Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (over 18 years old)

The time of day that melatonin is taken is important. Melatonin impacts circadian rhythms (the internal body clock) differently depending on whether it is taken in the morning, afternoon, or early evening.

For age-related macular degeneration (vision loss with age), three milligrams of melatonin have been taken by mouth nightly at bedtime for six months.

To improve body temperature regulation in the elderly, 1.5 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for two weeks.

For Alzheimer's disease or cognitive decline, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 1-10 milligrams daily for 10 days up to 35 months.

For inflammation, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 10 milligrams nightly for six months or five milligrams the night before and one hour before surgery.

For asthma, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for four weeks.

For withdrawal from benzodiazepines (antianxiety agents), doses of 1-5 milligrams have been taken by mouth daily for from several weeks up to one year.

For cancer, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 1-40 milligrams daily, with 20 milligrams being most common, for several weeks to months. Melatonin has been applied to the skin.

For chronic fatigue syndrome, five milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth five hours before bed for three months.

For COPD (chronic lung disorder causing breathing difficulty), three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly two hours before bed for three months.

For circadian rhythm sleep disorders in people with and without vision problems, melatonin has been taken by mouth as a single dose of 0.5-5 milligrams before bed or as a daily dose for 1-3 months.

For delayed sleep phase syndrome, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 0.3-6 milligrams, with five milligrams being most common, daily before sleeping for two weeks to three months.

For delirium, 0.5 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for up to 14 days.

For depression, six milligrams of slow-release melatonin has been taken by mouth at bedtime for four weeks.

For exercise performance, 5-6 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth one hour before exercise or before bedtime.

For fertility, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly from the third to fifth day of the menstrual cycle until hormone injection (human chorionic gonadotropin, HCG), or on the day of hormone injection.

For fibromyalgia, 3-5 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for four weeks to 60 days.

For stomach and intestine disorders, 3-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for 2-12 weeks.

For headache, 2-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for 14 days to eight weeks.

For liver inflammation, five milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth twice daily for 12 weeks.

For high blood pressure, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 1-5 milligrams either as a single dose during the day or before bedtime, or daily for 1-3 months.

For high cholesterol, five milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for two months.

For insomnia in the elderly, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 0.1-5 milligrams at or two hours before bedtime for up to several months, in the form of melatonin-rich night milk or slow-release Circadin®. A dose of 0.5 milligrams has been placed in the cheek for four nights.

For jet lag, 0.1-8 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth on the day of travel (close to target bedtime at destination), then daily for several days, in the form of standard or slow-release melatonin (Circadin®).

For memory, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth before testing.

For menopause, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly at bedtime for 3-6 months.

For Parkinson's disease, doses of 3-50 milligrams have been taken by mouth nightly before bed for 2-10 weeks. (High doses of 3-6.6 grams of melatonin have also been taken by mouth daily; however, these doses were used in an older 1972 study and are no longer in use.)

For periodic limb movement disorder, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for six weeks.

For REM sleep behavior disorder, 3-12 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for four weeks.

For restless leg syndrome, a single dose of three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth.

For sarcoidosis (chronic widespread inflammation), 20 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for one year, then decreased to 10 milligrams for a second year.

For muscle movement problems in people with schizophrenia, 2-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily.

For seasonal affective disorder (SAD), two milligrams of sustained-release melatonin has been taken by mouth 1-2 hours nightly for three weeks. A dose of 0.5 milligrams of melatonin has been taken under the tongue for six days.

For seizure disorders, doses of melatonin taken by mouth were 3-10 milligrams daily for 2-4 weeks to three months.

For sleep (general), doses of melatonin taken by mouth were 0.3-10 milligrams.

For sleep disorders in people with behavioral, developmental, or mental disorders, 0.1-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for up to one year.

For sleep disturbance in Alzheimer's disease, 1.5-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for 10 days to 35 months, together with light exposure or in the form of capsules.

For sleep disturbance in those with asthma, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for four weeks.

For sleep disturbance in those with autism, 0.75-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken nightly before bedtime for two weeks to six months.

For sleep disturbance in those with COPD, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly.

For sleep disturbance in those with cystic fibrosis, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly at bedtime for 21 days.

