Melatonin Dosage and Levels in Your Blood
Most commercial melatonin based sleep products contain dosages that cause melatonin levels in your body to rise above naturally produced levels – in effect, they amplify the production of melatonin, so the dosage you take is not a good guide for the amount you will have in your blood after taking the supplement. A typical dose in a melatonin pill contains 3mg of melatonin which can raise your natural melatonin levels up to twenty times, but there have never been any reported cases of toxicity or overdose.
The data in the table below has been extracted from the Mayo Clinic advice on this subject. In general, advice on Melatonin dosage varies widely, even between medical professional. As stated many times on this site, melatonin is ot a regulated substance and so generally considered safe – no toxicity or addiction has ever been recorded.
Here are generally recommended dosages for various conditions:
|0.5 – 10
|2 hours before bed for a few months – no definite safe period.
|0.5 – 8
|On travel day at bed time at destination and then daily for a few days until adjusted.
|1 – 3
|2 hours before bed for 3 – 6 months
|REM Sleep Disorder
|3 – 9
|Daily for a few weeks
|Restless Leg Syndrome
|2 hours before sleep
|General Sleep Problems
|0.5 – 10
|2 hours before sleep (start on 1mg max)
|Poor sleep due to depression
|0.1 – 9
|For four weeks. This is NOT a substitute for therapy!
|Poor sleep due to smoking
|0.3 – 3mg
|Stop smoking three hours before and take pill 2 hours before sleep time.
|0.5 – 5
|Nightly for maximum 2 months. Always discuss with doctor. Insufficient study data.
The recommended Melatonin Dosage for adults ranges all the way from 0.1 mg 20.0 mg and even more – I have taken the conservative, safe approach in presenting this table! There isn’t really a strict standard for how much people should take because it’s not marketed as a drug. It all depends on how much of the substance your pineal gland is producing naturally, and how much your body needs.
So is there such a thing as too much melatonin? Yes, absolutely, because you can poison yourself with anything if you take too much of it – so even with a perfectly natural supplement you must exercise some caution.
A Reminder – What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced in a part of your brain known as the pineal gland which is located in your brain. Have you ever found yourself wondering how your brain keeps track of the fact that you’re supposed to be awake when it’s light outside and asleep when it’s dark? This is the hormone that it uses to achieve that.
Your eyes react to the amount of light coming in at any given time, and the pineal gland reacts to darkness, or low light levels by producing melatonin. The result is that its levels begin to rise as evening comes on, peak during the night, and then dip as morning approaches. If you need a fast FAQ on melatonin – click here.
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