Melatonin Dosage for Child and use for Insomnia, may cause nightmares and very vivid dreams, 1 mg, 3 mg, 5 mg, testimonial
What is the right dosage? How much to take
November 25 2016
Melatonin is a natural hormone used for sleep (learn natural ways to sleep without prescription medications but just using herbs, food, and dietary supplements) and other conditions. It is made starting in the evening when it gets dark by the pituitary gland.
Dosage for children
For a child, we suggest a dosage no greater than half a milligram, taken about 2 to 3 hours before bed and no more than twice a week.
For years, scientists have known that it’s main function was in the control of our sleep patterns. However, more recent research has revealed that it also functions as an important antioxidant.
Blood levels throughout life
After puberty melatonin output begins a gradual steady decline. Adults experience a gradual decline in daily output after age 25 with the majority of the decline occurring after age 40. This hormone is not present in foods.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that aids biorhythm regulation. Biorhythm is disturbed by stress, crossing time zones and changing work shifts. Production by the pineal gland declines with age.
Testimonial regarding sleep
I began taking 3mg of melatonin about 1 year ago. It helps me to fall asleep, I also sleep very peacefully and I have noticed more dreams, and more vivid dreams. I wake up early and in a good mood, I jump out of bed cheerfully and I can’t wait to get started with my day. I am definitely a morning person now! My moods are better thru the day, and I am more active and more focused. This is the interesting part, I used to be a daydreamer. I used to spend a lot of time watching tv, and listening to music and I used to have a very active imagination. I would daydream while listening to music. I have always tended to be creative and intuitive. The melatonin has changed my personality a little, I am not a daydreamer. I also don’t “space out” so much like I used to. I am a focused, ambitious person. I use my time wisely and I am always doing something. When I am sitting in front of the tv or listening to music, I am paying attention to the tv show or I am paying attention to the people in the room, etc. I pay attention now and I am focused. I wish I knew about melatonin when I was in college, this would have helped me so much. I really pay attention to any topic I read or study. This is quite a change from the spacey day-dreamer I used to be. I have also noticed that I am more focused when I meditate. I have been studying yoga for 5 years, and I now really can control my mind. It doesn’t wander so much. I used to day dream a lot while trying to meditate, and also while doing asanas (yoga postures) Now I am focused and really present. I also seem to be more successful in my daily life, but that is probably because I get up early and get things done. The only side effect I have noticed is that when I went up to 4 mg. I noticed a rapid heartbeat during the day. My heart would start beating fast suddenly for no reason. I cut back to 3 mg again and it stopped happening. I also noticed an improvement in my dental health. My dentist was very happy with my gums, and he said they were a good color and very firm. (for my age, this is good).
Melatonin for child, for children
The use of melatonin for a child appears to be safe as long as melatonin use is kept to no more than 2 times a week and a dose of 0.5 mg or less. Further research with melatonin in children will tell us if more frequent use is appropriate or safe. Many parents wonder if melatonin is appropriate for their kid, and in low dosages used infrequently should be quite safe. The child dosage of melatonin is about half or a third of an adult dose, as long as the child is older than 6 years of age.
I want to use melatonin and what is the best dosage for 18 year old boy? I’m considering to take Natrol melatonin 3 mg time release!
We are not in a position to suggest a particular dosage to anyone since we need a full history and medical review before suggesting a dosage. All we can do is provide general guidelines that one can read about. As a general rule, it is best to use the least dosage that works and use as infrequently as necessary.
Adverse effects, danger, safety, risk
Some people find nightmares to be a disturbing side effect. Vivid dreams, including nightmares, occur more frequently and more intensely as the dosage is increased. Vivid dreams can occur even at a dosage of 0.5 mg. After more than 2 decades sold over the counter, no danger reports have been published.
Does it work when someone has the common cold, or a flu infection?
A. We suspect it’s effectiveness is less when a person has a common cold or flu, but we are not sure.
Insomnia treatment natural remedy
Melatonin may help insomnia, but it is preferable not to use melatonin on a nightly basis. 1) Tolerance develops in some people with insomnia when melatonin is used every night. After a few weeks some find that melatonin is not inducing or maintaining sleep as well as it did in the past. To avoid the creeping up of tolerance, melatonin should be used at most every other night, or preferably every third night. Those who have insomnia should consider other options besides melatonin.
Lessens the effects of jet lag. Daily dosage of melatonin, at 1 to 5 mg, taken an hour or two 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. There is a wide range of individual response to melatonin.
Alcohol use wine, liquer
Q. Can melatonin be used with alcohol?
A. Alcohol use over a few ounces disturbs sleep patterns. There could be excessive slumber or unexpected sleep pattern disruption if high dose melatonin is used with alcohol.
