How much melatonin to fall asleep?
The hormone melatonin, which is produced in the pineal gland, controls the sleep-wake rhythm of humans and is of great importance for falling asleep. If it is not produced in sufficient quantities, (falling) asleep problems can occur, which can have unpleasant consequences and significantly impair the quality of life. For such cases, melatonin is available as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets, capsules, tea or spray. This is available over-the-counter and without a prescription. Only above a certain dosage (>1 mg of active ingredient) may melatonin be dispensed only after presentation of a doctor's prescription.
Melatonin for falling asleep
According to the Gelbe Liste Pharmindex, the best-known drug directory for Germany, the recommended dose of melatonin is 2 mg daily, which should be taken after the last meal and about 1 - 2 hours before bedtime . If melatonin does not help with falling asleep, it is possible to increase the dose to 5 mg, or in exceptional cases to 10 mg per day. However, this should only be done in consultation with the family doctor, especially if other medications are also being taken.
Important: The body breaks down melatonin comparatively quickly. On the one hand, this means that the effect of ingested melatonin on falling asleep (or sleeping through the night) does not last long, but on the other hand, the risk of overdose when taking over-the-counter preparations is also low. However, repeated use within one night may cause undesirable side effects such as nausea due to the high total dose. Therefore, always follow the manufacturer's dosage recommendations or (in the case of a prescription drug) the doctor's prescription.
Every person reacts differently and at different rates to the intake of melatonin. Therefore, general statements about the optimal dosage are difficult and always depend on the individual case. Anyone wishing to take over-the-counter preparations containing melatonin to help them fall asleep should initially start with the smallest possible dose (for example 0.5 mg / 500 micrograms) and then increase this if necessary. If the problems falling asleep persist even at the maximum dose specified by the manufacturer, it is advisable to consult a doctor to find out the causes of the sleep problems.
Conclusion on the dose of melatonin for falling asleep
Melatonin is intended to shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and, ideally, to help you sleep through the night. For this purpose, over-the-counter preparations in the form of dietary supplements with a dosage of up to 1 mg and prescription preparations with higher dosages are available. It is recommended to start with a small dosage and to increase it gradually, if necessary, until the desired effect is observed. Adverse side effects such as nausea are rare, but may occur in isolated cases at high dosages.