November 21 2006

Why Melatonin Is a Dangerous Supplement

By Mark Sisson

Melatonin is a popular supplement for the sleep-deprived, namely because it carries rather innocent associations. Melatonin is “natural” and “safe” and “herbal”, right?

Wrong. I’ve been arguing with the melatonin prophets for years because I believe the image melatonin has, and what melatonin really is, are vastly different. Like so many things that we trust in, consume or think we understand, the truth may not be what we want to believe.

My caution with melatonin is simple: melatonin is a hormone.

That’s right – a hormone. Like estrogen. Like testosterone. And just like taking estrogen (whether it’s Hormone Replacement Therapy or the Pill) or testosterone therapy, melatonin comes with risks. Frequent melatonin use – especially in the typical dosage of 3-6 milligrams – can trigger a bit of a vicious cycle in the brain. Supplement with melatonin regularly to get to sleep, and your body is going to produce even less, creating even greater need for the hormone. It’s not that you can’t ever take melatonin; but I think it’s important that people understand the facts.

A caveat: While I am generally against using hormones (it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature), I am in favor of using the natural version of the hormone melatonin to “reset” the diurnal clock when traveling across time zones. Because, after all, you got there by fooling Mother Nature in the first place! Humans did not evolve a mechanism to adapt to changing time zones. Jet travel can be some of the most destructive stress you can encounter, especially the older you get.

In fact, a recent article in ScienceNow Daily News reported on the growing concern in the scientific community over the dangers of jet lag. Turns out it’s more serious than we previously realized. Jet lag increases risk of cancer, ulcers, and sleep disorders, as well as weakening the immune system. Now, this isn’t reason to stop traveling; simply be aware of the risks and take some smart precautions (drinking alcohol on the plane: not a good idea).

I travel frequently, and I don’t suffer from jet lag, because I use melatonin judiciously in these instances. I also have a few rules about travel (feel free to crib my notes):

– Once you’ve landed and checked in to your lodgings, immediately get an aerobic workout. This will help stimulate circulation, hormones and serotonin production – it’ll just be that much easier adjusting to the new time zone. Don’t tuck into a glass of wine or take a nap. Spend 30 minutes getting your heart racing instead.

Eat a small, protein-rich meal that also includes some fiber. But keep it light so your body isn’t further stressed.

– Reset your watch and then… lie to yourself. Don’t think about it; just immediately adapt to the new time zone.

– Of course, the goal is to adjust as soon as possible to your new time zone. If you’re flying overnight or flying to a place where everyone else will have just finished sleeping, by all means, do what you can to nap on the plane or otherwise refresh yourself.

Drink at least a quart of water your first day there (4 glasses).

Go to bed when everyone else in your new time zone goes to bed, and take 3-6 milligrams of melatonin an hour before you plan to fall asleep to make that possible.

Here’s the ScienceNow clickativity.

Sponsor note:
This post was brought to you by the Damage Control Master Formula, independently proven as the most comprehensive high-potency antioxidant multivitamin available anywhere. With the highest antioxidant per dollar value and a complete anti-aging, stress, and cognition profile, the Master Formula is truly the only multivitamin supplement you will ever need. Toss out the drawers full of dozens of different supplements with questionable potency and efficacy and experience the proven Damage Control difference!

[tags] melatonin, supplements, sleep tips, insomnia, jet lag, Science Now Daily News, hormones [/tags]

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

318 thoughts on “Why Melatonin Is a Dangerous Supplement”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I think melatonin should be banned or at least have warnings on it.I used it every night for 3 months and I gained 20 pounds!
    I’m someone who has always been in shape and never weighed more then 120 pounds,so that kind of weight gain was unheard of for me.
    I really think the melatonin played a role in that weight gain.I was also crying and sleepy all the time.I thought it was safe to take because it is marketed as a natural supplement.But it in fact gave me symptoms of being bipolar or having a mental illness instead!

    1. I just saw your post about melatonin and weight gain on marksdailyapple. com. Were you able to take off the weight you gained? I have been taking a heavy amount of melatonin for the last five weeks… and I have put on almost ten pounds. I never thought it could be the melatonin… but I am quitting it cold turkey.

      1. Yes,I did lose all the weight 🙂
        It took about a month for the melatonin to get out of my system and then the weight just started melting off quickly.

        1. Melatonin was not the reason for your weight gain. You should look into what you ate and what you didn’t do during those times. Now, if your meals and portions stayed the same and you exercised regularly, and the ONLY change was the supplement, then you could come to the conclusion that is was melatonin.

          It bothers me when uninformed people inform others.

        2. This is true! I have increased my exercise, and not changed my eating habits and I too experienced dramatic weight gain, increased depression and anxiety after taking 3mg, 3-4 times a week for about 2 months! I thought I was losing my mind, then last night after I took my supplement I thought “It must be the melatonin”! It’s the only thing that changed ( other than my pant size …………I have had really intense dreams too!!!

        3. I have to agree with mita, although I am 19 and I have had serious sleep issues and it is extremely hard to sleep at night. So I took a Melatonin and sleep great, in fact never sleep better i did have very strange dreams but i would have to say that could be because of my deep sleep. I am in fact very worried about gaining weight on this hormone but I guess I will have to wait and see because my main concern is sleep and if i cant sleep I will definitely take this every night until my body is back on the right sleeping clock. lol

        4. Thanks for your post. I need to gain weight so I’m going to increase my melatonin dosage ASAP.

        5. >It took about a month for the melatonin to get out of my system…

          Ha ha ha. You mean within a month your pineal gland stopped producing all melatonin! Magical!

          Melatonin is a sleep regulator, and has little to do with fat storage or weight gain.

        6. Higher doses of melatonin have been shown to increase the production of insulin in your body. Insulin just takes the glucose you get from eating foods and stores it in your cells. So while you were taking the melatonin your body could’ve been producing more insulin which would mean you could be eating the same amounts of food but storing much more glucose in your cells. Since you would have more of these sugars to burn off unless you also except sized more while on melatonin you would gain weight. On the bright side studies on mice have shown that melatonin may significantly decrease your chances of getting diabetes.

        7. How did you quit taking it?
          How long did it take to adjust back to sleep?
          Did you take anything else instead?
          I’m gaining wt w it too.

        8. I have actually been eating less since I have been on the Melatonin. When I had problems sleeping, I would snack all hours of the night and early morning, now I sleep through the night….no eating!

      2. Blaming melatonin for weight gain is just another way of abdicating personal responsibility for what you put in your mouth.

        Although it cannot directly cause weight gain, large doses of melatonin could conceivably affect the metabolism so the body doesn’t burn fuel as efficiently. Regardless of the reason, weight gain is STILL going to be a case of putting more food in your mouth than your body requires.

        1. Shary, I’m a very health conscience person. I don’t eat meat or poultry, just a little fish. I take a slurry of supplements. I exercise regularly doing lite weights, cardio boxing, yoga and pilates! I’m an active mother of 4 kids and work and have always maintained a size 6 (other than 25-30 pounds of weight gain during pregnancy) Recently I used malatonin 3mg 3-4 times a week for 2 months and I have jumped to a size 8. I have increased my exercise and decreased my carbs and I still gained weight. Yes, I am responsible for putting that pill in my mouth at night! I assure you it’s not my diet or lack of movement!!!

        2. You’re a judgmental, ignorant fool.

          Every body is different and responds differently to every substance, and even to the route of administration, time, and a myriad other variables. Some people, amphetamines make sleepy. That’s the funny thing about evolution and homeostasis. Every individual responds differently every time to every stimulus.

          Did an overweight person beat you up or something? Did your mother make you starve and call you fat while you were growing up? Where is the animosity towards people who gain weight and are looking earnestly for a correlation, using a combination of inductive and deductive reasoning plus communication?

          Here’s one fact. Melatonin supplementation is correlated with hypothermia and somnolescence the following day in sensitive individuals. Seems that would imply that their metabolism is running slower than usual.

          How do I know this? I read.

          Another fact: melatonin is known to exacerbate autoimmune disorders. People don’t always know when they have one of those- I didn’t for the first 19 years of my life. It suppresses the action of cortisol.

          I know, I know. You’ve seen infomercials talking about how cortisol makes you fat. If that’s your main source of medical information, keep your potentially dangerous and ill-researched opinions- because, lacking any kind of independent verification, that’s all they are- to yourself.

          Another fact: anorexia is a great way to lose weight in the short term. But we spent far longer in evolutionary time dying of starvation than dying of McGriddle-clogged arteries. So our bodies see we’re not taking in enough calories and go into starvation mode. They store every bit of energy they can get as fat and crank down the metabolism.

          I dropped from the middle of the “overweight” BMI group to the middle of the “normal” BMI group. Know what changed? I started getting up, doing some VERY short exercises- maybe 10-20 jumping jacks- eating a VERY large, greasy meal, and taking a good multivitamin and making sure to stay hydrated. I continued to eat throughout the day. I realized that my body weight had far more to do with the frequency and size of meals than the sheer amount of calories.

          My body weight. I am an individual. Every person, as I’ve said, is different.

          For years before that, I would sit and starve and only eat when my stomach hurt so bad I couldn’t take it any more. And I kept gaining weight. “This is ridiculous! It’s so unfair! Skinny people eat constantly, and they never gain weight.”

          Then it dawned on me. You starve, your body tries to save itself.

          Hell, melatonin even increases prolactin and estrogen levels. You know, the hormone that makes you GROW BREASTS? Sure that wouldn’t be a reason to gain weight.

          And more recent studies have shown that melatonin supplementation damages retinal cells in rats and causes tumor formation. OOPS! Yeah, that’s not a reason to gain weight either, a nice, fatty tumor.

          It also decreases blood flow to the brain and overall nerve activity. No reason to worry there. Actually, that might explain it. I’m guessing you’re a big proponent of melatonin…

          What you are spreading is demoralizing and potentially harmful. Educate yourself and make an informed decision instead of spewing the same hateful, ignorant rubbish you’ve been fed your whole life that’s based more on emotion than logic and could potentially cause cancer, infertility, circulatory dysfunction, neurological impairment, daytime sleepiness and psychological disturbance (which could be particularly dangerous when combined with activities such as driving). You obviously aren’t educated in this matter. I don’t even purport to have all the answers. Maybe melatonin has done nothing but good things for you. That’s great. Keep it up. Every body responds differently, and we don’t exactly know the whole picture.

          You probably just don’t realize that you could potentially kill someone with your “advice”.

          Here’s a thought: start with light therapy. That’s the natural cue for melatonin and cortisol production. It doesn’t involve putting chemicals in your body. Dim the lights after sunset. Get a sun lamp. Get proper nutrition and regular exercise. See a PHYSICIAN. Do some RESEARCH. Eh? Nah. Too logical. Just watch some infomercials, starve, and pop a pill.

        3. Unfortunately, I feel that Shary and Mita are in the wrong for jumping to the conclusion that it’s NOT melatonin, while simultaneously belittling those that think it could be. Sure, it may or may not be the melatonin, but be open to the idea that it could be. This sort of close-minded thinking is the entire reason CW is just that, CW.

        4. I strongly disagree with your dismissal of changes in hormone increasing weight gain. When you add a hormone to your body that is not naturally produced it can change the balance of other hormones too.

          Im no where near an expert but that’s why I’m here too to further look at the implications of taking melatonin supplement

        5. “putting more food in your mouth than your body requires” is a tad insensitive. If it were that simple, compulsive eaters and the morbidly obese would simply be able to “choose” to stop killing themselves with food. Medical professionals know that’s not how it works.

          Certain medications make it impossible to stop eating (see: Seroquel, Risperdal, Remeron, cyproheptadine). Like drug addiction, it becomes impossible to simply stop with willpower alone. Anything that affects hormone levels is capable of causing weight changes, usually in the “up” direction.

        6. I have been taking Melatonin for about three years because I travel all over the world and my body has no idea what time it is. I must say that it works great but this past year I put on around 25 pounds of unnecessary weight. I recently took another position in my company and I no longer have to travel so I decided to stop taking Melatonin every night. Other than that I have not changed any of my habits (eating or exercise) but the weight has started to come off very fast. SO I am either dying or long term use of melatonin can cause side effects that are not widely known. I believe it is the latter but I am not a Doctor nor am I a biologist and I suspect that you are not either.

      3. I have been taking melatonin for quite a while, and I need to gain weight, and I have not been able to. It helps me to sleep,but I started taking it after reading Dr Pierpaoli and DR Regelson’s book.

    2. But you thought wrong.
      Melatonin does NOT make you gain whaight, not more than any other hormone anyway.

        1. And are you a doctor? I don’t think so either. Now being a paramedic and an emt, melatonin is completely safe and normal to take by recommended doses as anything else is. Think before all you uninformed people speak like you know the topic

    3. Yeah, you’re the type who dosen’t fully understand the way to use something, uses it improperly, blames the substance you used then decides sence it was the substance’s fault it should be ridden of. Iv you were sleepy all the time clearly you were taking to much which caused it to be effective untill the next day (The durration depending on your metabolism) causing a sort of synthetic sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can give you a variety of mental instabilities which can make you have the symptoms of a wide variety of mental illnesses (bipolar and schytzophrenia are two rather common examples). Instead of banning everything that COULD, POSSIBLy harm someone why don’t we edjucate the general public so that they might have the sence to use something as it should be used. I understand your warning thing aswell but this would only lead further into the banning of this substance as this would not edjucate the general public very well. No, that would take decades and several generations of human life to complete.

      1. Amen, sir. Melatonin isn’t poison anymore than diphenhydramine (the other most common sleep aid which is actually just Benadryl). Besides, even if a substance is harmful, it won’t get taken away or properly regulated so that the ignorant are completely safe. Ignorant people are ALWAYS at risk because they do what feels good or what they’re told feels good . . . that’s why we still have cigarettes and alcohol for sale. Ironic that there are so many people incensed about substances like melatonin, St. John’s Wort, and even Acai. People, your way of thinking and behaving is the issue, not the substance itself when it comes to initial effectiveness. If you don’t know how to use, whether or not to use, or for that matter how it even works, then you shouldn’t be doing ANYTHING without your physician’s presence (which is still a good idea even for people in the know . . . I always let my doctor know even if I start taking a new vitamin and he praises that). Good on you, just don’t get too frustrated with the masses. Remember, only 10% of humanity truly make it to being intelligent and it’s up to us to gently and kindly guide the rest, they’re not bad after all, just uneducated and happy to be so.

        1. I’ve been taking Melatonin (started out with 3mg, now taking 5mg), for about 2yrs now. It works 90% of the time. Personally, I love it. BUT, the very reason that I’m on this site right now is that I was wondering if it has anything to do with the weight gain that I’m experiencing. I’ve gained about 12 lbs. I have considered other contributing factors, BUT I really must say that I believe it is the Melatonin. I really don’t know what I’ll do now, because I simply can not sleep with out taking something. I’ve tried Benadryl(I feel terrible the next morning and it stays with me throughout the day), I’ve also tried Advil PM and Tylenol PM. I really don’t want to take prescription strength medication. Perhaps I’m being foolish. I’ve had problems sleeping for more than 20years!.

        2. the reason alcohol is still for sale is becaue of “ignorant” people. hahha what an idiot. Who’s the ignorant one? (yes…its you)

        3. So you’re trying to say that St. John’s Wort is safe? Because it’s been proven to affect – RADICALLY – other medications a person might be taking.

          Besides being not very effective for moderate to severe depression, taking it can lead to manic states, can increase the risk of getting a sunburn, and it has been linked to erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction in men, as well as lowered sperm count. In women, It may drastically reduce the effectiveness of progesterone-containing contraceptives, including the traditional birth control.

          Lastly, it has a higher profile of potentially problematic reactions than some other supplements, especially if taken with multiple other over-the-counter supplements such as Kava or 5-HTP or Tryptophan.

          Talk to your doctor about taking St. John’s Wort and dollars to donuts he’ll tell you to NOT TAKE IT.

        4. The original post didn’t say melatonin was “poison”. People react differently to the same substance, so to dismiss someone’s experience is beyond disrespectful.

          The problem isn’t that melatonin exists but that it’s promoted as a “natural” supplement that’s no more harmful than drinking water or taking vitamins. There needs to be a balance of information–good, bad and ugly–for people to make an informed decision.

      2. Someone that wants to educate people should BE educated enough to spell properly.If you cannot write in simple English then you should not be commenting on anything beyond your level of education. As for the pill, it can have negative side-effects, but that is no reason to get rid of the drug. The side-effects are generally small and not unfixable. If you have concerns then consult your doctor for instructions about the dosage you should take, or whether you should quit taking it altogether.

        1. Marissa, your hypocrisy is astonishing! How about using proper punctuation? If you are going to critique the spelling of others, then you need to brush up on comma usage at the very least. You need a comma following each of your dependent clauses when they begin a sentence. Moreover, you should write “someone who” not “someone that.” The relative pronoun “that” is reserved for animals or things, not people.

        2. I take exception(did I spell that right?)to you calling someone uneducated because they didn’t spell something right. I am a great speller but I know someone who is not, but she is very very smart and educated. Also,
          A person knows their own body and they know when something is different, and what they may have been doing to cause that difference. People have different reactions to things.

        3. Well out of date i know but come on, the you’re stupid if your grammar and spelling are incorrect retort. It’s a post on the internet, get over it. Did you understand what the person was communicating? Could they be dyslexic? It’s petty and detracts from any argument you are trying to make, which is ironic when you say the shouldnt be making an argument because they can’t spell.
          Feel free to proof read my post.

      3. ummm ya. insomnia doesnt create “bipoolar” (manic depression) its the other way around. If your talking about bipolar which is the invented disorder then sure whatever you say its psychological anyway. alot to learn

    4. Melatonin is actually linked to *weight loss* and a reduced risk of cancer and other health problems, but I think if you take too much, you are sleepy all the time and then the opposite can happen with sleep… if you are sleepy, you eat and don’t get enough exercise.

      1. No,it is not linked to weight loss.Do more research.It is a hormone your body produces when it is dark.You produce more in the winter.This causes people to be sleepy,cold,and withdrawal,as well as pack on weight.Why do you think the average person gains 7 pounds in the winter? It isn’t all that holiday food.

