.

Finding Reputable Sleep Supplements

The safety and efficacy of supplements is not closely monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shoppers should take additional measures to make sure they are purchasing reputable products.

Frequently Asked Questions About Melatonin Dosage

When Should I Take Melatonin?

The best time to take melatonin is a few hours before your bedtime. Your brain naturally increases melatonin production about one to two hours before you sleep, so taking melatonin at this time may help facilitate the process.

How Much Melatonin Should I Take for Jet Lag?

Melatonin can be effective in relieving jet lag for people who travel across two or more time zones. Adults may take a dose of 1 to 5 milligrams one hour before bed for up to four nights after arriving at their destination.

Is It Safe to Take Melatonin With Alcohol?

It is not considered safe to take melatonin with alcohol. Because alcohol can disrupt your sleep quality and your natural melatonin levels, you should avoid mixing melatonin with alcohol.

Is It Safe to Take Melatonin With Caffeine?

It is not recommended that you take melatonin with caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that disrupts your sleep-wake cycle and can affect your natural melatonin production.

Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

While melatonin is generally considered safe, it is possible to take too much. There is no official recommended melatonin dosage, and people can have different sensitivities to melatonin, so finding an appropriate dose can be challenging. Moreover, because melatonin is not regulated in the U.S., the actual melatonin content of supplements can vary significantly. Studies have found that some melatonin products can have nearly five times as much melatonin as their label claims, or much less.

The first sign that you have taken too much melatonin is that you will continue feeling its soporific effects the following day. You may feel especially drowsy or groggy. Doses of 10 milligrams or higher can cause side effects like drowsiness and headache. Other symptoms of melatonin overdose include:

  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Was this article helpful? No

About Our Editorial Team

Jay Summer

Jay Summer is a health content writer and editor. She holds a B.S. in psychology and master’s degrees in writing and public policy.

Dr. Abhinav Singh

Dr. Singh is the Medical Director of the Indiana Sleep Center. His research and clinical practice focuses on the entire myriad of sleep disorders.

Melatonin Dosage: How Much Melatonin Should You Take

We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.

Medical Disclaimer: The content on this page should not be taken as medical advice or used as a recommendation for any specific treatment. Always consult your doctor before taking any new medication or changing your current dosage.

Melatonin, a hormone your brain produces when it senses darkness, helps regulate when you feel drowsy at night. You can also purchase melatonin as a dietary supplement in the United States. Supplemental melatonin comes in many forms, including tablets, liquids, patches, gummies, and sprays.

Most people take melatonin on a short-term basis to relieve temporary sleep issues, such as those caused by jet lag. Melatonin can also help some people, such as shift workers or those with delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, reset their internal body clocks to get better sleep. While melatonin is primarily known as the sleep hormone, it may serve other important functions beyond regulating sleep. For example, it may help relieve anxiety prior to surgery.

Melatonin can be a safe short-term solution for sleep problems, as it is generally well tolerated without causing the side effects common to most prescription sleep medications. Studies show it can help you fall asleep faster, increase your total sleep time, and improve sleep quality overall.

Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers it a dietary supplement, there are no official guidelines for melatonin dosage in the United States. A safe melatonin dosage is determined based on your age, body weight, and personal sensitivity.

Melatonin Dosage for Adults

There is no official recommended melatonin dosage for adults, but a range of 1 to 5 milligrams generally appears to be effective. Adults can take melatonin a few hours before bed.

Melatonin for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using melatonin without first consulting their doctor. There has not been sufficient research into the safety of melatonin among this population.

Melatonin Dosage for Older Adults

Melatonin levels naturally decline as a person ages, disrupting the sleep-wake cycles for many older adults. As a result, older adults may have an increased sensitivity to melatonin.

In a meta-analysis of 16 studies, melatonin dosages between 0.1 and 50 milligrams per kilogram were administered to older adults aged 55 to 77 years old. In all of the studies, the melatonin levels remained higher among the older adults when compared to younger adults and stayed higher for a longer period of time — leading to increased daytime drowsiness. The more melatonin the person took, the more pronounced these effects.

Read Post  Requirements for Mexicans

As a result, researchers recommend older adults start with the lowest dose of melatonin possible. Lower doses may help older adults sleep better without disrupting their circadian rhythms and causing prolonged drowsiness.

Older adults with dementia should avoid melatonin, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Melatonin Dosage for Children

Infographic explaining melatonin dosage should not exceed 5 milligrams.

Short-term use of melatonin in small doses appears to be well tolerated by most children, though parents should consult with their child’s doctor prior to administering melatonin. The effective dosage for children depends on the sleep issue they are experiencing. Typical dosages for treating insomnia in children start at 1 to 2 milligrams and increase based on age.

