7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
Beware! If you are not used to taking melatonin, do not buy this as your first product just because it's cheaper and you want to get more for your money. I took this to help me sleep and I woke up with nightmares every time until I stopped taking it. I later found out that this is a side effect of melatonin if your dose is too high. Women, if you are taking hormonal birth control, you are more susceptible to this high melatonin side effect.
Otherwise, the product was fine (no weird taste, no smell, pills were small enough to swallow), so I will still rate it above average. Nature Made stuff tends to be good quality stuff in my experience.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I need 3mg, my partner and mother-in-law both need 5mg, dose can be age-dependant. In "The Miracle of Natural Hormones", Dr Brownstein writes that it is effective for about 60% of patients with sleep difficulties and he often observes that melatonin alone does not always improve sleep until he adds DHEA, when melatonin becomes much more effective. (Dr Jonathan Wright and Dr Brownstein both caution against taking more than 5-10mg DHEA daily unless you are getting tested regularly.)
Melatonin is a master-hormone produced by the pineal gland deep in the brain. It is mostly produced at night, but only in the dark. If you have street lights blazing into your bedroom or sleep with a nightlite on, you're in trouble. If you work nights or stay up very late, you're also in trouble. If your health isn't great, ditto. While most people don't need to pay extra for the liquid or the sublingual or the time release versions, it's worth experimenting if the first type of melatonin you try doesn't work for you (whatever you are hoping for).
Melatonin needs to be taken at night, around bedtime. It is the most important hormone for good sleep but, in addition to the well-known jet-lag and sleep benefits (for restless/disturbed sleep as well as insomnia) for which melatonin benefits about 60 per cent who try it, melatonin also has some age-reversing benefits, enhances sexual vigor, relieves stress and anxiety, helps with pain relief (the effect is stronger at night), and is even useful for hormonal cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. In the very expensive book "Melatonin in the Promotion of Health" ($180), there are chapters discussing melatonin's role in bone and dental health, gut health, digestive issues, mental/emotional health, sun and pancreatic protection, cellular repair, heart protection, and protection from eye inflammation and immune system problems as well as the better known breast cancer and sleep disorders.
People with fibromyalgia experience a significant reduction in their symptoms when taking a melatonin supplement and melatonin can reduce some symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain. Melatonin increases the conversion of precursor thyroid hormone T4 to the active T3 form. It can reactivate the important but much-ignored thymus gland, which degenerates almost completely over the years. It also improves zinc absorption, which in turn boosts several immune functions. Melatonin therapy also helps spleen recovery, another immune-system component which declines with age. Its ability to improve sleep and dreaming is a tremendous boon to memory. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants made by the body.
However, melatonin decreases cortisol so those with a known cortisol deficiency (stopthethyroidmadness website has home self-tests for adrenal fatigue) should take melatonin only in conjunction with something like Cortef, although I believe Pregnenolone, the mother hormone for steroid and sex hormones, is more useful - and so much cheaper too.
The book "Melatonin Miracle" recommends starting with an initial dose of 1.5 mg. There is a warning that melatonin is rarely useful before age 40 (except for children with Down Syndrome, ADHD and Autism). Note: From my research, it seems that adrenal fatigue is most responsible for difficulty falling asleep as well as a lot of insomnia and disturbed sleep. stopthethyroidmadness (website and book) has a lot of practical information about adrenal issues (which go hand-in-hand with low thyroid for at least 50 per cent of sufferers).
Most people make enough melatonin up to age 40. Taking too much will make you feel muddled and distracted in the daytime but there are no known serious side effects. Dosage suggestions - to make up for the fact that less and less melatonin is made in the body as we age - are: .5 to 1mg for ages 40-44, 1 to 2mg for 45-54, 2 to 2.5mg for 55-64, 2.5 to 4mg for 65-74 and 3.5 to 5mg for 75+ - and melatonin must only be taken at night, just before bedtime. (warning: doses between 1 - 5 mg may cause seizures in children) The 4mg+ dosage is only recommended for the 70+age-group who produce very little melatonin naturally at night.