        Studies have been done and even hamsters given melatonin gained weight.

        The sale of it has been banned in many countries except the U.S.
        It is a hormone!

        1. I am with you on this one. (although a year too late.) I have been taking high doses of melatonin for two years following treatment for breast cancer. It is meant to be preventative. I put on 12kgs (25pounds??) since treatment which I put down to the after effects of chemo and cortisone. I exercised like a demon and couldn’t lose weight. I recently went on a two week holiday. I ran out of melatonin before and couldn’t find my favourite brand. I therefore had two weeks without melatonin and no exercise and despite all the holiday food, I have lost weight!!! Therefore I suspect it is the melatonin that has caused my weight gain. Time will tell. I am still a big fan of melatonin for jet lag. I have been an advocate for the last 15 years. You have to experiment to get the right brand and dose for yourself – otherwise side effects like weird dreams, morning moods etc can occur.

        2. That’s right Julia, you’re a hamster! Don’t ever forget it too. “even hamsters gain weight” Are hamsters somehow known to be unable to gain weight? This holds bearing on ANYTHING you do in life how?

          Every time someone gains weight they want an excuse. It MUST be the melatonin if you gained weight, I mean after all; even hamsters gain weight on melatonin! Surely you will? There could not possibly be any other reason than the melatonin itself! Seriously? Nope, no stress, no cheating, didn’t miss a workout and I didn’t plateau either, I took melatonin and gained weight! Yes sir, that’s what I did.

          The simple statement you made about it taking a month to get out of your system shows your inadequate knowledge and experience. I’m sorry, but you’re foolish and should never speak on something unless you’re actually educated on the topic. There are people who actually read what you write and think it has merit. You’re not a doctor, not educated in the field at all, yet give advice that would and could effect someones health in any number of ways, people should be able to sue you for malpractice just as much as a doctor. Really think about this before you spout nonsense. Same goes for everyone else who want to “inform” the people with there silliness.

        3. How about this. Melatonin, like Ambien, can cause sleepwalking. Users of Ambien have also reported sleepeating. Could melatonin also cause sleepeating? Could the weight gain be caused while in a sleepwalking state? Just wondering….

        4. This is a reply to Jen, who said, “There are people who actually read what you write and think it has merit. You’re not a doctor, not educated in the field at all, yet give advice that would and could effect someones health in any number of ways, people should be able to sue you for malpractice just as much as a doctor.”

          Well guess what, Jen – YOU aren’t a doctor either. YOU must not be educated in the field at all, either (if you would be, you’d be able to cite scientific evidence of your claims and you haven’t – just your OPINIONS), and yet YOU are the one giving people questionable advice – especially since others have and DID site actual scientific evidence to back up their claims, along with a lot of people citing anecdotal evidence that backs up those stories.

          In fact, not one person has written in to say, “I take melatonin not to get to sleep but to lose weight! I’ve dropped 4 lbs and 3 inches in just 24 minutes after taking it!”

          My GAWD how the hell can you look in a mirror and not see the harpy face of a hypocrite staring back at you?

        5. “The sale of it has been banned in many countries except the U.S.”

          Unfortunately, it’s hard to conclude anything from that alone. It’s also true that a lot of things banned in the U.S. are not banned in most other countries (not counting the ones the U.S. twists the arm of to get them to do as we do).

        6. Great advice – do more of your own research:

          “Melatonin helps control weight gain”

          “Melatonin May Aid Weight Loss”

          And a variety of finding from the NCBI:

          So, people who correlate melatonin with weight gain are either a) experiencing “atypical” side effects (a totally valid and possible scenario), b) drawing incorrect conclusions about “causation” between two concurrent observations/events or c) are confusing personal observation with the scientific method.

      2. Er, it’s actually the healthy sleep, not the melatonin, that those things are linked to. Look up the science of sleep itself and it’s effect on metabolism and our immune system.

        You do bring up something interesting, though.

        Melatonin is being used to treat autoimmune and degenerative disorders. My autoimmune deficiency is treated by it, ALS (Lou Gherig’s) is treated with it, Multiple Sclerosis, and even some types of Fibromyalgia are showing great improvement when being treated with melatonin.

        As for weight loss and cancer fighting, that is where sleep comes in. Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain and an increased chance of cancers or other illnesses.

        1. I started taking melatonin a couple of months ago. I have many auto-immune conditions and these are my symptoms since starting melatonin: sinus congestion, hair loss, and a complete flair up of all of my conditions. My symptoms were so subtle in the beginning that I didn’t realize it was the melatonin. Then after doing some scientific research, melatonin inhibits the TH1 pathway and can also boost the TH2 pathway. It can be dose dependent with regards to the immune response. Since I am TH2 dominant, this is not good for me and explains my present health issues. Because this is a hormone, can anyone tell me how long it will take to clear my body? Will a liver cleanse help?

        2. Thank goodness for an intelligent response! I was beginning to wonder if the nastiness evident on this thread (until I came across your posting) was the result of massive sleep deprivation.

    5. I think human’s should stop saying everything is bad and use their brains, If you are used to having a cup of coffee every morning you are teaching you body to rely on caffine, just like with melatonin or anything else, If you abuse it everyday your body will expect, Just be smart, Dont down 2-3 pills a night becuase you can’t sleep, Plenty of ways to help you get to sleep, Most ways are simply mental exercisers. Stfu you nay sayers and simply accept the fact that people bitch about things that stupid people don’t realize every chemical you intake can affect your body negatively or positively, And their are far more common abused addictions than this to bitch about, Caffine being the number one case.( May be why ppl turn to a supplement like this anyway.)

      1. Actually pills can mess you up. Melatonin Shades are probably the safest option because its more about light exposure than anything else. I spend at least 2 hours on my laptop before passing out and my doctor suggested i don’t, but hey be realistic.

    6. I have been taking melatonin for sleep for sleep for the last 3 yrs and haven’t gained weight I have lost it. That being said everyone reacts different to medications.

    7. I am now CURED OF MY INSOMNIA after fighting it for 15years. To make a loooong story short I went from the pill form of melatonin 1/2mg…to Liquid Form 100% Vegetarian by Natrol. I started using same amount as pill form- 1/2mg. Slept SO MUCH MORE soundly on liquid form I tried taking 1/4mg after a week. Same result. Then 1/8mg after a week. Great!!! 1/8Mg = 16Drops…. I kept reducing – 16drops -> 12 -> 8 -> 4 -> etc…. cuz I’d start to feel over medicated and a little groggy after a few days on lower dose. Well I kept seeing improvement in my sleep quality on less and less melatonin. FINALLY Over the past 2Wks I’m down to one single drop!!!!! I started again to feel over medicated even on one drop!!!!! Last night I put 1Drop in water and drank 1/2…. I slept fine…. I consider myself cured. I posted this 03/05/13… Look below for posts of mine showing some of my older post. You’ll see my fight. Look for Frank B. I been saying all along… with Melatonin LESS IS MORE. Your best sleep is achieved on the smallest possible dose. You may have to start high, & on liquid melatonin you’ll be able to ween yourself OFF IT TOO. For me it took 15Yrs to figure it out. Hopefully my experience will help others with dreadful insomnia find their own CURE. Doctors only offer strong narcotics. You are no longer on your own. Hopefully this information helps someone.

      1. Now here is a person actually trying to help his fellow readers. BTW, I like to read Yahoo news just to try to get a pulse on the “low information readers” in this country and I am constantly amazed at the ugliness, meanness and ignorance of most commenters. This is my first time to read comments on a “medical” site and I never dreamed I would see haters here, too.

        I have 2 comments – Proper use of the words there/their, to/too, your/you’re are dead. I think it is not taught in schools anymore. Sad.

        I tried Melatonin and every other suggested sleep aid for years. Nothing helped. My doctor finally prescribed Xanax and it is unbelievable how well I sleep now! I have slept like a dead woman since the very first night (5 years ago). I still can’t believe it when I wake up in the morning. I have no drowsiness and no other side effects. It is an addictive drug, but I have had 2 doctors who are happy to prescribe it (not at the same time) because they know that I am not an abuser and because the benefits of sleep far outweigh any other reason not to prescribe this drug. This is my experience. That’s all. My experience.

        An audiologist suggested Melatonin to help with tinitis (ringing in ears) which is why I am on this site. I think I’ll skip it.

        1. Would never try regular medication with longer term side effects every one of them are suspect of. If they work they fix the symptom but not what is wrong in the first place. Magnesium – supplement, baths, almonds, pumpkin seeds – is relaxing for everything and makes sure calcium goes into our bones instead of into soft tissues like arteries, joints and even into organs (prostate!) where it does not belong. A spanner in the works that could also disturb sleep?. Seems it works for me. Vitamin E can also be missing. The older we get the shorter time before all those cheap omega-6 oils we consumed reaches it best before date inside our bodies. And when the Vit-E that came with them is used up more is needed on a daily basis, and we are what we eat. With good maintenance tools over night at least my body has no need to wake me up. So much is going on while we sleep, including melatonin being naturally dispensed to sleep and open up all our capillaries, derived from just spending an hour in the middle of the day outside (!) our nice windows!

        2. Mark’s readers are typically much more informed and better behaved, and display better critical thinking skills. I have never seen the comments section get so hateful before–it’s like reading YouTube comments. Really unpleasant. Please don’t judge this blog based on this particular post!

          On the subject of melatonin, I would like to share this: I see a psychiatrist who specializes in sleep disorders. I had battled insomnia off and on for my entire life, until I finally decided to get a sleep study done at age 40. Turns out the problem was a kind of restless limb syndrome (not going to share all the details but that is the gist of it) where my body moved so much during sleep that I prevented myself from going into the delta sleep phase, which is the most restorative period of rest.

          The solution for that problem was to take a drug call neurontin, which is a nerve pain medicine prescribed off-label for my disorder. It stopped my restless body from moving, and wow! I experienced truly restorative sleep for the first time in my entire life.

          The only problem was, that drug did nothing to INDUCE sleep, which was what I had originally gone to the doctor for. And, to make matters worse in a sense, he made me get off the tiny amount of trazadone, an antidepressant commonly prescribed for sleep, that I had been taking for the previous 18 months, given to me by a different doctor of course, because most other drugs that induce sleep actually just knock you unconscious and prevent the natural sleep cycles from occurring, and these different cycles, particularly delta, are what the brain needs to maintain psychological health.

          So I weaned myself off that drug (it was a miserable 3 weeks) and was told that to induce sleepiness, I could take diphenhydramine (i.e., benadryl) whenever I wanted, or, that I could take a few milligrams of melatonin but only 2-3 times week.

          THE REASON FOR LIMITING THE MELATONIN, he said, and this is the point I want to emphasize the most, is that if you take the hormone more often, your body will stop making melatonin (i.e., it will stop producing “endogenous” melatonin). That’s right, if you take melatonin every night for an extended period, your body will eventually stop making it on its own. Mark hints at this in his article, saying the body produces “less,” and one poster mentioned it as well, but I really think this fact should be emphasized a great deal more than it is, both on this blog and in general. Moreover, my shrink said my body would *stop* production, he didn’t say it would make less melatonin, and he was referring to what is known generally about supplementing this hormone, not to my specific situation.

          I do indeed take melatonin occasionally as my doctor says I can, but I think any substance that will cause your body to stop producing a hormone IS dangerous and should be labelled as such. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, just dangerous.

          Melatonin isn’t just for sleep, but for a variety of functions in the body and it seems common sensical to me that we’d want to keep our body’s ability to make it intact.

          The other point I want to make here is that if you’re really suffering from insomnia, you might benefit from seeing a sleep specialist rather than treating the condition on your own. In my case, I was convinced it was all about *falling* asleep, and I even had another psychiatrist prescribing me sleep drugs (the aforementioned trazadone and others) when all the time, these drugs were preventing my from reaching the deepest phases of sleep and were doing long-term harm. So it must be a sleep specialist, rather than a g.p. or even a regular psychiatrist. Plenty of doctors will give you a mild antidepressant or sedative to help you sleep without thinking twice about it. But those drugs prevent truly restorative sleep.

          And moreover, FALLING asleep wasn’t even my real problem. I would never have known about my real issue had I not seen a specialist.

          I know it’s such a conventional-wisdom-party-line to say, “see a doctor and don’t self-treat” and I am so against that way of thinking for the most part, this idea that only a doctor is qualified to make an evaluation about an individual’s health, but we can’t really see ourselves objectively when it comes to sleep, can we? It’s much different than what we can observe when awake.

          I especially want the people who have suffered with insomnia/bad sleep for a decade or more to consider seeing a specialist–science has made many advances in this area of study and continues to do so.

          If anyone wants to know, my doctor is Jory Goodman in Beverly Hills. He’s an odd duck, but a brilliant diagnostician.

          That’s my share. Hope someone finds it useful!

    8. Yeah Melatonin doesn’t make you gain weight, nice try

    9. doctor recomended me take one 10 Mg tablet of Melatonin per night. i stay up late and drink lots of high caffene drinks and they make me awake. to try to get to bed easily i usealy take more than the amount of melatonin the doctor rcomended. i often take instead of one of the 10 mg tablets of melatonin the DR. recomended me to ( the bottle of melatonin also says only to take one melatonin pill per night) i usaly take about 2 tablets of of Melatonin which = 20 mg of mellatonin! sometimes i take up to 50 mg of melatonin! i not sure that good idea. i am actualy a teen with bipolar. i never gotten into anything illegal. i was almost sure that the extra melatonin would do no harm. i guess i was wrong. 🙁 certain medical websites said it does not matter how much melatonin you take.

    10. Are you serious? You’re going to suggest banning a naturally produced chemical, and blame it, for your weight gain. How about stop making excuses of why you gained weight, and do some research. In no way whatsoever can melatonin effect your weight. Infact just mentioning that as a reason of our problems, is simply pathetic.

    11. Just out of curiosity, is melatonin the only single factor in your life you can attribute to your problem? You take no other supplements…have no other dietary issues…no other activities in your life…melatonin is the SINGLE thing in your life that you’ve changed and instantly over 3 months your life has changed this much? Nothing else at all? Most people have an average of 3 to 5 lifestyle changes which can include diet, exercise, supplements, mental health, family, work, etc that all occur at one time. It is, for an average person, very hard to narrow down the impact of one’s lifestyle on a life output. It takes a controlled environment over a period of 3 to 9 months, at the minimum, to discover the possible impacts and root cause of environmental/lifestyle issues. That doesn’t even include therapy to uncover psychological issues with no environmental/physical impact.

    12. Wow. Lots of rhetoric on here. I think the points stated in the original article hold merit. While I think the original shock headline is off base.

      Supplements should always be used as such, and never for long term. Key word: Supplement.

      If you are starving yourself and gain weight it is because you are putting your body into starvation mode.

      If you are dieting and not losing it is likely the food combinations you are choosing and when you are eating.

      If you are female, sorry, but you absolutely NEED to add all day activity to your routine. This, by the way, is a good idea for everyone.

      Pick an 8 hour period during the day to eat, and stay with it. It’s OK to cheat from time to time as long as the habit is towards good discipline.

      Be nice to yourself. Love who and what you are.

      If somebody hates you, are you going to follow their advice?

      Chill out. I could only spend a moment glancing through the replies before I had to stop in self defense. It is amazing how negative some are. Some…. Not all.

      Peace all. Good fortune in your endeavors.


    13. “I gained weight while taking it for 3 months straight, it needs to be banned!”

      Retards like this actually exist…

    14. I finally figured out that melatonin caused a significant weight gain with me too, therefor i threw the bottle out. Everyone experiences different side effects to meds. I cant wait to be thin again.

    15. I react very poorly to melatonin. I took 1.5mg supplement of it last night as a test and woke up with my whole body feeling like a brick and a bad headache. Throwing out the bottle when I get home.

    16. The same happened to me i started taking melatonin and i rapidly gained 3-5 lbs while eating only 1300 calories.,so im convinced it was the melatonin so i stopped taking it but the weight stayed: (

  2. ought ohhh. So i just switched to a primal way of living and am somewhat worried about my melatonin use now. i have been taking it regularly for 4 years at about .5 mg’s a night. any recommendations for how to wean myself from it? I’m pretty sure i will have trouble sleeping without it. I started taking it for sleeping problems, but was also told that it would help boost my seratonin production, does anyone know if this is true?

    1. Eh, well. As there is no real “withdrawal” from it just stop taking it. You may have a slightly harder time falling to sleep but it will return to normal before long. No real weaning needed just a small amount of time. Your body was ment to adjust acordingly to diet and .5mg’s isn’t a whole lot (I know melatonin is potent) and would be possible to get out of your daily diet so your body should adjust fine. Melatonin really isn’t THAT dangerouse if used right and in low amounts from my experiance and study.

    2. .5 is an extremely low dose…I doubt if you had to ween off anything. I take 1.2mg, well now I do 1.5mg. But not every night. Only when I need to get to bed earlier than usual.

    3. you really need to ask your Dr or naturalpath,it is a low dose but its best to ask, that goes for ALL taking it or stoping it, you should never take a dose of anything that is not recomended and read up on things check out medical websites also.

      1. I have been taking upwards of 30 to 60 milligrams of melatonin almost every night for the past 5 years and I have neither gained weight nor sprouted horns. Furthermore, if I feel tired enough to not need any… I don’t take it…..there is no need to wean off melatonin because there is no withdrawal. I have run out of it and gone without for many days with no ill effects. I hope it remains an over the counter product….. so many of the remedies that were always helpful are being snatched away from us so that we have to rely on prescriptions; and now the DEA is taking those away from us also.

  3. It worked for me.Everyone is different.It helped with my sleep and I lost weight.

    1. How relieving this comment was to me. I just pray that it does the same for me as well.

      1. Interesting. I sleep good. Although I am always having dreams. Tried melatonin because someone suggested I give it to my 2.5 year old son who is only sleeping 9 hours or less including naps.

        I am so glad I talked to his paediatrician first.

        The melatonin I slept good, no dreams. When I was a wake, I had more energy for daily activities. Think it’s defiantly something that maybe beneficial for some people and not for others.

