Sleeping better with melatonin

I’ve suffered from insomnia for as long as I can remember – certainly since I was a teenager. Melatonin has provided some relief, putting me to sleep more quickly and deeply. It’s safe to use daily for up to three months; more research is needed on long-term use.1 Melatonin is a tricky to obtain: it’s not available in the UK, though you can buy it over-the-counter in the US (and can import it into the UK). My summary:

  • the most effective dose is 0.3mg2
  • taken 1–2 hours before bedtime3

Melatonin sold over-the-counter tends to come in very large doses. Buy the lowest dose you can find, likely 1mg, and use a pill cutter to get to the required dose (I take 0.25mg). Gwern has written a very comprehensive article on melatonin for those interested.