Melatonin Jet Lag – Safety and proper Dose 1 or 3 mg, effect on sleep and mood, depression, anti aging, longevity, lifespan increase
January 4 2017

Melatonin, the pineal hormone, became available over the counter in 1994. Melatonin is a hormone released each night to help us sleep. In addition to sleep, melatonin has many other benefits. Its safety has been tested for over twenty years and this hormone appears to have no serious short term health problems.

Right or correct dose
The right melatonin dose for sleep varies from Melatonin 300 mcg, which is 0.3 mg, to 3 mg. We think 5 mg is too high a dose for most people.

Alternative to melatonin for sleep
There are other natural and dietary pills that aid in sleep induction and maintenance including hops, tryptophan, passion flower, and graviola herb.
You could also consider Theanine for Sleep.

Buy Melatonin supplement as a 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg pill or sublingual

Melatonin Tablet, 1 mg, and 3 mg
Melatonin tablet is sustained release. The sustained release form provides a slower, more physiological absorption.

Suggested Use: 1/3, 1/2 or a full melatonin tablet one to 4 hours before bedtime. Melatonin works best if used only a few times a week as opposed to nightly.

Combine the supplement with light exposure or sunlight
Sun exposure or bright light along with an evening dose of melatonin help normalize the sleep-wake cycle in elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Glenna A. Dowling, of the University of California, San Francisco looked into light therapy — alone or along with melatonin pills — could restore a more natural sleep-wake cycle. She assigned 50 nursing home patients with Alzheimer’s disease to one of three groups for a period of ten weeks. Patients in the first group were given light therapy for one hour consisting of either natural light alone, or additional artificial light when needed. Patients in the second group received both morning light therapy as well as a 5mg melatonin pill a few hours before bedtime. Those in the third group were exposed to only normal indoor light and were not given the sleep hormone. The combination of light therapy and melatonin reduced daytime sleepiness and increased patients’ activity during the day.

Health benefit of melatonin supplement

Anti aging, living longer, lifespan increase
Q. Will taking melatonin help you live longer? Maybe, maybe not. There are some theoretical reasons why this could happen, but we don’t know for certain.
1) Melatonin often provides for a deeper sleep. The positive influence of melatonin on deep, restorative sleep could alone account for a longer life span.
2) It’s probably a good antioxidant. The advantage of melatonin over other antioxidants is that it is both water and fat soluble, meaning it goes into almost all cells and all parts of the body. Melatonin’s disadvantage is that it has a short half-life and it’s antioxidant benefits may only last overnight, as opposed to vitamin E, which is stored in tissues and protects all day long.
3) Perhaps immune system improvement. Interestingly, some people report that since they’ve been on melatonin, they don’t catch colds and infections as much as they used to. These stories are, of course, anecdotal, and we don’t have any published human studies on the influence of melatonin on the immune system in the long-term.

Melatonin may have anti-aging potential due to its anti-oxidant properties.
We won’t know for sure for many years to come if melatonin increases longevity, nor will we know in the near future the ideal dosage, timing, and frequency.

Melatonin and Jet Lag
Melatonin may lessens the effects of jet lag in some travelers. Nightly doses of melatonin, at 0.5 mg to 5 mg, taken an hour to three hours before bedtime at the new destination for 2 to 4 days may be helpful in reducing symptoms of jet lag. It’s very difficult to know exactly the dosage of melatonin that would be effective for jet lag. There is a wide range of individual response to melatonin.

Melatonin and depression
Can melatonin help with depression? Perhaps if used in very small amounts that help deepen sleep, melatonin can lift mood since lack of sleep can worsen depression. However, high doses of melatonin could cause sluggishness and aggravate depression in some people. Melatonin 3 mg may be too much for many people leading to worse sleep than a lower dose of melatonin.

