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Altostrata

Melatonin for sleep

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Altostrata

Yes, in the winter, it gets dark earlier. You may wish to take melatonin then.

 

Also, dim or turn off all lights. Darkness triggers sleep.

 

A fast taper is sufficient to go off melatonin.

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compsports

Decided to try it again last night.  I was hoping to take it at 8:30pm and not feel sleepy for a few hours.   I have a suspicion that going to bed too early is not helping with my sleep issues although I don't think it is the whole story.

 

Unfortunately, I got sleepy very tired in about 20 minutes and went to sleep which unfortunately only lasted 2.5 hours.   I took a 2.5 timed release capsule and may try a much smaller does tonight to see what happens and stick with that for a few days.

 

I had decided to try it again because I read somewhere it was neuroprotective which I am concerned about since I have decided to have septoplasty next month under anesthesia.   Additionally, when I took my blood pressure this morning, it was the lowest it has been in months.

 

But obviously, if it doesn't improve my sleep, then the benefits aren't worth much.

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Annie3

I don't have a problem falling asleep at most times. I usually wake up around 2 and then if I happen to fall back asleep I wake at 4 or 5. (With heart racing and stomache surges). What would be a good time to take melatonin if the falling asleep isn't the problem?

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Altostrata

You could try a tiny bit at 2 a.m. -- .25mg-.50mg. You don't want to confuse your system with a "go to sleep" hormone when it's time for "waking up" cortisol to start rising.

 

You might also wish to take magnesium glycinate and glycine when you wake up at 2 a.m. Please see our topics on these.

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JanCarol

Alto writes:

 

Large doses of melatonin do NOT aid sleep -- they might cause your oversensitive brain to wake up, instead. I found when I took more than 2mg of melatonin, I was weepy in the morning. If you get this or a paradoxical reaction, it's a sign you're taking too much.

and

 

Too much melatonin can even keep you awake. It can have other side effects too -- grogginess in the morning, moodiness. I'm taking 2mg, when I tried 3mg, it made me weepy the next day.

 

I never found that optimum dose.  I knew, long before coming here, that smaller is better with melatonin, and used to cut my 3 mg tabs into quarters and halves, trying to find the sweet spot.

 

Always, I got what Jemima (quoting Mayo Clinic) says:

 

The most common melatonin side effects include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

 

 

The headaches were the worst - I've always tended to "live in my head" and headaches are a major problem for me.  I'll do anything to avoid a headache.

 

The hungover feeling the next day - as if I'm not slow enough - was too much to bear.  It was as if I'd drunk a pint of whiskey, without the bad breath.  Blech.

 

MammaP in the UK complains:

 

My daughter used malatonin for a year or so and it was really good for her. She bought some for her husband and he did well on it too then suddenly it's not allowed in the UK without a prescription

 

Yar, that's true of Australia, too.  Darned Nanny states.  Paracetamol/acetominophen and NSAIDs that can kill you (and are commonly used in OD's, the former being the #1 cause of OD's reported by Australian emergency departments) are legal, but this little proto-hormone isn't.  Petunia and I have had this discussion regarding DHEA and other supplements. 

 

IN AUSTRALIA (and I'm betting the UK) you will find "melatonin" in the chemist's.  THIS IS NOT MELATONIN, it is a homeopathic preparation of melatonin.  It contains no melatonin, only the "vibration" of melatonin diluted until not one molecule is left.  If you are a sensitive soul, and responsive to placebo, this might be good for you.

 

But it you want real melatonin here, you must get it compounded Rx from a compounding chemist.  Or get it shipped in from somewhere.  When I first moved here, iHerb would ship melatonin; I just checked, it is still not on the banned list.  MUCH cheaper than getting it compounded or from a chemist.  

 

Because Australia is so strict with this (and I hear that Europe is, too) I get a lot of my hormonal products from glandulars.  I was reading that pharma-grade melatonin is synthesized from "methylated serotonin"  (ref:  Healthy Healing by Linda Page),   If you wanted to try this, you could look for a pineal glandular (I haven't had any luck finding this, because the gland is so tiny, it's difficult to find that much clean animal source).

