Maybe you’re traveling and need to readjust to a new timezone or just are desperate to fall/stay asleep…
I’m sure you’ve tried melatonin or at least it’s come across during your research for ‘natural’ sleep supplements.
But is taking an important neurotransmitter (melatonin) just going to perpetuate the struggle for your body to naturally initiate sleep?
Watch this video where I talk about the research on melatonin as well as my personal thoughts on it (or scroll down for the transcript):
If you want to try the microdose of melatonin (plus a lot of other natural sleep initiators), you can buy Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy here.
Nicki: So Robb, what are your thoughts on melatonin?
Robb: Oh man, that’s a goodie.
You know it’s interesting, I’ve had some reservations around melatonin in the past, I mean you’re taking an important neurotransmitter that’s involved in the initiation of sleep, you know is there a possibility of down-regulating normal production?
And the research on it is interesting, it suggests that it probably doesn’t down-regulate normal production, so you can use it and go off of it, and there’s typically not sleep latency problems and whatnot.
I’ve definitely used it quite a bit with traveling, and I find it really helpful to kind of help to set up a new circadian environment, if you travel three or more time zones then it becomes more and more important to do that. Doing a little bit of fasting, getting out in the morning sun, really trying to sleep as close to the new timezone as you can is important, and melatonin can help set that up.
But I’ve also noticed that if I, the kind of cool thing about melatonin is it’ll, for me, I’ll take a milligram-and-a-half to two milligrams, and it puts me out really quick. And that’s cool on the one hand, but what I’ve noticed is if I get kind of serial usage, I’ll use it multiple days in a row, I start getting depressed.
I think I end up in this almost kind of dopamine-deficient kind of brain state, I’m really lethargic, really tired in the morning.
And there’s a decent amount of information in the literature that suggests that, for some people with different types of depression or tendency towards depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder and stuff like that, it can be a little bit of a double-edged sword.
So if you have sleep problems I think that the first place to look, as much as possible, is trying to plug all the gaps in the circadian biology story, the circadian rhythm, getting outside early, getting sun on your person, getting sun in your eyes and all that, and then kind of somewhat sparingly using melatonin.
Also, Dr. Kirk Parsley put together the Sleep Remedy product (10% off with code robbwolf10), which is cool in that it’s 200 micrograms of melatonin, so it’s a very small dose. And usually the sublingual tablets come in milligram doses, so you’re talking about a significantly higher level of melatonin entering the system potentially than what we would have under physiological conditions.
So if you can find something that is a physiological dose, like that 200 micrograms, that might be more tenable over long-term usage.
But I would just definitely keep an eye on depressed feelings in the morning, and lethargy, and that type of thing.
Great information. I have had the same feelings, especially the lethargy in the morning. It’s the first time I hear that depressing feelings are related to melatonin usage and now that you mention it I remember feeling that.
Yes thanks for the info that’s very helpful!
I have always understood that Melatonin is a very important hormone. It’s the reason we can sleep through anything when we’re kids. Production begins to decline once you are around age 40. Prior to that age you should not take it because you shouldn’t need it, and taking it before you need it could be the reason for side effects in some people. Melatonin is probably one of the most important antioxidants there is. It can cross the blood/brain barrier and help prevent demensia and alzheimer’s. It has been used successfully as a treatment for S.A.D. It can also assist in glucose metabolism. I’m 72 and have taken 6 mg nightly for over twenty years. The only issue I’ve ever had, which I understand is common, is very intense dreams when first supplementing with it. Do a search on PubMed for more information on melatonin studies. More than you will want to read.
I recently ordered the Melatonin online as i was facing trouble in sleeping. Is it really harmful for the health and should I not take it? I am really worried that is why i was searching for its side-effects and I just popped into your blog.
George Machen says
re: “getting sun in your eyes”
My ophthalmologist prescribes anti-ultraviolet coating for my eyeglasses to reduce cataracts formation.