T Nation

melatonin addiction

I starting using melatonin awhile ago to help me get some good sleep. The only problem with this is that now I DO NOT want to go to bed without taking it ! Is it possible to get addicted to melatonin or am I just addicted to getting a good nights rest ??


rleathe, my vote is that you’re addicted to a good night’s sleep. Brain chemistry and chemicals change as we grow older. Endocrinologically, our body starts to down-regulate (i.e., the body makes less of what we need) as we grow older. Supplementing with melatonin just brings things back to normal levels. Normal levels in this case mean you fall asleep the way you’re supposed to.

Sleep assistance properties aside, melatonin is an awesome supplement. It’s a great antioxidant and unlike most of the antioxidants, it can cross the blood-brain barrier. Breast cancer patients take it at EXTREMELY high doses, up to 50g/day. It regulates the circadian rhythm and helps with jet lag. Don’t worry about becoming addicted. We take vitamins preventatively to keep from suffering a deficiency. Supplementing with melatonin helps with brain chemical deficiencies.

You fell into the trap of using drugs for sleep. I’m against drugging yourself for something that really should come naturally (Pre-workout stimulants are a different matter). It sounds like you’re getting addicted, so I would drop it for a while, or for good. It’s a miracle how much studying I got done just because I couldn’t fall asleep till 3 am.

If you’re willing to cut melantonin, I know a sure-fire way that you can get back to your regular non-mel cycle. I call it a “hard-reset”: When you wake up in the morning, 36 hours. Go to sleep at about 9-10pm (trust me, you will want to). You will wake up around 6-8AM the following morning, and will feel like going to sleep at around 11pm that night. It has proven very effective for me in the past for ridding myself of an idiotic sleep cycle (like 3am-noon). Just make sure you don’t have to work out on your “zombie-day”.