        Something that should maybe only available through prescription.

        1. I do feel more energized as well. I hated feeling tired.

  4. Melatonin, Effexor, Lithium, Zoloft, Prozac and weed… they’re all the same — they make me fat, depressed, stupid and see stuff that isn’t there.

    1. It is highly unlikely that the reason you’re fat, depressed, and stupid is due to melatonin use.

      Studies show that weed can be linked to weight loss actually. (Notice how stoners are usually thin?)

      However, all of your problems are closely linked. Problems sleeping can make you depressed, and fat (over time, if untreated.) You’re most likely not “stupid,” but if you’re truly depressed you may think you are.

    2. I gained 15 lbs since i am taking melatonin, depressed and crying for stupid things.

    3. “Hormonal supplements, benzos and mild hallungenics are all the same to me”

      You should probably get your head checked

  5. You don’t need all these drugs! Faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and healthy dose of daily laughter are the best meds out there!

  6. Faith in God the Father, Son and Holy spirit along with marijuana and melatonin is the best med I’ve ever have.

    1. I have an extremely delayed circadian rhythm, my “comfortable” bedtime is some where after 5 am to about 8 am. I can’t lock it closer because I’ve never had enough time to free sleep. In any event nelson didn’t do it for me, it couldn’t. So I deified to ambien. Them my doc added rozerem (synthetic melatonin agonist) and that did help done, and I was FINALLY able to lose weight. I’ve also been experimenting with blue light from ten to noon, and blue blocking glasses at evening. The blue blocking is supposed to simulate melatonin production. Alrighty it is something that is finally letting me rest, which it does have a side effect of easier weight loss and weight maintenance for me.

    2. I have an extremely delayed circadian rhythm, my “comfortable” bedtime is some where after 5 am to about 8 am. I can’t lock it closer because I’ve never had enough time to free sleep. In any event nelson didn’t do it for me, it couldn’t. So I switched to ambien. Then my doc added rozerem (synthetic melatonin agonist) and that did help some, and I was FINALLY able to lose weight. I’ve also been experimenting with blue light from ten to noon (that late and long power docs orders due to significant sleep delay), and blue blocking glasses at evening. The blue blocking is supposed to simulate melatonin production. Alrighty it is something that is finally letting me rest, which it does have a side effect of easier weight loss and weight maintenance for me.

      1. I like you, have an extremely delayed circadian sleep rhythm. I usually seems to get sleepy at around 4 0 5 AM..
        I have talked to my family physician & she recommended me to see the sleep specialist….this one had recommended me to use either the artificial light (lamp) and or melatonin…
        I must admit I am very concern about the side effects of both, the melatonin as well as the artificial light (lamp).

        I am wondering if anyone has try using BMT (Behaviour Therapy modification) would that be helpful at all?….

        Any good suggestions would help.

        Much appreciated.

  7. I have been taking melatonin for a while now. I only weighed 120. Since I have been taking melatonin, I have gained 10 lbs. I have never weighed 130 lbs. Should I discontinue taking melatonin? It does help me sleep, because before I was having sleeplessness nights. I’m working out at home a lot. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!

    1. It’s just 10 pounds.. It happeneds don’t just up and blame the melatonin. Look at lifestyle and diet first. Plus after I reached a sertain age I started to gain and lose 5-10 lbs all the time.

    2. Im in the same boat but I would not blame Melatonin. I just look at weight gain with age you will gain weight its normal I think that is the hardest part for people to deal with especially women. I am now 130 and 19 years old i was always 115 but I would like to think will happy sleep there comes hapy healthy weight gain no worries its NORMAL PEOPLE!

    3. Not to poo-poo the idea that melatonin could be a contributing factor as other anecdotal evidence supplied here have mentioned, have you considered that you’ve been “working out at home a lot”.

      Muscle mass weighs MUCH MORE than fat does. If you’ve been exercising a lot, the weight gain could be a factor of working out. Have your BMI (body mass index) taken (a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women).

  8. i bought some melatonin for my sleep disorder and it didnt work at all. it makes me feel tired and sleepy but i still couldnt get a good nights sleep and i still wake up the next day feeling likke crap..
    anyone know why?

    1. take a little bit higher dose than you did before. and while you take it you should be in bed at least trying to fall asleep. it will wear off if you’re really into a tv show or playing on the computer.
      if you say you woke up feeling like crap, it probably meant you slept too long or as i say it, slept too hard.

      1. you need to read some atricles on sleep and dont recomend a higher dose, do you know how much this person was taking in the first place ?

    2. Liz is right, melatonin is sensitive to light, so you have to shut your house down to actually drift off. I like complete darkness and silence anyway, so it knocks me right on out.

    3. Melatonin isn’t for everyone.

      If you don’t move around enough each day, you’re likely to have too much energy to fall asleep at night. That is why people with tedious office jobs, students in high school, etc have sleeping issues. You need to exercise more, go out more, and use up more energy during your day. Not only will it help you sleep, but it will give you more fulfillment and purpose in life.

      If you try that and it doesn’t work (unlikely, but possible I guess- since nothing is 100% true), I suggest trying an OTC sleep medication, or even getting a prescription to ambien. Ambien can have negative side effects, but if used properly and sparingly it may help.

      still the best thing anyone can do to get more sleep is EXERCISE and use up energy throughout their days!!

  9. I have had sleep disorder for 11yrs now. As time goes on my intake of melatonin has gone from 5mg to 3mg down to 1mg. As I reduced my intake I continued to feel droggy and tired the next day – i felt as though i needed more sleep. It was only after I reduced to 1mg that now I feel great. —- NOTE: while the melatonin helps me sleep all night, the “trigger” I need to actually put me to sleep is another supplement called Doxylamine Succinate. Same as found in Nyquil. Costco sells it as Kirkland SleepAid. Also CVS Walgreens WalMart. I take either 1/4-1/2 a pill. I take both about 1Hr before bed. Never fails. The warnings mentioned above talk about taking 3-6mg. I believe 1mg may be safe for now.

  10. I take .3 mg a night and have for a year and it works great. I fall asleep quickly, stay asleep (or go back easily if I wake up to use the bathroom). No grogginess in the morning, no weird dreams. I started out at 1 mg and felt horrible the next day til at least noon. I was also having unsettling dreams all night. So I have reduced and reduced and found the perfect amount for me. I have read to stay away from the time release, even at 1 mg.

    Of course when people are taking high doses they will have problems. Same with anything, right? When I read of people increasing their dose rather than decreasing, I realize they have not done proper research. Once you have excessive levels in your bloodstream, it stops working. Keep it at a low dose that the body naturally produced at one time (or should have).

  11. Just to clarify that amount I take is .3.

    NOT 3 mg!

    I actually cut a 1 mg tablet in 3 parts, so it is a bit give or take.

  12. Frank B back,  from -2- comments above. This is updated information. My recipe for amazing sleep after being an insomniac for 11 horrible years. A Nutritionist recommended 100Mg 5-HTP All Natural Plant Extract – I take TWO — ONE @noon & ONE  1Hr before bed. ONE may be enough for some people. Learn more at __ and decide for yourself …  PLUS I still take Melatonin – Again I have continued to reduce from original 5Mg down to only 1/4.Mg – I buy 1Mg and cut in 1/2 and cut again into 1/4’s and take chew it, just before bed. I too have tried & I agree – Stay Away from Time-Release. It stays in your system toooo long leaving you droggy…. No more Doxylamine Succinate after being hooked for 11yrs …. 5-HTP plus a little Melatonin worked that well.

  13. I take it for:
    1/insomnia, 2/weight loss, 3 cold feet.
    I think the increased metabolism is the key.
    My cold feet was warm in the middle of the night and by morning I had kicked off all beddings down there. Have read that core body drops about 0.5 degree while peripheral temp can increase up to 5 degree. At least I note the latter.
    The dose confusion is probably due to how it is taken: If chewed I think 10% is same as swallowed, depending on how long time it is chewed. Chewing is similar to sublingual. I guess the 1/4 mg is right for this, for me! A great one, in moderation of course. I am 65 and my cold feet just got worse and a blood relative got her feet amputated for similar reason when she was over 80 and died then shortly after.

    1. I would like to talk to you about what you did. I have read that seratonoin is made in the morning so it would make sense for you to take it during the day.

      Would you call me? Rene 720-329- 1171

  14. Hello,
    Your tips for jet lag are very helpful. However, I do believe that the title of this article is misleading.
    Melatonin has not been proven to be dangerous, even in excessive doses. Also, the argument about the brain making less melatonin simply because one is supplementing it does not have a source, and appears to be an assumption.
    My own experience with melatonin has left me pretty satisfied. I have been taking 10 mg, every 4 days to help me get great rest, and I have not gained weight, I have had great dreams, and I wake up feeling refreshed. As with anything, everyone reacts differently, but it seems unreasonable to call it “Dangerous” when it’s far from it; also since searching “taking melatonin daily” on google will bring up the article, and potentially mislead many people searching for accurate information. Sources would really add credibility to the claim. Other than that, great article.

  15. I’ve been taking melatonin 5mg on and off the past week and I have noticed that I alway feel more awake in the morning when I dont take melatonin. I’m done taking melatonin, it does help me fall asleep but I feel much shittier the next day than I usually do.. Not worth it.

    1. Have you asked yourself why they make lower doses? Maybe you should start somewhere in the 0.x range and work yourway up untill you find the right dose for you. Could take a while but would be worth it if you aren’t getting good sleep currently.

  16. I have been taking melatonin almost every night for about 6 months or so. I was 105lbs, now I am 130lbs. I suspect it is the melatonin as nothing else has changed other than that. I don’t think the melatonin is supposed to be taken as much as I did take it but it does work well. I am going off of it now to see if the weight will drop.

  17. I take melatonin from time to time – about 2-4 times a month. I take 1/2 of a 3mg slow release tablet – that’s sufficient to bring me to sleep.

    I don’t think that melatonin is good for promoting long, deep sleeps – all it seems to do is bringing me to sleep, not keeping me asleep. But the good thing is that I don’t have any noticeable side effects from this use.

    In order to stay asleep I use magnesium – which is known to be muscle relaxing.

    1. Sorry everyone for all of the comments but I feel the need to do it once again… You can not split something “slow” or “time” released and it still be time released. It breaks what makes it time released. The pill itsself. Maybe you do need the time released to keep you asleep. Try a 1.5mg time release if you want. Depending on metabolism depends on how fast its excreted. Normaly the larger dose the long time and larger effect. So maybe try a larger dose or as you were a time release. I would prefer the first rather the last option untill you find what I’ve seen many call the “right dose” for you.

      1. Do not agree. Have a look at a picture of swanson’s time release meatonin and you’ll understand why. The tablet consists of two parts, one “slow” and one “fast”. Not your average, hardened “time release” tablet. That’s why you can split _this one_ (but for the most reagarding your average time-release, I agree).

  18. I have been taking melatonin nightly for almost 20 years. How’s that for long-term ! Before melatonin it took me 2-4 hours to fall asleep no matter what but I’ve mostly slept like a babie ( 8 good hours) ever since taking melatonin. I always use liquid version and do 1mg upto 3mg nightly.

    Still not any noticeable side effects after these past twenty years of almost nightly use.

    Every few months I do go a week without taking melatonin and by the end of the week I have to start the melatonin again as it starts getting hard to fall asleep like it was so long ago for me.

    Melatonin kept me sane and i swear by it. If you have a terrible time falling asleep then you owe it to yourself to try it.

    1. i have taken 8 of the 3 mg melatonin per night for the past 15 years. i have had no side effects at all…i even take it with a lil nyquil….i think however i might try quitting..i would like to be able to go to sleep on my own.i’m just worried that i will not be able to because to be honest…without melatonin i have no sleepy or drowsy feeling at all.

  19. I have suffered from insomnia my whole life. I have tried everything. I have taken different prescription meds, like Ambien, Sonata, and several others. I tried the over the counter meds. I hated them all. They messed with my brain, made me hyper, or made me feel foggy the next day. I now take .3 mg of vegetarian melatonin. The smallest dose I could find. I feel like I sleep like a normal person for the first time in my life. It doesn’t knock me out or make me tired the next day. I have read you should be careful of the other added ingredients. Sometimes they mix it with things that cause side effects. I am sticking with this. I feel better than ever now that I get a decent night sleep.

    1. What type of insomnia do you have? I suffer from waking up during the night for over 15 years. I have no problem falling a sleep. Is melatonin good for this type? What brand do you buy?

  20. I’ve taken the 1mg slow release melatonin tablets for about a week now and feel like crap the next day. I thought I was getting sick I was that tired and groggy! This is the worst I have felt out of all the different sleeping tablets I have tried over my 7 insomnia years 🙁

  21. I take 5 maximum strength (10mg) a night, I still don’t sleep.I really need something else but I know I can’t excersise before bed, what do you suggest?

    1. Binaural works for me every now and again. I have issues with hormonal imbalances and melatonin will work every now and then, but rather than take a pill, I’d prefer to go as holistic as possible which is why I started using Binaural methods (I’m a massage and relaxation therapist, ironic I know, and also recommend it to clients) which worked for me and for my clients.
      Binaural sleep aids are music or sound effect tracks with tones in the background that help regulate and ease brainwaves through sound. Sound plays a significant role in brainwaves (the reason ravers use dance and house music is the sound actually makes them high to a degree and the reason classical music makes many people sleepy is the binaural tones of the larger instruments tell us to relax . . . except for Beethoven of course!).
      This is the BEST way to try and get some shut eye without any pills or teas or things.
      Be sure you also practice good sleep hygeiene as well:
      1. Only sleep in your bed, not read or use your computer, or watch tv.
      2. Exercise in the morning or afternoon.
      3. Limit caffeine and consume no caffiene after 6 pm.
      4. Keep hydrated.
      5. Keep your room dark (I use black-out curtains to help).
      6. Keep your room quiet (except of course for binaural tones if used).
      7. Keep your thermostat between 68 and 65 (cool temperatures help you reach fuller, better sleep cycles).
      8. Talk to your doctor about any other issues like delayed phase disorder, apnea, or anxiety (trying meditation for the first and last of those three is often beneficial).

      Talk to your doctor about this . . . I am a therapist NOT A DOCTOR, nor do I play one on tv! Still, I hope that helps.

      You can get FREE Binaural MP3 tracks at Try the Newport Waves one, that’s the one that works best for me and for the majority of my clients.


  22. THIS IS MY -3rd- TIME WRITING. __ ALL YOU GUYS WHO COMPLAIN MELATONIN DON’T WORK. __. SEVERAL REASONS ARE POSSIBLE. __ 11yrs INSOMNIA, I KNOW MELATONIN WORKS. _ FOR ME ANYWAYS. __ ((1)) STAY AWAY FROM TIME RELEASE __ ((2)) STAY AWAY FROM 2MG OR MORE. __. NONE OF THOSE WORK GOOD ENOUGH __. ALL TOOOO STRONG!!!!!!!! LESS IS MORE!!!!!!! ___. I buy 500mcg ((=1/2mg)) at Trader Joes. I take it at 5 pm. Or 6, 7, 8, 9,… The earlier the better. PLUS _ ODORLESS GARLIC PILLS!!!!!!!!!!! __ caution:: may cause nightmares in most!!! I take -2- upon rising. and -2- around 2-3pm. GARLIC GREAT for blood pressure, bowels, skin…. +SLEEP!!!!!!! With ORDORLESS GARLIC I sleep fantastic. I had nightmares about a week. No more nightmares. ONLY GLEEP GREAT!!!!! MY 89 year old mother had same success. Nightmares too. She no longer needs her blood pressure pills!!!

    1. There’s no need to shout. Yes, it is possible that if others are still having problems, it could be possible that it is not the melatonin. It is equally possible that what works for you, might simply not work for someone else. What does not cause side effects for you, might cause them for someone else.

  23. The person who runs this site is pretty much wrong about melatonin and is doing a profound disservice to people who could be helped by it. Yes, it’s a hormone, very astute. And….? The stuff is safe for daily use and wonderfully effective. You need to find the dose that works for you. Anyone who has concerns or wants deep background should read the relevant chapter in “Renewal” by Timothy Smith M.D.

    1. Testosterone is a hormone, too. Are you suggesting that if something is a hormone it MUST be safe, taken at whatever level you deem fit to take? We’ve all heard the horror stories that taking steroids is dangerous.

      How about estrogen, which has been linked to cancer?

      How about insulin? Ever hear of insulin tolerance? Beta cells in the pancreas increase their production of insulin, further contributing to hyperglycemia. It can be caused by taking too much insulin.

      Are you a doctor? No? Then please cite your references that can be verified online, and not some book written by a quack of dubious authenticity – and who’s claims are that his “program” can extend your life to 120.

      Yeah. Right. But only HE has the secret, and it can be yours, too, for the low, low price of $9.00 on Amazon. Do you honestly believe that if he had the answer to keep people alive to 120 that it’d only cost less than $10? Oh, those homeopathic supplements he tells you about in the book? Why just COINCIDENTALLY, he can sell you THOSE, too, at a low, low introductory price, I’m sure.


  24. Does anyone else have extremely intense and disturbing dreams when you take melatonin? I would almost describe them as hallucinations how intense they are. And I would always wake up the next morning feeling very groggy and confused and it’s much harder for me to get going in the morning.

    This only happens to me when I take melatonin.

    1. Your dosage is probably too high. Even 0.3 mg is enough for some people.

      1. I cut my 0.3 milligram plant-based (plant-based is recommended by the Mayo clinic) pill in half. I sleep very well.

        When I took the whole 0.3 mg pill I was aware of dreaming all hight, hallucinated and was tired the next day.

        Half (or 1/3) a 0.3 mg pill works great for me. For the first time in years I’m sleeping well.

    2. Hi, The doctor prescribed melatonin for my husband, he had very lucid dreams and told the doctor, the doctor said to cut the dose down. we just emptied some of the melatonin into another empty capsule we got from a compounding pharmacy. Now he sleeps and doesn’t dream as much.

      In Australia, you need to get a script for melatonin because it needs to be made up by the chemist. It’s very expensive so we didn’t want to throw it out.

