If anyone has had experience with supplementing melatonin at night, what have you found to be a good amount? Do you prefer the sublingual or the timed release?
Haven't tried timed release. Sublingual works for me.
Experiment with the dosage, see what works for you. High doses of melatonin (50 mg) dramatically increased REM sleep time and dream activity in both people with and without narcolepsy:
Lewis, Alan (1999). Melatonin and the Biological Clock. McGraw-Hill. p. 23. ISBN 0-87983-734-9.
There's widespread reference online to an extensive clinical trial, where a high dose of 75 milligrams of melatonin per day was given to 1400 women in the Netherlands for up to four years with no ill effects. Haven't found the citation for the study, however.
Use melatonin with darkness. That is, when you're done with computer, TV, and reading. Exposure to bright lights in the evening disrupts the normal melatonin cycle of the body.
Don't the the idea of some safe Paleo "norm" keep you from experimenting. Larger doses of melatonin expand dream potential. Our ancestors knew the importance of dreams. They were guided by their dreams in charting their quests. So check the dosage label for "relaxation" or "sleep," and then up the dosage and go for some serious nighttime inner voyaging.
Try tryptophan or 5htp instead, they give the body the raw materials it needs to make more melatonin. I used to take melatonin and it was too powerful for me at any dose, so I started taking tryptophan and it helps me sleep much better without being groggy the next day. It's not good for the body to rely on taking hormones when it can make them itself with the right conditions.
I've tried melatonin and I dislike it. Because the hormone causes your body to respond to lightness and darkness as opposed to just making you sleepy, it won't work if you have lights on when you take it. It will also wake you up earlier than usual - when the sun starts to rise - so it can disrupt a full eight to ten hours of sleep. While someone who goes to bed at seven or eight could probably get away with taking melatonin, for most people who have to work into the night it won't function in a beneficial way. Calming, cortisol lowering, routines might enhance sleep more.
Love it! I use Source Naturals from WF. I started with 1MG but read on one of the Paleo blog's to do 1/2MG. While I never had a problem sleeping pre-Paleo, once I went Paleo I had so much energy that trying to FALL asleep was very difficult.
1/2 MG 1/2 hr before I want to fall asleep does the trick. I usually take it at 8:30pm and always feel it coming on so I just turn the TV in the LR off. I make sure I have already done my last dog potty run, my night-time rituals done (brushed teeth, taken vitamins, pjs, etc) so I can just fall asleep on the floor near the dog (see Durante's post on this). The dog usually wakes me up a few hours later, and I haul myself to bed (DH likes to sleep with TV on), turn the TV off and climb into bed. I sleep soundly until 7am and usually don't hear the household rising before me. I do have to be careful climbing the stairs. I'm not groggy when I awake 9 hrs later. I feel very refreshed. After having had CFS for a few yrs prior to Paleo and never feeling refreshed in the morning, this is great!
I had some horrible experiences with melatonin, and will never touch the stuff ever again (but other people use it with no problems).
I had tried a 1 mg dose the first night, and it worked like a charm to resolve my insomnia issues. However, the following night, I took 1 mg again, and couldn't sleep a wink -- and the following morning, when I had to get up for work, I felt like I had literally been dosed with horse tranquilizers, I felt so completely doped up and incapacitated. That night, I took 2 mg, and it worked great. But then, the night after that, I took 2 mg again, and couldn't sleep at all, and again felt super-drugged the following morning. Apparently, my body was quickly developing a tolerance for melatonin, and was requiring ever-higher doses just to fall asleep.
To me it is relatively mild in strength but definitely abnormal. I used it only a few times because I wanted to find a reason for my insomnia instead. Because the melatonin comes from a pill and not your own pineal gland as a part of a natural need for sleep, I can't see that it will help sleep health over the long term, wouldn't it just confuse your brain? I don't think anyone can tell yet whether a pineal gland is functioning by scanning it in any way, except if there is an obvious tumor destroying it, or other obvious structural damage. In that case I would think you'd be a chronic insomniac, unable to do much of anything, and melatonin supplements wouldn't be useful at that point.
So I think now the mainstream thought is that melatonin can be useful for jetlag and temporary disruptions to sleep that you might have avoided except for the cicrumstances, for nearly all people.
There are stronger prescription-free sleep aids you can use (doxylamine, but watch out for diphenhydramine) but in my experience I felt temporarily messed up as a trade to using them (only a few times at normal doses), and not cured of anything. I suggest not dealing with sleep aids at all. If you use sleep aids please don't drive for some days after using them, because you can be clumsier than usual and not know it.
Melatonin doesn't help you fall asleep, it just makes you sleep more "sound". But it doesn't work the same for everybody. I took some recently after traveling from Amsterdam to Sydney to get over the jet lag. Took 10mg each night for the first three nights and had no jet lag whatsover. Same on the way back. If you want to fall asleep, have you tried Valerian root?
This is a Paleo site and no one knows what Melatonin is?
Melatonin is a hormone made in the body to get you to sleep, by the pineal gland. It's more Paleo than a lb of bacon swimming in coconut oil. My brain makes it, yours does, and the EU can't do anything about it!
Know it or not, you go to bed with melatonin that is released by the brain. It is supposed to happen at dark, to prompt you to sleep.
What has happened in modern times is that our lifestyle has shattered the natural cycle. That's why using melatonin is the most logical place to start-not magnesium, not sleeping pills or other tricks.
People who try a melatonin supplements and put it away should be patient, try some different brands, and not give up. I'm sure there are some bad brands out there since it is not regulated.
I do 10 mg I get from my dr and an additional 3mg in Tranquil Sleep because it has 5-HTP and L-Theanine (something like that).
It's true most of the EU requires a prescription. That's a mistake.
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