A safe starting dose for adults is between 0.5 milligram and 5 milligrams of melatonin. Older adults may find lower doses, starting with 0.1 milligram, to be safe and effective. Children should not take melatonin unless recommended by a doctor.
What Are the Appropriate Doses of Melatonin in Elderly People? Melatonin does not have a standard dosage that fits all. But when it comes to older people, the best results showed dosages from 2 to 3 mg taken 30 minutes before bedtime.
Comparison of the studies suggests that melatonin is most effective in elderly insomniacs who chronically use benzodiazepines and/or with documented low melatonin levels during sleep. Conclusion: There is sufficient evidence that low doses of melatonin improve initial sleep quality in selected elderly insomniacs.
In the elderly, nonbenzodiazepines such as zolpidem, eszopiclone, zaleplon, and ramelteon are safer and better tolerated than tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines. Pharmacotherapy should be recommended only after sleep hygiene is addressed, however.
Melatonin is generally safe for most people, and many people won’t experience major complications when taking too much. Even so, an overdose can cause unpleasant side effects. Keep your dose to no more than 1 to 3 mg per night.
Generally, an adult dose is thought to be between 1 and 10 mg. Doses near the 30 mg mark are usually considered to be harmful. However, people’s sensitivity to it can vary, making some more prone to side effects at lower doses than others. Taking too much melatonin for you can lead to unpleasant side effects.
In these settings, melatonin is considered the preferred pharmacological option for elderly patients. It is also an option for patients who are blind and suffer from non–24-hour sleep–wake rhythm disorder, given evidence supporting circadian entrainment.
Melatonin supplements are generally safe and are used to treat insomnia. They may modestly improve sleep, which could theoretically lead to long-term protection against Alzheimer’s. However, other insomnia treatments may be more effective and experts do not recommend melatonin for elderly people with dementia.
Doses between 1 and 5 milligrams (mg) may cause seizures or other complications for young children. In adults, the standard dose used in studies ranges between 1 and 10 mg, although there isn’t currently a definitive “best” dosage. It’s believed doses in the 30-mg range may be harmful.
Lower doses may help older adults sleep better without disrupting their circadian rhythms and causing prolonged drowsiness. Older adults with dementia should avoid melatonin, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Evidence in animal and human studies suggests that low levels of melatonin have been linked to delirium, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and with certain behavioral problems.
Most healthy older adults age 65 or older need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to feel rested and alert. But as you age, your sleep patterns may change. These changes can cause insomnia, or trouble sleeping.
As your melatonin levels increase, you start to feel calm and sleepy. In the United States, melatonin is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aid. You can find it at the drugstore or grocery store. The supplement will last in your body for about 5 hours.
For children, the AAP says the dose should remain low (between. 5 and 1 milligram), capping out at no more than 3 to 6 milligrams of melatonin. The maximum dosage for adults ranges from 5 to 10 milligrams.
Melatonin supplements typically begin to kick in between 20 minutes and two hours after ingestion, which is why Buenaver suggests taking one to three milligrams two hours before bedtime.