      Now I get my melatonin online from the US. My doctor knows and agrees with out decision. My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, they said that even with the chemo they were going to give him he would be lucky to live 18 months to 2 years. He couldn’t sleep because he couldn’t get it out of his mind he was scared (understandably so) he has taken melatonin for 5 years. Sleeping pills, sedatives, exercise…keep the lights down low…nothing helped. the specialist had no qualms in giving him very strong sleeping pills, after all he was going to die anyway! Well, five years later he is clear of cancer and has been told it’s not likely to come back. the doctor said he can’t explain it and to keep doing what he’s doing. the only thing that has changed in his life besides having the chemo is taking the melatonin. I read that in Italy it is given with the chemo sometimes to undo the side effects. anyway, I don’t have any scientific proof…but I feel that the melatonin has kept his cancer from coming back. I’m not saying it cured him the chemo did…but I think the melatonin KEPT him healthy.

      I repeat, I have NO proof. But we just feel that’s what it could have been.

      He has not gained any weight or lost any weight…for posters up further…I think that might have more to do with personal reactions.

      I think THIS was a personal reaction…

      I’m grateful for melatonin and I’m very grateful I could buy it in the US for a lot less than I could here.

      this is not a scientific response…it’s a personal one. However for the vivid dreaming the DOCTOR said that meant the dose was too high. when we cut it down to half the dreaming stopped.

      Good luck to all of you that are looking for answers.

    3. My experience with Melatonin is that sometimes (not always) it can lead to what I call “paralysis” dreams. I wake up (or think I do), but can’t move and cannot speak. I have a VERY vivid feeling that someone is in the house, coming to get me. No, not kill me, or strangle me or stab me – but to GET me. I know they’re there. The panic starts to rise. I can’t move! I almost can hear them, coming closer. Finally, I can get a gasp out and end up actually WAKING UP out of the dream.

      These dreams are the worst! Very similar to the dreams described by people who claim they’re abducted (which I am most certainly NOT claiming – this is a dream and I know it’s a dream – except during the dream!)

      Luckily it doesn’t happen all the time, but almost assuredly, if I wake up for any reason after first falling asleep after taking the melatonin, I won’t be able to get BACK to sleep. For me, melatonin only serves to put me to sleep – not to keep me there.

      Unfortunately, the alternative is to have an upside-down sleep schedule. I’m forced to take whatever I can to help break that cycle, and if you look at the time of this post (do they post the time?) you’d see it’s the middle of the night. I woke up an hour and a half after taking a 3mg (three) pill and now am as wired as if I had drank coffee (which I don’t use, or any other caffeinated drink for that matter).

      Benadryl works (diphenhydramine) but it can lead to peripheral edema (and has with me) and also can lead to weight gain.


  26. I am a witness of the weight gain . Oh boy it does help we sleep wonders though !!! I started taking it a little over 3 months ago and started dieting and exercising frequently around the same time . I really started getting worried after I jumped on the scale and was 12 # heavier ……… I will have to find a new alternative 🙂 works for sleep but I can’t deal with the weight gain . My doctor agrees this was the route cause of my weight gain . Hope this helps

    1. I started taking 3mg Melatonin with success for sleep about 8 months ago and my weight has increased from 135 to 155, despite me weighing 135 for almost 10 yrs now. Melatonin is the only variable that has changed except for eating a little healthier and exercising more lately. I also have a very active job. I cannot lose weight and it sounds like I’m not the only one on here with this problem. I’m going to quit taking it for a month or so and see what happens. Has anyone else on here quit and and been able to lose the weight gain?

  27. I was with you up til you mentioned the evolution thing…………. But anyways, I think that any supplement should be used with caution.

  28. Our bodies on average when we are in adolescents and early twenties produce anywhere from 5-25 micrograms of melatonin.
    I have found that many people take way too much melatonin and that is the reason they have either groggines the next morning or it doesnt work for them. The key is to start low around 150 micrograms and work up to no more than 1-2 milligram. Take 1 hour before bed and when you go to bed, put all the lights out and no T.V.

    It will hit you and the key is when it peaks just ride the wave and just relax and this will help reset our circarian rythym which gets really messed up with the lifestyle that many of us have.

    Melatonin decreases with age and the way I take it is 1.2 milligrams the first night and then 900 micrograms the second night, 600 micrograms the third night and then 300 micrograms the fourth night and I take two days off. I have done this since the age of 35 and I am 45 now and sleep incredibly well and have no weight gain and have had increase in muscle mass. The key is to shock the pineal gland once and then taper and take two days off. This is the method I was taught by a man who lived to 105 years old and looked like he was in his 50s. He swore by this and I can tell you I feel like I am in my twenties and its because of the great sleep I have and I am on just two other supplements.

  29. I forgot to add that I found my dose that worked for me when I titrated to 1.2 milligrams and woke up the next morning and didnt have groggines and felt like I have a good nights rest. Then I tiratred down. The key is the shock dose that works best which is the dose that gets the sleep and then titrated down. Even if your dose that works is 300 micrograms, you still titrate it down for four days and then two days off. It is ashamed that they do no make lower doses like 100 microgram pills. I havent found any, if anyone has please let me know.
    Frank. B you do know what you are talking about. People definately listen to him. That is also the other supplement that I take, the garlic along with vitamin C.

  30. Can you take too much melatonin? I have been taking (3) 3mg tablets at night for about 2 months. I have noticed chest pains and flutters as well as a change in breathing patterns when I walk. Since reading this I have not taken any more melatonin.

  31. @Rob… do you acquire such small amounts of Melatonin when the smallest dose you typically find is 1-5Mg. You seem to throw these numbers around as if it’s common knowledge. Maybe you have a source you can share? I buy 500mcg at Trader Joe’s – cut in 1/2 = 250mcg / cut in 1/2 again = 125mcg …. or 1/8ofOne Mg…. I go to this trouble because I cannot find TINY DOSEs anywhere.

    1. Easy, buy the liquid. I buy I mg, but you take four dropper fulls to reach the 1mg. So I take one dropper, which gives me 1/4 of a mg. If you want 1/8 of a mg, take half of a dropper. With the liquid you can reduce to any amount you want

  32. @Sonja…YES it’s too easy to overdose on Melatonin… Manufactures don’t get it. They don’t offer TINY doses……. I chew 1/8 Mg one hr before bed and hold it – as i lay my head to sleep i chew 1/2 pill Doxylamine Succinate and hold in my mouth for 3 minutes – and sleep great. I take Vita B complex with breakfast. I may not sleep well without it. Odorless garlic pill at breakfast / at bed time / and once more in middle of night. @Rob… I just read your FollowUp blog. Thanks

    DO NOT EVER TAKE MORE THAN 1 MG until you tried MUCH MUCH LESS – 1/8-1/2Mg – poor result is usually always be because of taking too much. LESS IS DEFINATELY BEST WAY TO START.

    1. So important to know about Dosage.
      Thank you for stating this so clearly.

  33. There’s no need to take hormones to help you sleep – simply block out blue light for a couple of hours before bed and your body will naturally produce melatonin to make you sleepy.

    After suffering with a sleep problem for about a year and trying blue blocking sunglasses without success, I made my own very cheaply.

    After wearing these for 30 mins, I could feel myself getting drowsy. After 2 hours I was ready to go to bed and sleep.

    I made 50 pairs of these REALLY cheap and put them up on eBay. If you want to try a pair without forking out $100.00 for a commercial pair, just google for rodsnconesdotnet.

    I’d be interested in feedback if these work for you.

    Best of luck


  34. I bought melatonin after I saw Dr. Oz to help me falling asleep faster. I took melatonin and I had the opposite, I cld not sleep at all !!! I don’t have trouble sleeping, I’ve just been going to bed too late, and waking up late. I will never take this drug anymore.

  35. I have had insomnia since I was a child. I’m almost 25 now and I have finally found something to make me fall asleep like a normal person. I can’t even tell you how helpful melatonin has been for me. I have done research on the stuff for over a year now and have found absolutely no side effects. It’s actually proven to prevent certain types of cancer and even treat it. Cancer patients taking melatonin have shown to respond better to chemotherapy. Who cares if its a hormone.

    1. I have written several times and emphatic about dose being very small. Less than 1mg. I take 1/8mg. Curious to know much works for you. Past two weeks I remove milk from my diet and am sleeping TONs better. Stomach bloating and weight going down.

      1. I typically take 2.5-5mg depending on how stressed out I am (I take it occasionally for insomnia prevention). The first time I tried it, I took 1.25 mg (half a pill) and didn’t really notice anything. Second time was 2.5, and it worked perfectly. I don’t use it more than 2-3 times per week, some weeks not at all, so I doubt I have a tolerance. As a computer science major, I am typically on my computer at night, which (unfortunately) is proven to reduce melatonin production. Because of this, I’m guessing my natural melatonin levels are lower than normal.

  36. I have been taking melatonin for 2 years now. I take 2-4 of the 3mg tablets nightly. I tried smaller doses and it did not help me to sleep throughout the entire night.
    The good news is, when I wake up, I am awake for the duration, I do not feel groggy or sluggish.
    The bad news is, I have gained 25 pounds since starting melatonin. I have always had high metabolism, I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. The past year, however, I have been watching my calorie intake. I do not drink soda and I do not consume products that have a lot of sugar in them. I firmly believe it is the melatonin that has caused this change in my body. That is why I have been searching for information about it and it is what led me to this site.
    I know my body and I know where my weight should be and after having read many many comments about this subject, on various sites, I have decided to quit taking melatonin.

    1. I also have gained 20 lbs in 8 months on 3mg of Melatonin and just today realized that this is the only variable that changed. I had been at the same weight for 10 years before and am more active than ever. Did you lose weight after going off Melatonin? Thanks!

  37. I’ve never had problems with Melatonin. I only take it once in along while, and no more than one night. I also make sure I don’t buy the TIME RELEASED form. Once I had taken that, and it dragged on to the next day. I was quite lethargic the next day. But the regular ones don’t do that. I feel refreshed the next morning and it does not affect me at all in terms of being tired or sleepy the next day.

  38. I agree with the weight gain! I have always been in the range of 113-115 ALWAYS! I started taking 5mg (not realizing the severity of the right dosage) and with in a month jumped 10 pounds! I was crying all the time, not a dot of energy at all! I have always been the type of person who would be called the energizer battery my sjouke life! Point is your all right! You need to take the right dose, BUT we are nit doctors or pharmacists so I feel this should be a prescription drug and highly monitored by a doctor! This throws all your hormones out of wack and can lead to bad things! I know after the second month and two doctors later and almost getting put on progesterone and Adrenial Support meds cause they thought that’s what it was, I decided to just stop it for a few weeks and by the 3rd day my energy was back I stopped crying and felt back to my old self!!! I actually am sleeping like a baby now as well. So my advice is stay away from it your not a doctor to play with dosages. It should be in the prescription form! I say just meditate, sleepy teas, warm milk, and exercise all helps sleeping. No reason to yell at anyone on here we are all seeking advice from others. So that’s my take on it! Good luck!

    1. Rene,
      Can you tell me if your weight came off quickly? I am going off the melatonin after reading all these comments. I am relived to discover why I’ve gained so much weight despite eating well and exercise.

    2. Were you able to lose the weight you had put on after getting off Melatonin?

  39. I’m having a site time understanding some of the weight gain effect in these comments. There are dozens of studies showing how effective melatonin is for weight loss. The dosage used was in the range of 20 mg. I was so convinced that I started using it myself even going up to 40 mg some nights. After a couple of weeks, I can tell you the weight is melting off. It’s rather remarkable as something that makes you sleepy can also help you burn fat. It induces thermogenesis in brown fat by stimulating a protein called thermogenin and increasing heat production. Has anyone taken the time to figure out if the weight gain is actual fat ? Instead of water weight or even added muscle mass ? Melatonin also increases growth hormone output, which is also lipolytic in itself. In addition, melatonin also reverses many of the metabolic changes found in obesity. In fact, night shift workers have a tendency towards obesity and cancer because of a lack of melatonin production. I think this hormone deserves a closer look. See PMID: 22380505 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

    1. Hi Luis,
      Did your weight come off easily? I am convinced the tranquility blend (with melatonin) I have been taking for over a year has been the reason for a 10 lb weight gain despite furious exercise. 🙁
      Unfortunately, the blend works very well for me, but I am eager to be off of it and lose this weight!

    2. My GOD you take 40 milligrams a night?

      1-3 mgs is the recommended dose. You’re taking over TEN TIMES the recommended dose!

      I worry for you.

  40. This is a response to LUIS…

    Melatonin is associated with weight GAIN for several reasons.
    One is because it is a hormone that makes you sleepy.People produce more of it in the winter,and as a result people also gain more weight in the winter.It makes you cold,sleepy and withdrawn.So that is one possible reason for weight gain.

    The weight gain I had from it,was because it FRIED my thyroid gland.And if some of you do your research,you will see Melatonin is not good for the thyroid.
    Melatonin made me HYPOTHYROID,which is highly associated with weight gain.
    Once I stopped taking Melatonin and started taking thyroid hormone replacement,I lost all of the Melatonin weight gain and then some.

  41. I think Melatonin is best for people with circadian rythm issues. Like DSPS. It’s not a sleeping pill, it’s more of a body clock resetter.

  42. Heres a good one do what ur mothers always told u to do,and yall never listened.( role over,close your eyes,and go to bed!!!) It works .u people always rely on things to help u do somthing use yourself lazy asses use ur brain thats what its there for it your own personal control room and ur in charge..

  43. About half of you are lunatics with too many useless opinions and too much time. I’m sure she didn’t need a lecture with the word “ejaculate” in it about melatonin! Get a life.

  44. Stumbled across this article while doing some research for a paper I’m writing and am absolutely SHOCKED at a lot of the ignorance and misinformation being touted as fact here.

    First off, there have been no objective, scientific studies I have been able to find anywhere that suggest Melatonin causes weight gain. Not one (feel free to link one here if you can find one). Quite the opposite, Melatonin has been shown in studies to help reduce fat ( just one objective link to an actual study, not some idiot proclaiming they gained 20 pounds and it must be Melatonin’s fault).

    The key here (as the poster above me points out) is that Melatonin is something our bodies produce naturally, but as we age we tend to produce less of it. So if you’re in your 20’s and are having no trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, taking Melatonin is probably not a great idea. But if you’re middle aged and having trouble getting to sleep you should absolutely talk to your DOCTOR about adding a Melatonin supplement (just like you would for Testosterone or any other hormone therapy). I started a 3mg dose on the advice of my doctor about 6 months ago and can tell you that I sleep like a kid, wake feeling rested, and have lost 50 pounds through diet and exercise, things I didn’t really have the energy for when I was suffering from insomnia and waking up in the middle of the night.

    But the main thing I hope anyone that stumbles onto this site will take away from this is that don’t take anything here (even my comments) as gospel. I would strongly encourage you to look for objective medical evidence supported by actual doctors and clinicians and not a bunch of random individuals.

    Here’s a few links to help you get started on better educating yourself:

    1. Very useful information. Thank you. A lot to read, and very detailed. I found this article you presented most useful::

      The most powerful statement regarding DOSAGE I found was the following:

      “Studies showed that only a small dose of melatonin (about 0.3 milligrams) is necessary for a restful effect. Taken in that quantity, it not only helps people fall asleep, but also makes it easier for them to return to sleep after waking up during the night–a problem for many older adults. The researchers also found, however, that commercially available melatonin pills contain 10 times the effective amount. And at that dose, “after a few days it stops working,”

      NOTE:: Less is better. I take 1/8 milligram. Try starting with 1/4-1/2 milligram – 1Mg at the most. Its very rare more is needed. Trail & Error and working closely with the Dr. is best.

    2. THANK YOU. While I may not immediately agree with your points, I’m very happy that you cited why you have the opinions that you do – and that they seem to be from reputable scientific organizations (well, except for LiveStrong – which is run by a dope-fiend – or was…)

      I’ll be tearing through those citations as soon as I hit “SUBMIT”.

      Thanks again!

  45. Ok, I’ve had insomnia since I was a kid. My parents would put me to bed and I would lay in there for hours unable to sleep. I am generally unable to sleep unless I am completely exhausted and can literally not keep my eyes open any longer. That usually means staying up for 20+ hours, or even several days at a time. I have never had any control over this, and my sleep schedule has been completely erratic as a result.

    I have been unable to work or lead a normal life because of my sleep problems. I frequently could not sleep until the morning or afternoon, and then would be in bed all day. Then a couple days later, I would sleep at night. Then a couple days later I wouldn’t sleep at all.

    When I did sleep, I would usually sleep for 10-14 hours at a time, but would always wake up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. I would have vivid dreams the entire night and would wake up feeling totally exhausted because, from my perspective, I was busy all night!

    It wasn’t until I tried taking melatonin that I had ANY control over any of this. Now as long as I take my melatonin every evening, I can fall asleep around 10 or 11 and wake up around 9 hours later, totally rested, like a normal person. This works almost without fail.

    I started off taking 5mgs at night, and it worked beautifully, but when I read that I shouldn’t need that much, I reduced to 3mg. 3mg doesn’t do anything for me. It’s as if I didn’t even take it. So now I take two 3mg tablets (6mg) and it works perfectly again.

    I have not gained any weight doing this. I started taking the melatonin at the same time I started Primal, and have lost 40lbs in 5 months.

    And no, Primal itself has not been a factor in helping me sleep better, at least not on its own. When I don’t take the melatonin, even when eating clean, I sleep just as poorly as I used to (if I am able to sleep at all).

    I’m probably going to be taking this stuff for the rest of my life. And that is fine with me, because at least I’ll be well-rested and be able to live on an actual schedule like people are supposed to be able to do. I refuse to be made to feel as if I’m just “not trying hard enough” if I can’t sleep like everyone else can. Melatonin makes me healthy. Sheer white-knuckled willpower and orange light and “winding down before bed” does not.

  46. I’m going to disagree with you here, Mark. An necessary consequence of living in the modern world–for those of us who don’t wear orange goggles–is artificially high levels of blue light in the evening, and therefore, artificially low levels of melatonin. By regularly using melatonin (or in my case, semi-regularly–I’m still wary enough that I’m not too conscientious about it), you’re simply restoring your body to more natural levels of melatonin.

