What Is Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle in the body. Melatonin supplements, often available in capsule form, are commonly used as a sleep aid to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Here’s how melatonin capsules are typically used:

Dosage: The recommended dose of melatonin varies depending on the individual and the reason for use. A common starting dose is 1-3 mg taken 30 minutes before bedtime. It’s important to talk to a doctor before starting to use melatonin, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Timing: Melatonin is best taken at night before bed as it is intended to help regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Taking melatonin in the morning or afternoon can actually have the opposite effect and make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Long-term use: Melatonin is generally considered safe for short-term use. However, long-term use can cause decreased natural melatonin production and make it more difficult to fall asleep without taking the supplement.

Side effects: The most common side effects of melatonin are drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and nausea. Some people may also experience vivid dreams or nightmares. It is important to stop using melatonin and speak to a doctor if you experience any severe or persistent side effects.


The length of time a dose of melatonin lasts can vary depending on a number of factors, including the dose taken, the individual’s metabolism, and the reason for taking melatonin.

Typically, melatonin has a half-life of 30 to 60 minutes, which means that half of the dose will be metabolized and eliminated from the body within that time frame. However, the effects of melatonin can last for several hours and help with falling asleep and staying asleep.

For most people, a dose of melatonin is usually effective for 4 to 6 hours. However, this can vary depending on the individual, the dose taken, and other factors such as age, body mass index (BMI), and liver function.

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