Melatonin Dosage Chart By Age Group
Children 3 years or older Adults
The dosage you take may also depend on your reason for taking melatonin. Its use in the treatment of some types of migraines and anxiety is still being studied, but many people find taking melatonin at different doses helps them with these other health issues.
There are initial studies looking at melatonin as a therapy for certain headache disorders and anxiety, especially in relation to surgical procedures, says Dr. Kohli, though she emphasizes that there is currently no consensus on using it for these issues and studies about the effectiveness are ongoing.
Things To Consider Before Taking Melatonin:
So what can you do to get better sleep, instead of reaching for that bottle of melatonin every night? Dr. Mobley stresses the importance of healthy sleep habits, exercise and stress management all of which can give you the “right building blocks” your body needs for a good night’s sleep.
One of the most important things to do is practice good sleep hygiene, which refers to the various healthy habits and behaviors you engage in to help you have a good night’s sleep. According to Dr. Mobley, this includes:
How Long Does Melatonin Stay In Your Body
Melatonin doesnt last in the body for long. It has a half-life of 40 to 60 minutes. The half-life is the time it takes for the body to eliminate half a drug.
Typically, it takes four to five half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated. This means melatonin will stay in the body for about 5 hours.
If you stay awake during this time, youre more likely to feel aftereffects like drowsiness. Thats why its recommended to avoid driving or using heavy machinery within 5 hours of taking it.
But remember, everyone metabolizes drugs differently. The total time it takes to clear will vary for each person. It depends on several factors, including:
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What’s The Recommended Dose Of Melatonin
There is no official guideline for melatonin dosage. In general, experts suggest you start at the lowest available amount and gradually increase it until you get restful sleep.
Some experts calculate melatonin dosage by weight. For every kilogram you weigh, you can take 0.04 mg to 0.08 mg of melatonin a day. So, for example:
- An adult who weighs 155 pounds can take 3 mg to 6 mg of melatonin.
- A 6-year-old child who weighs 41 pounds can take 0.75 mg to 1.5 mg of melatonin.
Another way to calculate dosage that you may find more practical is to follow the recommended ranges for each age group:
- Children: 0.5 mg to 5 mg
- Adults: 0.5 mg to 10 mg
- Older adults: 0.1 mg to 5 mg
Note that these ranges are for short-term use only. Depending on the supplement you’re taking, “short-term” could mean anywhere from 5 days to 13 weeks. There is little research on what doses are safe to use long-term, so you may want to avoid taking supplements past the period recommended by your healthcare provider.
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.
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Which Melatonin Is Most Effective
Melatonin use is subjective, and which form is better will vary from person to person. But a meta-analysis of controlled trials shows many people can benefit from this dietary supplement.
Some blends, such as Melatonin IR/XR, combine instant and time-release forms to help you get to sleep quickly and then stay asleep for up to seven hours. Other sleep aids deliver melatonin in gummies or liquid form to encourage healthy rest. Some supplements combine melatonin with other sleep-promoting compounds, such as ashwagandha, citrus peel and milk peptides, to help you rest well.
Whether you choose immediate or controlled support, you can rest easy knowing melatonin is helping fight oxidative stress and support already-healthy blood pressure while you get the sleep you need.
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 The Correct Melatonin Dosage For Me
The recommended dose of melatonin is the lowest dose that can help your sleep quantity and quality without causing side effects. While the right dose varies from one person to another, between 0.5 milligrams and 5 milligrams once daily is the typical starting dose for adults. Research indicates that taking doses of 10 milligrams or higher may cause side effects. The maximum recommended dose of melatonin is 10 milligrams.
Several factors, such as age, body weight, and sensitivity to melatonin may affect the recommended dosage. The dose also depends on the type and severity of the sleep problem. Certain drugs may also affect the way melatonin is metabolized. Speak to your physician if you are taking other medications before starting melatonin.
When using melatonin for the first time, begin at a low dose and adjust in increments of 1 milligram, depending on response. Generally, the optimum time to take melatonin is one to two hours before bedtime. Thereâs some evidence of tolerance with melatonin use, so itâs not recommended to increase the dose over time after reaching the lowest effective dose.
How Long Does It Take For Melatonin To Wear Off
Melatonin takes between four to eight hours to wear off, but the amount of melatonin you take can cause this number to vary significantly. Generally, Buenaver suggests taking the lowest dose possible and advises starting at around one to three milligrams.
