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Melatonin "hangover" And Dosing


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I am trying melatonin for the second time. I tried it before and it didn't work at all. Now, it is working too well. Or should I say I am all over the place with it. My doctor recommended starting 0.3 mg, but the smallest dose I could find is 1 mg. she said that is OK to try. The first day I took it, I felt drowsy til noon - not just drowsy, but having trouble concentrating, etc, Sine then, there are some nights when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back asleep. Other nights I don't wake up til 10am and am late for work. Does anyone have experience with dosage and these symptoms they can share? I really want melatonin to work for me - it is much healthier than ambien.

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Hi Yogini,

I began taking supplements when I first became very ill last year. I may stop now after seeing the latest PBS "Frontline" last night....scary.

Anyway, after doing research on melatonin, I was surprised to learn it is a hormone, only available by prescription in Europe. So it is not a benign substance. Also, as "Frontline" emphasized, we have no idea what's in a particular bottle or capsule. Your experience may reflect this.

I also learned the use of melatonin (if it is melatonin) is best for regulating circadian rhythms rather than helping to induce sleep on a particular night. It also supposedly has a short half-life, so time released low-doses are best....used consistently.

I do take 3mg. when I go to sleep and sometimes another when I invariably wake at 4am (usually with tachycardia). I also take a total of .75 mg Klonopin in .25 mg doses, so although I 'think' melatonin helps, I'm not sure it does.

I don't blame you for staying away from the "z" drugs...or from benzodiazepines. Luckily the latter is effective for me in tiny doses, esp. when I am tachy.

By the way, this is not an endorsement, but Frontline did note the only supplement manufacturer they found that voluntarily tests and guarantees its products is Nature's Gate, a Canadian firm. I really encourage readers to see this show...

Hope this info. Is helpful!

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Thanks so much for the information. I will look for it. Melatonin is a substance that the body secretes.

My research indicates that the recommended dose is 500 mg. The problem is that in the US it is hard to find a dose smaller than 1 mg. I'm a small person so actually cut my Ambien in pieces when I use it. Otherwise I would sleep for a few days!

I expect to need a melatonin dose smaller than what is recommended for the average person. So I probably need something less than 500mg - which is a fraction of the 1mg pill.

I agree that there is no regulation of supplements in the US. This is one of my concerns with supplements -- why I almost prefer to take Ambien. At least you know what's in there! But there are certain brands of supplements in the US that have good reputations. Currently I am using Country Life and Jarrow. I go to a special health food store or Whole Foods to get these brands. I would never buy any supplement from a drugstore or Target, etc.

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Thank you, Yogini, for the brand recommendations.

I've never seem melatonin packaged in anything but capsules...I suppose if you have endless time you could buy your own capsules and divide.....

Yet, if you have only occasionally insomnia, and tiny doses of Ambien help, it may ultimately be healthier than a daily dose of melatonin....


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Sylvie - the ones I have are all in pill form. I am not sure about cutting the pill. I probably need to buy a non-time release version to cut it and/or ask my doctor about that. Whole foods did not have a great selection, but they were mostly in pill form.

Sue, I also tried melatonin a few years ago and it didn't work AT ALL. I tried a few different brands at that time, but they were mostly the lower quality/drug store version. (Not to say that it will work for you -- we are all so different!)

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