When children experience side effects from taking melatonin, they are usually mild and may include:

  • Agitation
  • Bedwetting more than usual
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches

Medical professionals may recommend melatonin for children with conditions that affect their sleep, such as insomnia, autism spectrum disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Several studies have shown melatonin supplements can significantly improve overall sleep times by 25 minutes to 48 minutes, on average, for children with these conditions.

However, there have not been enough studies of melatonin in children for experts to determine an official recommended dosage or any potential long-term safety risks. Since melatonin is a hormone, it’s possible that taking supplemental melatonin could affect other aspects of hormone development in children, but further research is needed.

If your child is having sleep problems, experts recommend consulting your doctor before giving them melatonin. Research indicates that for half of the cases where melatonin was used to treat pediatric insomnia, better sleep habits were just as effective at relieving the child’s sleep problems.

How Much Melatonin Should I Take?

It is best to start with the lowest recommended dosage of melatonin for your age. From there, you can gradually increase your dosage until you find a dose that helps you fall asleep without causing any side effects. Generally, a safe starting dose for adults is between 1 and 5 milligrams of melatonin. Older adults may find doses lower than 1 milligram to be effective. Children should not take melatonin unless recommended by a doctor.

Over-the-counter melatonin may come in standard amounts like 1 milligram, 3 milligrams, or 5 milligrams. You can use a pill-cutter to cut the tablets in half or quarters to create a smaller starting dose.

When to Talk to Your Doctor About Melatonin

To ensure safe usage, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter sleep aid, including melatonin. They know your personal medical history and can best advise you on the appropriate melatonin dosage for your needs. They will also know whether melatonin might interact with any other medications you may currently be taking.

Certain health conditions and medications may increase your risk of side effects when taking melatonin. If you take any of the following medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking melatonin:

  • Birth control or oral contraceptives
  • Blood thinners
  • Immunosuppressants or corticosteroids
  • Medications that lower blood pressure
  • Warfarin or other anticoagulants

Additionally, the following types of people may have an increased sensitivity to melatonin, and should avoid taking it before consulting their doctor:

  • Children
  • People with dementia
  • People with depression
  • People with epilepsy
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Shift workers

The research into melatonin’s potential benefits and use cases is still evolving, and its long-term effects are still unknown. For many people, melatonin offers mild improvements to sleep problems when used on a short-term basis. For others, it may cause side effects or not impact sleep at all.

If you find your sleep problems persist after trying melatonin, it may be time to talk to a doctor. They can recommend other strategies for improving your sleep, such as better sleep hygiene, changes to diet and exercise, or cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia. They can also evaluate other possible causes for your sleep problems.

Finding Reputable Sleep Supplements

The safety and efficacy of supplements is not closely monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shoppers should take additional measures to make sure they are purchasing reputable products.

Frequently Asked Questions About Melatonin Dosage

When Should I Take Melatonin?

The best time to take melatonin is a few hours before your bedtime. Your brain naturally increases melatonin production about one to two hours before you sleep, so taking melatonin at this time may help facilitate the process.

How Much Melatonin Should I Take for Jet Lag?

Melatonin can be effective in relieving jet lag for people who travel across two or more time zones. Adults may take a dose of 1 to 5 milligrams one hour before bed for up to four nights after arriving at their destination.

Is It Safe to Take Melatonin With Alcohol?

It is not considered safe to take melatonin with alcohol. Because alcohol can disrupt your sleep quality and your natural melatonin levels, you should avoid mixing melatonin with alcohol.

Is It Safe to Take Melatonin With Caffeine?

It is not recommended that you take melatonin with caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that disrupts your sleep-wake cycle and can affect your natural melatonin production.

Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

While melatonin is generally considered safe, it is possible to take too much. There is no official recommended melatonin dosage, and people can have different sensitivities to melatonin, so finding an appropriate dose can be challenging. Moreover, because melatonin is not regulated in the U.S., the actual melatonin content of supplements can vary significantly. Studies have found that some melatonin products can have nearly five times as much melatonin as their label claims, or much less.

The first sign that you have taken too much melatonin is that you will continue feeling its soporific effects the following day. You may feel especially drowsy or groggy. Doses of 10 milligrams or higher can cause side effects like drowsiness and headache. Other symptoms of melatonin overdose include:

  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Was this article helpful? No

About Our Editorial Team

Jay Summer

Jay Summer is a health content writer and editor. She holds a B.S. in psychology and master’s degrees in writing and public policy.

Read Post  How to Work in the U. S as a Foreign-Educated Nurse
Dr. Abhinav Singh

Dr. Singh is the Medical Director of the Indiana Sleep Center. His research and clinical practice focuses on the entire myriad of sleep disorders.

When to Take Melatonin to Avoid Jet Lag

A view of Positano Italy from one of the many restaurants that line the streets.

Our brains often struggle when adapting to significant time changes, and jet lag can make enjoying a vacation challenging. However, through the use of melatonin, you could hack your circadian rhythm and get your body quickly synced up to your new timezone, letting you maximize your holiday and enjoy your time away.

