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Dosage For Melatonin For Adults

How Age Factors Into Melatonin Use

Does melatonin really help you sleep?

So why do we take melatonin at all, especially if our bodies produce it anyway?

Like many things, natural melatonin production can vary based on age, diet, and certain health conditions that may affect sleep7. Dr. Breus says only four types of people really need it: shift workers, people with jet lag, kids on the spectrum, and older people who have a melatonin deficiency.

According to survey results, the average dosage for adults ages 55 and older was 4.6 milligrams, lower than the 5 milligrams for adults ages 25 to 54 but more than the 4.1 milligrams for 18- to 24-year-olds. Adults 55 and older also were the least likely to take it weekly or daily , with 25-to-44-year-olds being the most likely.

Speaking of younger people, though: 68.4% of survey respondents reported children using melatonin in their households. In 26% of those households, those children were ages 9 and younger.

Parents are advised to use caution when considering melatonin for their children. U.S. poison control centers report a 530% increase in melatonin-related calls involving children between 2012 and 2021. In response, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends parents talk to a doctor before giving melatonin to a child.

Samantha Linnett, a Washington, D.C.-based travel blogger, says she has taken melatonin since high school. It helped her fall asleep within 30 minutes. Now 28, she has boosted her dosage from 5 milligrams then to 10 milligrams now.

Skip Melatonin For Sleep If

Do not use melatonin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have an autoimmune disorder, a seizure disorder or depression. Talk to your health care provider if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Melatonin supplements may also raise blood-sugar levels and increase blood pressure levels in people taking some hypertension medications.

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What Is A Safe Melatonin Dose

According to Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, melatonin is very safe if taken in normal doses, which is anything between 0.5 mg and 5 mg.

A 0.5 mg dose may be all thats needed for sleep-cycle regulation, and should be taken three to five hours before bed, he says. For people who want to take melatonin just before bed, a 5 mg dose is appropriate. Some people report headaches or stomach problems at higher doses, but those side-effects are uncommon, he says.

Still, there are other concerns. Melatonin has an incredible safety record, no doubt about it, says Dr. Mark Moyad, the Jenkins/Pomkempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan. But its a hormone, and you dont want to mess around with hormones until you know what theyre doing.

People with existing medical problems should discuss melatonin with their doctor before using it. While some research has found that melatonin may help treat hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, for example, other studies have shown that, in diabetes patients who carry certain genetic traits, melatonin may interfere with glucose regulation. Its these sorts of contradictory findings that give experts pause when it comes to issuing melatonin a full-throated endorsement.

How Much Melatonin Is Too Much

How Much Melatonin Is Safe Nightly

Taken on a short-term basis, melatonin has very few side effects and when they do appear, they tend to be mild. Research shows that some side effects of taking melatonin can include headache, dizziness, nausea, and sleepiness.3Low dose melatonin can safely be taken for up to 3 months, however doses higher than 5 mg should not be taken for longer than 2 months.

If youre pregnant or nursing, you should consult your physician before taking melatonin. Keep in mind that, like all supplements, melatonin might interact with certain medications, such as antidepressants, blood pressure or blood thinning medicines so best to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking melatonin if you are taking prescription medications. In older adults, melatonin may remain active in their bodies longer than it does in younger people and also may cause daytime lethargy.3

Learn More: Is It Safe to Take Melatonin While Pregnant?

The Bottom Line

If you struggle to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow, you might benefit from taking melatonin to help regulate your bodys sleep cycle. The optimal melatonin dose depends on your age, so start with the lowest dose of melatonin as may be effective to meet your needs. If youre not sure whether takinga melatonin supplement is the right choice for you , talk with your health care professional for guidance and support.

Learn More: Melatonin Dreams: How It Affects Your REM Sleep

References

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How Much Melatonin Should I Give My Child

Dosage recommendations for melatonin can vary depending on the type of sleep problem and the childs age.

