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What is the Recommended Melatonin Dosage?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 17, 2024
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Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the body. Ideally, your body produces the melatonin dosage that permits you to sleep at night without waking up groggy the next morning. Low levels of melatonin can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep. Fortunately, it is easy to supplement the levels of melatonin in the body.

Your body requires complete darkness to produce melatonin. If you have trouble falling asleep you may want to try some changes to your lifestyle before you begin to take a dietary supplement. Anyone can suffer from low levels of melatonin, but it is particularly common with people who work night shift or swing shifts. Driving home from work when the sun is rising, rather than setting, tricks the body into wakefulness. If your bedroom has sheer curtains that allow daylight in while you are trying to sleep, melatonin levels can plummet even further.

There are several ways to increase the amount of melatonin naturally produced by the body. A completely dark bedroom is the most important factor in melatonin production. For people that are sensitive to light even the light from a digital alarm clock can be enough to interfere with melatonin. Another helpful way to increase the level of melatonin production is to avoid blue light, such as the light emitted from televisions and computers, for several hours before your bedtime.

If you choose to increase melatonin levels through a dietary supplement, there are several things to keep in mind. Melatonin is a highly effective supplement, so effective that in many countries it is not available over the counter. Before supplementing with melatonin, speak with your family physician.

The melatonin dosage that you settle on should take several things into consideration. Melatonin supplements have been linked to vivid dreams and nightmares, which seem to increase with a higher dosage. There is no data that indicates that higher doses increase the effectiveness of melatonin however, so you aren’t doing your body any favors by taking more than the recommended amount.

The recommended melatonin dosage is typically 3 milligrams. It is important to read the instructions on the supplement, because the amount of melatonin per pill will vary among manufacturers. When you begin the supplementation process take the lowest melatonin dosage listed on the bottle. If that level is effective, there is no reason to increase the amount that you are taking.

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Discussion Comments

By anon180177 — On May 25, 2011

Excellent, safe, inexpensive, non habit forming sleep aid. I take up to 5 mg on some nights. Like anything in life, it may not be for everyone.

By BigBloom — On Dec 12, 2010

Sometimes I have had trouble functioning and thinking straight on the following day after taking Melatonin. I was in college and had a Lab for a Biology course. I couldn't follow basic instructions and was reliant on my lab partner to get everything done.

By Armas1313 — On Dec 09, 2010

I recently went to bed reading Poe short stories and poems and had a pill of Melatonin to help me sleep. My dreams were some of the darkest, scariest, and most vivid dreams I have ever had. That was the last time I used Melatonin or read Poe before going to bed.

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