"We conclude that the daily use of 3 mg melatonin seems to protect the retina and to delay macular degeneration. No significant side effects were observed."
That dosage (taken over a period of several months every day at the same time) helped me get through a period of insomnia last summer, when basically all the other medications failed or had too strong side effects.
Apparently there are two different methodologies for administering Melatonin. One is to use a higher dose(1mg - 3mg) before sleep (~an hour) as a hypnotic. The other is to take a much lower dose, closer to the 0.3mg you suggested, roughly 4 - 6 hours before the desired bed time.
The latter is used for modifying the circadian rhythm , and fixing problems with sleep wake cycles.
I think the primary takeaway from that show was that people should discuss their sleep problems and treatment with a doctor that specializes in sleep. The treatments and science can be somewhat counter intuitive.
When I look at other papers in this space I do find some adverse responses in hamster nuts when given melatonin injections (but not when it is administered using an implant).
At this point I did not want to research the other claims in the quote anymore. Instead, perhaps I can ask you: Do you know of any solid research that backs these (frankly very strong and contrary to everything else I've read) claims? If not, why did you choose to say this?
This isn't necessarily good news. Sun burn is your body's way of reducing skin cancer. When your body detects too much exposure to sun, it kills the cells that are most likely to have suffered DNA damage. The soreness and inflammation are a result of that mechanism. Disabling that mechanism would cause skin cancer.
But maybe melatonin promotes DNA repair and thus the cells don't need to be killed. More research needed :-)
Melanin, the body’s main pigment, turns UV light into heat inside the cells, but outside the nucleus. (The melanin is gathered into a shield-like collection of “melanosomes” which is “above” the nucleus relative to the outside of the body—like this: https://skincancer909.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/4K-sunh...) This has the same effect: the UV light never hits the DNA, and so never causes DNA damage.
Melatonin is known to recruit, or cause the production of, melanin within melanosomes. I’m not sure if this is the dynamic being discussed by the paper, though, or whether melatonin is more directly able to act in a similar capacity to melatonin exogenously. If it can, then the same explanation applies. (Does anyone know if pure melatonin powder looks black under a UV filter? That’d suggest it could act directly like melanin, despite its dissimilar chemical structure.)
Like even if the mechanism of action is perfectly sound, how does your body adjust with that over many years?
If you have chronic insomnia, you need to solve the root cause. In my case it is anxiety, and currently I'm trying to solve my anxiety and my sleep quality improves as a corrolary.
Still, even the antihistamine (sold as a sleep aid) can't do all the work when something big is going down the next day. Like a meeting with a big client requiring a lot of travel. A big stressor must be addressed.
In that case though, I find that writing 1000 to 2000 words about everything that could possibly go wrong gets me to the point where I can sleep like a baby. Precisely because I'm attaking the source of the anxiety. Most nights though it's easier just to do some basic organization and scheduling and take 1/3 of a little pill.
In the morning I do often take 50-100mg Jet Alert to blunt the fade-in. It's way easier to feel comfortable taking caffeine when fully rested.
An experiment in progress always, but at 9h average sleep (excluding waking times as recorded on FitBit) I managed to go 10 months between illness, as someone with an autoimmune condition (sjogrens). My previous record was 4 months. On top of that, no more depression. My subjective day ratings have gone through the roof. I have to laugh when I'm working with 10 hours of sleep and literally cannot find a single thing to be sour about in my entire life condition (the journaling template I use takes me through this). Plenty of problems, just more resources to work with. Sleep is worth the chase.
Edit: While I'm talking about anxiety, I have been testing L-theanine recently and so far it seems to lower the anxiety floor a little bit. There's nothing like getting your stressors sorted directly, but sometimes things are more complex than that, and if supplements can help, great.
By the way I discourage the use of the term "linked" in light conversation as it has recently and unfortunately become a socio-culturally appropriated term indicating proof of causality. That a linkage exists often means far less than most people think, and this could immediately impact their health-related decision-making for the worse.
"These observational studies have 4 important limitations. First, current anticholinergic use was ascertained at study entry and periodically during follow-up only by conducting a medication inventory. Second, these studies lacked information about the dose and duration of anticholinergic use. Third, these studies had short follow-up periods. This last point is important because the pathophysiological changes in the brains of patients with AD require several years to occur. Finally, these studies did not take into account that certain anticholinergics are used to manage insomnia and depression, prodromal conditions that can be seen in early but undiagnosed dementia, leading to protopathic bias."
I had other concerns as well, and these items alone are a pretty big deal. Like I said above, the _quality_ of the establishment of a "link" is really leaving much to be desired here. This is barely even legitimate science, where any kind of causality is concerned.
I did not benefit from the few times I tried it. Its very potent, even 1/4th makes me super drowsy. However, under the surface my mind is alert. Its like being very drunk but trying furiously to concentrate through that drowning drunkenness. As a result, I did get sleep, but not remotely of the restful kind.
L-Theanine and writing on the other hand has been a big help. So lots of shared experiences.
For better or worse, a low dose of diphenhydramine hcl (12mg) has continued working for me for over a decade without needing to up the dose. My personal experience as far as habit forming goes: I only take it on work nights, and sleep just fine on weekends, or if I'm on vacation. My main issue with sleeping is the specific times I need to do it. If I'm able to sleep when I'm sleepy, and wake up when I'm not, then I don't need any medication. Unfortunately, that doesn't fit in with a typical work schedule.