    The important thing about melatonin, in my opinion, is its role as an antioxidant. It apparently served this role before evolution co-opted it to regulate circadian rhythms, and it’s a potent antioxidant (it self-destructs rather than passing along the radical electron, and its breakdown products are also antioxidants). There’s evidence for all sorts of benefits to supplementation (although, full disclosure, I haven’t looked far past Wikipedia on this).

    I’d say that even if some tolerance develops, your melatonin levels are still going to be higher than without supplementation. Given all this, I’m cautiously of the opinion that melatonin supplementation is downright healthy.

  47. Interesting — I’ve been taking melatonin for a few months now. Love the sleep, but have packed on 10 extra pounds that I can not get rid of. dosage …. I cut 1mg tablets into 3 pieces!!! I’m out in 15-30 minutes after taking 1/3 of a 1mg tablet. So, I don’t think I’m taking too much. I think its great for jet-lag and occasional use, but I really do think for some people, it causes weight gain.

  48. How can anyone say, “this does or not cause weight gain”? Each supplement or drug has side effects that differ for each one person, regardless of empirical evidence or studies! If a person knows they have gained weight, then, they’ve gain weight. If someone lost weight, then they lost weight. Personally, melotonin did make me gain 15 pounds and I don’t care to see the studies that prove the supplement makes people people lose weight because I know what it does to MY body. End of story.

  49. I have been taking slow release Melatonin 5mg for the past six months and find it a blessing having had insomnia ever since having breast cancer 16 years ago, It definitely helps me sleep but I have also put on weight, have never gone over 8 stone since having cancer but have since being on Melatonin!! It’s a bit of a trade off because it is so wonderful to be able to sleep!!

  50. I’m seeing way too much unnecessarily rude and snarky comments on this post.

    Why is that?

    Being condescending to someone is a sure fire way to get people to ignore you…

  51. Melatonin CAN make you gain weight. Two doctors have told me so. It made me gain weight and an aunt of mine and her daughter. Once we all stopped taking it, the weight melted off. All meds have the potential to effect different people, well, differently.

  52. And it doesn’t only produce when it’s dark. Your body is just used to being asleep at night, so it produces it out of habit when your body tires because you’ve been awake all during the day. It has nothing to do with the dark.

  53. I have taken melatonin off and on for sleep since 1997. I would typically take 2-3 mgs. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid in 2009. Coincidence? Maybe. I never considered melatonin as the cause at that time.

    At the suggestion of my homeopathic doctor, I increased my dosage to 5 mgs a night last August. Over the course of a year, I have gained 12 pounds and have been told my progesterone and testosterone levels were very low. I tried supplements several times with bad side effects, so I just gave up. Soon after I began searching for info about melatonin and discovered that it was known to effect hormones. I threw my bottle right in the garbage!! Two months after being melatonin free, my bloodwork shows the all of my hormones are now in normal range (another coincidence?) Also, my menstral cycle is now every 28 days–after years of being 30-35 days. I also wanted to add that my depression has lifted and my libido has finally returned.

  54. Here’s some recent research (2003) to support weight loss associated with melatonin when taken 1 hour prior to sleep.

    Title: Melatonin reduces body weight gain in Sprague Dawley rats with diet-induced obesity

    Abstract: Melatonin is involved in the regulation of seasonal obesity in various species, including some rodents. This involvement has been demonstrated in nonphotoperiodic rodents like rats, but only in models of enhanced body weight such as genetically obese or middle-aged rats. The aim of this investigation was to determine the effects of melatonin on body weight and metabolic parameters in a model closer to that observed in Western populations, i.e. Sprague Dawley rats fed a high-fat diet. They were treated for 3 wk with melatonin (30 mg/kg) 4 h after lights-on [Zeitgeber time (ZT) 4] or 1 h before lights-out (ZT11). Given at ZT11, melatonin decreased body weight gain and feed efficiency by half. Melatonin had no effect on plasma insulin level, but it decreased plasma glucose (13%), leptin (28%), and triglyceride (28%) levels. Furthermore, in pinealectomized high-fat diet rats, body weight gain and feed efficiency were increased 4 wk after surgery. Adipose tissue weight, insulinemia, and glycemia had a tendency to increase. Treatment with melatonin prevented in part these changes. These data demonstrate that melatonin may act as a regulator of body weight in a model of obesity and may prevent some of the side effects on glucose homeostasis such as decreased insulin sensitivity.

    1. I find that REALLY hard to believe. 30 mg/kg???

      That means, for a 120 pound woman, she’d have to be taking 55 milligrams per night! 55!!! That’s ELEVEN 5mg pills – when the recommended dosage quite clearly states it’s from 0.3 – 5 mg per dose.

      A man weighing 180 pounds would have to take 82 mg! If you have a bottle of 3 mg pills like I do, that means you’d be taking twenty-seven pills.


      That can’t be right.

      1. btw – 27 pills would mean that I’d go through that bottle of 120 in a little over 4 days. A FULL BOTTLE IN FOUR DAYS.

        Again – that CAN’T be right.

  55. I have taken Melatonin 3mg for about 8 years with no problems. However,I switched brands to the big W and am having trouble. I have just realized what happened. I took a couple of weeks and realize depression has set in. I will let this wear off and go back to the Wgreen store for finestnatural.Tried 5 mg and felt groggy next morning, 3mg works just fine in that brand. Big mistake switching brands to Wmart.Small print.Just realized composition is very different.The person who said liquid Melatonin is interesting.I would never take time release for myself either, just plain, however, brand and how it’s put together makes a huge difference.Buyer beware.It can make you depressed if you get the wrong thing.The right combination is a good thing for me, anyway.

  56. I’ve been using melatonin for 4 months, have lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks (due to a rigorous workout program and training) and commonly take melatonin after a night session on the weights after drinking protein shakes. The only side effect I’ve encountered is some slight depression here and there, a little groggy in the morning and the very unpredictable onset of sleepiness. I’ll often start drifting away to sleep and suddenly be woken by a tactile hallucination, usually a sound. If there is a better way to drift off to sleep other than using deep-breathing meditation exercises, I’m game!

  57. HI Folks
    I was suspicious for a long time that my years of taking melatonin (1-3 mg) and from quality brand companies was only temproary and wearing on me slowly from my bodies (brain?) dependence, so now I use 5 htp and i think its a much better aid for deeper sleep , for the long haul.
    I didnt notice weight gain trends,(with melatonin) but would always wake up in a fog, and take a while to get revved up using melatonin. Valerian has a heavy effect, and seems to need time to eliminate from body, like a drug, so keep that in mind too

    1. The likely reason you wake up in a fog, or feel groggy is because of melatonin overdose. Melatonin is extremely powerful. I personally started on 1mg, did not get good results, worked my way up to 3&5mg… similar result. Then someone suggested trying less, MUCH less. I FINALLY found 500mcg (1/2mg) at Traders Joes. Cut it into 4. And found my perfect dose … 1/8Mg. It took me 12Yrs of trial & error + some research to figure it out. I don’t think weight gain is possible on such a tiny dose. Ask your Dr… They will probably suggest a very high dose… They suggest to me to give my 89Yr old mom 5Mg. She too is doing fine on 1/8Mg. Thanx Doc.

  58. Even if you have lived a wholesome and clean life, you might be faced with debilitating and scary ailments.
    Most of us are defficient in Vit D3 (a precursor hormone). Supplementation might be necessary.
    Statistically, more than half of the people that live past 85 years, suffer from cognition problems. supplementation with melatonin might have some value due to its antioxidant and TAU antagonistic activity. Google “Alzheimer Treatments that Really Work – in small studies- by Jeff Bowless”

  59. Someone gave me some melatonin tonight. I haven’t taken it in years because it always caused me bloody violent nightmares-also when I would wake the next morning I would have the shakes.

    Now, I took it for about 1 month and told dr FORGET IT!

    Are you RUDE people going to tell me that was all in my head? I cannot believe how you are talking to people on here. And where do you insulters come up with saying “it’s a hormone” so it doesn’t cause weight gain. You ALL need to redo your research because there are several hormones that cause weight gain. Although we are not in these peoples’ daily lives, does not mean it did not happen to them. Furthermore, you are all forgetting one major thing: one disease can affect 50 people all differently-just the same as a medication!

    I did not notice weight gain personally but get over your condescending/judgemental/sneering/jeering selves and say something constructive instead of being a bit of evil-doers!

    And for your information I have one for you: I was Rx’d Neurontin and in 28 days of taking those pills I gained 31 pounds, BP shot thru the roof and my short term memory was SHOT! I had 2 neurologists stand right in front of me and blame my age, diet and so on. I brought 1 of 3 witnesses who DID see my daily life who backed me up 100%. To this day I do NOTHING differently than I did that month!!! Once I stopped the medication (about 50 pounds later), my BP started to come back down, short-term memory got a LOT better, but it took me 1.5 years to get rid of that weight!

    Any self-righteous asshole who thinks they know better than this needs their head examined, because since then I met others both in person and online who stated the same exact problems and that their doctors also did not believe them-just because it’s not textbook does not mean it doesn’t happen!

    That’s like saying you cannot be allergic to peanut butter cause 1.5 hundred million can eat it with no problems.

    Man, I came to do a simple search-still have to go elsewhere for my answer and I run into this negative mosh pit of wasps and I just could not go on without saying MY peace.

    On that note, have a great day!

    1. If you research it out, you may find that once you reach a certain age, like 30?, your body loses melatonin. Like .3 mg daily. (3/10ths) You were most like taking 1 – or 3 – or 5 Mg of melatonin, seeing as thats how it is sold everywhere, when all along you probably needed less than 1/2Mg. I take 1/8Mg and it took me 13 years to figure it out. Your comments above seem to indicate everyone spoke negatively. Your comments contributed nothing to help – I just hope you feel better.

  60. just for the record,I lost 45lbs while taking 1mg of liquid melatonin no side effects ,works great if u feel groggy in the morning,cut back its called melatonin hangover…you took to much

    1. Exactly. Not even melatonin manufacturers – (or even your own Dr.) know the best amount of melatonin FOR YOU … Its usually the tiniest dose you can find, and it’s up to you alone to figure out what’s best. Unfortunately you can not find doses of 1/8Mg 1/3Mg 1/4Mg 3/4 Mg. … Best way is find Melatonin (google it) in LIQUID form. Using a dropper to measure dose. 1Mg is most likely way too strong. I buy 500Mcg (1/2Mg) at Trader Joes & cut into 4 pieces = 1/8Mg. My perfect dose. Ever heard the saying … “LESS IS MORE?” …. This is particularly true of melatonin. Yet maybe 1in10 individuals may require 5Mg or more daily….

      Lesson Here: start with TINIEST dose, and work your way up SLOWLY. It took me 13 years to figure out my perfect dose.

  61. Do you have any recommendations for taking Relora? It’s a proprietary blend of Magnolia Officinalis bark extract & Phellodendron amurense bark extract. I decided to try it to lower my cortisol levels but found it really helps when I can’t fall asleep but causes no drowsiness or morning hangovers.

  62. Thanks Rob, the schedule sounds like it’s worth a go. Have you any tips for where to purchase Melatonin?

  63. I’ve been taking melatonin for awhile now and haven’t gained any weight….just sleeping a whole lot better!

  64. I have been taking it for months. 3mg maybe 4 to 5 times a week. I haven’t gained weight. I have lost but only due to watching what I eat and taking vitamins. I think it could effect people differently.

  65. I have been taking melatonin every night for over a year and have gained over 20 lbs. This was very abnormal weight gain with no apparent cause. I eat sensibly and exercise vigorously 4-6 times a week. Tonight, I took my nightly melatonin and it hit me: THIS IS THE REASON. I threw it all away and I’m hoping I can start to get back my normal size now.

  66. Yeah coming off of 2mgs atiivan and 200 mgs sequel cold much melatonin should I Take and or valerian root..

  67. I tried taking melatonin a while back. It made my asthma worse and made me more depressed. I am surprised that medical practitioners and others are not aware that melatonin is not recommended for people with asthma or other immune disorders or depression. Maybe the fact that melatonin is produced more in childhood and less in adulthood explains why asthma tends to get better as one grows older.

  68. I never slept more than a couple hours a night before I took melatonin. I can’t complain. It’s nice being able to sleep like everyone else.

  69. hello all, some of you raise some good points about melatonin, others i am not so sure. unless you have gone thru a child staying up until 4 am when he has to be at school by 755 am, um would you give your child the sleep aid prescribed by a doctor say maybe clonadine? i would rather try my child on melatonin then a prescription drug. my son might have vivid nightmares but he sleeps his 9 hours that he needs to function; he is groogy yes in the am but who isnt? i take ambien and seroquil to sleep i do not want my child having to take this medicine when my age, with the aide of melatonin after only using it for two weeks i plan on taking my son off from it, to see if he will be accustomed to falling asleep at the same time, this is my plan. I disagree with a lot of the posts here, but i agree with some, but unless you have a child who does not sleep due to environmental factors like a divorce youd probly try your child on it too if you thought it would help and did not want to use hard core prescriptions that can lead to dependancy like with seroquil and ambien.. just saying.. have a good day everyone. the arguing here is kind of childish i thought this was a forum about melatonin, dont lose track of the subject here people. try putting yourself in the childs shoes who does not sleep, is angry all the time because he is tired…and hungry…heres a heads up when your tired you get hungry and cold, this is your bodies normal reaction to being tired, your stomach is triggered for nurishment and your body gets cold because its fighting to stay awake, do any of you know how painful it is to watch your child at 9 go thru this type of behavior? yes there are underlying issues to his insomnia but the melatonin has been helping him get REM ssleep for a week now, he seems rested and more relaxed.

  70. Well, It’s been 6 weeks since I stopped taking the melatonin and now the weight is falling off effortlessly! MY stress has lowered and I am sleeping better than when I took the supplement! I am only 31, so I would advise severe caution to any one to really research dosage based on weight and age before taking this stuff and if you notice an exaggerated emotional response, weight gain, nightmares or increased insomnia lower your dose or stop taking it at all, you be the judge!

    1. Thanks, great info! I have gained 20lbs and am going to stop taking Melatonin today. I don’t have the money to go out and buy a new wardrobe.

  71. When I was depressed, stressed, and having trouble sleeping, I decided to take melatonin to help me sleep better. As an astrophysics student, I was forced to spend long hours behind a computer screen late into the night to finish my assignments and my research job to help pay my tuition. I gained weight during this period.

    No, I did not gain weight due to melatonin.

    Being stressed, depressed, and having trouble sleeping ALL have sideaffects of weight gain, mainly because the issues put pressure on our psyche to find increased seratonin levels

  72. Hi,
    Melatonin dangers include: depression, anxiety and seizures.
    The 500mcg tablet that is normally sold in stores is very high in comparison to what the body normally makes on it’s own.
    Some people may be very sensitive.
    I am one of those. I took the whole tablet a few times and found that thought it helped me sleep, I couldn’t handle it… so then I started just biting a bit from pill about 1/4…Vivid dreams does not accurately describe the effect…I feel that it can be neurologically damaging to some people. It’s effect is more “drug like”. Alot of herbal and “natural” remedies have strong properties.

    Though it has benefits there are some dangers:
    People with high blood pressure, seizure disorders, depression or liver problems should be especially careful for side effects of Melatonin, as Melatonin may increase their symptoms.
    Melatonin side effects may include headaches, abdominal discomfort, nausea and dizziness.
    Other side effects of Melatonin could be abdominal cramps, irritability, vivid dreams and nightmares, daytime sleepiness and depression.
    Confusion, sleepwalking or nightmares also are possible side effects of Melatonin. There are studies claiming that Melatonin increases the risk of seizures.

  73. Doesn’t anyone read other articles? Or check out wikipedia? Many of these issues are covered e.g. The nightmare side-effect. Not the dosage, though from reading this thread it seems like the less is better option wins here.

  74. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland which tells your body when it should go to sleep by regulating several functions in the body and affecting other hormone systems. Relevant to the weight gain issue, it affects the levels of leptin, a hormone secreted by adipose (fat) tissue that helps to control appetite. The function has been studied in mammals extensively but I do not know if it has been studied much in humans or not. I do know that if melatonin has the same effect in humans as it does in mammals, then it can cause weight gain by suppressing leptin production since leptin signals your body to tell you when you’re hungry and how much you want to eat. That being said, it is completely safe and some weight fluctuations are natural in most people especially with age. The effects can be mitigated by portion control when eating and/or increased exercise levels. The hormone is not going to kill you though as long as you watch your weight and make an effort to maintain a healthy weight. The effects of melatonin can be compared to that of increased stress levels which also suppress leptin production.

  75. Read up guys… I’ve read this from several different sources. Get your facts right and exercise and eat PROPERLY. Melatonin isn’t bad if you use it properly

  76. I used melatonin heavily for 5 months (8 mg per night). I did not gain weight.

    I see a lot of people saying things like “I exercise! I lift weights! I do yoga! …but I still gained weight on melatonin!”

    Melatonin may slow down metabolism, so that your body uses less calories. That means keeping the same diet and exercise habits as you did before taking melatonin will cause weight gain.

    But even then, it’s NOT THE MELATONIN that is causing weight gain. It’s you not adjusting your diet to match your lower metabolism.

    I use a scale that measures my body fat (sometimes called a “body composition scale”). I check my fat levels every week – if it’s increasing, I eat a little less the next week. I recommend this approach for anyone watching their weight (regardless of melatonin use).

    In any case, I agree with the author about the danger of long-term melatonin use. I became very dependent on it, and it took a long time for my body to be able to sleep well after quitting the supplement. Unfortunately, all the “natural” (non-hormonal) supplements I’ve tried do not seem to work for me. L-theanine, chamomile, hops, etc. What helps me is exercise in the morning, low carbs in the evening, and sex at night.

  77. Since melatonin is a peptide hormone, it doesn’t have the (same) propensity for negative feedback inhibition as a steroid hormone such as testosterone. Now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t problematic. It is. Various research papers have shown that melatonin (and serotonin/tryptophan) are closely involved in inflammation, high blood pressure, brain degeneration, muscle pain, accelerated aging, cancer, and so on (review ). It appears it shouldn’t be used on a continuous basis.

