Melatonin dosage – What’s the right amount? — 4 Comments

  1. A similar drug, Remelteon, is only about $350.

    Yep – that’s what I also wrote in 2014 and that poster named “in the know” apparently took offense to that and said I was “irresponsible” for posting something like that because they work on different “sub-receptors”. Ok, well there was no clinical difference between the two for me and nobody was mentioning anything about “sub-receptors” in any of their publicly available data or even at the Vanda hotline. They just said Ramelteon isn’t FDA approved for non-24. They wouldn’t say how the two worked differently.

    I forgot to say the 0.5 dose is more for shifting sleep phase (and jet lag) though some docs have recommended people take more to deliberately have the “side effects” of tiredness, which will help you fall asleep. So, some people are fine with 5-10 mg. My friend takes it in a higher dose and has no issue.

    I also think melatonin quality varies a bit. I have had good luck with “Source Naturals” that dissolves in your mouth. I prefer that over the kind you swallow, since timing is more important. In some countries, melatonin is prescription-only, so I think its dosage standardization is more closely monitored than here where the supplement companies are less regulated.

    One other trick is to put on orange safety glasses after taking it (not joking). The blue wavelength of light that you see in computer screens and TVs is what suppresses your melatonin and then the glasses will block that wavelength. There are a bunch on amazon, sold as safety glasses, and then nearly all the reviews say “I took this for sleep” which is kind of funny. They’re cheap too.

    I’ve learned so many tricks over the years with sleep problems. This is only a fraction. I won’t even get started on light therapy boxes. 🙂

    • Melatonin quality does vary, as do all supplements, which is why I like Consumer Lab so much. It’s worth the subscription fee (about $50 a year) for anyone who uses supplements on a regular basis.

      Thanks, Jack, for sharing your tips. I appreciate what you’ve added to the discussion! Best, FN

  2. Hi Frugal Nurse, I discovered your blog way back in 2014 when I was posting about Hetlioz for Non-24. This was a drug that turned out not to work for me at all and only caused awful side effects that were similar to taking a massive dose (10mg) of melatonin. I have since learned that I should take 0.5 mg of melatonin 6 hours before bed (but it’s because I have non-24 – which means my sleep is delayed… normal people don’t have to take it this far before bed). Taking more than 0.5 just causes side effects without a benefit for many people. The 0.5 dose is what was told to me by numerous sleep specialists. Actually, 0.33 is the dose but it’s hard to divide any pill down to that.

    I was looking around your site for other sleep / melatonin related info and I found my old post from 2014 about the melatonin agonist called “Hetlioz”. To my surprise, some very nasty person (likely) from Vanda Pharmaceuticals replied below it, calling himself “In the Know” – – accusing me of being “irresponsible” by posting my unanswered questions about the drug & pointing out things that Vanda never shared about it publicly OR via their dedicated call center for patients (details about melatonin sub-receptors which are not publicly available). I had asked them these things several times with no answer. So, some (likely) Vanda employee went online and found my post on your website and had a nasty little response about their awful, overpriced drug that doesn’t even work anyway (for me or most people in a non-24 hr online group I am in). It caused horrendous side effects with no benefit. It’s $12,000 a month now too. Back then it was $8000 a month. Also, the person seemed to claim no pharmacy could ever order a drug that it didn’t have in stock which is the dumbest thing I ever heard on top of the other comments.

    Melatonin, for $10, will work better than their crappy $12,000 / mo drug and they must really be upset about it.

    • Hi Jack, thanks for being a loyal reader! I appreciate you sharing your experience with melatonin. I still see Hetlioz ads on TV, and I about choked when I researched the price today–GoodRx lists a “fair” price as more than $14,000 for one month of tablets. Yikes. A similar drug, Remelteon, is only about $350. And melatonin, which used to be the treatment for Non-24, is even cheaper. Interestingly, I haven’t found any studies that compare Hetlioz or Remelteon to melatonin, only placebo. I’m glad you’ve found a treatment regimen that is working OK for you. Cheers, FN