These studies are extremely difficult to make an informed decision on, thanks to nearly everything being "linked" to some disease. See: Red meat 
I need to wean off it though. Thankfully dementia doesn't run in my family.
But this thread terrifies me now, finding it's also a dementia-inducer. Is there any literature I can review to either allay or justify the fear? Additional horrifying fact from same physician: Chronic benzo use also linked to dementia?
It's also a pity because I used to feel quite well rested and clear headed the day after antihistamines.
Taking it every day for years though is probably not a good idea.
(citation needed, just got up, not looking for one.)
Curious if you've tried that?
Still works wonders
- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02011191 (if you follow this to its completed paper it claims there are neurological effects of biotin supplementation in their study group).
AFAIK, no clinical deficiency of either is observed (with iron it will be in your blood chemistry, with Niacin it would manifest as Pelagra if observed).
Do your own reading about them. Both iron and niacin can be overdosed.
From my experience, use only pure niacin (nicotinic acid), rather than nictoinamide or inositol forms (the latter apparently completely useless but still marketed). Also, avoid the time release forms. But ... this is the internet, I might as well be a dog. Do your own research. Woof.
Nevertheless I'm glad pharmacies sell pills with much higher dosage - you can just buy the 2-10mg pills, crush them and take the dose you need. I bet they would sell 0.3 mg pills for the same high price if they knew.
For some reason melatonin is sold i boxes of 30x2mg for $25, and you need a prescription. It's completely ludicrous. You're only allowed to bring a months worth across the border. It's illegal to order by mail. /rant
Melatonin isn't more effective by increasing the dose. Especially past 3mg. The body doesn't register anything past 3mg. But you also need to keep in mind that the placebo effect is strong.
I take Natrol brand Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets, Strawberry flavor, 3mg, splitting them in half (for 1.5 mg) and put it under my tongue for sublingual absorption.
The seems odd in a country where (for example) you can buy codeine pills over-the-counter, so now I’m curious about why it was banned, considering it’s reported to have few side effects?
My understanding is that it’s not sold over the counter (otc) is because it’s a hormone. The class of drugs isn’t available otc.
Also: I think many people use it in completely the wrong quantities and in the wrong way. I’ve heard of people in countries where it’s legal giving their kids 30mg to get them to sleep.. “it’s otc so it must be safe”. I don’t blame the NHS
People are strange everywhere.
That said you can import them from outside of the UK since you can import any drug for personal use even without prescription.
Rather, it looks some online chemists skirt around the rules by having an “online doctor” issue you with a prescription. But the UK-based ones I found were very expensive and it is surely cheaper just to import from the US via eBay etc.
Had a concussion three months ago and started taking 2 mg based on a post concussion study I read. this did markedly improve my sleep.
1. Did anyone experience a good effect only at higher doses
2. I'm doing much better day to day on this dosage, but I don't want to impair my own production. Do I need to go down to 0.3 mg, or can I cycle it etc?
It's really been life changing. Will ask my doctor the next time I'm in, of course.
Thanks! I'll try that and see what happens.
if you're thinking about trying the option where you take it a few hours before bed time, make sure you're going to bed at a consistent target time (10pm for example). Since this method is more targeted at resetting your circadian rhythm.
If you feel like you have more serious sleep/wake problems I would definitely recommend seeing a specialist. I was surprised to learn that people who say things like "I can't go to sleep until x o'clock" or "I can't stay awake beyond x time" probably suffer from circadian rhythm problems that are treatable.. but the treatment isn't always as intuitive as you might think.
> Regarding clinical application, exogenous melatonin should rather be used topically than orally, since orally administered melatonin appears in rather low levels in the blood due to prominent first-pass degradation in the liver, thus limiting skin access. Topical application might be meaningful, since melatonin can penetrate into the stratum corneum and build there a depot due to its distinct lipophilic chemical structure. Therefore, endogenous intracutaneous melatonin production, together with topically applied exogenous melatonin or metabolites can be expected to represent one of the most potent antioxidative defense systems against UV-induced skin aging.
>In a randomized double-blind study of 40 women with hair loss, melatonin solution applied to the scalp increased hair growth significantly relative to placebo
Seems like a positive. The article is suggesting that by helping regulate the circadian rhythm, the use of melatonin can potentially: extend lifespan, prolong fertility, reduce cancer incidence, reduce obesity and insulin resistance, improve neurological recovery from brain injury, improve skin resistance to damage (such as from UV rays) and increase hair growth.
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to affect male pattern hair loss.
But nobody has really identified harm yet.
TLDR: Animals with damaged pineal glands have trouble growing hair. Melatonin supplement helps reverse this. Topical melatonin reduces UV damage to the skin and can promote hair growth.
Are there any longitudinal studies about years of usage?
One explanation: I tend to take melatonin when I am very tired and didn't get enough sleep the previous night. But on those nights I sleep very well anyway. And once I have enough sleep I don't sleep as deeply the next night. Perhaps that is a lurking variable for me.
Do you have a fitbit or something to track the sleep?