Insomnia
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia, Tried and True

Melatonin

20 User Reviews
5 star (15) 
  75%
4 star (1) 
  5%
1 star (3) 
  15%
(1) 
  5%


Posted by Deirdre (Ct) on 06/24/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I have been experimenting with melatonin after reading Art Solbrig's extensive two articles on it in the Coronavirus and Supplements section of EC. I want to report my results as they have been quite amazing. I hope this will be helpful for those with sleep issues, stress, and anxiety.

Starting a few weeks ago, about 30 minutes before bed, I took 10 mg of melatonin with magnesium L threonate. I slept very deeply and woke up the next morning feeling like my brain had finally gotten a chance to recuperate after YEARS of sleeping poorly. I was astounded at the sensation of deep, restorative sleep. You don't realize how badly you've been sleeping until you start sleeping deeply again. It must have been like that for 10 years, at least.

I continued the 10 mg melatonin with magnesium protocol for one week. The first few days, like many report, I was extremely tired during the day. But I didn't fight the sleepiness, I just took a nap or went back to sleep in the morning, figuring I needed the extra deep sleep time. I felt so much calmer and more peaceful as the first week of melatonin and magnesium went on.

After 1 week, the sleepy effects wore off as Art said they would, so I upped it to 20 mg (still with magnesium ) at night. More deep and restorative sleep.

Now on week 3, I am testing 30 mg of melatonin and finding it wonderful. I no longer have the drowsiness issue that people report from melatonin.

Note to Art Solbrigh - thank you so much for writing so extensively on the health benefits of melatonin! Had it not been for all your research and pubmed studies, I probably wouldn't have experimented with it as I didn't like the drowsy feeling it gave when I tried it in the past. Very grateful to you!

Replied by Art
(California)
06/24/2020
1396 posts

Hi, Deirdre,

I'm very happy that melatonin is useful for improving your sleep! The addition of Mag-T is also additive at helping you to get to sleep and sleeping well. Mag-T, like magnesium taurate are both noted for targeting the brain. Another form of magnesium that is quite helpful for sleep is magnesium glycinate and I always find that adding the magnesium to the melatonin is very helpful for getting the best quality of rest!

Thank you for the feedback as it is helpful in confirming what is useful and what is not useful for everyone on EC!

Art

Replied by Gertjr
(Madison)
06/25/2020

Hello Art and Deirdre,

I've been taking a lot of things (ashwaghanda, valerian, etc) for sleep. I had read that melatonin for sleep was best if taken in low doses, but here you say large doses helped you. So, if I want to take only melatonin for my insomnia, how much would you take to start?

I've been taking 3 mg along with my other herbs and sleeping fitfully. I had surgery and the tramadol plus my other stuff has made me sleep wonderfully but, taking the tramadol at night only for pain (and I don't have pain anymore) I only have 4 left.

So I'm now stressing about not getting good sleep anymore. I need to be awake for work, but have a long weekend coming up and could start a high dose to see how it affects me. Any suggestions? I really don't like taking a whole concoction of stuff, it tastes terrible and doesn't really work all that well anyway.

Replied by Art
(California)
06/25/2020
1396 posts

Gertjr,

It could be difficult coming off something like Tramadol that is fairly strong and can be on the habit forming side, especially since it was helping you with sleep. Your body has adjusted to it so you could try tapering off of it gradually instead of just stopping it all at once to help with the transition off of it.

Deirdre has the best method of taking melatonin with magnesium. The magnesium tends to help the muscles and tension relax, while the melatonin helps with sleep. Magnesium glycinate is going to be about as good as any form of magnesium for this purpose taken about 1 1/2 hours before bed.

The lowest dose of melatonin that has shown effectiveness for sleep is one third of a milligram, but you are already taking 3 mg. The next dose is 5 milligrams and then 10 mg. Myself, I have used a method I call "melatonin 123" to help me get to sleep. I determine what time I want to go to bed, so lets say I want to go to bed at 11:00pm, I take one melatonin at 9:00 pm, one melatonin at 10:00pm and one melatonin at 11:00 pm and usually by 10:45 I am yawning and ready to go to bed. In your case, you might use 1 mg x three melatonin in order to maintain your current dose of 3 mg. The time released melatonin can have a similar effect as "melatonin 123", but my preference is the melatonin 123. The idea is to release melatonin at a more natural rate into your system. When I take my dose all at once, I do not get as good of a sleep effect as melatonin 123.