We won’t know for sure for many years to come if melatonin use increases longevity, nor will we know in the near future the ideal dosage, timing, and frequency. For the time being, it appears to be safe to take this pineal hormone once or twice a week.
Evidence continues to accumulate regarding the antioxidant benefits of melatonin. In laboratory studies, melatonin has been found to stimulate natural antioxidant systems in addition to offering protection to the DNA present within cells. While these effects have been observed primarily using pharmacological (very large) doses of melatonin, in a small number of experiments melatonin has been found to have antioxidant properties in small, physiological doses as well. The ability of melatonin in inhibiting oxidative damage has been tested in a variety of neurological diseases where free radicals have been suspected as being in part causative of the condition. Thus, melatonin has been shown to reduce amyloid protein toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease, to reduce oxidative damage in some types of Parkinson’s disease, to reduce brain injury when exposed to low blood or oxygen flow, and to lower brain damage due to a variety of toxins.
Low dosage melatonin treatment in mice enhances the body’s natural anti-oxidant system, and this may have anti-aging properties. This study has convinced me to take 0.1 or 0.2 mg of melatonin a couple of nights a week. I have a melatonin pill of 0.5 mg and I take a portion of it about an hour to three hours before bed.
Can someone with diabetes take melatonin ?
A diabetic can take it and the antioxidant properties could be helpful.
Dogs, cats, pets, horses
Q. Can my dog take melatonin ?
A. Occasional use of melatonin in a dog, cat, or horse is acceptable and should have no danger.
Heart disease and failure
Is melatonin contraindicated with ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and blood thinners, and water pills? My dad has congestive heart failure and the sleeping pills the hospital gave him caused hallucinations. Now that he’s home he wants me to find out if melatonin in safe with his drugs.
A. We have not seen any research regarding the combination and these prescription drugs, hence we can’t say for sure. Usually low dosages, such as 0.5 mg or less are safe, but unpredictable reactions can occur when supplements and medications are combined.
There is a possibility that it could have a benefit on the immune system.
May have 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 dosage 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.
Effects of melatonin in perimenopausal and menopausal women: our personal experience.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005.
The purpose of this clinical trial on possible effects of nocturnal melatonin administration in perimenopausal women was to find if melatonin by itself modifies levels of hormones and produces changes of any kind, independently of age (42-62 years of age) and the stage of the menstrual cycle. Subjects took a daily dose of 3 mg synthetic melatonin or a placebo for 6 months. Our results indicate that a cause-effect relationship between the decline of nocturnal levels of melatonin and onset of menopause may exist. The follow up controls show that melatonin abrogates hormonal, menopause-related neurovegetative disturbances and restores menstrual cyclicity and fertility in perimenopausal or menopausal women. At present we assert that the six-month treatment with melatonin produced a remarkable and highly significant improvement of thyroid function, positive changes of gonadotropins towards more juvenile levels, and abrogation of menopause-related depression.
I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and take Levothroid 112 mg but I have to adjust my medication from time to time. My question is does melatonin interfere with thyroid medication I am typically “hypo”. I have also been treated for Lyme disease. I have trouble staying asleep. I average 5 hours asleep per night. I also went through early menopause. I am 43 years old and no longer have hot flashes or a menstrual cycle. I want to know if there are any studies that prove or disprove that melatonin interferes with thyroid medication.
A. We come across one study of 3 mg nightly for 6 months that did not show major changes in thyroid hormone levels, but this was done in people with normal thyroid glands. We don’t know how its use would influence those with a disease of the thyroid.
Lack of changes in serum prolactin, FSH, TSH, and estradiol after melatonin treatment in doses that improve sleep and reduce benzodiazepine consumption in sleep-disturbed, middle-aged, and elderly patients.
J Pineal Res. 2001.
An open pilot study on the safety and efficacy of melatonin in the treatment of insomniac patients was conducted in 22 subjects. All patients received 3 mg of gelatin melatonin capsules daily for 6 months, 30 min before expected sleep time. Twenty of 22 patients were on benzodiazepine treatment and they continued this treatment for part of or for the entire melatonin administration period. Serum concentrations of prolactin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), or estradiol were measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) in morning samples at the beginning and after 6 months of melatonin administration. Serum concentrations of prolactin, FSH, TSH, or estradiol did not exhibit changes after 6 months of melatonin administration, nor were any indications of hematologic or blood biochemistry alteration found.