Melatonin has anti-tumor abilities
There’s been quite a few studies with melatonin and cancer, most of them done in Italy. Most of the studies have shown benefits using 10 to 40 mg of melatonin nightly. However, much is yet to be learned about this approach, and hardly any oncologists in the US are familiar with the use of melatonin as an anticancer agent. Therefore, at this point, the use of melatonin is still experimental. However, since cancer is ultimately a fatal disease in most cases, it may be worthwhile to try melatonin. Your physician can easily access all the research on Medline.

Melatonin enhances dreams
This could lead to vivid, enjoyable and memorable dreams or, on the flip side, vivid nightmares. Melatonin enhances REM sleep. Melatonin 3 mg, the most common dose, can induce nightmares.

Types of melatonin. Should one take the regular melatonin 3 mg pills, melatonin sublingual, or the time release?
Most of the melatonin presently on the market is the regular 3 mg pill. You may want to cut this pill into a fifth or even a tenth and use this dose your first night, about an hour or two before bed. Alternatively, you can also purchase melatonin pills at 1 mg or sometimes even lower dosages are sold. If this low dose is effective, then you may keep using it as needed for sleep. If you don’t feel any effect, then take a little more the following nights.
If your main problem is falling asleep, then try the sublingual form (also available in liquid form), in the range of 0.3 to 1.0 mg, about an hour or two before bed. However, some people wake up in the middle of the night, or early morning, feeling alert. Most of these people would want to sleep a couple of hours longer. Melatonin has a short half-life and therefore is metabolized very fast and will be out of the body soon. This explains why many people wake up early.
In order to stay asleep longer, a good option is slow-release melatonin, which is released consistently throughout the night. Slow-release (also known as sustained, time or controlled-release) melatonin will likely become more popular in the future. Another form that is useful is melatonin tea. The tea is drunk about an hour before bed. One company has added half a mg of melatonin to their tea bag.

Melatonin and pregnancy – Is it safe during pregnancy?
Is it okay to use melatonin during pregnancy? Research regarding the use of melatonin by pregnant women is not available, but it would seem that 0.3 mg of melatonin used once or twice a week after the first 2 months of pregnancy should be safe.

Research
Melatonin: An Anti-Aging Hormone Supplement? — Ever since melatonin became available over the counter in 1994, it has created a lot of controversy. The medical establishment has been quite uneasy with this hormone being available without a doctor’s prescription, and quite a number of articles were published in journals read by doctors warning them of potential serious side effects. This was a surprise since evaluation of the research did not indicate that melatonin was dangerous. It has been more than 2 decades since melatonin has been freely sold to the public, and there have not been any published studies to indicate that this hormone has caused any serious harm. In fact, more research continues to be published regarding its benefits. Numerous studies now indicate that melatonin has powerful antioxidant properties, in addition to its known hormonal activities which includes sleep inducement . A study published at the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur, India investigated the influence of low-dose chronic administration (0.10 mg/kg body weight/day for 3 months) of melatonin against age-induced oxidative stress in mice tissues, namely brain, liver, spleen and kidney. Sixteen-month-old mice were supplemented with melatonin for three months and then autopsied (at the age of 19 months). The results indicated that melatonin was able to significantly reduce the age-induced decline in the body’s natural antioxidant system. The researchers state, “These findings indicate that low-dose chronic administration of melatonin acts as a free radical scavenger and anti-aging agent.”
Comments: Research thus far is convincing that melatonin has many beneficial properties. However, it is difficult to determine the ideal dosage and frequency of melatonin use in humans. At this time it would seem safe and prudent to take a low dose, such as 0.1 to 0.5 mg of melatonin a few nights a week, particularly for those who suffer from insomnia. Melatonin is best taken on an empty stomach about 1 to 3 hours before bedtime. Since most pills come in dosages ranging from 0.5 to 3 mg, you could bite off a small portion of the pill.

