A Note About Melatonin Dosage

In the case of melatonin, less is sometimes more. The 3 mg. tablet or capsule most commonly sold is meant as an anti-oxidant, not a sleep aid. It helps some people with sleep, but it causes insomnia in many others. I got better results by cutting a 3 mg. (three milligrams) tablet in half. Then I discovered a 300 mcg. (three hundred micro grams, one-tenth of the dose most readily available), and found that most effective of all. This is about what the pineal gland secretes, the so-called physiological dose. I think it's no accident that this is what works best. Imitating what nature intends is probably the best way of getting the body to cooperate. 

Many other people with whom I've discussed this report the same improved results with the smaller dose.  I  don't know the mechanism that causes this, but I have a theory. There is (or was) a research project at Johns Hopkins University in which women were given 75 mg. for contraceptive purposes. You would think these women would have walked around in a stupor all day, but apparently they did not. I suspect the reason is that overloading the melatonin receptors makes them shut down, eliminating the sleep benefit of a smaller dose.

Melatonin suppresses estrogen. There are melatonin receptors on the ovaries. Women who wish to become pregnant should not take melatonin. Also, people taking MAO inhibitors should avoid it. Finally, anyone with an autoimmune disease, such as lupus, MS, or rheumatoid arthritis, should discuss melatonin with a well-informed practitioner before taking it.

Updated March 27, 2008

Copyright 2008, Miryam Ehrlich Williamson - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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