At a lower dosage, the melatonin will wear off quicker, and youll be less likely to experience any side effects.
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How Much Melatonin Should I Take
Melatonin supplements are available in a wide range of dosages, from 1 milligram up to 10 milligrams, and can be taken in pill form, as dissolvable tablets, liquid drops, or even gummies. However you take it, the best time to use melatonin is about 30 minutes before bedtime.
If youve never taken melatonin before, start small and work your way up if needed. For adults, Dr. Kohli recommends beginning with a 1 to 2 milligram dose daily and increasing the dosage by another 1 to 2 milligrams at a time. For children, the AAP says the dose should remain low , capping out at no more than 3 to 6 milligrams of melatonin. The maximum dosage for healthy adults ranges from 5 to 10 milligrams. If that sounds like a wide spectrum of normal, its because the right dose of melatonin is very individualized. According to University of Missouri Health Care neurologist Pradeep Bollu, MD, while some people respond well to 3 milligrams daily, others may need more or less. If you feel like you need more than 5 milligrams, you should talk to your doctor first before trying a higher dose. The more melatonin you take the more likely you are to have side effects. Melatonin dosage is fixed according to age, and does not vary by body weight.
Benefits The Cardiovascular System
Several studies suggest that melatonin may help to promote cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and promoting more healthy cholesterol levels.16
Your bodys internal clock and the amount of light you are exposed to affect how much melatonin you create. Generally, toward the end of the day, your body naturally creates more melatonin, making you sleepy. By early morning or sunrise, your melatonin levels drop off, causing you to wake up.1
However, your melatonin can easily fluctuate based on various environmental factors. Shorter, darker days in winter can interfere with your natural sleep cycle by causing you to produce melatonin earlier than usual. Recently, blue light from computer and phone screens has become a big problem as it suppresses the secretion of melatonin, which ultimately prevents you from getting a full, restful night of sleep.2
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How Much Melatonin Should You Take
The right dose of melatonin for you is the lowest possible dose that can help you sleep with minimal side effects, Dimitriu says. This can vary by individual.
General advice: For most people, a melatonin dose of 0.5 to 5 mg can effectively help them fall asleep. If you find this dose isnât effective, you can increase it from there under the guidance of your doctor.
Melatonin should only be used occasionally unless you have otherwise been instructed by a physician, Avena says. Melatonin is considered safe in low doses for short-term use, but there is little data available on its long-term effects and more research is needed to determine overall safety.
If you find you are relying on melatonin in order to fall asleep every night, Avena recommends lowering your dosage slowly. You may experience a few nights of less than great sleep as your body adjusts.
âIt is more important to have healthy sleep habits and a regular sleep schedule, exercise, and minimal stress, than to rely on any supplement, including melatonin for sleep,â Dimitru says.
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When Should I Take Melatonin
Melatonin may be used to improve sleep onset, sleep time, or sleep quality. There are several scenarios where you might benefit from taking melatonin for sleep, according to theNational Center for Complementary and Integrative Health . These include:
- Experiencing jet lag during or after a long flight or after traveling through different time zones
- Performing shift work that disrupts your sleep cycle
- Having temporary instances of anxiety related to events in your life
- Experiencing the occasional sleepless night
- Being diagnosed with delayed sleep-wake phase disorder
Some healthcare professionals also recommend that children who experience difficulty sleeping due to other health conditions, like autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, take melatoninalthough experts are still unsure about the overall safety and effectiveness of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents to always discuss supplement use with their childs pediatrician, especially since melatonin is a hormone and may affect the growth and development of a child who has not fully matured.
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Who Should Take Melatonin
Although we produce this sleep hormone naturally, adding melatonin through a dietary supplement works best in the short term. This means taking a melatonin supplement for occasional sleeplessness. Melatonin helps to reset our natural circadian rhythm, which can be thrown off by temporary issues like overnight or rotating shift-work or travel-induced jet lag.
If youre a night owl, but need to be awake early, melatonin supplementation is a good choice to help you feel tired earlier and get the sleep you need. If youve returned from traveling and are feeling some jet lag from the time zone change, melatonin can help you regain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Melatonin isnt a substitute for good sleep habits. So if you continually struggle with sleep night after night, lifestyle changes might be needed to restore your circadian rhythm.
But for occasional sleeplessness, take melatonin at night, about 30-60 minutes before bedtime, to help calm your mind and body for sleep. Incorporate other sleep-promoting habits, such as soft music or a warm cup of chamomile tea, for maximum effect.