Use before surgery
Giving children melatonin before surgery can reduce the occurrence of delirium after surgery. The prospect of surgery can cause intense anxiety leading up to the surgery. While some amount of stress is normal, extreme anxiety before surgery can contribute to what doctors call “emergence delirium” – distressing behavior changes such as crying and thrashing that may surface immediately upon “waking up” from anesthesia. Immediate post-surgery delirium can also lead to problems long after the surgery, such as the onset of nightmares, bed wetting and separation anxiety. Pre-surgery melatonin reduces post-surgery delirium, but not anxiety, in children having anesthesia and surgery. Dr. Zeev N. Kain from University of California, Irvine, reports that melatonin is as effective as midazolam, a sedative widely used to ease preoperative anxiety, in reducing the occurrence of delirium after surgery. Anesthesiology, 2009.
Forms or types of melatonin
There are so many forms of melatonin. Should I take the regular melatonin pills, the sublinguals, 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 melatonin dosage 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. You can also find melatonin spray but we don’t have as much experience using the spray form of melatonin.
How it works
Melatonin exerts many of its actions through the activation of two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), named MT1 and MT2. So far, a number of different MT1 and MT2 receptor homology models, built either from the prototypic structure of rhodopsin or from recently solved X-ray structures of druggable GPCRs, have been proposed. These receptor models differ in the binding modes hypothesized for melatonin and melatonergic ligands, with distinct patterns of ligand-receptor interactions and putative bioactive conformations of ligands.
Is Natrol melatonin a good brand?
Yes, it is a good company and Natrol melatonin should be reliable.
Sublingual melatonin pill
I read where you put the melatonin pill under your tongue. Does it work the same if I swallow the pill?
it depends on the how the melatonin pill tablet is formulated in terms of dissolving and absorption, but it can work that way. The advantage is that the melatonin sublingually may work quicker but it could also last less in the body and may not provide all night sleep. The only way to tell is by trying it. Different melatonin pills from different manufacturers may work in slightly different ways in terms of absorption under the tongue.
Combining with other natural sleep aids or dietary supplements
My 16 year old son has had trouble falling asleep for years. About 6 months ago we started him with 3 mg of melatonin dosage on doctors direction. Instead of 3-4 hours before falling asleep, he now falls asleep more quickly and sleeps most nights all night long. He seems to be anxious socially, and school and being 16 and a kind, tender boy, is not helping. Do you think adding theanine would help with the anxiety and worry of school the next day?
It’s possible and it is worth a try if his doctor approves of this combination.
Q. I am trying to find a sustained release melatonin bioidentical formula that is plant, rather than animal derived (I’d prefer not to consume ground up bovine brains). Preferably in melatonin 1 mg dose.
A. We don’t have a specific sustained release melatonin product, but when a melatonin tablet is taken with a little bit of food, that acts somewhat in a sustained release manner. We have not seen any good studies regarding the melatonin products on the market that claim they are sustained release to determine whether they really work in a sustained release manner. Melatonin supplements are made in the lab, not extracted from pineal glands.
Q. My email is in regards to melatonin for my child. My son’s pediatrician recommended us giving him (almost 5 years old now) Melatonin nightly because he had a hard time falling asleep. We have given him at least 1 cc every night for several years. Recently we started observing and he started complaining of ”tremors” which looked like he was shivering from being cold. He recently had a 48 hour EEG which was normal. We stopped using the Melatonin and the ”tremors” have disappeared. My child also has had some behavioral problems, requiring discipline and ”time outs” but since we stopped the Melatonin this has improved. I also saw some information recently that Melatonin affects Human Growth Hormone, my son is very short for his age, in the 3% for his age. I know I have mentioned a lot of things in this memo to you, but I am a very concerned parent. Do you feel that the long term Melatonin use has contributed to his growth problems? The ”tremors?” The discipline issues? His lack of growth? I saw a mention that you don’t recommend its use for more than 2 times per week and .3 mg or less. Do you think there will be any long term problems my child will experience because we used melatonin tremendously more than your recommendation?
A. The long term use of melatonin in children and adults has not been evaluated enough to know the consequences. It is possible that the issues you raise with your child may be due to melatonin excess. Hopefully his body and pineal gland will be able to recover and readjust after stopping the melatonin. It may be a good idea not to use it for a while. It is possible that these side effects and problems will reverse with time, however we are not familiar with any child who has been given high doses of melatonin nightly for prolonged periods, so we don’t have any first hand experience.
Q. His tremors have disappeared already and his behavior has improved after stopping the melatonin.
A. Keep us updated since we don’t know any other children who have been given melatonin in a high dose for such a long period.
