Melatonin is a hormone made by your brain that helps regulate your body's internal clock 2. Your levels of melatonin increase at night and decrease during the day 2. Some people find that taking melatonin supplements helps them to sleep better, especially if they are suffering from jet lag 2. Different people respond to different dosages, so it may take some experimenting to find the dose that works best for you.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Although studies have used doses of anywhere from .1 mg to 75 mg per night, most people take doses between .3 mg and 5 mg per night. To minimize the risk of daytime side effects, start with a low dose taken about an hour before bedtime and increase your dose every three days until you find the dose that helps you. Most people respond well to doses between 1 mg and 3 mg. Quick-release forms of melatonin supplements may work best for people with insomnia 2.
Sometimes people begin taking melatonin a day or two before traveling, rather than waiting until after they arrive at their new destination 2.
Speak with your child's doctor before giving your child melatonin to determine the recommended dose, if any 2.
Side Effects and Safety
Taking larger doses of melatonin can cause daytime drowsiness 2. Other side effects include:
- vivid dreams
- stomach cramps
If you are pregnant or have an autoimmune disorder you should not take melatonin 2.
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