  78. I love this site, especially the humor, most of which was not intended. Now I understand my new weight gain. I have been sleep deprived for probably a decade. I’ve tried a lot. I’m stopping Melatonin today. I was taking 9 mg. I doesn’t work for me and my head. My sleep deprivation is in my head. I can’t turn it off, but my ass gets really tired.

  79. For anybody who is concerned about their melatonin intake… This is purely anecdotal information, but it may help.
    Skimming through the comments it seems people who take higher doses are gaining weight. You may want to check for yourself, I could be mistaken.
    I take 1 mg at night and fall asleep within an hour. If I didn’t have two kittens I’d probably sleep all the way through the night. I do dream a lot, but they’re not nightmares which is typically what I had when I dreamed. And I don’t feel exhausted when I wake up.
    I have not gained any weight that I can tell – I don’t weigh myself, but my clothes still fit the same.
    I came across this article while trying to read if SAMe and melatonin are safe to take together, and while this article does not address that, I have learned that the two go hand in hand. It makes me wonder if the people who are suffering poor side effects of melatonin are related to lack of SAMe production. If there’s a problem with one, couldn’t there be a problem with the other?
    However, after reading this I may reduce my dose to .5mg since that seems to work for many people. I prefer to take the lowest dose possible to avoid tolerance build up or any side effects.

  80. Well I cant sleep and im desperate to gain weight which is almost impossible for me so after what everyone says Melatonin seems the answer. If I gain weight it will be a miracle and have to be the result of taking the Melatonin – will let you know.

  81. Can melatoinon cause you to stay up most of the night because I took melatonion and I am still awake

  82. I’m with Desiree, what the hell is with people’s attitude about another persons sleep habits and patterns, (Or lack thereof). Lol

  83. Goodness…While I found some of the comments here to be informative, and others to be not really worth reading, I am discouraged at how many mean-spirited people took the time to use this forum as an opportunity to be so ugly. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions, but is it necessary to attack others here because of theirs? My take on this supplement is simple: If you feel you may benefit from using it, try it and see for yourself, without letting other people tell you what you should or should not do. The concern over weight gain should be a common sense issue, because anytime you take something that may make you feel tired, you are likely to be as active and probably not burn calories as you normally would. I want to believe common sense still exists…some just need to practice using it.

  84. I can’t stand ignorant people who make such outrageous claims such as melatonin should he banned cuz it caused weight gain without any kind of proof or other info such as diet and excersize change or any other changes. It’s a natural chemical ur brAin makes already in ur body only some ppl have chemical imbalances such as myself and this is a much better alternative then Rx pills safer surely sure hormone risk but WTF do u think the drugs do? Cause these chems to be released so just as if not more dangerous. Nobody has died from it. So making such a statement that it should be banned just cuz one person gained 20lbs wow who cares I’d love to gain weight everyones so damn worried about loosing it when I’m only 99lbs used to bs 125 but now lost so much lbs cuz of chemical induced anorexia treating arthritis with chemo therapy something seems wrong with the medical community practice or malpractice I should say and mostly due to some arrogant comment by someone like this making unproven statements that a substance should be banned based on gaining weight is just retarded and it’s retards like u that get harmless or at least more safe then Rx that’s also more expensive as well so please don’t cause the situation to be worse and give big pharma more of a reason to ban this and sell more expensive n dangerous drug x to fill the space this used to cover so kindly stfu and never make the statement this should be banned just cuz u didn’t like the way it worked for u! To take our freedoms even more

  85. I have had insomnia for many years now, about 30. I FINALLY have found something that works like a charm. At least, for me. However I have to do the same thing every single night. It’s become a ritual. Before going to bed, I turn out all the lights, making sure the blinds/curtains are closed. Then I roll over to one side or the other. That part doesn’t really matter. Either side will do. Then I close my eyes and BAM!!! Before I know it, it’s morning. I have found that I don’t gain any weight from doing this either. I don’t get up in the middle of the night to eat, so thumbs up to that!

  86. I have a quick story to share with you all about melatonin. Once I was given melatonin in a soft drink. It was just cola I was having, no alcohol. I started feeling very drousy and my “date” said it was nothing to worry about, that I might be allergic to his cat. Well, I’ve never been allergic to cats before. I got very, very sleepy and my “date” turned down the lights and I felt very cold. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so cold and so “out of it.” It turns out, he had taken my clothes off so I was, you guessed it, cold. He carried me to what I’m pretty sure was his bedroom and well, you know the rest of the story. I was DATE-RAPED WITH MELATONIN! Please, be safe out there.

  87. This is complete misinformation. Melatonin is not a harmful product and is essential for the body’s defences against various issues by promoting self-repair during sleep. Women who have breast cancer only have 1/10th of the required melatonin as do men with prostrate cancer have only half the required. The UK have banned melatonin supplements for an entirely different esoteric agenda.

  88. I’m only 16 years old and i have insomnia, so recently i have had to start taking this each night and it actually does work. But now i am worried about these side affects…thanks for posting this!

  89. I would just like to say that the vast majority of you are idiots XD. Your fighting about a supliment. If you dont think its good dont take it. If you think ots great then by all means jam that thing in your mouth and go on with your life. I take melatonin because i cant sleep without it, at all, so stop acting like fools.

  90. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been taking melatonin for about 3 months now, I don’t take it on the days that I don’t have to work, because I don’t want my body to adjust to it. But I have not had any bad side effects, no strange dreams (well stranger than normal, I have them strange dreams all the time), no weight gain *thank goodness*, no hangover feeling. Best of all instead of laying in bed staring at the ceiling or getting up 4-6 times a night and staying away for 30 minutes at a time, I usually go to sleep within 2 hours of taking it, I might wake up 2-3 times and I fall right back to sleep. I’m a lifelong insomniac that has tried everything else, usually with horrible side effects, like doing things I don’t remember, mood changes. So I’m on the pro-melatonin camp on this.

  91. While doing my own research on melatonin, I only found doctors & other medical/sleep specialist say that the synthetic melatonin is actually better for you because it is closer to the molecular makeup of melatonin and made with pharmaceutics grade ingredients. While the “all natural” can be made with animal parts, and without regulated.
    Also lower levels of melatonin seems to impede and disrupts sleep. And it should be taken 20-40 prior to bed, because your body made melatonin is at it’s highest around 2AM


  93. I live in Spain and have been taking serenotte, a melatonin supplement on and off for about 8 months now and boy does it help me sleep! I love the fact that I can take 2x 1.9mg tablets and within an hour while light reading in bed I can doze off into a comfy night’s sleep and wake up feeling like I’ve slept. My friend is very concerned about me taking them and that is why I am here today. I am shocked at the range of negative comments as I have experienced no weight gain atall. I do, however, exercise regularly and always have. I also am a very anxious person who runs on adrenaline most of the time which is why I take the supplement in the first place cause I struggle to ‘switch off’ sometimes.
    I’m a bit concerned about the comments about depression etc as I do actually feel that I have been really anxious and stressed out and also a bit depressed at times and hoped it wasn’t related to the supplement. Is my friend right? Are they bad for me? My circumstances aren’t good at the moment as I just am not settling in Spain and have had a few problems over the last year. Am I just stuck in a vicious cycle and should I stop taking them? The chemist who sold me them says they are not dangerous and there is nothing in the pack to suggest and bad side effects? Surely if there were, by law, it must state any side effects?

  94. Wow. Didn’t realize I was walking into such a storm of controversy here, and, that this topic would bring out the rudest, most judgmental among the MDA faithful!
    I am a 55 year old man and as most of you know, our bodies tend to produce less of several key hormones as we age, melatonin being one of them. I have found a small 3mg supplement of melatonin each night to be the key to solving the continued disruptions to my sleep in a noisy, hectic, small house. Also. I have lost 20lbs. while taking the supplement so no issues for me with weight gain, or, dreams, emotional issues, etc.
    It seems logical that the supplement affects different people differently depending on their own individual situation and hormone makeup.

  95. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain. Presumably you are taking melatonin because you are having problems sleeping. It could be the sleeping problems & not the melatonin causing weight gain.

    For those experiencing bad side effects, I agree with the poster who said your dosage may be too high. A natural dosage in the brain is .3 mg, but most of the commercial products are 3 or 5 mg. I found 1 mg tablets at GNC & my local health food store & I take those. The health food store also has .3 mg tablets, which would be more appropriate to take if you need it on a daily basis.

  96. I been taking that pill already for about 1yr and I gained so much weight..I’m stoping now,

  97. I just finished watching Resonance: Beings of Frequency, a documentary exposing some negative effects of the microwave radiation produced by cell phone towers, cell phones, wifi, and cordless phones. See the film here:

    The mechanism by which microwave radiation causes damage is that it depresses our bodies’ production of melatonin and, thus, prevents our bodies from being able to heal themselves. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals. Free radicals are products of CELLULAR DIVISION, which our bodies do to the tune of a billion a night. This cellular breakdown/build session happens at night, while we sleep. Research suggests that our pineal glands “see” microwave radiation as light…which effects sleep cycles and circadian rhythm…which depresses melatonin production…

    The film made absolutely no suggestion of melatonin supplementation, but since exposure to this type of radiation is universal in 2013, I thought perhaps someone had tried to hedge against the loss with melatonin supplementation.

    I didn’t find the answers I was looking for in Mark’s article or in this comment thread.

  98. Is it possible….that maybe those who have gained weight, you have enough Melatonin naturally in your body already? And adding to it is causing the weight gain! IDK I’ve am reading conflicting stories. I am going to start Melatonin 1mg tonight! I go the gym 3-4 days a week and have quit smoking! I have a hard time going and staying asleep, terrible memory, depression, and lack of energy! My pharmacist recommended Melatonin! He said it has been know to improve all those symptoms! Here’s to hopin……

  99. Thanks…I have been taking Melatonin (5mg) each night for years and since the death of my husband in Jan, I sometimes wake up about 3 am and take another dose. Now I am sleeping 12 hrs a night and I know this is not right. I also take an antidepressant. My weight has started to pile on too, because I am so UNmotivated. I will now go cold turkey and not take it anymore. Three yrs ago I had a lumpectomy that was diagnosed as a “hormonal receptive” cancer. Now I understand that I must not take this. It will be interesting to see the results…. Thank you.

  100. I’ve had a really bad experience with melatonin, it got really worse after 2 months. It has made me really depressed, gave me headaches, poor blood flow, poor brain function and can barely sleep now, sweating and other side effects. I never really noticed it was the melatonin. Trying to recover from it now, even people are treating me differently.

  101. I have been taking Melatonin on and off for about 3-4 months now and I love it! I had trouble falling asleep due to anxiety but after taking Melatonin I am snoring by 11:00PM! I try not to take it every night, and this past week I haven’t taken it once and I still slept fine! It actually improved me sleep cycle and now I am able to fall asleep on my own without it.

    Oh, I usually took about half of a 3mg pill, sometimes less.

  102. I love how this is the only website that has anyone saying that they gained weight. Livestrong even linked to an article that showed melatonin treated rats lost body fat.


    It can have a detrimental effect on someone with low thyroid function which would make you gain weight. I have been taking some off and on for the last few weeks and I am so tired even with more sleep. I am hypothyroid so I have to wonder if it is messing with my thyroid levels. If it causing you to gain weight have your thyroid checked as well.

  104. Just wanted to add my two cents, in case it helps anyone. I am a 37-year old woman who started having severe, crippling insomnia in November 2012. My doctor recommended 6mg of melatonin before bed each night. I started sleeping great again.

    Otherwise I am perfectly healthy — I walk 2 hours a day, have always had BMI of 23, eat a balanced diet with minimal processed food, don’t drink or smoke. I do have a stressful job, but I don’t often feel stressed out about it. After Christmas I noticed that I had gained 5 pounds, and figured it was due to the holidays. Unusual for me, but I know it gets easier to gain weight with age. I cut out all sweets for two months and upped my daily exercise to get back on track. By the time early March rolled around I had gained 5 more pounds, so I booked another appointment with my doctor — something was wrong.

    Fasting blood sugar came back at 121 mg/dl — that’s in the pre-diabetic range. How the hell did I become pre-diabetic over the course of 4-5 months? The melatonin was the only thing I had changed about my life. I stopped taking it immediately, bought a blood sugar monitor, and drastically reduced all other carbs (bread, pasta, rice) as well as sweets. I have been measuring my blood sugar multiple times daily for a month now, and the fasting levels have crept down from 110+ to the low 90s (ideally they should be under 80). Blood sugar spikes have also been drastically reduced, as they were 160+ after low-carb meals at the beginning, and now they are about 120. I’ve lost about 3 pounds. I am convinced that melatonin made me insulin resistant, temporarily. I am not convinced that would be the case for everyone, but something about the way my body works didn’t tolerate it. Maybe I was taking too much — it hardly matters now, as I will never take it again. I have not had trouble sleeping since I stopped taking it, thankfully — I’ll cross that bridge if/when I come to it again.

  105. At 41, after a bout of meningitis, I developed hydrocephalus.

    However due to the active suppression by the government of what should have been standard diagnostic technique, my condition was misdiagnosed for 15 years and then still left untreated for another several years. More simply put, to save the government from having to reimburse half the price of an MRI, my life was ruined.

    Of course, that wasn’t explained to me at the time. I was naive enough to think that the doctors were doing their best, but the truth is that in a socialized medical system doctors are rewarded for minimizing their diagnostic efforts and punished for being conscientious.

    Anyway, as the hydrocephalus developed, I had a whole constellation of symptoms that grew worse and worse as the ventricles of my brain grew larger and larger, squeezing the brain tissue into an ever-decreasing volume of space within my skull and putting ever increasing pressure on the various brain systems.

    One symptom that appeared immediately after the meningitis first and never went away was SEVERE insomnia.

    Between the physical pain of other symptoms, the stress of the situation, and the fact that my brain chemistry was all out of whack due to the altered dynamics within my skull, my natural sleep cycles weren’t working at all. The nearest thing I had to “sleep” was a sort of catatonic state I would sink into as the result of total exhaustion. I simply did not have any really “sleep” at all.

    I tried various sleep aids and had some limited success, alternating Valerian, Passion Flower, Kava-Kava, St. John’s Wort, and other natural products. But then, on a trip back home to the states I was able to buy some Melatonin. I had heard of it before but it isn’t available in France, due to the very sort of restrictions you advocate.

    Once I found Melatonin I was immediately able to sleep naturally, day after day, year after year. Even though my other symptoms continued to worsen for many years thereafter until my condition was treated by surgery, the sleep problem had been solved once and for all, as long as i could keep getting Melatonin.

    When (after 17 years of suffering) I finally had shunt surgery to reduce the pressure on my brain, my ability to sleep without any sort of sleep-aid returned very quickly. I had no dependence on the Melatonin at all

    So I reject you claim that Melatonin creates dependence or interferes with the body’s natural processes.

    Melatonin is (as you claim) a hormone, secreted primarily by the pineal gland. However, it is also present in every part of every plant in the world. So it’s not just a hormone. It is an essential compound necessary to all life.

    It’s properties and functions are not limited to brain chemistry but also include such basic life functions as neutralizing the damage done by free-radicals. It is one of the most effective anti-oxidant compounds known to man. And it is present in every plant and animal.

    It’s half-life is very short. From the time someone takes melatonin its sleep-inducing effects take effect very quickly and an hour later the serum level of melatonin has returned to normal. It’s only involved in the onset of sleep. It isn’t needed to “keep” the person asleep. It doesn’t build up in the blood, nor in the tissues and it doesn’t leave behind any sort of toxic residue. Like water, protein, carbohydrates and other essential food ingredients it passes through the body, doing its essential job, and then exits in a totally natural way.

    I reject the right of the government and of the pharmaceutical industry to try to limit access to Melatonin.

    I would rather have no government and no drug companies at all than to allow them to control the public’s access to natural God-given remedies such as Melatonin.

    The relationship between the drug industry and the government has more to do with profits and bribes than it does with the health of the public.

  106. You know, if people ARE experiencing more sleep with the Melatonin, maybe they are gaining weight because of the additional sleep. PLEASE don’t tell me this is HOKUM – in my experience, when I go through periods where I sleep 5 hrs a night for a couple of months (projects at work, etc.) my weight drops AUTOMATICALLY. When I have been getting MORE sleep (> 8 hrs/night) my weight increases. Pretty basic stuff, really… The amount you sleep affects your metabolism, and I would say that is true at any age. My mom had weighed 125 all her life, getting an average of 6 hrs sleep per night. When she retired, she started sleeping about 9 hrs average per night. Within 6 months her weight was up 15 lbs. Maybe it is heredity, but I am the same way, which could explain the Melatonin connection too.

  107. Thank you so much! I thought I had some really bad dreams with headaches for no reason but now I see why! Thank you for saving my life!

  108. I had serious insomnia between the ages of 12 and 22. I didn’t even know what “a good night’s sleep” meant until I tried melatonin. Apparently my body wasn’t producing much.

    I take 0.75 mg a night (I cut the 3 mg tablets into quarters). I’ve seen the literature showing that the ED50 is somewhere an order of magnitude lower than 3 mg, which by the way I find ridiculous that they put so much in. Anyway, I have been taking this every night for months and don’t intend to stop.

    In order to convince me to stop, you’ll have to demonstrate that 0.75 mg a night is worse for my health than living like a zombie from being sleep deprived 24/7. I wake up sometimes feeling just “okay” and sometimes feeling like a million bucks. I had never had the “wake of feeling like a million bucks from such a refreshing sleep” before melatonin. When people asked me if I had a good night’s sleep, I didn’t even know what they were talking about. It was always just “Uhh…I slept okay”

    From 0.75 mg, the only side-effect I notice is more vivid dreams, and that’s basically it.

  109. I gotta love that there is a flipping fight over melatonin.Grow up people grow up!

  110. It’s all about the control over your body you have.You won’t necessarily gain weight if you take melatonin all the time… As long as you set your alarm clock and wake up.If you workout often enough and keep a steady diet …. Which means bein gluten free, soy free, and wheat free You’ll do just fine!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha i wouldn’t take it every single day though … Thats just common sense right there PEACE!!