Doctors may prescribe melatonin for sleep-onset insomnia, which makes it difficult to fall asleep. For this diagnosis, doctors often use the following dosage levels:

  • Preschool-age : 1 to 2 milligrams
  • School-age : 2 to 3 milligrams
  • Adolescents : 5 milligrams

In all cases, however, experts recommend always starting with the lowest dose of melatonin available, then increasing the amount only if necessary.

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How To Use Melatonin For Jet Lag

Jet lag is an air travel problem that causes difficulty in sleeping, fatigue, trouble concentrating, constipation, and other symptoms. Jet lag is much more likely if you cross over several time zones, and can worsen the more time zones you cross.

Effective starting doses for jet lag range from 0.3 to 0.5 mg. Smaller doses may work for some while others may need a higher dose. It may be more difficult to fly east, when time is lost, rather than to fly west, when you gain it back. High doses, such as 20 mg pills are available for purchase on the Internet, but such high doses are not normally recommended or needed, and may greatly increase side effects.

  • Eastbound: If you are traveling east, say from the US to Europe, take supplemental melatonin for sleep after dark, 30 minutes before bedtime in the new time zone or if you are on the plane. Then take it for the next 4 nights in the new time zone, after dark, 30 minutes before bedtime. If you are still feeling drowsy the day after using this medication, try a lower dose.
  • Westbound: If you are heading west, for example, from the US to Australia, a dose is not needed for your first travel night, but you then may take it for the next 4 nights in the new time zone, after dark, 30 minutes before bedtime. Melatonin may not always be needed for westbound travel.

Given enough time , jet lag will usually resolve on its own, but this is not always optimal when traveling.

Side Effects Of Melatonin

Melatonin use increased in US adults across all demographics, study finds

Like any other dietary supplement, melatonin may cause side effects in some peoplepossible side effects include:

Dr. Bollu says drowsiness can mean either excessive sleepiness at night or grogginess the next day. He also adds that interfering with your bodys natural sleep cues may carry another side effect as well.

Taking a hypnotic medication regularly, on a nightly basis, would dampen your innate drive to sleep, explains Dr. Bollu, who adds that although we dont know for certain, this could also be true for melatonin. However,some research suggests melatonin may not dampen this drive in the same way that Ambien, for example, does. When your body recognizes more melatonin in the body, it begins to slow down its own production of melatonin over time. Therefore, short-term use of a melatonin supplement is preferred.

If you experience hypothermia, shortness of breath, chest pain, high blood pressure, or an accelerated heart rate, seek emergency care.

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Before Taking This Medicine

Do not use melatonin if you are allergic to it.

Before using this medication, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use this medication if you have certain medical conditions, such as:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia
  • taking a blood thinner like warfarin
  • high or low blood pressure
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • if you are using any medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection
  • an autoimmune condition
  • using other sedatives or tranquilizers

It is not known whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.

High doses of this medicine may affect ovulation, making it difficult for you to get pregnant.

It is not known whether melatonin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

What Are Signs Of A Melatonin Overdose

If you deal with insomnia, you might do anything for relief. Melatonin is a popular go-to sleep aid because its natural and has a low risk of unwanted side effects.

But while side effects are less common with melatonin compared with other sleep aids, you may experience a few if you overdose and take too much.

There dont appear to be any reports of people dying from overuse of melatonin. But while overuse might not cause death, it can cause a few of the below symptoms:

Theres also the threat of rebound insomnia when theres too much of the hormone in your system. Melatonin may stop working after a while, and your sleep problems could even worsen.

Read Also: How Much Melatonin Should I Take For Sleep

Should Lower Doses Of Melatonin Be Used For Older Adults

Tabula Rasa HealthCare is a leader in providing patient-specific, data-driven technology and solutions that enable healthcare organizations to optimize medication regimens to improve patient outcomes, reduce hospitalizations, lower healthcare costs and manage risk. Medication risk management is TRHCs lead offering, and its cloud-based software applications provide solutions for a range of payers, providers and other healthcare organizations.

This article was written by Anna Furman, PharmD. Her full bio is provided below.