BPH, prostate enlargement
Melatonin Pharmacotherapy for Nocturia in Men With Benign Prostatic Enlargement.
Drake MJ, Mills IW, Noble JG. J Urol. 2004.
Nocturia is a common condition often attributed in aging men to benign prostatic enlargement. Older adults are prone to nocturnal sleep disturbance, of which disturbed circadian rhythm may be a component since it improves with nighttime administration of melatonin. This study was designed to investigate melatonin as a potential treatment for nocturia associated with bladder outflow obstruction in older men. A total of 20 men with urodynamically confirmed bladder outflow obstruction and nocturia were entered into a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled crossover study assessing the effect of 2 mg controlled release melatonin at night on nocturia. Symptoms were assessed at baseline and after each 4-week treatment period using a frequency volume chart, the International Prostate Symptom Score and symptom problem index. Maximum urinary flow rate and post-void residual urine volume were also assessed. Baseline frequency of nocturia was 3.1 episodes per night. There were 7 men (35%) with detrusor overactivity and 50% had nocturnal polyuria. Melatonin and placebo caused a decrease in nocturia of 0.32 and 0.05 episodes per night and a decrease in the nocturia bother score of 0.51 and 0.05, respectively. Nocturia responder rates differed between the active medication and placebo groups. Daytime urinary frequency, International Prostate Symptom Score, relative nocturnal urine volume, maximum urinary flow rate and post-void residual were unaffected by melatonin treatment. Melatonin treatment is associated with a significant nocturia response rate, improvement in nocturia related bother and a good adverse effect profile. However, it is uncertain whether the observed changes in this study are clinically significant.

Melatonin Safe in 6 Month Study
Melatonin has been recommended for the treatment of insomnia and jet lag, yet little is known about its long term effects on the body, and some in the medical community have questioned its safety. Researchers at the University of Lodz in Poland. evaluated the effects of melatonin administration on sleep and routine blood chemistry in elderly women. The study was performed on 14 women aged from 64 to 80 years. Melatonin 2 mg was given at 7 pm nightly for 6 months. Before and after melatonin treatment blood samples were taken in the morning after an overnight fast. The total blood count, glucose, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides were measured by routine laboratory methods. Thirty-six percent of those on melatonin had an improvement in general sleep quality. Melatonin treatment did not influence significantly either total blood count, glucose or blood lipids levels. The researchers conclude that on the basis of this preliminary open study it seems that melatonin administration may be safe for elderly subjects.
Comments: It’s reassuring to know that blood chemistry was not affected in any significant adverse way by 6 months therapy with melatonin. On the basis of this preliminary study, it seems that elderly individuals should be quite safe if they use melatonin one to three times a week at a dose of 0.1 or 0.5 mg.

Melatonin in patients with reduced REM sleep duration: two randomized controlled trials.
Kunz D, Mahlberg R, Muller C, Tilmann A, Bes F.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charite Campus Mitte-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004.
Melatonin may influence human physiology, including the sleep-wake cycle, in a time-dependent manner via the body’s internal clock. Rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep expression is strongly circadian modulated, and the impact of REM sleep on primary brain functions, metabolic processes, and immune system function has become increasingly clear over the past decade. In our study, we evaluated the effects of exogenous melatonin on disturbed REM sleep in humans. Fourteen consecutive outpatients (five women, nine men; mean age, 50 yr) with unselected neuropsychiatric sleep disorders and reduced REM sleep duration (25% or more below age norm according to diagnostic polysomnography) were included in two consecutive, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design clinical trials. Patients received 3 mg melatonin daily, administered between 2200 and 2300 h for 4 wk. The results of the study show that melatonin was significantly more effective than placebo: patients on melatonin experienced significant increases in REM sleep percentage and improvements in subjective measures of daytime dysfunction as well as clinical global impression score. Melatonin did not shift circadian phase or suppress temperature but did increase REM sleep continuity and promote decline in rectal temperature during sleep. These results were confirmed in patients who received melatonin in the second study. In patients who received melatonin in the first study and placebo in the second, the above mentioned effects outlasted the period of melatonin administration and diminished only slowly over time. Our findings show that exogenous melatonin, when administered at the appropriate time, seems to normalize circadian variation in human physiology. It may, therefore, have a strong impact on general health, especially in the elderly and in shift workers.