  111. I cross the Atlantic two or three times a week as due to my job (long haul cabin crew) and I’ve been using melatonin 5mg a few times a week to help me with jet lag for close to ten years now. I’ve never experienced any weight gain – in fact in the first few months of my taking melatonin I lost about 10lb. Its been a godsend for me whilst working. A large number of my coworkers use it as well and I’ve not heard any complaints about weight gain (we tend to be rather body conscious as group) . I think there must be another factor or maybe multiple factors causing the weight gain in some individuals – maybe something interacting with the melatonin? Perhaps a lifestyle factor that’s been overlooked? If it was purely the melatonin causing weight gain I’d be the size of an airbus by now,

  112. I just want to say that i have been taking melatonins for about a year now and my body weight has been pretty much the same! My best friend who introduced me to this because i was having bad sleeping schedules due to college had been taking it much longer than i have and he has not gained any substantial weight, he seems fine! 🙂 his dads a doctor and just game me an article today where it talks about the circadian rhythm…. blah blah and how you can take melatonin more appropriately to help in getting me back on a normal sleep schedule.

  113. I understand what you’re saying about taking a hormone and if you take too much, your body could diminish production of its own.

    For instance, reliance on taking testosterone at high dosages can lead to shrinkage of the testicles and lowered natural production of testosterone by the body.

    Let me ask you this, then… If taking a hormone (whether synthetic or not) can lessen the ability of the body to produce its own, is it logical to assume this happens with all hormones?

    FOR INSTANCE: If someone were to have a high blood sugar reading and the doctor starts prescribing insulin, isn’t it logically follow that if the person taking the supplemental insulin that it could lead to a dependence on it – because the body starts making less and less of its own? Doesn’t taking insulin almost guarantee you becoming dependent on the drug manufacturer’s need for greed – uh, I mean providing a safe and effective drug? (pardon my sarcasm – uh, wait – no, don’t pardon it – I meant every word!)

    The reason I ask is that nowadays doctors are starting to prescribe insulin at the first hint of a blood sugar > 140 (fasting). They recently lowered the level of blood sugar that was “acceptable” sort of like how they now say that 120/80 isn’t a normal blood pressure – it should be lower – and try to get people to start taking blood pressure meds WAY earlier than they should have to.

    Now, no – I’m not a conspiracy theorist – I’m just curious as to how this works. Do all hormones act in the same manner – i.e. supplemental hormones can lower the body’s capacity to make the hormone naturally?

    If so – I’d say one should think long and hard before taking ANY hormonal supplement!

  114. I’ve just watched a very interesting documentary produced by Dr. David Suzuki on the Canadian television program “The Nature of Things” – episode entitled “Lights Out,” Those of you in the U.S. will likely be able to access this website through Netflix or via a similar format.

    This documentary addresses decades of collective research into the impact of melatonin reduction in industrialized societies. The emphasis of the research studies the correlation of blue light suppression in a 24-hour, artificially-lit world, as a possible antidote to the hormone’s suppression.

    I confess, I haven’t searched through all of the posts regarding melatonin; time does not allow, but thought I’d post this information in the event anyone was aware of these studies.

    There is also an American company that manufactures products (eg., eyeglasses, lights, screens, etc.) that reduce or eliminate the blue light end of the spectrum inherent in artificial lighting. Here’s the website for these products:

  115. I wish you’d amend the title of this to include “in healthy adults”. I came across this while researching dosage for my severely autistic daughter (AFTER calling her doctor and hearing it was okay and safe for her to take, as many autistics are melatonin deficient.

  116. I am reading a lot of references to “studies” and it seems that some like to quote the facts… However, I’m not seeing any references to back up these studies or facts? Without the sources, these facts and advise are absolutely empty.

    Site your sources!

  117. I remember taking Melatonin, it felt great sleeping again every night, but then I started to get abdominal cramps, vivid dreams and drowsiness, I personally thought it was appendix because of the abdominal cramps, so I stopped taking the pill, after 3 days the abdominal pain subsided, after that scare I couldn’t sleep so I started to take the pill again right after I got better and wow did that come back, had almost every bad side effect, until I figured it out that it was Melatonin and got off of it completely, all I can say since everyone has a different body is that yes use the product with caution anyways it was probably my fault i was taking a ” Maximum Strength 5mg ” dosage and in case someone asks no I never had pain in my abdominal area before I started using

  118. I am 16 and have suffered with mental illness all my life, which began to affect my sleeping patterns, so I was told to take Melatonin when insomnia set in. Ive been taking it for a solid week now and the dreams have been awful. Ive always had excelent dream control but lately its been nightmares. Is this normal?

  119. Excellent information in this essay!! It was just what I needed to read to confirm what happened to me at my last trans-cont. trip. It was a quick turnaround, 5 days, so I never really had chance to ‘catch up’ at new place. However, this time, it took me 5-6 days to recover—I was fatigued and felt like I needed to sleep a lot! I totally concur on the damage to the physiological system caused by our fast lanes, esp. on older people.

    Also, I agree, just common sense, that continuous use of the wonderful melatonin would cause rebound effects, and even though I’ve had trouble getting a good night’s sleep for some time, I plan to not use it as a crutch…or if so, will cut back to maybe .5 mg every now and then! Thanks! And yes, I get those weird dreams, too, but chalk it up to deep sleep.

  120. Doesn’t look like anyones been posting here for a while, but i’ll ask this anyway. So, i’m 17 years old, tonight i couldn’t sleep so i decided to take 30 mg of melatonin. Now i’m not sure if the symptoms i experienced could be from too much melatonin or not, all i know is somethings wrong. I fell asleep quite easily. When i woke up i was sweating, i could hardly breathe(chest was very tight) my heart was racing, around 120 bpm, and my heart was very weak. It’s been hours and my chest is still tight. I’m just wondering, if anyone knows.. Is this perhaps caused by too much melatonin? If not i’m totally out of ideas meh.

    1. I hope you seen a doctor after experiencing those extreme symptoms! I’ve been taking melatonin for years but have realized I needed a smaller and smaller dose. Actually one 3mg pill can be 5 or more doses now and I assume will get smaller again. Too much in the past has caused adverse reactions with sleep, emotions and energy. I personally believe a person needs to get their own levels if melatonin to a normal state then maintain that with very small amounts. Too much melatonin after you’ve replenished yourself can cause adverse effects from my experience but it is definitely a wonderful synthetic hormone supplement if used properly for yourself.

  121. I have recently been taking 2x 6mg per night and I am gaining weight but am restricted in exercising as have had an operation….I have at last been able to get decent and dreaming sleep since taking it in conjunction with an 1 Anti-histamine (over the counter Restavit) 2 Panadene Fortes prescribed for pain and 2 Swiss Relax & Sleep…can a medical person advise me if all of this is OK please..
    I previously was taking the Sleeping tablet Nitrazepam 5mg but heard one is more likely to suffer dementia if taking Sleeping Tablets and had been taking them for some 15yrs so got off them……I am 66yrs and female.

  122. Whhhaaaaaa?
    i didn’t gain weight but i only take 1 pill. the only thing i have to say is that im tired a little throughout the day i dont know if its the melatonin or the fact that i usually only get 5 hours of sleep… oh yeah i’m 16…

  123. I have had sleep problems for over 20 years and started taking melatonin (under 3mg) about 15 years ago and then it stopped working, no matter what kind I took. And haven’t slept well since because it just wouldn’t work anymore. then got onto (2 or so times a week just to maintain sanity) ambien- which I really don’t like taking. And even when totally off of ambien for long periods of time, I don’t sleep still. Just found a melatonin that works again for me a few days ago. I am sleeping again and actually groggy (a little too much I admit but usually I am just not sleepy at all even though I am brain dead/body dead tired). I would rather take melatonin than die of sleep deprivation which I have been doing for years. I was tested many years ago and found that my body does not make melatonin for some reason, which could be why I don’t sleep anymore. I have aged a great deal, and I feel awful and my brain is pretty much mush most of the time unless I drink a ton of caffeine which makes my sleep worse of course so I only do that if I need to function very well, like driving, functioning normally, etc. Sometimes you just have to be ON. so anyway, I THANK GOD FOR MELATONIN!!!!

  124. I have had sleep disorders my entire life, even as an infant. No one caught on until I was almost 43 years old. I have several sleep disorders but the main 4 are sleep hypopnea (shallow breathing while sleeping), circadian rhythm disorder (I was born with this one), sleep Sleep paralysis, and sleep walking. The last two are pretty scary, the sleep paralysis because I’m paralyzed when I wake and feel like something is choking me and the sleep walking because I actually do things in my sleep like shut of heaters, hide things, and break things. On average I would wake up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours and be up for at least an hour before I could get back to sleep and was up for the day by 4am. NOT fun when your older. It didn’t seem to bother me when I was younger until I was told that the lack of sleep made my ADHD symptoms worse. I was put on C-pap last year for the sleep hypopnea and still was waking up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Was put on 150mg of Trazadone, which the doctor said was the strongest sleep medication with no result. It would make me tired, but would not keep me asleep. Finally he told me to take a 3mg tablet of melatonin an hour before bed. The first night I slept for 5 hours straight. For the first time in my life I was actually sleeping 5 hours straight without waking up. The sleep paralysis happens much less frequently, and I haven’t been sleep walking. The reduced frequency in sleep walking while taking melatonin has me wondering if it’s possible that lack of sleep has something to do with it, something I’ll have to ask the doc when I see him in January.
    I don’t believe everything I see online but I do understand the concern about the weight gain. I was constantly exhausted, still am since 5 hours is still not enough sleep for me. It is more than I was getting so I’m not complaining too much about that but I have gained weight over the years and still am. The doc says that it’s because I’m so tired all the time. If they can just get me to sleep at least 7 hours he says I’ll feel much better. Melatonin in my case has helped with life long sleep deprivation. Whether Melatonin itself causes weight gain I don’t know but it’s possible that it can in certain people since we all react differently to the different things we eat, breath, and touch. Just as an example, if you give Adderall to someone who does not have ADHD it will speed them up. If you give the same stimulant to someone like me who has ADHD it slows us down so that our bodies and brains can actually work together. Different reactions for different people. But it is proven that chronic lack of sleep can cause weight gain. I am not a doctor, will not pretend to be one, and am only stating my own experience and those things my doctor has told me. I’m not so judgmental when someone is suffering from something and trying to figure out what the cause is. Trying to figure out what is wrong can take years, in my case it took nearly 43 years. No one suspected sleep disorders, not even my parents and that’s despite the fact that I was always in trouble for snooping around the house while everyone was asleep and waking my parents up at 4 and 5 am every morning. Hopefully people reading threads like this will realize that most comments are opinions based on experience and should not be taken as medical advice. Your doctor is the best person to talk to regarding any medical issues.

    1. I have severe insomnia and the only thing that helps me to sleep is Ambien CR, (not the generic version as it doesn’t work the same for me)12.5 mg (that is the time release version of ambien). It helps me sleep 6 to 7 hours. However I can only tolerate it a couple times a week at most, so I am most always sleep deprived. I have been taking 3 mg of sublingual melatonin each night now (the regular pill you swallow doesn’t work for me at all, can’t even tell I took it) but I still wake up about every 1 or 2 hours and so each time I wake up I have to take more sublingual melatonin. I also use an oil to help my restless let syndrome each time I wake up. I used to take melatonin a couple of years ago but it stopped working for some unknown reason, then about 2 weeks ago I got a new one and it worked again. I wish so much it would keep me sleeping longer but at least I am not up all night only to sleep 3 hours in the morning which is what happens and if i let that happen i begin sleeping in later and later in the morning. I am hoping that taking that much melatonin is ok. I doesn’t affect my weight at all. Sleep deprivation has ruined my health. I am happy to take whatever works if i am able to tolerate it and not feel totally miserable the next day.

  125. actually melatonin helps PREVENT weight gain

    University of Granada (2013, September 25). Melatonin helps control weight gain as it stimulates the appearance of ‘beige fat’ that can burn calories instead of storing them, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from­ /releases/2013/09/130925091745.htm

  126. I have severe insomnia and the only thing that helps me to sleep is Ambien CR, (not the generic version as it doesn’t work the same for me)12.5 mg (that is the time release version of ambien). It helps me sleep 6 to 7 hours. However I can only tolerate it a couple times a week at most, so I am most always sleep deprived. I have been taking 3 mg of sublingual melatonin each night now (the regular pill you swallow doesn’t work for me at all, can’t even tell I took it) but I still wake up about every 1 or 2 hours and so each time I wake up I have to take more sublingual melatonin. I also use an oil to help my restless let syndrome each time I wake up. I used to take melatonin a couple of years ago but it stopped working for some unknown reason, then about 2 weeks ago I got a new one and it worked again. I wish so much it would keep me sleeping longer but at least I am not up all night only to sleep 3 hours in the morning which is what happens and if i let that happen i begin sleeping in later and later in the morning. I am hoping that taking that much melatonin is ok. I doesn’t affect my weight at all. Sleep deprivation has ruined my health. I am happy to take whatever works if i am able to tolerate it and not feel totally miserable the next day.

  127. Are you a doctor or do you have a degree in medicine, biology or any other sort of science which would qualify you to make a judgement and recommendation regarding the use of melatonin?


  129. I’m in my late 40s, and a martyr to insomnia. I’ve been buying melatonin whilst visiting the States, and using it at home (6-9mg pd 1 hour before bed) to regulate my sleep. I’ve been doing this for a number of years now, probably around seven.

    It’s changed my life.

    I get to choose when I sleep. I sleep well, naturally. I wake up refreshed.

    The key thing to note with melatonin is that, as has been pointed out, it’s a hormone. It should be produced in the pineal gland, but the body makes less as you get older. You can’t treat it like a sleeping pill. If you take it at a different time every day, it’ll be like living in a different time zone every day: your system’s going to get hellishly confused, and you’ll get jet lag symptoms. You MUST take it at the same dose, at the same time, every day. If you miss your time by more than about an hour, just don’t take it – use diphenhydramine, or something else, instead, and perhaps have to tough out a day when you didn’t sleep as well, until you can get back to the normal pattern.

    If you’re prone to depression that’s unlinked to irregular sleep, and you can’t be sure you can take the dose at the same time every day, think twice about taking melatonin. A confused sleep cycle can exacerbate depressive illness.

    But, you know what? I bless the stuff, and the FDA who allow it to be sold without prescription. Without it, I’d be a mess.

  130. I wanted to put in my two cents about how Melatonin has helped me. I am a natural “night owl” and Melatonin is the only thing that puts me’ in control of my bed time. On vacation, I stay up late and sleep late, but when I don’t have flexibility, I take 9 mg 1/2 hour before I want to fall asleep. I read or do crossword puzzles and then a feeling of sleepiness comes over me. I have not had one instance in the past few years that Melatonin did not work. If I ignore the sleepiness and keep reading or doing an activity, it wears off. It seems that the main effect is to produce a temporary sleepy feeling that is probably what “normal” people feel in the evening.
    If you’re unable to sleep, this might help
    Regards, TIM

  131. I was taking 5mg of melatonin every night for 4-5 years. And I recently went up to 10mg every night for about the last year or so. I’ve always been a stocky guy but since I’ve been taking a medicine called Seroquil which made me gain a ton of weight! But I have been off of that for about 3-4 years and still continue to take melatonin and since then all I do is lose weight. I’m pretty sure it is different for everyone but I have not notice any side effects yet, and hope to continue not too

  132. I cant believe some ppl are sugg ambien over melatonin. I was lucky and after years of ambien dependence it only took a few months of klonopin to get off ambien. Look up ambien withdrawal. Melatonin works at 6mg for me but makes me feel horribly tired next day. Also blue light blocking glasses dont produce melatonin, they prevent breakdown of it. I can totally beleive the weight gain and loss stories bc everyone has a dif body. Sorry typos, grammar, mobile.

  133. What do you suggest for a man to do when he is working 3 straight 3rd shift nights and must sleep during the day? My husband is doing that now, but the transition is hard. I was told melatonin would help. Can you suggest something better?


  134. I’ve used melatonin for a decade. Never had an issue. I have always used 3mg. I have been through stages where I haven’t taken for quite some time (3 months even). I definitely didn’t find it “more” difficult to sleep either… So for myself I’ve never had an issue and it has always worked well for me. I haven’t taken it for a year either. I only ever do now if I really can’t sleep.

    As for the weight gainers – eat less, Haha!

  135. Hi
    I enjoyed reading your article and I agree with what your saying, it makes sense.

    I want to know where I can purchase melatonin online to help reset my body clock. Would you know of any reputable websites to use?
    Kind Regards

  136. How timely is this article for me? I began taking melatonin (~ 5 – 10 mg) nightly, 2 months ago. I adhere to a 90-10 Paleo lifestyle and participate in various activities several times a week, i.e. Crossfit, climbing, hiking, etc.

    I was at my optimal weight/size and quite happy. I have packed on 20 pounds over a course of 1.5 months and have not been able to figure out what I was doing wrong! I have felt extremely ‘hormonal’ lately but assumed I was jumped in on my office mate’s cycle. I am going to stop taking melatonin (and hope I can get to sleep somehow) and see how I feel and look in a month!