There are additional things you can do to help improve sleep. The first thing is exposing yourself to a good dose of morning sunlight, to try and get your circadian rhythm in sync. Avoid using the tv or computer monitor at least 1 1/2 hours before bed because these can trick your mind and body into thinking it is still daylight. Make your bedroom dark enough where you can not see your hand in front of your face in the dark. Failing that, using the soft fabric night glasses like these can make it plenty dark:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=eye+mask+for+sleep&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

If there is ambient noise such as traffic, noise deadening ear plugs may be useful.

Medical marijuana can also be useful, but may be on the habit forming side too.

Antihistamines can help initially, but they are not good for you on a regular basis or long term as they have been shown to possibly contribute to dementia with long term use and they can affect blood pressure in some people.

Lastly, getting on a regular sleep schedule or routine sets your body up for certain expectations of when to fall asleep and when to wake up in order to help sync the circadian rhythm.

You may have to make this extra effort to help with the transition off of Tramadol in order to get back into a good sleep rhythm.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you do!

Art

Replied by Deirdre
(Ct)
06/25/2020

Hi Gertjr!

I suggest you take Art's lead on the melatonin dosage. I am going to try his 123 method tonight with 10 mg each hour. I decided to skip melatonin and magnesium last night to see how I would do. Was wide awake at 3:00am and couldn't fall back asleep, so I ended up taking 10 mg of melatonin and mag l threonate at 3:30. It did eventually kick in.

Note: I also regularly use my Waff max to help put me in the sleep and peaceful zone. Not sure you saw my video on it a year ago. It's almost impossible to explain how well it works until you lie on one and, unfortunately, there is no way to demo it unless you happen to work at Loreal in France where they have a giant room with Waffs for their employees to recuperate on! At any rate, the Waff at least once a day plus the 2 supplements have totally turned night-time around for me in the past month. Good luck!


Melatonin
Posted by Martin (Cambridge) on 06/12/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin to regulate my sleep cycle which was worsening with age (62 y/o male). Give it 2 weeks or more time before you see results. People give up too soon when experimenting with melatonin. Give your brain time to adjust to a new circadian pattern. 3 mg sublingual melatonin before bed is what I do.


Melatonin
Posted by Claudia R. (Maryland) on 05/14/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin for nighttime stress and anxiety. I take a low dose 3 mg sublingual melatonin 1/2 hour or more before going to sleep. I used to wake up in fits of anxiety a few times a night and it would take me 2 hours or more to get back to sleep. Sometimes it happened twice in a night. Since taking melatonin, I sleep much better. Still sometimes I do wake up but go back to sleep within a min or two.


Melatonin
Posted by Lisa (Westport, Ct) on 03/28/2018
5 out of 5 stars

For months I have been waking up at 4:00 am and unable to get back to sleep, either because I need to use the bathroom or someone moving around in our house or anxiety attacks. In the past, magnesium supplements have done the trick keeping me asleep but lately they have not helped much. Exercise that tires me out definitely helps keep me asleep all night, but on the days I don't exercise hard I wake up. I bought 3 mg melatonin and tried that. Helped the first night, but not after that.

Finally I tried 1 melatonin and 1 magnesium l threonate capsule before bed. That was the winning combination. I am sleeping deeply until the morning and feeling extraordinarily refreshed and energized. Don't want this to become less effective, so I'm only doing it 2-3 nights in a row, then taking a break from the supplements until I feel the need to do it again. Usually another 2-3 days off. Hope this helps someone.

Replied by Mary
(Ca)
03/29/2018

I have struggled with insomnia. will try this. Thank you.


Melatonin
Posted by Les (Atlanta, Ga) on 05/12/2014
5 out of 5 stars

This supplement combination has been helping me sleep better at night. The article I got it from stated it was as effective as taking Ambien (but without the side effects.)

5mg melatonin
11.25 mg zinc
225 mg magnesium

Take 1 hour before bedtime.


Melatonin
Posted by Trudyg (Waynesboro, Va) on 05/02/2013
0 out of 5 stars

I was on all sorts of pharmaceuticals to control chronic migraine for years, finally got off everything. Melatonin is a definite trigger for me--0.5mg and I'm vomiting, need drugs for migraine, can't see--if you have migraines, be careful.


Melatonin
Posted by Brad (Shreveport, Louisiana) on 09/16/2011
5 out of 5 stars

2 things come right to my mind for sleep issues:

Sleep Assure (a melatonin + supplement) and Sleepy time tea. I have tried both and they both work well. Also, never take benadryl or anti- depressents before bed.. both can act as stimulates.

