It’s two in the morning, and you’re still wide awake. You toss, turn, and throw pillows like there’s no tomorrow. Your mind races through your to-do list for tomorrow while your eyes try to shut down for the night – it’s a never-ending cycle of frustration that only makes matters worse.
But, have no fear, melatonin is here!
This hormone is known as our body’s natural sleep regulator. It works by increasing the levels in our bloodstream once darkness falls and helps us relax into a deep slumber so that we can wake up refreshed and ready to take on whatever life throws at us.
However, with any new supplement or medication comes questions about dosage: how much should I take? Will more be better?
In this article, we’ll dive into whether you should be taking 3mg or 5mg of melatonin to achieve that coveted sleepiness everyone desires (and needs!).
What is Melatonin & How Does it Work?
Melatonin occurs naturally in mammals but has been commercially available since 1994 when supplements first hit store shelves across America. Although most people recognize its role as a hormonal sleep aid (or “sleep vitamin”, if you will), what is not as clear are its optimal dosing guidelines.
The pineal gland located deep within our brains produces this hormone during times of low light exposure (i.e., at night) before releasing it slowly into circulation:
Step one: Body perceives light reduction because oodles of retinal cells called photoreceptors send ‘signals’ directly back to the brain.
Step two: Light exposure triggers different pathways including certain genes present only around that tiny area required
Step three: We start producing Melatonin hormones due upon deeper perception from several stimulus
Aaaaaaand voila! You are starting feeling sleepy!
Although it is a natural compound, commercially available melatonin products differ in dosage and formulation from country to country. And quite honestly, the sheer number of formulations can be overwhelming – trust us when we say that Google searches often lead down far too long rabbit holes!
Now for the burning question…
3mg vs. 5mg: Is More Melatonin Better?
When it comes to dosing protocols, every individual’s circadian rhythm is different which means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to supplementation.
BUT, before we can actually tackle this issue head-on (brace yourself) – why on earth would anyone take more than they need in these times?
Okay okay…so you may think that if a little bit of melatonin helps improve your sleep quality, taking more must mean better results! However ….here’s why:
Like with any other supplement / medication consumption; consuming anything even beneficial has its own risk factors
Oversupplementation of an already adequately produced chemical hormone like Melatonin should not be experimented with since our body needs only a certain amount at night time/low light period & risks exist!
To break things down further and help determine whether you’re team 3mg or team 5mg, here are some key considerations:
Your Baseline Sleep Quality
If you’re suffering from insomnia, consistently having difficulty falling asleep/maintaining sleep OR just want to fall asleep faster- then research studies indicate that between .3-.5 mg might work best.
Additionally^1 , as per another study published by US National Library Of Medicine National Institutes Of Health states-
Quantitative studies have established melatonin intake augmented positively towards improvement in subjective conception related to sleep latency back-to-back overall improvement desired daytime effect.”
One thing remains crystal clear though- Taking too much stand-alone Melotonin medicines WILL NOT provide direct efficiency i.e., You won’t magically fall asleep any easier.
Your Age May Come into Play
Our body’s natural melatonin production rate can decrease with age as our internal clock gets a little haywire. So, it is recommended in such cases to take only recommended dosage which might be lower than those for teenagers (who request more! Funny, ain’t it?)
Some formulations have even been specifically formulated for senior citizens who may need something that helps them gently doze off without impacting their quality of sleep the next day.
In contrast, too much Melotonin will even cause a higher susceptibility towards developing conditions like ‘daytime sedation’, other related superfluous issues are not worth it!
Time Zones Affect Optimal Dosage:
When travelling long distances through various time zones; having difficulty adjusting to local bedtime patterns? One study [PLOS] shows how-
“For eastward and westward travel across 5 to Super 8 time zones from western USA…..taking doses at bedtime after arrival was said to improve speedier acclimatization.”
It’s imperative advice – you ask us: Stick with fewer ingredients when possible i.e., stick with the exact amount prescribed or under supervision & surely try getting your doctor on board so your potential jet lag does not overlap causing several aberrations.
What about Combining Melatonin Doses?
Speaking of an elaborate plan fueled by factors moving rhymatically together ~ Something many people misinterpret is taking more melatonin tablets during one night itself would help induce/boost better sleeping pattern. But…
This approach could very likely result in paradoxical stimulation, resulting mostly due to unsafe oversupply as we discussed briefly before.
Taking low amounts in multiples also comes less of being helpful^1~
So if you decide that 3mg isn’t doing the job and opt for another dose, then just one dose about twenty minutes before bed should suffice vs consuming multiple useless small pills.
Like everything else-Consuming too much of anything is often unhealthy!
While the optimal dosage depends on various factors, it should be readily apparent that taking a larger quantity than necessary most likely won’t get you better results. Only under trained medical supervision could one decide on consuming higher relative dosages.
Lastly^1, what have we learned today?
Less can often make for more when supplementing with Melatonin.
A night full of peaceful dreams; fully energized and refreshed mornings are just a single capsule away (in measured quantity of course).
The key takeaway: Start low, then ramp up only if absolutely necessary as prescribed or recommended by professionals.
With these potential tips in mind– sleep tight! 🌜✨🛏️
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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