 

OR - you could nourish your pineal with your diet.  The first thing to do is GET RID OF THE FLUORIDE.  Those of you in Europe, in fact, most of the world don't have to worry about that, but the US and Australia insist on dumping their factory farm waste into the drinking water.  Other supplements to consider are oregano oil (used for candida, IBS, c. difficile), Neem (also antiseptic, antibacterial, insect repelling), raw cacao (ooh, I saw raw cacao beans at my health food shop this week!), chlorophyll rich superfoods, raw apple cider vinegar, iodine (I take kelp, as it is less activating than iodine), organic blue skate fish oil (???), Vitamin K (also good for decalcifying your arteries, and is available in grass fed butter, as well as fish oils), boron / borax (I take a tiny amount of the former, and bathe in small amounts of the latter - it can neutralize fluoride bindings), beets.

 

You can also take in foods like:  cilantro, tamarind, Goji berries, watermelon, bananas, honey, coconut oil, hemp seeds, seaweed, Noni Juice, garlic, Chaga mushroom, raw lemon juice, as well as "alkaline diet" foods.  (be careful not to go too alkaline, that, too, can cause problems:  acid is vital for digestion!)  Don't forget the morning sunshine! (or mood lamp, for those of you who don't have ample sunshine)  The evening dark is equally important - that is why using a computer at night is bad for sleep - it shuts down melatonin production.

 

From: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/11/16/top-8-supplements-boost-pineal-gland-function/ and

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-for-the-pineal-gland/

 

Other interactions with melatonin:  It suppresses estrogen and shrinks the prostate - which can be why so many are fond of it as a breast and prostate anti-cancer agent.  But anything that intervenes with your major hormones - is cause for caution.  

 

Beta Blockers suppress natural melatonin levels.  Taking melatonin as a supplement does downregulate production of natural melatonin.  5HtP and serotonin supplements can increase production of melatonin.  (this is what I am doing, as well)  Of course, 5HtP has its own challenges, see:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-tryptophan/

 

This guy: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSeqp4ENMto

 

Claims that melatonin is the dark side of cortisol - and that fiddling with melatonin can cause a rebound effect with cortisol.  While he didn't address withdrawal in his video, this sounds like good reason for caution for someone in withdrawal.

 

Deprssd5 writes:

 

I was reading on the net about melatonin in Dr Oz's website that it is not good to take melatonin compared to valerian.

 

According to Yolanda Lucire, Valerian can sensitize you to shifts in serotonin, as well.  Horses for courses, do what works for you.  I know you are in Australia, and due to the freaky TGA here, melatonin is either homeopathic (nothing but sugar or water, vibrated with the melatonin substance) or prescription.  It is difficult, but you can have the supplement shipped in from elsewhere.  Yet valerian is available everywhere, in great quantities.

 

I would tend to suggest not making a pattern of any sleep supplement, because the body will adjust rapidly to anything, if you give it enough.

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Katy91

Furthermore, the optimal dose of melatonin is still unknown (2054). Melatonin is a potent drug and will undoubtedly have side effects. Animal data suggest that melatonin may accelerate the course of Parkinson’s disease (55). Melatonin is involved in sexual maturation, and hypermelatonism is being discussed as a cause of infertility (56). Thus, the unmonitored, over-the-counter intake of exogenous melatonin cannot be considered safe. Its application as a dietary supplement—in anyone, in any dose, at any time—is very likely to produce negative results in the long run.

 

http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2002-021057

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ChanceLucky

I encountered bad sleep problems a few weeks ago for the first time in my life. I wrote about them in my thread in the Introduction forum. I'm finding that a small dose of melatonin, even around 0.3 mg, is helping. I have the Natrol liquid version. I take 0.3 1 hour before bedtime but I also pull up another 0.3 mg in the liquid dropper so that I can easily take it during the night if needed. (I don't want to have to turn the light on and think about measuring correctly during the middle of the night. I just open it up and take it.)

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Altostrata

Katy, that study used 3mg doses of melatonin, which is a fairly high dosage. Also, it found the melatonin did, in fact, improve sleep. The editorial note at the end, hostile to any use of melatonin, is odd.

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ChanceLucky

Katy, that study used 3mg doses of melatonin, which is a fairly high dosage. Also, it found the melatonin did, in fact, improve sleep. The editorial note at the end, hostile to any use of melatonin, is odd.