5-10mg is suggested for those with some cancers - and other research shows success with 20mg melatonin every night taken by men with prostate cancer (which tends to be the elderly) along with conventional hormone treatment (drugs to block testosterone, which in the longer-term - 1-2 years later - spreads the cancer throughout the body - unless melatonin is also given). Therefore, we continue (with doctor's permission) to give 20mg nightly (a huge dose) to pa-in-law who is receiving shots to block testosterone (albeit I'd bet he has little or none at his age) in the hope of preventing the otherwise apparently inevitable spread of cancer later. While melatonin did not help with his sleep patterns, an anti-anxiety drug certainly did!
[later note: Dr Hertoghe, who has published several books on hormones, including the basic "The Hormone Solution" sold here, suggests sublingual melatonin (or drops) in very low doses of between 0.05 - 1mg a day as being highly effective. It works 10-15 minute after intake. He advises that the slow release version lasts too long (continued drowsiness after waking) and rates it as having low effectiveness. Finally, he explains that the fast release melatonin should be taken in dosages of between 0.5-3mg (often 1mg) daily. This has medium effectiveness and works 30-60 minutes after intake (for some, up to 2 weeks to begin seeing sleep benefits). However, both cortisol support and thyroid support reduce the effectiveness of melatonin.]
It's generally claimed that the half-life of melatonin is anywhere from .5 to 2 hours but Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center states that the elimination half-life is approximately 45 minutes with a total body clearance of 10 hours for a 3 mg dose. This is much more likely, since many people on melatonin are finally able to enjoy a full night's sleep - without having to take the time-release version. HOWEVER, unless you get the full 7 or 8 hours (whatever your body actually needs) you can feel groggy and uncomfortable when woken.
Final note: those serious about learning how to avoid health problems - or how to recover - would also benefit from reading "Hypothyroidism Type 2" which shows how much of poor health and all chronic pain is linked to low thyroid, including those involved with diabetes, heart problems, both bleeding (like gums, periods) & blood clots (including strokes) and some cancers.
on February 14, 2014
I have been taking Melatonin on nights where I need to get a good night sleep since high school. My last bottle ran out and I decided to buy a 5mg not thinking it would be much of a difference from 1mg or 3mg. Let me say, there is a noticeable difference! I fall asleep quickly (my fiancée within 10 minutes) and sleep until the morning. However, when I wake up I often feel groggy or find it more difficult to wake up, compared to days when I don't take anything.
When I take 1mg or 3mg I find that I wake up no problem but sometimes wake up during the night or earlier than I had hoped.
I really like this product, it does what it says and I don't mind the extra bit of effort it takes to wake up in the morning. I find that if I 'mentally prepare' for the fact it will be a little bit more difficult, I don't have issue. I am enjoying taking it on Friday night and Saturday night to catch up on sleep that I didn't get during the week.
I did end up ordering a bottle of 3mg to have on call for days when I need to wake up early but will be reordering this bottle of 5mg when it runs out. I would recommend it without a doubt, especially for people who take sleep aids once in awhile. Plus, the price is cheaper than in stores!
on February 20, 2013
This is a great sleep aid! I work night shifts, and have been thinking for awhile of finding a melatonin supplement to help me sleep during the day, especially when I only have 8-12hrs between shifts and need to fall asleep as soon as possible. It typically takes me awhile to fall asleep, even at night, but I get very drowsy about 30 minutes after taking this and am out like a light. I usually don't wake up until my alarm goes off, only occasionally to go to the bathroom. When I do get up to get ready for work, I have no problem actually waking up (well, no more than normal) and getting moving. The lowest amount of sleep I've gotten since taken it has been 6hrs, though, so I'm not sure if I would be drowsy upon waking with fewer hours of sleep. I don't take it when I sleep @ night, and when I have a longer amount of time in the morning to fall asleep and stay asleep after a night shift, and I haven't noticed any side effects from taking it irregularly. Overall, I love this product!