Q. I recently read an article pertaining to melatonin solution applied to the frontal scalp. I am interested in purchasing the melatonin solution. However, the only product available is in the form of pills.
A. We are not familiar with a melatonin solution and have not seen any studies regarding melatonin solution research.
I just read in Flex Magazine that Melatonin could be used before (75 minutes or less) resistance training to boost growth hormone levels. The article also mentions that the lack of darkness lessens the drowsiness from melatonin. What do you think?
We do not think it is a good idea to alter circadian rhythms with the use of melatonin for this purpose.
Q. I use melatonin every night to help me with sleep.. I’m up to 3mg with no problems. When I first had a problem sleeping because I did overnight care for an elderly person in her home, it was hard to get to sleep in someone elses house and also worry about her being awake, but I eventually got used to her sleeping pattern of being awake and needing exercize between 10pm and midnight, sometimes 1am and then she slept like a log from then till 10am in the morning. Nothing changed in her routein would allow her to sleep earlier or wake up earlier. We tried to get her up at 9am for breakfast but she would sleep through most of it even with lots of encouragement, but after 10am she was wide awake and starving for lots of food! So I used the melatonin to get me to sleep after midnight and It worked but I also was wide awake by 9am! If I took it sooner, I would be wide awake at 5am when my client was fast asleep, When I first took melatonin, 1mg was alot and I usually could not use it more than three times a week. I wasnt sure what I was doing but found a 33mcg tablet and those were perfect! and I could go to sleep without obcessing about what I needed to do that next morning. Then there were periods I didnt use any and didnt think it was a good idea. Now in my 50s I take antidepressants especially prozac so long that my serotonin is down regulated by forcing the serotonin to stay in my system, my system has learned to make less.. so I wake up sluggish and usually have to have my SSRI right on the dresser next to my water to take it as soon as I wake up or I fall back asleep. So I started taking the 1mg melatonin at night again and I wake up refreshed at 8 or 9am and am on a very low dose of prozac 10mg. and I function quite well.. as our body changes and hormone levels, and meds we take. I think this all affects our serotonin levels. I also have Seasonal Affected Disorder which I dont believe is a disorder but the natural rhythm of our species to get the repair rest we need from all the work we used to do in the long hot summer days, or the body slows down when food normally would be less abundant. I found in my particular instance, using melatonin, since im on some other pill to sleep makes me very groggy all morning, but by taking less and using melaonin with it, I can sleep, stay asleep and feel like getting out of bed in the morning and look for ward to starting my day. Also I read that melatonin has a positive effect on growth hormone and not a negative one. I also use 25mg of DHEA now that I have had a hysterectomy (I put it off but finally had for many reasons) and zinc both help to give me some satisfactory sexual function and muscle tone. I used an estrogen patch for a short while after my hysterectomy but it caused fear attacks and anxiety if I were to forget a dose like before when I had a period that would start and stop on and off. It was very painfull and scarey.. Now Im stable and happy. If I use progesterone cream, Its a very tiny dot and I am on for a couple weeks and off. it makes me also feel very calm and sleepy so before my husterectomy it helped alot but after too much makes me too sleepy, but I use it primarily for bone density along with a good diet. My bone density is above average for my age.
Q. I’ve been taking Melatonin 3mg at night for 4 years now. I feel alert and ready to function in the morning. Recently because of my medical conditions, like, arthritis and high blood pressure and while taking aspirin and Lotrel it seems I might have to take more than 3mg. Is it safe to take 4 1/2 mg up to 6 mgs of Melatonin? So I don’t have to take OTC sleeping tablets? Sleeping tablets make me groggy and not alert in the morning.
A. We can’t give individual advice and we can never claim a supplement is safe, any supplement, including melatonin, can have side effects or potential dangers when too much is used for too long.
Q. I live in England but read your articles on melatonin in children, my son is 7 yrs old he has autism, plus other problems and i am now concerned that he is on a daily doseage of 6 mg of melatonin modified release capsules.
A. We can’t advise what your son should or should not take, but it would help if his doctor read the information on melatonin and the fact that 6 mg is a high dose for long term use in children.
The effects of exogenous melatonin on the morphology of thyrocytes in pinealectomized and irradiated rats.
J Neural Transm. 2006.
We investigated the effects of exogenous melatonin on the thyrocytes morphology in gamma-irradiated rats under condition where the pineal gland, as a main physiological source of endogenous melatonin, was removed. Three months after pinealectomy animals were divided into two groups: one group of animals was treated with 0.5 ml of vehicle (ethanol diluted in water) and other group was injected intraperitoneally 2 mg/kg of melatonin during the period of fourteen days. After this treatment all the animals were irradiated with a single dose of 8 Gy gamma rays. Ionising radiation induced apoptosis, hydropic swelling or/and necrosis in both groups of animals, however these changes were less discerned in the thyrocytes of melatonin-treated animals. Our findings demonstrate that administration of exogenous melatonin prior to irradiation reduces radiation-induced thyrocytes damage.