Right. It's probably safer than most products people use for sleep. There are medical consequences for chronic sleep loss too.

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Altostrata

You do not want to use melatonin in a way that it shifts your sleep cycle. For example, if you take it regularly at 5 a.m., it will change your entire biorhythm so you sleep during the day.
 
This is not a healthy pattern and very rough on night shift workers:
 
J Sleep Res. 2001 Sep;10(3):181-92.
Effects of melatonin administration on daytime sleep after simulated night shift work.
Sharkey KM1, Fogg LF, Eastman CI.

Abstract and free full text at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11696071

Disturbed sleep and on-the-job sleepiness are widespread problems among night shift workers. The pineal hormone melatonin may prove to be a useful treatment because it has both sleep-promoting and circadian phase-shifting effects. This study was designed to isolate melatonin's sleep-promoting effects, and to determine whether melatonin could improve daytime sleep and thus improve night time alertness and performance during the night shift. The study utilized a placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over design. Subjects (n=21, mean age=27.0 +/- 5.0 years) participated in two 6-day laboratory sessions. Each session included one adaptation night, two baseline nights, two consecutive 8-h night shifts followed by 8-h daytime sleep episodes and one recovery night. Subjects took 1.8 mg sustained-release melatonin 0.5 h before the two daytime sleep episodes during one session, and placebo before the daytime sleep episodes during the other session. Sleep was recorded using polysomnography. Sleepiness, performance, and mood during the night shifts were evaluated using the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) and a computerized neurobehavioral testing battery. Melatonin prevented the decrease in sleep time during daytime sleep relative to baseline, but only on the first day of melatonin administration. Melatonin increased sleep time more in subjects who demonstrated difficulty in sleeping during the day. Melatonin had no effect on alertness on the MSLT, or performance and mood during the night shift. There were no hangover effects from melatonin administration. These findings suggest that although melatonin can help night workers obtain more sleep during the day, they are still likely to face difficulties working at night because of circadian rhythm misalignment. The possibility of tolerance to the sleep-promoting effects of melatonin across more than 1 day needs further investigation.

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ChanceLucky

You do not want to use melatonin in a way that it shifts your sleep cycle. For example, if you take it regularly at 5 a.m., it will change your entire biorhythm so you sleep during the day.

 

This is not a healthy pattern and very rough on night shift workers:

 .

Hmmm. I take 0.4 mg before bed. Then if I have trouble sleeping, about 90 min later, I take another 0.4. If I still can't sleep, later in the night I take a little more (closer to .2). Is this bad? Depending on the night, the amount I take and number of times I take it differs. Maybe that's not good for my sleep cycle?

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oskcajga

According to what I've read and conversations with doctors I trust, your body does NOT get dependent on it and does NOT compensate by reducing natural melatonin output. Of all the difficult choices available to us, melatonin is relatively safe.

 

 

This is an extremely important point to make about taking melatonin.  One of the HALLMARK flaws of oh so many sleep aids and prescriptions (e.g., xanex, benadryl, etc etc) is that over time the body compensates for their presence in our bodies and we build tolerance requiring more and more of the same substance to get the same effect.

 

I've always tried taking melatonin every other day just in case that there is some sort of tolerance that builds up, but apparently this precaution is unnecessary.  I would be interested in understanding why there is no feedback mechanism for melatonin like every other hormone that comes to mind.  It seems odd to me that theres no feedback mechanism taking place here.   Usually if there's more of a specific metabolic product, then the upstream processes will be down-regulated or vice versa due to the dominant feedback mechanism that affects something like 99% of all physiological processes:  negative feedback.   If anyone understands the biochemical reason for the lack of tolerance buildup I would be very interested in hearing it.

 

Thanks for this great topic.

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Altostrata

Please research the answer from reliable sources and post your findings here.

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compsports

I saw a sleep doctor who advised me to use melatonin this way.   His reasoning was because he felt I had an advanced phase syndrome pattern, it  would help shift my sleep cycle so I would stay up later.   

 

Fortunately, I never slept the whole day when I took it late in the morning unlike when I have taken sleep medications on a PRN basis.   But taking it was pretty worthless in giving me any type of decent sleep and it caused me to feel tired the next day.