Why Do We Get Jet Lag?

Each of us has a circadian rhythm that responds to light. As the sun goes down and darkness falls, our brains release melatonin, which helps us relax and go to sleep; as the sun comes up, this hormone reduces so that we can feel alert and awake in the morning. Our eyes’ retinas detect light signals that communicate with a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, telling us when to sleep, and when to wake up.

We often find it easier to function when we’re entrenched in routine because our brains enjoy the regularity. When there is a mismatch between our sleep-wake cycle and the time in our new surroundings, our internal rhythm becomes disrupted, leading to jet lag.

When To Take Melatonin

Taking melatonin at the wrong time could leave you worse off than you started. Following these tips should help you feel your best.

Effective Windows

Many individuals take melatonin before bedtime to help them fall asleep, even when not traveling. However, taking melatonin while traveling can significantly help with sleep when taken within effective windows.

Firstly, keep in mind which direction you’re moving. It typically doesn’t need to be taken ahead of time when you’re flying west— like from Croatia to Columbia, for example— because you’ll likely need to stay awake long after you arrive. When traveling westward, you may wake up before you plan to, which could cut your sleep time short; this is because your body often takes a few days to fully adjust to the time zone. To avoid this, you can take melatonin before bed to help you sleep through the night.

Be sure to allow enough time for it to kick in; it usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes before you’ll begin to feel sleepy.

YEREVAN, ARMENIA - Bedroom in Hotel National, Created in a business style, the comfortable hotel allows every guest to feel welcome

Melatonin After Arrival

Some individuals prefer taking melatonin after arriving at their destination to help them fall asleep at their new earlier bedtime or stay asleep, so they rest through the night. This approach could also be a good option if you want to be alert on the flight or meet with colleagues upon arrival.

Traveling westward will likely push your bedtime back, so you may not feel sleepy come 10 pm if you’ve just flown from a place where it’s only 5 pm; melatonin could help you synchronize your body to your new timezone.

When traveling westward, for example, on a 4 pm flight from New York to Los Angeles, your bedtime will be later than usual. When you land, it will feel like 10 pm— like it is in New York— but it will only be 7 pm in Los Angeles. Try to go to bed in alignment with your new time zone to help you adjust.

On your first morning in LA, even if you go to bed on time, your body’s natural rhythm may want to wake you up at 3 am, because in New York, it’s 7 am. You could avoid premature waking by taking melatonin before you go to bed, helping you sleep soundly through the night. A good rule of thumb is to allow yourself at least six hours of rest after taking melatonin; this way, it has enough time to work its magic and wear off so you can wake up refreshed. If you still find you’re awakening early, try extended release melatonin tablets.

Melatonin Before Arrival

Significantly adjusting your bedtime could wreak havoc on your body. However, sleeping before your arrival while in transit could be an effective strategy, as this allows you to land in your destination feeling rested and ready to go. Traveling through multiple time zones can be challenging, but sleeping en route enables you to prepare by essentially tricking your body into falling in line with your new time zone before your arrival.

By aiming for six to eight hours of sleep before arriving at your destination with the help of melatonin, you should be able to modify your circadian rhythm before you’ve arrived, allowing you to easily adjust.

When traveling eastward you’ll be gaining time, so it’ll feel earlier. For example, when flying from Chicago to London on a 10 pm flight, when you arrive, it will feel like 5:30 am, because it is in Chicago, but it’ll be 11:30 am in London. Taking melatonin right after you board your flight could help you sleep a few hours and hopefully allow you to feel refreshed enough to finish the day in London before going to bed that night.

Further, taking melatonin on your first night after arriving might help encourage your body to sleep soundly through the night. This way, your internal rhythm shouldn’t wake you up prematurely as your body adjusts to London time.

Business Class seats for Singapore Airlines Adelaide to Beijing via Singapore

How Much Melatonin to Take

An appropriate dose of melatonin will vary from person to person. You can buy tablets in various quantities, from 0.5mg to 10mg, so it’s wise to experiment with the amount ahead of time. For some people, taking even as much as 5 milligrams can leave them feeling drowsy after a full night of sleep, so we recommend starting small and increasing the dose as needed.

We don’t recommend taking melatonin with other sedatives; while this may sound like a relaxing way to fall asleep with ease, taking it with alcohol could have dangerous consequences or impair your quality of rest, leaving you feeling tired even after sleeping eight hours.

With the aid of melatonin, these simple sleep hacks should help you jet across the world without missing a beat— but hopefully missing the lag.

Source https://www.sleepfoundation.org/melatonin/melatonin-dosage-how-much-should-you-take

Source https://www.sleepfoundation.org/melatonin/melatonin-dosage-how-much-should-you-take

Source https://www.travellingking.com/when-to-take-melatonin-to-avoid-jet-lag/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *