General Question

JonnyCeltics's avatar

Is it safe to take melatonin (1.5-3mgs) at night?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2716points) February 10th, 2011

I have sleeping problems. My GF gave me melatonin, and my sleep as been much, much better – deeper and sounder, and I feel better. Better, at least, than the effects of my apparent insomnia. But is it healthy, habit-forming, or anything else?

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9 Answers

zophu's avatar

It’s not available over-the-counter in some countries, but that may be because of arbitrary reasons. It’s very cheap and very easy to get in the US so it’s not super dangerous. I knew an older person who was taking 10mg every night, prescribed by his doctor. I take 3mg on an empty stomach whenever I feel like I’ll need a more fulfilling night’s sleep, but I don’t do it regularly. It’s not like our melatonin production is natural as it is, artificial light has been messing that up for generations. I wouldn’t worry about it if it really helps you sleep better. The warnings on the bottle are probably over-cautious, too.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

the whole “non-FDA approved” literature is a bit sticky…

Summum's avatar

Nothing wrong with taking some but don’t over due it. It can cause some nasty problems. Google Melatonin Overdose and read about it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My melatonin pills are 5mg each, and I’ve been taking three of them every night. But it still wears off by about 4 am most of the time. I was taking 5 of them (25mg) for a bit, but it was keeping me sleepy during the day. I never had any side effects other than the daytime sleepiness.

cak's avatar

My pediatrician recommended it for my son. He’s ADHD and has problems sleeping. He gets either the 1.5mg or the 3mg. Nothing over that, ever. I’ve never seen any side effects and also he’s not dependent on it, in any way. He goes without it on Fridays and Saturdays. Just because we hate giving anything all the time.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

@cak thanks for the thoughtful response

ETpro's avatar

It is a natural product of your body so it is quite safe. Melatonin production drops off with age, and this is why supplementation may help you sleep as you get some years on you. It does for me. :-)

It is also an extremely powerful antioxidant, so beyond just helping you sleep, it probably helps you stay fit and healthy.

The toxicity level would be very high. It has not been established, but certainly is far, far beyond 3 mg. It’s been studied in doses up to 50 MG a night, and all that produced was vivid, unusual dreams in some of the test subjects. So I would have no concerns taking 1.5 to 3 mg. Find the dose that seems to work well for you, and take no more than that and you should be fine. For me, it’s 10 mg. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin

cak's avatar

@JonnyCeltics thanks
@ETpro: Great Answer

CyberSolder's avatar

1.5–3mgs is a safe dose. I read that it is best to take day or more off from Melatonin so your body doesn’t get too used to it and continues producing its own natural Melatonin.

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