You do not want to use melatonin in a way that it shifts your sleep cycle. For example, if you take it regularly at 5 a.m., it will change your entire biorhythm so you sleep during the day.
 
This is not a healthy pattern and very rough on night shift workers:
 

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ChanceLucky

JDM, please read this topic from the start.

 

Given you've been taking so much, I would taper it by maybe 25% for a few days at a time. It could be less would work better for you.

 

Is that only for high doses? I've been on 0.4 mg for about 5 weeks. I posted about this in the general introductions forum but I'm wondering if I can do a faster taper like decreasing by 0.1 mg a night.

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Altostrata

Please read this topic from the beginning.

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ChanceLucky

I apologize if I missed it but I didn't see anything specific on tapering other than that for high doses, your suggestion was 25% for a few days. I read through the thread and then also did a targeted search for "taper." Sorry I must be missing something.

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Altostrata

Low doses do not require tapering.

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ChanceLucky

OK - thanks.

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Petunia

When I found out we are allowed to have small amounts of real melatonin shipped here to Australia, I ordered some, it arrived last Friday, one week ago. I tried it two nights in a row, then stopped. Then I took a very tiny bit again last night.

 

Here's what happened.

 

I was already well into a wave when it arrived, so it probably wasn't good timing to be trying something new, but I was desperate to find out if it would settle my sleep back down again. I'd started waking frequently through the night again and not being able to sleep past 4am.

 

I'd ordered some 1mg instant release and 1mg slow release. I started with .5mg instant release, it knocked me out fairly fast, but I was wide awake again about 90 minutes later, so I took the other half. I went back to sleep and slept through until about 4:30 when my cortisol morning began. I had an unpleasant melatonin 'hangover' on top of the cortisol, even though I'd slept better. It was a strange combination of being hyped up physically, but slowed down mentally. I couldn't move from my bed all day, the inner conflict was awful.

 

I had definitely slept better, and I had a sense that the improved sleep quality was good for me, so the next night I tried taking 1mg of slow release. I was wide awake two hours later, so I took another .5mg instant release and then slept through the whole night. But still woke up too early and could hardly move off my bed all day. By Sunday afternoon I was feeling about as bad as I ever have. So I decided not to take it again that night.

 

I didn't have any problems falling asleep and my sleep was about as disturbed as it was before I took the melatonin, there didn't seem to be any negative effects from stopping it.

 

I took a tiny dose of melatonin again last night...   .25mg of instant release. (quarter of a tablet) I took it about 1:30 when I woke up after having fallen asleep naturally around 10pm, then slept all the way through until 5am, which was an improvement on the previous night. But best of all, I didn't feel paralyzed or groggy from the small dose.

 

So my conclusion about melatonin is that I shouldn't have started it while in the throes of a wave, because that was just confusing... and finding the lowest possible dose which helps, without causing negative effects is important.

 

It put me to sleep pretty fast every time I took it, but doesn't keep me asleep, not even slow release, but it seems to improve the quality of my sleep and reduce the frequent wakings which often happen between 1am and 4am... especially when I'm in a wave.

 

To reduce the morning groggy feeling, try a lower dose, it might work just as well as a higher dose.

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oskcajga

When I found out we are allowed to have small amounts of real melatonin shipped here to Australia, I ordered some, it arrived last Friday, one week ago. I tried it two nights in a row, then stopped. Then I took a very tiny bit again last night.

 

Here's what happened.

 

I was already well into a wave when it arrived, so it probably wasn't good timing to be trying something new, but I was desperate to find out if it would settle my sleep back down again. I'd started waking frequently through the night again and not being able to sleep past 4am.

 

I'd ordered some 1mg instant release and 1mg slow release. I started with .5mg instant release, it knocked me out fairly fast, but I was wide awake again about 90 minutes later, so I took the other half. I went back to sleep and slept through until about 4:30 when my cortisol morning began. I had an unpleasant melatonin 'hangover' on top of the cortisol, even though I'd slept better. It was a strange combination of being hyped up physically, but slowed down mentally. I couldn't move from my bed all day, the inner conflict was awful.