Mental function the day after
Impact of melatonin, zaleplon, zopiclone, and temazepam on psychomotor performance.
Paul MA, Gray G, Kenny G, Pigeau RA.
Toronto laboratories of Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Aviat Space Environ Med. 2003.
Modern military operations may require pharmaceutical methods to sustain alertness and facilitate sleep in order to maintain operational readiness. In operations with very limited sleep windows, hypnotics with very short half-lives (e.g., zaleplon, t(1/2) 1 h) are of interest, while with longer sleep opportunities, longer acting agents (e.g., zopiclone, temazepam (t(1/2) 4-6 hours) may be used. This study was designed to compare the effect of a single dose of zaleplon, zopiclone, temazepam, and melatonin on psychomotor performance and to quantify the post-ingestion time required for return to normal performance. There were 23 subjects (9 men, 14 women), 21-53 yr of age, assessed for psychomotor performance on 2 test batteries (4 tasks) that included a sleepiness questionnaire. Psychomotor testing was conducted prior to, and for 7 h after, ingestion of a single dose of each of placebo, zaleplon 10 mg, zopiclone 7.5 mg, temazepam 15 mg, and time-released melatonin 6 mg. The experimental design was a double-blind cross-over with counter-balanced treatment order. Zaleplon, zopiclone, and temazepam impaired performance on all four tasks: serial reaction time, logical reasoning, serial subtraction, and multitask. Melatonin did not impair performance on any task. The time to recovery of normal performance for SRT during the zaleplon, zopiclone and temazepam conditions were 3.25, 6.25, and 5.25 h respectively; for LRT were 3.25, >6.25, and 4.25 h; for SST were 2.25, >6.25, and 4.25 h, and for MT were 2.25, 4.25, and 3.25 h. The recovery time to baseline subjective sleepiness levels for zaleplon, zopiclone, temazepam, and melatonin were 4.25, >6.25, 5.25, and >4.25 h, respectively. In spite of a prolonged period of perceived sleepiness, melatonin was superior to zaleplon in causing no impact on performance. The remaining drugs listed in increasing order of performance impact duration are zaleplon, temazepam, and zopiclone.

Insomnia in children
Melatonin improves health status and sleep in children with idiopathic chronic sleep-onset insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.
Smits MG, van Stel HF. Sleep Centre, Hospital Gelderse Vallei, Willy Brandtlaan Ede, the Netherlands.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003.
To investigate the effect of melatonin treatment on health status and sleep in children with idiopathic sleep-onset insomnia. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in a Dutch sleep center, involving 62 children, 6 to 12 years of age, who suffered more than 1 year from idiopathic chronic sleep-onset insomnia. Patients received either 5 mg melatonin or placebo at 7 pm. The study consisted of a 1-week baseline period, followed by a 4-week treatment. Melatonin treatment significantly advanced sleep onset by 57 minutes, sleep offset by 9 minutes, and melatonin onset by 82 minutes, and decreased sleep latency by 17 minutes. Lights-off time and total sleep time did not change. Melatonin improves health status and advances the sleep-wake rhythm in children with idiopathic chronic sleep-onset insomnia.

Melatonin blood levels
Q. I suffer from chronic insomnia, yet when I had my melatonin levels checked, the levels were normal throughout the day and very HIGH (almost off the charts) at night. My doctor is very puzzled by this and I am wondering if you have ever heard  of an occurrence of HIGH melatonin levels associated with chronic insomnia.
A. Melatonin is only one of the factors involved with sleep. Daytime physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to help you sleep. I don’t find melatonin levels to be that helpful in assessing causes of insomnia.

