Melatonin Dosage

Melatonin Dosage: Which One Is Best for Me?

A slew of different dosages for melatonin are available on the market. The three most common dosages are .3 mg, 3 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg. Scientists and researchers generally recommend choosing the lowest dose of melatonin possible, because we as humans only need small quantities of it to sleep [1]. However, I personally found .3 mg doses to be ineffective, so I eventually upgraded to 5 mg. I recommend you also try the .3 mg dose and then upgrade to higher doses if it doesn’t work.

Melatonin Dosage for Children

Always speak with your child’s pediatrician before giving him or her melatonin. Also stick to the lowest doses possible. Due to the lack of long-term studies on how melatonin interacts with other hormones and medications within the body, most doctors recommend using other sleep-aid alternatives [2]:

Turning off the television earlier.

Limiting late-night snacks.

Setting a regular bedtime.

Another thing to keep in mind is that melatonin impacts the way the ovaries and testes function. As a result, it’s not much of a stretch to assume that it could potentially affect the way your child’s body matures sexually [3].

We realize though that parenting is hard and that kids unfortunately sometimes suffer sleep difficulties for no reason. Therefore, many parents use melatonin to help their children sleep, and it’s why we generally support this behavior. All we ask is that you first consult with a doctor.

Melatonin Dosage for Adults

Melatonin has been shown to be helpful in adults for falling asleep quicker and fighting off jet lag. I myself use it daily and have experienced zero bad side effects from it. To better understand dosage, however, we first need to look at the different types of melatonin.

Standard: Standard pills can be broken into pieces to lower the dosage. They immediately enter your bloodstream and set you up for a nice sleep. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always necessarily keep you asleep, which is why I prefer the time release version.

Time Release: This is the type I personally prefer. It gradually secretes melatonin into your body over a period of hours. This not only puts you to sleep, but it also helps you stay asleep. Standard pills sometimes fail at this, in that you end up waking back up 2 to 3 hours later.

Lozenges: I have not tried this version, but it dissolves in your mouth and supposedly enters your bloodstream quicker. Some people report that it knocks them out within mere minutes of consuming it. It also offers the added benefit of taste.

Sprays: Sprays are the fastest-acting version of melatonin and have been reported to be especially good for young children. You just spray the tiniest amount in their mouth and watch as they fall asleep in 30 minutes or less. It also offers the advantage of taste.

The lozenges and sprays generally come in smaller dosages versus their standard and time-release peers, both of which are available in doses as high as 10 mg. As I stated before, I recommend starting with a smaller dose and working your way up if you feel it necessary. Realize also that it’s easier to obtain standard/TR pills, as many walk-in outlets don’t sell their lozenge and spray siblings.

Conclusion

If dealing with children, first speak with a doctor. Also consider trying the lozenge or spray in a small dosage. If you want melatonin for yourself, start with a standard .3 mg and work your way up. The 5 mg time release works just fine for me, so it might work for you as well. Good luck, and good hunting!

Reference Notes:

[1] http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/1999/melatonin.html

[2] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324637504578567670426190246.html

[3] http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-edge-newspaper-2012/dec-07a.html

Further external reference links

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Melatonin dosage – YouTube

So how much Melatonin should you take?

Most people make the common mistake of assuming that higher doses of melatonin will result in better sleep. But incredibly enough, this is opposite from the truth.