 

I had definitely slept better, and I had a sense that the improved sleep quality was good for me, so the next night I tried taking 1mg of slow release. I was wide awake two hours later, so I took another .5mg instant release and then slept through the whole night. But still woke up too early and could hardly move off my bed all day. By Sunday afternoon I was feeling about as bad as I ever have. So I decided not to take it again that night.

 

I didn't have any problems falling asleep and my sleep was about as disturbed as it was before I took the melatonin, there didn't seem to be any negative effects from stopping it.

 

I took a tiny dose of melatonin again last night...   .25mg of instant release. (quarter of a tablet) I took it about 1:30 when I woke up after having fallen asleep naturally around 10pm, then slept all the way through until 5am, which was an improvement on the previous night. But best of all, I didn't feel paralyzed or groggy from the small dose.

 

So my conclusion about melatonin is that I shouldn't have started it while in the throes of a wave, because that was just confusing... and finding the lowest possible dose which helps, without causing negative effects is important.

 

It put me to sleep pretty fast every time I took it, but doesn't keep me asleep, not even slow release, but it seems to improve the quality of my sleep and reduce the frequent wakings which often happen between 1am and 4am... especially when I'm in a wave.

 

To reduce the morning groggy feeling, try a lower dose, it might work just as well as a higher dose.

 

0.  Interesting case report - it seems that supplements affect people quite differently.  I hope your wave ends soon!

 

1.  Before reading this, I had no idea that Australia had banned the sale of melatonin.  Here's an interesting article about it:  http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/20/4/artid/234

 

I did a little digging, and it seems that the banning of melatonin in Australia is a function of BigPharma's lobbying efforts in that country. 

 

2.  I have had good results on melatonin recently.  I have found that it cuts down the time necessary for my body to fall asleep by at least an hour (I used to lay in bed for like 2-3 hours before finally falling asleep).   Unfortunately, I found that it did produce a certain amount of tolerance in my body.  After about a week I no longer slept as well as I did when I first started taking it.  More specifically, I would wake up at around 3 or 4AM and have a difficult tiem falling back asleep.  This was not a problem when I first started taking melatonin - but after a week or so it happened consistently 2 nights in a row.  This NEVER happened to me before I took melatonin - leading me to conclude that it's possibly some sort of compensatory mechanism my body has enacted due to the recent intake of melatonin. 

 

That was enough to scare me, as sleep is precious and I have no desire to become dependent upon a supplement.  I have cut my dose down from around 2mg, to about .75mg.  In my personal case, I found that it did produce tolerance if I administered the hormone every day.  Perhaps this is not the case for everyone.

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Altostrata

Melatonin's half-life is only a few hours.

 

I've found I need to vary the amount I take from time to time.

 

Many people do better with a small dosage, such as .25mg, rather than higher dosages, which may cause paradoxical reactions.

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oskcajga

Melatonin's half-life is only a few hours.

 

I've found I need to vary the amount I take from time to time.

 

Many people do better with a small dosage, such as .25mg, rather than higher dosages, which may cause paradoxical reactions.

 

Thank you for this information - perhaps I shall experiment with even smaller doses than I'm currently ingesting.

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bluebalu86

It did nothing for me. The melatonin I have is 5 mg. It doesn't affect me negatively, but it doesn't help either. But everybody's different.

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Exie

I got melatonin but this pharmacy in my area has a different kind called Circadin which only comes in 2mg and is prolonged-release. it's in a packaged little box, not a bottle. this is the official website for it: www.circadin.com

I've only read about people taking the regular kind that comes in different doses. I was hoping to get that one because it's OK for us to take. this new kind I've never heard of anyone take before so I'm concerned it might cause issues the regular one doesn't cause, like dependency or withdrawal or needing to taper. Has anyone taken this new kind? if you know some about it, please relieve my concerns

Edited by Petunia
added url to link

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Petunia

From what I understand, slow release melatonin has no more potentially harmful properties than the instant release kind. I've tried both types and got similar responses to both.

 

Here is our melatonin topic, please read through it to learn about the experiences other members have had with melatonin. Add comments there and any results you have from trying Circadin.