Arthritis, autoimmune diseases
Q. A number of years ago i purchased an excellent book on melatonin. What is unclear to me is that some forms of arthritis are indicated to be the result of an auto-immune condition. Melatonin is indicated that it is not To be taken in the case of auto-immune conditions. Would a low dose of say 1 mg per day with a person with arthritis be the wrong thing to do because It might aggravate the condition?
   A. Some early studies had mentioned that melatonin enhanced immune function and thus this required that a caution be placed that those with autoimmune conditions should be careful about the use of this hormone. However, since then, there haven’t been any significant mentions of melatonin’s influence on autoimmune conditions. It would appear at this point that the use of 1 mg of melatonin a couple of times a week should be fine for those with rheumatoid arthritis, and more frequent use should not interfere in those who have osteoarthritis.

Liquid melatonin
Q. What is your opinion on liquid melatonin? Is there much melatonin research on the liquid form?
A. Melatonin can be ingested in various forms, and liquid melatonin is an option although there’s hardly any research with melatonin liquid.

Anxiety treatment
Q. Is natural melatonin helpful for anxiety?
A. Perhaps slightly, but 5-HTP and kava are more helpful for anxiety than melatonin.

Interactions with prescription medications
Q. Does melatonin have drug interaction?
A. Perhaps, but it is difficult to say since there are thousands of prescription drugs and melatonin drug interaction has not been tested with hardly any of them.

Heart problems
Q. I have been taking 5 mg of Melatonin before going to bed, I have a heart condition which has been treated with EECP treatment with good results. Could Melatonin have a negative side effect ? I also have restless legs syndrome.
A. Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) may stimulate the openings or formation of collaterals (small branches of blood vessels) to create a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries. We have not seen any research regarding the combination of melatonin and EECP treatment, so we can’t say.

Production of melatonin, synthetic or natural
Q. I am trying to find a melatonin bioidentical formula that is plant, rather than animal derived (I’d prefer not to consume ground up bovine or melatonin from pigs. I have been taking melatonin 9 mg a night for some time. I do not sleep soundly (my husband snores) and I am a very light sleeper. When going through breast cancer I was taking 21 mg a night as directed from my cancer dietician. I am three years clean. I considered 5-HTP sleep aid “Sound Sleep” but am concerned about 5-HTP. I am not tired or nervous. I have a lot of energy. I do not know which brand of melatonin is purest.
A. Just about all the melatonin products on the market are not from animal origin but made in a lab.

Q.  Is the melatonin derived from synthetic techniques or from other sources.
A.  The melatonin is made synthetically in a laboratory, it is not animal derived.

Q. I’m a 59 year old male in good health. I’ve had problems with delayed sleep onset since childhood. I have taken melatonin on and off for twenty years, with generally good results. I’m a licensed clinical psychologist. In my case, it’s quite clear that taking melatonin every day for several days causes me pelvic pain. The effect is consistently replicable and reversible. Remission takes less than a week after the dose is reduced or discontinued. Onset also takes about a week. I don’t notice much pelvic pain on 0.75 mg at bedtime. I notice quite a bit of pain on 3 mg at bedtime. 0.75 mg. is not an adequate dose for me. I compromise with 1.5 mg. This helps with sleep, but causes some pain. By “pelvic pain” I mean pain on urination, pain when urination is necessary, and a persistent ache lasting minutes or hours after urination. Also, a more frequent need to urinate, and holding urine is more painful. The location of the pain is vague, but seems to be coming from the area of the bladder and urethra. I thought you might be interested. I didn’t find any google hits on this topic. However, several years ago, possibly ten more more years, I came across a short article in a weekly news magazine, possibly Time, about melatonin. It said that pelvic pain is a known side effect. I have not been able to track down the article or its source.
A. Thanks for letting us about this potential melatonin side effect.

Organic
Q. I am looking for organic melatonin, do you know where i can buy organic melatonin supplements?
A. There is no such thing as organic melatonin supplements, all melatonin is made in a laboratory. Melatonin is not an herb that can be grown organically. Melatonin is not derived from animal brains due to potential viral infection transmission, therefore your only option is melatonin made in a laboratory.