I had a stroke in 20005 at 28 y/o. so anything I say or propose, is something I have already tried or experimented with.


Melatonin
Posted by Sharon (Wesley Chapel, Fl) on 07/26/2011
5 out of 5 stars

l have taken melatonin for years for insomnia that came on during menopause. The first time l took it l took a large dose (5 tabs of 5 mg each). It took 3 days before l got a full nights sleep but it worked mostly. I was able to cut back to 10 mg a night after 3 days. The only times it didn't work were because l had drunk some kind of caffeinated beverage after 6 pm at night.


Melatonin
Posted by Jeremiah (San Diego, California) on 06/28/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have found that Melatonin is extremely beneficial in helping me get to bed. This is on top of the Seroquel that I already take, which is dosed at 100mg. I usually start off with 3 mgs. of Melatonin, and if that doesn't help, I take another 3 mgs. (because the supplement that I take only comes in 3 mg. tablets).

The usual recommended dose of Melatonin to start with is 5 mgs., and then take it from there. This is a extremely effective supplement, and I would recommend it first before anything else.


Melatonin
Posted by Melinda (Tucson, Arizona) on 01/24/2009
1 out of 5 stars

NAY- I have tried Melatonin and I did not find it to be a good alternative for insomnia. Firstly I am on a antidepressant-Lexapro, and I feel like Melatonin really makes my depression worse, and it's effectiveness was inconstant, one time I felt real drowsy and slept good, another time only slept a few hours then woke up again. My boyfriend's Mom also tried it and said it did not work for her either.

Replied by Bob
(Ohrid, Macedonia)
10/11/2009
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

Cow brain is a major source of melatonin. Buyer beware!

Replied by Sherri
(Hobart, Tasmania Australia)
10/13/2010

To Bob I have never heard of cow brain, can u plz explain what it is :)


Melatonin
Posted by Cathy (Richmond Hill, Canada) on 02/29/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Insomnia: My kids have a hard time sleeping at night. I've struggled for about 10 years trying to put my ADHD girl to bed at night. The older she became, the worse it was, telling me to "get lost" when I came in the room at 11:00 p.m. She would just continue on the computer and ignore me. It was very depressing. I had to sleep so I would just go and leave her alone. Her dad didn't help much. Rescue remedy! melatonin! I bought the chewable kind and used to give it to her when I was totally exasperated at 10 or 11 p.m. Now I give it to her at 8 or 8:30 p.m. and now she jumps into bed by 9 or 9:30 p.m. What a miracle! Why did it take me so long to figure that one out? She was sleep deprived for many years!


Melatonin
Posted by Stephanie (NC) on 10/20/2005
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin is WONDERFUL! My daughter (11 yrs.) has always had terrible problems going to sleep...until I started her on Melatonin. She takes 1 pill (300 mcg.) about 1-1/2 hrs. before bed and has had no trouble falling asleep since the first time she took Melatonin. Also have a 22 yr. old nephew who has had sleep problems for a few years. He takes a larger dose before bedtime - has been falling asleep at bedtime with no problems since his first dose. What a God-send!!!


Melatonin
Posted by Lisa (Vero Beach)
5 out of 5 stars

I have found melatonin to work well for sleep. Also just heard magnesium prior to sleep works - I will be trying that tonight.


Melatonin
Posted by Rob (Gilbert, Arizona)
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin has been a God-send for me. I'm a terrible insomniac, especially on business trip. I don't like druggy meds, so I tried melatonin several years ago. About 20 minutes after taking one I drifted quite naturally off to sleep. Now, I still take them occassionally, but usually just the thought that they're in the medicine cabinet is enough to relax me to sleep! Melotonin induces the body's 'down time' mechanisms which night owls like me tend to inhibit. Now I know to relax, read a book, watch tv, or just 'chill' about 20 minutes before bed, this behavior allows the body to naturally produce it's own melatonin and drift peacefully to sleep. - sleep tight!


Melatonin
Posted by Hannah (Vancouver, BC)
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin has also been beneficial to me for sleep. I also use at varying times: -lavender essential oil rubbed into my skin (with a carrier oil) spray lavender water in the bedroom -take a "tea" of honey and apple cider vinegar (adjusting to taste) with water. (1/4 cup does the trick). -another idea, is to turn off the electrical things (like tv, computer etc) an hour before bed to allow the body to slow down and let it's natural melatonin do it's job. Turn off the lights and light a candle and have quiet time an hour before bed. Sweet dreams!



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