 

Melatonin for sleep - Surviving Antidepressants *topics merged

 

~~~~~

 

When you have a question or comment about a specific symptom, please search to see if we already have a related topic, we usually do.  Then you can benefit from previously collected information and add to the discussion.  This keeps the site organized with all available knowledge in one thread, easily accessible through searches.

 

The search function on this site doesn't work very well.  The best way to search this site for specific information  is to use Google. Type in survivingantidepressants.org then the symptom or information you wish to search for.

 

If after searching, you can't find what you're looking for, please start a new topic.

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Exie

I'm not talking about the instant or slow release ones, Circadin is a different kind than the other one everyone has been taking. everyone's been taking the regular kind that comes in different doses like 1mg, 2mg, etc. in the bottle. this Circadin comes only in 2mg in a package and it's prescription only, it seems to be an entirely new type of sleep medication. the active ingredient is melatonin while the name oof the medicine is Circadin. so its different from the other melatonin everyone's been taking. I'm just concerned what's really different about this new one and if it has negative effects the other one doesn't have..

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Altostrata

Please ask your pharmacist.

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oskcajga

I'm not talking about the instant or slow release ones, Circadin is a different kind than the other one everyone has been taking. everyone's been taking the regular kind that comes in different doses like 1mg, 2mg, etc. in the bottle. this Circadin comes only in 2mg in a package and it's prescription only, it seems to be an entirely new type of sleep medication. the active ingredient is melatonin while the name oof the medicine is Circadin. so its different from the other melatonin everyone's been taking. I'm just concerned what's really different about this new one and if it has negative effects the other one doesn't have..

 

From what I read just now, it's just melatonin with a time released seal added to it (hence why instructions tell you not to crush or break the pills).  Basically, just a way for pharmaceutical companies to get into the melatonin market and make $$$.  There's actually some interesting PDFs you can download from this google search that go into more detail about the subject, and explain that it should not be used long term, etc.  It seems almost like they're suddenly promoting melatonin as if it's not been known for decades to be effective at aiding in sleep.

 

I don't see any indication that it's anything different from the melatonin you can purchase for much much less - and in variable doses.

 

If anything, 2mg seems a bit large of a dose - once again big pharma assuming one size fits all for people.  

 

I would proceed with caution, considering the large dose/one size fits all - from what I've read on this thread it seems that melatonins function is to initiate sleep - so I don't understand why time release would be necessary.

 

I would be interested to see what your pharmacist has to say.

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Campervan41

Hi I'm interested in trying melatonin as my sleep is terrible, often don't sleep at all or only a few hours. I live in the UK and you can't buy melatonin here, I think I'd have to ship in it. Can anyone recommend a reputable supplier and brand of Melatonin that I might be able to get shipped? I read on an earlier post about someone taking a brand called Sublingual, is that a US brand? I'd like to try a smaller dose as recommended by Alto on this thread.

 

I asked my doctor about Melatonin today and he's given me some information on CBT to try but he just spoke to me about Setraline and another SSRI I can't remember the name of. I guess I should also research any interactions between melatonin and Respiridone.

 

Any information or tips much appreciated.

 

Camper

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Area1255

Melatonin is primarily supposed to be used for re-establishing a normal sleep rhythm. It shouldn't be used as a sole sleep aid and shouldn't be used in combination with heavy drugs like Promethazine.

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Altostrata

What do you mean by "sole sleep aid"? What is the source of your information?

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LexAdvice

Altostrata, I'm wondering what time of night you take your melatonin? How close to when you want to go to sleep?

 

what about for others it has worked for? Thanks!

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ladybug

I have taken melatonin nightly for over five years now. I started with .5mg but have been on .25mg for the past few years. I'm planning on continuing to hold my Paxil taper as I have gotten a lot of increased/new symptoms lately so I figure it would be a good time to tackle the melatonin. I tried stopping it for a week a couple of years ago CT but I was then thrown into a bad wave and though there were other things that probably contributed to it (or it just happened) I was worried it was the melatonin so I started taking it again and have been afraid to stop since. Would cutting the melatonin by 50% for a few weeks and then off be too fast? The smallest dose I could find was 1mg so I've been cutting it into fourths for years.

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LexAdvice

hi Ladybug, how close to bedtime do you take it? Thanks!

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