Consider melatonin sleep help for occasional insomnia.
“Even sound sleepers have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep once in a while,” Buenaver says. “You may want to try melatonin for sleep if you have difficulty for more than a night or two.” Research shows that a supplement may help people with insomnia fall asleep slightly faster and may have bigger benefits for those with delayed sleep phase syndrome—falling asleep very late and waking up late the next day.
Use melatonin sleep supplements wisely and safely.
“Less is more,” Buenaver says. Take 1 to 3 milligrams two hours before bedtime. To ease jet lag, try taking melatonin two hours before your bedtime at your destination, starting a few days before your trip. “You can also adjust your sleep-wake schedule to be in sync with your new time zone by simply staying awake when you reach your destination—delaying sleep until your usual bedtime in the new time zone. Also, get outside for natural light exposure. That’s what I do,” Buenaver says.
Know when to stop.
“If melatonin for sleep isn’t helping after a week or two, stop using it,” says Buenaver. “And if your sleep problems continue, talk with your health care provider. If melatonin does seem to help, it’s safe for most people to take nightly for one to two months. “After that, stop and see how your sleep is,” he suggests. “Be sure you’re also relaxing before bed, keeping the lights low and sleeping in a cool, dark, comfortable bedroom for optimal results.”
Skip melatonin for sleep if …
Do not use melatonin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have an autoimmune disorder, a seizure disorder or depression. Talk to your health care provider if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Melatonin supplements may also raise blood-sugar levels and increase blood pressure levels in people taking some hypertension medications.