And remember, melatonin isn’t only a healthy sleep aid, thanks to its antioxidant activity and support for already-healthy blood pressure. It also encourages a healthy immune system response, protects cognitive function as we age and supports healthy cellular DNA.
Read This If You Take Melatonin To Sleep At Night
Melatonin is a very popular sleep aid. Its naturally produced in your body. You dont need a prescription for it and can buy it in gummy form or in a fruity drink. But is it as effective and safe as we think?
Natural melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, helps humans fall asleep and synthetic melatonin has been available as a sleep aid for nearly three decades. But the synthetic versions effects have not been extensively studied, and since its classified as a dietary supplement, it is almost completely unregulated by the FDA.
Its important to take a closer look at this common supplement. Any person in the sleep world will tell you the same thing: melatonin is not harmless, is vastly overused and should not be used as a sleep aid to treat insomnia, Michael Grandner, a sleep researcher at the University of Arizona, told HuffPost.
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How To Take Melatonin
You donât need a big amount of melatonin to see any benefit. Taking more of it doesnât make it work better or faster. Start with a small dose. If you find you need more, you can slowly take more over time.
When you take it may be even more important than how much you take. The best timing of your dose depends on the sleep issue youâre trying to solve:
- To deal with jet lag, take it when you arrive at your destination at the time youâd like to go to bed. Some studies have found that taking it as early as 3 days before your trip can help jet lag symptoms. Keep in mind, though, that melatonin is best when youâre traveling east. Thereâs no evidence that it helps you adjust to westward travel.
- If you work the night shift, take it at the end of your workday, but never before you drive home.
Sleep Supplements To Try Instead Of Melatonin
If you have a similar reaction to melatonin, how do you find a natural sleep aid that doesn’t make you feel groggy? Axe recommends the following sleep supplements next time you want help catching Z’s.
- Adaptogenic herbs: “Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha and kava help your body cope with stress and support your nervous system. They can also lower cortisol release, which is a stress hormone that can disrupt sleep,” says Axe.
- Magnesium: “Magnesium is an electrolyte mineral that can have calming effects and can reduce muscle tension and headaches,” he says.
- CBD or CBN: “CBD oil, made from the hemp plant, is nonpsychoactive but has calming and pain-soothing effects,” says Axe. CBN is a type of cannabinoid that is being used in more sleep supplements since it’s the most sedative compound found in cannabis, according to Sandland Sleep.
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Melatonin Dose Chart For Adults
The optimal dosage can differ depending on your needs and the reason for taking melatonin.5
0.05 mg/kg to 0.5 mg/kg of body weight
children 1 to 8 years-old.
You can easily find products containing lower doses of melatonin for kids, but long-term usage of melatonin in kids still requires further study.Keep in mind, although melatonin can be a helpful sleep aid for children who may have trouble sleeping, it is not a replacement for good sleep hygiene and habits. That includes consistent bedtime routines that are free of electronics at least one hour before their bedtime.11
Risks Of Taking Other Drugs With Melatonin
Taking melatonin in any amount can be dangerous if you are also taking certain other medications. Unfortunately, this includes medications that can also make it difficult to sleep. People who use blood pressure drugs, for example, may have a lower amount of naturally occurring melatonin. However, taking melatonin can cause blood pressure spikes, which could be incredibly dangerous.
On the other end of the spectrum, birth control pills can lead to elevated melatonin production. Taking a supplement could push your concentration into dangerous territory. Individuals using anticoagulants may see an increased risk of bleeding if they also use melatonin. Those on corticosteroids should also avoid the supplement. It also isnt wise to take melatonin in conjunction with caffeine or alcohol. Both of those substances impact circadian rhythms and natural melatonin production.
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A Guide For Melatonin Dosage By Weight
If you find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, using melatonin supplements may be able to help. Melatonin is a hormone that plays an important part in our circadian rhythms. In other words, the times during which we feel tired and are ready to fall asleep are regulated partially by melatonin. Melatonin is produced by the brain in response to darkness, so once its night, your brain signals for your body to sleep.
If you experience difficulty sleeping or any number of sleep disorders like delayed sleep phase, jet lag, or simply have trouble staying asleep throughout the night, consider melatonin supplements to help support your internal clock and help you get a better nights sleep.
This guide covers everything you need to know about melatonin dosage, how to start taking melatonin to support sleep, and what other behaviors can help you fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. Read on to learn more!