Studies have shown that exposure to supra-physiological plasma concentrations can lead to melatonin receptor desensitization.3,4 The range of maximally effective doses of exogenous melatonin was determined when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology first patented the medication. Since then, higher doses of up to 10 mg have been made available on the market. Although recent evidence suggests that doses greater than 6 mg of melatonin provide little benefit, additional research is required to determine the specific doses of melatonin that may be supra-therapeutic and subsequently interfere with the natural sleep-wake cycle or worsen insomnia from receptor desensitization.4 Appropriate monitoring and recommendations should be made to limit the dose being used on a regular basis in elderly people.3,4

References

Melatonin: Sources And Supplements

Nature Made Melatonin Adult Gummies 130 Ct.

Melatonin is found in nature. Its made by different animals, plants, and microorganisms. Small amounts are also found in wine and certain foods, like:

Though melatonin-rich foods may have benefits, it can be hard to know exactly how much melatonin is in a specific plant or animal product. It can even vary based on what part of the plant youre eating or where and how the plant was grown. Thats why many people turn to supplements.

Most melatonin supplements are made synthetically in a laboratory. You can take it as a:

It is also available as a:

  • Transdermal patch

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Safety Of Melatonin Supplements

The popular sleep supplement may not be safe for some people, including:

  • Pregnant people: Its unknown if melatonin supplements are safe to use during pregnancy or while nursing. If youve been taking melatonin and become pregnant, contact your healthcare provider.

  • Older adults:Older adults may be more sensitive to melatonins effects. This can raise the risk of next-day drowsiness and other side effects.

  • People with dementia: Experts recommend that people with dementia avoid using melatonin supplements.

  • People with depression: Theres concern that melatonin supplements could worsen depression symptoms for some people.

  • People with bleeding or seizure conditions: Theres concern that this supplement could worsen the symptoms of these conditions.

What Is My Melatonin Dosage By Weight

Melatonin is a hormone that the body produces on its own. Melatonin pills are most effective when your body doesnât produce enough melatonin or produce it at inopportune times. As a result, using your weight as melatonin dosage guidance is a bad idea. Itâs considerably more important to know how much melatonin youâre releasing naturally and when your melatonin surge occurs. Youâll feel drowsy whenever that spike happens, so timing it to coincide with your bedtime.

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What Is The Dosage For Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in your brain. Its best-known purpose is its role in helping you sleep better. You can also take additional melatonin as an over-the-counter dietary supplement to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle .

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers melatonin to be a dietary supplement, not a medication, so there are no official dosing guidelines for treating sleep disorders with melatonin. There are some broad guidelines you can follow, however.

How Much Melatonin Is Too Much Can You Overdose On Melatonin

Melatonin wont help everyones sleep issues, experts say

Taking too much melatonin can disrupt your circadian rhythm and cause unwanted side effects so yes, you can technically overdose on melatonin.“Signs of melatonin overdose may include but are not limited to excessive sleepiness, dizziness, upset stomach, diarrhea, lethargy, low blood pressure and confusion,” Dr. Rishi says. Officials at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine also highlight chronic headaches, high blood pressure, vomiting or nausea, as well as increased hair loss as potential symptoms of a melatonin overdose.

It’s important to note that melatonin is marketed as a dietary supplement in the U.S. andis not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which means there are no official safety guidelines on dosage, though the best products abide by the “USP Verified” program that establishes production standards guided by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention.

However, Dr. Rishi advises that adults should not take more than 5mg a night without talking to their doctor or medical provider. Any dosage higher than this threshold is more likely to trigger immediate side effects including headache and dizziness in some individuals, as highlighted in materials published by the Mayo Clinic.

If you believe you’ve taken too much melatonin, you should contact Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

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How To Increase Melatonin Levels Naturally

You can increase your melatonin levels without supplementing.

A few hours before bedtime, dim all lights at home and avoid watching TV and using your computer or smartphone.

Too much artificial light can reduce the production of melatonin in your brain, making it harder for you to fall asleep .

You can also strengthen your sleep-wake cycle by exposing yourself to plenty of natural light during the day, especially in the morning (

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