Temporal oscillations of thyroid hormones in long term melatonin treated rats.
Pharmacological doses of melatonin (0.5 mg/kg body wt. and 1.0 mg/kg body wt.) were chronically administered for 45 days to Wistar rats and 24 h rhythms of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), triiodothyronine (T3) tetraiodothyronine (T4) and melatonin were studied under semi-natural conditions. Exogenous melatonin administration caused delays in the acrophases of T3, T4 and melatonin rhythm itself; whereas advances in the acrophases of TSH were observed, thus indicating chronic administration of melatonin could alter the characteristics of endocrine rhythms. Alterations in the amplitude and mesor values of these endocrine rhythms were also observed during melatonin administration. Exogenous administration of melatonin could influence the hormonal rhythms as a modulated internal zeitgeber and could simulate/mimic the conditions of altered photoperiod in the animals. Significant dose-dependent effects of melatonin were absent in the present study. It remains to be proven how exogenous administration of melatonin could influence these hormonal rhythms.
Q. I am 62 and have been taking 3mg of melatonin nightly for many years to help my sleep and as a hormone supplement. Recently, my wife who is 52 was having difficulty sleeping and I suggested that she try melatonin. After taking 3mg she complains of feeling groggy in the morning so I cut her dosage by half and then to a quarter. Yet she still feels groggy the next day. Why is this and what dosage would avoid the grogginess and still help her sleep through the night?
A. Some people are very sensitive and respond to as low a dosage of 0.2 mg taken 2 to 4 hours before sleep.
Melatonin works extraordinarily well but bottle says not with autoimmune disease. I was treated for Graves’ disease with radioactive iodine & I have a few allergies. What is your opinion about this contraindication and why not? but Psych M.D. approved it. 5-HTP-very conservative G.I. approved it (I have IBS) it & I’ll check with PsychM.D. & pharmacist, too but would like your opinion, if you can. My medicines daily Depakote for mania, Klonopin for panic attacks, Zyprexa for preventing psychosis, Ritalin for ADHD / depression, lowest dose Tofranil for enuresis, Syntroid, low dose Aspirin, Multivitamin Mineral 50+ for women, Calcium + Probiotic (pearls) As needed- Vistaril for a few things, Soma for sedative effect, IBS, Symax (Levsinex) forpain &/or diarheea, Xanax for extreme anxiety / insomnia Compazine (rectal) for antiemetic / non-psychotic anxiety, Ibuprofen, Atrovent Nasal Spray for runny nose( allergies – penicillin, tetracyclene, mold spores, cat saliva & dust mites) also non celiac gluten intolerance, famotidine for indigestion (GERD in remission), Maxhair rescue inhaler (mild bronchial asthma or from smoking – will not die from this asthma if I have it & I’ve never had a real asthma attack) I’m allowed 2 alcoholic drinks/ day, cutting nicotine, caffeine & a little “crack/cocaine WALKING PHARMACY. I only want to know about your expert opinion on Melatonin & 5-HTP,thank you & I’d like to receive the sample newsletter & how much is a subscription. Please talk to me on the level of 1st in class 1979 B.A. Chemistry & reading the PDR since I was 4. My dad was a very intelligent R.N. I just need your thoughts about Melatonin & 5-HTP,OK? Sorry I couldn’t make it simple & brief. Never can. Some things are complex like me. I really hope you can give me some ideas.
A. It is difficult to predict the interaction of melatonin when used with so many medications. Since melatonin may influence the immune system, there has been a thought that it could effect autoimmune conditions but this has not been fully evaluated and it is not clear at this time whether this hormone supplement has any such effect on such medical conditions.
Can I take this sleep pill while taking 50 mg Amitriptyline and 25 mg of Sertraline. I just wish I could figure out how to get off of these and into the natural things, without harming my brain.
It is difficult to predict the interaction of this natural hormone in combination with amitriptyline and sertraline.
I was wondering about a possible side effect from Melatonin Plus. I have somewhat cloudy urine each morning. This is unusual for me. I drink lots of water, low blood pressure, no diabetes or infection and urine is light in color and clear otherwise. I am a healthy 51 year old female. It dawned on me the only thing consistent at end of day that might affect urine is the Melatonin. What do you think?
We have not had anyone else ever report this relationship.