For sleep disturbance in those with depression, 0.5-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for 3-4 weeks, in addition to regular therapy.

For sleep disturbance in healthy people, 0.1-80 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth, generally nightly before bed for one or several days up to 26 weeks. A dose of 50 milligrams has been injected into the vein.

For sleep disturbance in people undergoing hemodialysis, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for six weeks.

For sleep disturbance in hospitalized and medically ill people, 3-5.4 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly.

For sleep disturbance in people with a learning disability, 0.5-9 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for 32-73 days.

For sleep disturbance in those with Parkinson's disease, 3-50 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth at bedtime for 2-4 weeks.

For sleep disturbance after surgery, five milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for three nights.

For sleep disturbance in people with mental disorders, 2-12 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily before resting for up to 12 weeks

For sleep disturbance in people with traumatic brain injury, five milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for one month.

For sleep disturbance in people with tuberous sclerosis complex (a genetic disorder causing tumors to grow in brain and other organs), five milligrams of melatonin has been taken 20 minutes before bed for two weeks.

For smoking, 0.3 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth 3.5 hours after nicotine withdrawal.

For surgery, 3-15 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth or placed under the tongue, and 0.05-0.2 milligrams per kilogram has been placed under the tongue, either alone or with other sedatives, typically 90 minutes before surgery or the night before and 90 minutes before surgery. For anxiety or sedation before surgery, 3-10 milligrams and/or 0.05-0.5 milligrams per kilogram of melatonin have been injected into the vein, either alone or with other sedatives before surgery.

For tardive dyskinesia (uncontrolled, repetitive movements), 2-20 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth for 4-12 weeks.

For low platelets, 20 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for two months.

For ringing in the ears, three milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for up to 80 days.

For ulcers, five milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth twice daily for 21 days together with other medications.

For nighttime urination, two milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for four weeks.

For work shift sleep disorder, 1.8-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth up to three times daily for up to six days before daytime sleep after a night shift.

For skin sun damage, melatonin has been applied to the skin in the form of a gel (20-100 milligrams of melatonin in 70% ethanol, in concentrations of 0.05-0.5% in 0.12 milliliters of gel); 0.6 milligrams per meter squared from 15 minutes before to 240 minutes after sun exposure, alone or with vitamins C and E; five percent melatonin in ethanol, propylene glycol, and water; and 5.85 microliters of solutions containing 1.2-5% melatonin, alone or with vitamins C and E.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is limited research on melatonin supplements in children, and their safety is not established. Melatonin may increase seizure risk in children; caution is advised, and use of melatonin should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

For inflammation or respiratory distress syndrome in newborns, 10 doses of melatonin (10 milligrams per kilogram) have been given, with two hours in between the first four doses, four hours in between the fifth and sixth doses, eight hours in between the seventh and eighth doses, and 12 hours in between the ninth and 10th doses.

For circadian rhythm sleep disorders in children with and without vision problems, 3-12 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for eight weeks.

For delayed sleep phase syndrome, 3-6 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for 10-28 days.

For insomnia, 1-5 milligrams of melatonin have been taken by mouth once nightly for up to two months. Doses of 0.05-0.15 milligrams per kilogram of melatonin have been taken by mouth nightly for one week.

For Rett's syndrome, 2.5-7.5 milligrams has been taken by mouth once daily at bedtime for up to two years.

For sedation, 3-6 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth 10 minutes before standard sedation.

For seizure disorder, 1.5-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth daily for two weeks to three months.

For sepsis (severe response to infection), two 10-milligram doses, separated by one hour, have been taken by mouth 12 hours after diagnosis.

For sleep disorders in children with behavioral, developmental, or mental disorders, 0.1-10 milligrams has been taken by mouth daily for one week to 72 months.

For sleep disturbance, 2-10 milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly before bedtime for four weeks to three months.

For surgery, 0.1-0.5 milligrams per kilogram of melatonin has been taken by mouth in 1-3 doses before surgery, with standard painkillers or anesthesia.

For nighttime urination, five milligrams of melatonin has been taken by mouth nightly for three months.

For pain, a single dose of 10 milligrams per kilogram of melatonin has been injected into the vein.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

www.naturalstandard.com