    Thanks Mark! <3

  137. I AM a medical professional & would like to point out that each person is an individual and responds to medications differently. There is not one medication that affects everyone in the same way. Side effects posted as possible reactions to medications are very widespread & even contradict each other ie: constipation or diarrhea. Response to medications in clinical trials are based on the most common effects in a trial group study. Not everyone responds positively 100% in group studies, especially human trials.
    My own experience with Melatonin 3 mg each night was positive as it allowed me to get to sleep. However, as an individual, I did experience a most unpleasant side effect 2 months after starting this hormone which caused me to discontinue using it permanently. In my case I did not experience weight gain. I did however experience 8 lbs of weight loss after the Melatonin caused watery diarrhea up to 10 times daily for 7 weeks before I finally figured out what the culprit was. At no time did I suspect Melatonin. I had stool tests which were all negative until I happened across a forum where at least 20 people had experienced the same problem. There is product information that Melatonin can cause diarrhea, but as it did not occur for 3 months I did not suspect Melatonin.
    We all react differently to medications. This was a lousy way to lose weight and I am only posting this so that you will respect each other’s individualities & accept that each person can & will respond to a medication differently. The day following my stopping this medication was the day I finally started to get better. It is certainly not a medication I would ever take again even at a lower dose. The side effect was far too severe & debilitating and was difficult to diagnose. For those of you who wish to take Melatonin & are finding it helpful, I am happy for you. For those of you who are experiencing side effects, stop it & take melatonin under the direction of a Doctor. This hormone is not FDA approved for your safety just as all “natural” supplements do not require this scrutiny. As long as you know what you are taking, medication interactions with other meds you are on & the side effects of these supplements you are considered knowledgeable & informed. Educate yourself…in my case it did not pay off until I was educated on a Forum…and make your own decision on what is right for you. The squabbling at the beginning of this Forum was in poor taste. We are NOT all the same.

  138. If you sleep better and thus more likely more you will be burning less kcals. It really isn’t some rocket science.

  139. Some interesting comments in this thread, and also some rather rude ones, play nice everybody!
    I’ve always had some very strange reactions to various drugs, so whilst I am guided by what is the norm I have also learned that the norm does not alway apply to me – I think that is why we are called individuals…
    As a 140lb male I can take a dose (or 3..) of a sleeping pill my doctor assures me is strong enough to knock out a horse, but I will still be wide awake all night.
    I have been taking melatonin for the past couple of months, and whilst my sleep has been much improved, I have had some very noticeable weight gain.
    Ok, so my conclusion is not that the melatonin is causing the weight gain, at least not yet, but I suspect it will be, for me as an individual.
    I am rather OCD, I eat exactly the same foods, same qtys, at the same time all the time, exercise vigorously 6 times a week, at the same time, get up at the same time everyday, go to bed at the same time every night…are you getting the picture?
    Taking melatonin is the only factor I can identify that has changed in anything I do. I don’t cheat with my diet, I don’t ever, and I mean ever, skip my exercise routine.
    I’m going to stop taking melatonin immediately, and see what happens with my weight. If my weight gain stops and my weight returns to what it was pre melatonin, then I will definitely drawing the conclusion that melatonin is causing my weight gain.

  140. I’ve been taking 2.5 mg melatonin. For about a month now, no weight gain at all, I must say I’ve never been calmer in my life! Anxiety, overreacting, hurtfulness, misery and euphoria – all diminished, my mood is mostly a stable straight line in between both the very high and very low – and before I’d be either on top, or at the bottom. I am happy with melatonin. Though I am concerned, what comes next. I’m extra careful about supplements for brain, especially when it’s hormones. At least this one does not have so many and so severe side effects as say diazepam, of which I have not taken a pill in my life due to those side effects. Rather I went through my misery in painful way. Melatonin does make it easier to have calmer thoughts, without being bothered by pervasive negative automatic thoughts, and helps me sleep better and to better remember my dreams. Also work with dreams has become easier, I do understand most of the times now that it’s a dream, much more than before 🙂

  141. I wonder if tart cherry juice concentrate has the same effect? I suffer from fragmented sleep caused by anxiety, and started drinking cherry concentrate for the melatonin every day to help ween myself off of Xanax – It worked really well for me (taking it every day 2TBS), increased my sleep fragments from 1.5 hours to around 4, AND kept a lot of the inflammation from my running routine (I run marathons) at a real low….but lately I’ve been feeling abnormally depressed.
    Crying all the time, thoughts of suicide- now I’m normally a very anxious person with low-grade depression (hence the xanax) but even this was out of league for me. I stopped taking the juice for about a week and although my sleep problems are creeping back, my brain is not so sad and angry- I think more clearly and rationally, and have stopped the chronic tears.

    Everything online says go nuts with the tart cherry juice but I wonder how much is too much….

  142. I used Melatonin because i drank too much coffee. Used it for years, not every night tho, I never gained any weight or had after effects from it. Unless you eat big meals after 7pm or later. When you first take them, you will feel drowsy the next morning. It did help me get to sleep without tossing and turning all night. also when i was down with the flu or sick. I only took half of the 3mg, unless i wanted to sleep sound i’d take the whole 3mg. Also, gave me nice vivid dreams.

  143. i was taking Melatonin 10mg for a while due to insomnia, i didnt notice any weight gain, but had the most weird dreams .. i stopped taking as the dreams were so weird and vivid .. use to wake you and shout in my sleep … OMG …

  144. MY INSOMNIA IS CURED after 15yr fight

    I posted here several times regarding how Melatonin and other supplements have helped me fight insomnia.

    I thought I was “cured” several times. It turned out I never really was. Until recently.

    It’s been several months now and I sleep like a rock every day. What did I do differently?

    First of all no more in Melatonin. No more other sleep aids either.

    I simply a lot of of vegetables every day. Those highest in vitamin K. The most nutrient dense I can find.

    It also helped clear up a heart condition that I had, a blocked artery. Cleared up blood clots in my lungs. All possibly caused because of long history of insomnia and Snoring. Both have cleared up as well – What else is there to say.

  145. I happen to agree with weight gain. Took it for about 1-2 months and been working out and couldn’t lose 5 lbs that I gained. It increased my appetite. And same with my coworker. You can’t argue (in my opinion) that it doesn’t affect weight, as all bodies are different, so the effects are different. Let’s see if I lose the weight now that I’ve quit it? I just want others out there to know of my experience so that they can make their own decisions.

  146. I love melatonin, I take it once in awhile when I know I need a good sleep.

  147. Agree with Rene – hormones are hormones and they are dangerous in the wrong dosage – this goes for Melatonin – Estrogen – Estradiol – Progesterone – Testosterone and even Vitamin D – when you disrupt your body’s natural rhythm and upset your hormones than several things can occur – depression, loss of energy, muddled thoughts, and yes, weight gain. Never ASAUME that any of these people on the discussion board are over-eating, or eating junk food, all of them have pretty much stated that they are below aver ah weight and live healthy, and fairly athletic lives. I am a former National-Level Powerlifter and Bodybuilder, I can tell you exactly first-hand what happens when you mess with hormones, and yes, I’ve tried melatonin, but I’ve also tried Clenbuterol too, which speeds up your body’s metabolism and heats your inner core temperature, in the short term, you do lose weight and have more defined muscle-tone, but in the long run you end up gaining weight because you’ve played around with your body’s own rhythmic hormonal cycle. Now I’m in my 40’s and still maintain a 120 lbs. physique, but I do not do any hormonal disrupting drugs anymore, and it’s taken years to repair the damage. Consult your Doctor for testing your hormonal levels before taking anything that may throw your internal system out of sync.

  148. if melatonin wont help you sleep reading these comments will. so far for me im finding it doesnt always make me sleep but helps. some grouchyness at night and headaches. lots of diarea so probly weight loss. but more daytime energy and enhanced mood. i will keep trying it til i run out of toilet paper 😉

  149. Is there any actual research that the body produces less melatonin when supplementing? It sounds like one of those things that sounds true, but is there any data to confirm this? Also consider that light is a “lie”. We aren’t meant to view artificial lights. Orange lenses just address what we presently understand about how light affects the circadian rhythm, but we are many to experience the day as it really is. This screws with melatonin, most people likely don’t make enough. I can’t sleep well without 15 milligrams of melatonin. 9 is better than nothing, and 15 is a good number for me. I sleep great and wake up cheerful.

  150. Also vitamin d is a hormone. Hormone doesn’t have to be a dirty word. I’ve read of a few studies where participants were given hundreds of milligrams supposedly with no ill effects. You’ll have to find the study yourself it’s been a while.

    I’ve taken some brands of melatonin that make me feel weird. And others that work. I take gnc time release. They look at me odd when I go in there, because I know exactly where my stuff is and I don’t browse like everyone else. Also, those people tend to hand out medical advice or certain health claims like chromium helping weight loss and such. I just ignore them and get my stuff. Liquid Valerian is one component in a cocktail I take for panic attacks. I buy their fish oil too because if you buy three it works out cheap and I take twenty basic strength caps per day. Then my melatonin.

  151. Try “earthing” a.k.a. “grounding” to help with insomnia !
    It’s on Youtube and it does work – I use Aluminum tape and roll it out
    under my bed sheet…. and then connect a wire to it that goes out the window
    and into the ground…. It’s because our body has way too much voltage in alternating current (AC)…. and it’s a stress on the body and prevents us from getting a good REM deep sleep… and… like it my case… caused me to be unable to easily go to sleep… if you have any fears – put an inline fuse in the wire….
    Give it an honest try and it will make a believer out of you – I am not kidding…

    1. Do you have any contact with the aluminum tape? Your post gives the impression you are not (tape under the bed sheet). If you do not, then you are not earthing. You are putting a shield between yourself and the ground, and some of the radiation from the ground (if there is ground current) is flowing out the earth wire. If the tape is contacting your skin then you are earthing, and I apologise for reading it wrong. I earth myself every night with a wrist strap and find it very worthwhile.

  152. So much hate on here. Everyone is different, people. Melatonin will be a good thing for some and not for others.
    If I take melatonin regularly and then stop, I become depressed. My body lowers its production of serotonin as some of the melatonin is metabolised to serotonin. When I stop taking the melatonin, it takes a few days for my body to catch up. This is because of having an autoimmune brain condition. It would seem to not have that effect in healthy people. Glandulars can have that effect on some people too, if a gland in their body is really struggling. When the glandular is stopped, they crash.

  153. I have been taking melatonin every night now for about 2 months. Mainly because I have horrible insomnia. It is great in the way of helping me fall asleep fast but it does not keep me asleep. I usually wake up 2-3 hours in and it takes me several hours to get back to bed. Maybe is is because I only take 3 mg. I’m not sure.

    I have not experienced any weight gain on this as many people have complained of… I am actually under weight and am struggling gain weight. If you eat balanced meals and exercise you should not gain weight taking this supplement.

  154. What did you do to get yourself off melatonin? Any other supplements used? I’m gradually putting on weight. Did you have trouble sleeping when going cold turkey?

  155. Everyone’s body handles thing completely different and anyone can experience different side affects BUT with that being said i can say that melatonin was definitely making me gain weight. I weight about 150 pounds and i started drinking Nuero sleeps which contains high doses of melatonin then i thought i would try something natural so i started taking double the dose of melatonin pill almost every night to help me go to sleep. Right when i started taking melatonin i had started working out 5 days a week and to add to that a very healthy diet. About 5 months go by and i weigh 162 pounds. How could i gain 12 pounds when im eating better and exercising regularly??!! I thought of anything and every thing that could cause that so i stopped taking the melatonin and its been about a month and a half. I am still continuing on the same diet plan and exercise regimen and i have already lost 7 pounds! Like i said every one is different so maybe you will or wont have the same issue i had but i am much happier being back in shape and feeling thinner.

  156. I’ve been taking 2mg for a few years. I lost weight because I got great sleep and was able to be more active during the day. Watch what you eat. More meals and less portions people. Also exercise 5 times a week.

  157. Lasting treatment effects in a postmarketing surveillance study of prolonged-release melatonin.

    Hajak G1, Lemme K, Zisapel N.

    Author information


    Surveillance studies are useful to evaluate how a new medicinal product performs in everyday treatment and how the patient who takes it feels and functions, thereby determining the benefit/risk ratio of the drug under real-life conditions. Prolonged-release melatonin (PRM; Circadin) was approved in Europe for the management of primary insomnia patients age 55 years or older suffering from poor quality of sleep. With traditional hypnotics (e.g. benzodiazepine-receptor agonists), there are concerns about rebound insomnia and/or withdrawal symptoms. We report data from a postmarketing surveillance study in Germany on the effects of 3 weeks of treatment with PRM on sleep in patients with insomnia during treatment and at early (1-2 days) and late (around 2 weeks) withdrawal. In total, 653 patients (597 evaluable) were recruited at 204 sites (mean age 62.7 years, 68% previously treated with hypnotics, 65% women). With PRM treatment, the mean sleep quality (on a scale of 1-5 on which 1 is very good and 5 is very bad) improved from 4.2 to 2.6 and morning alertness improved from 4.0 to 2.5. The improvements persisted over the post-treatment observation period. Rebound insomnia, defined as a one-point deterioration in sleep quality below baseline values, was found in 3.2% (early withdrawal) and 2.0% (late withdrawal). Most of the patients (77%) who used traditional hypnotics before PRM treatment had stopped using them and only 5.6% of naive patients started such drugs after PRM discontinuation. PRM was well tolerated during treatment and the most frequently reported adverse events were nausea (10 patients, 1.5%), dizziness, restlessness and headache (five patients each, <1%). There were no serious adverse events and no adverse events were reported after discontinuation. The persisting treatment effect and very low rebound rate suggest a beneficial role of sleep-wake cycle stabilization with PRM in the treatment of insomnia.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0, where it is permissible to download, share and reproduce the work in any medium, provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

  158. I used to take 3 mg and it gave me headaches, migraine headaches to be exact, but that’s no surprise as I’ve had migraines for years and lots of things can trigger them, including most pharmaceuticals and many foods. I recently tried melatonin again at about 1/2 a gram and it works fine and doesn’t give me migraine. I have noticed possible slight increased weight gain, but the cure for that is eat less.
    On the up side I don’t wake up after 2 hrs sleep, or spend 5 hrs trying to get to sleep.

  159. Guys,

    Am having sleeping problem for 20 years . I started taking benzo diaphine and diazepum and got addicted to it for 20 years. For last 2 years am noticing erection problems and recently its really bad where i cannot get him up at all and i can cum without being hard. So i stopped the prescription pills and trying melatonin 10mg and getting pretty decent sleep.

    Am just wondering, do any one of you here face the ED problems due to the sedatives and antidepressants and is it reversable. Once i stopped the prescribed pills, will my erection go back to normal? please advice


  160. Guys,

    Am having sleeping problem for 20 years . I started taking benzo diaphine and diazepum and got addicted to it for 20 years. For last 2 years am noticing erection problems and recently its really bad where i cannot get him up at all and i can cum without being hard. So i stopped the prescription pills and trying melatonin 10mg and getting pretty decent sleep.

    Am just wondering, do any one of you here face the ED problems due to the sedatives and antidepressants and is it reversable. Once i stopped the prescribed pills, will my erection go back to normal? please advice


    Read more:

  161. Guys,

    Am having sleeping problem for 20 years . I started taking benzo diaphine and diazepum and got addicted to it for 20 years. For last 2 years am noticing erection problems and recently its really bad where i cannot get him up at all and i can cum without being hard. So i stopped the prescription pills and trying melatonin 10mg and getting pretty decent sleep.

    Am just wondering, do any one of you here face the ED problems due to the sedatives and antidepressants and is it reversable. Once i stopped the prescribed pills, will my erection go back to normal? please advice


  162. Wow, I am astonished at how people treat each other on the internet. This is a serious topic, there is no room for belittling, insults and animosity simply due to differing opinions.

    I think it is incredibly close-minded to believe that everyone responds one way or another to ANYTHING they put into their body. Although there may be general tendencies in human responses, we all have different physiology and chemical balance in our body. You don’t have to be a medical professional to know that. It does not surprise me that Melatonin may affect weight. It may induce weight gain in some and weight loss in others, especially at high doses. It may have no affect on others. Calories in/calories out is certainly the main component of weight balance, but there are other factors, such as how calories are stored and metabolized, which can be genetic, environmental or supplemental. Melatonin may affect this in some (or many) people.

    I am here because I recently began taking Melatonin to fall asleep and it DEFINITELY works for me. I take a very small dose, 1mg, just before bedtime. I am concerned about taking it long-term. At present I believe that in such a small dose the benefit of sleep probably outweighs any concerns about long-term use, but I welcome any CIVIL responses as to people’s experiences.

    Has anyone been taking a small dose over a long period?

    I have also noticed that it does NOT help me sleep through the night. I still wake up frequently, but I am able to fall back asleep quickly. I suppose that means I may not be getting improved REM cycles, which is probably a secondary issue since frequent waking happens with and without the melatonin. But again, I’ll take 9 hours of interrupted sleep over 4 hours of interrupted sleep!

    I can sometimes be a little groggy in the AM as well, but not nearly as much as with other over-the-counter sleep-aids or alcohol (sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do lol).

    I want to add that, based on my research, taking large doses (more than 5mg daily) seems likely to be more harmful than helpful, so I worry about people taking that much. Of course it varies from person to person and there are certain medical exceptions where a high dose may be prescribed (by a doctor). That’s simply my opinion.

    Just be careful!

  163. A good natural remedy a fellow-frequent traveler shared with me years ago is called “No-Jet-Lag” and reduces the effects of jet lag for me in a big way. When I arrive at my destination, I do the the melatonin for 3 nights and that also helps reset the body clock. This is my opinion for what it’s worth.

  164. Putting aside the completely asinine comments I’ve noticed on this entirely hateful thread towards those claiming weight loss, I’ve yet to see much discussion on how melatonin can suppress pituitary functions (namely LH release), as well as suppressing the production of dopamine. I notice a great change in my mood when taking even small (300mcg) doses of melatonin. Immediately when I stop taking it I feel as if a cloud has been lifted off the next day.

    Might this be a potential link to those expressing weight gain when using melatonin?

  165. I take 5mg of melatonin every night… have gained 20lbs and all other blood work comes back normal. Wake up with wicked headaches and fatigue, no strength, can’t function. Any advice? Could this be the melatonin? I’m 22 and weigh 120 lbs,I was 100lbs last year and felt great.

  166. Melatonin has nothing to do with your weight gain. I have been taking melatonin now for several months. I have recently had surgery and have not been able to exercise in that period and have experienced no weight gain, bad mood or adverse effects. It helps me to get to sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed.

    So, I think people should stop trying to pass the buck and just accept responsibility for their actions, what they eat and their own short comings.

    I also find it slightly funny that this guy and website talk about the adverse effects of such a Supplement, and yet it is sponsored by a antioxidant supplement.