T Nation


Has anyone used melatonin to help with irregular sleep? I have ocassional sleeping problems (its actually quite common in college bc of the messing that we do with our internal clocks- some days going to sleep very very late, sleping very late the morning after, some into late afternoon). This situation makes it very hard for one to start going to bed early (simply can’t fall asleep). So my question is- how much would adding melatonin to my daily supplements help? Its known for its ability to regulate the cycles, but does one have to be low in melatonin to benefit form its effects? Is too much melatonin harmful?

I know this isn’t necessarily a weighlifting question, but after reading Elsing’s Big Sleep the quality and duration of sleep definately has big impacts on gym results.

I also have troulbe falling asleep. I have been taking Melatonin for quite some time. Yes, it does help. After a while, the effect seemed to wear off, and I increased the dosage. However, recently, I read somewhere that taking too much of it will nullify it’s ability to help you fall asleep.

Another thing you may want to try is ZMA.

I take two ZMA caps and a 3 mg.melatonin. I travel a lot and it helps me sleep like a baby. I take the ZMA all the time and the melatonin only about 3-4 days per week.

I have never noticed the effect tailing off.

i’m also one of those ‘sensitive’ sleepers- can’t fall asleep if theres light, even slight noise (typing, tv, etc)

It not only helps me fall asleep, it also helps me sleep more soundly and feel more well rested. That being said, I try not to take it every night. Becoming dependant on something to help you sleep everyday is not a good idea. Also, taking it everyday may suppress your body’s ability to produce the substance naturally.

So you guys take the melatonin at night right? Is 3mg sufficient? When would ZMA have to be taken also at night?

How does ZMA affect sleep?

Yeah, you want to take Meletonin and/or ZMA close to bedtime. ZMA is suppossed to bet aken on an empty stomach.

Yeah, 3 mg should be fine. I was taking 9 mg for a while, but I read that too much could prevent you from falling asleep. I cut back to 3 mg and it worked better.

I read once that melatonin can cause decreased androgen levels. Never had the time to research it, just something to throw out there. I just take ZMA instead.

I works for me when I travel and my schedule gets out of whack. I’'ve always been of the understanding that it is best used to try and re-set your sleep schedule and is not for long term use.

I do need to be careful with my dosages. If I take too many, I get nightmares that would impress Stephen King.

I used to take 3mg about 30 minutes before hitting the pillow when I was working shift work. Within 5 minutes of laying down I was OUT. This stuff makes you sleep hard too. You may find that you don’t even stir much during the night. At least for me anyway the effect started to fall off if I took it more than 3 nights a week. When your schedule is hectic melatonin really helps though.

I’ve used melatonin for about the last 12 yrs(been a shift worker for 27 yrs).I found that 3mg is way too much for me, it makes me dream to much.I now use 1mg sublingual.I’ll take one on my way home in 30-40 mins I’m sleepy.

You can alternate between ZMA, Melotonin 3mg, 5-htp, valerian root, and Diphenhydramine 25mg, which is a piece of shit and screws up sleep but at least you’ll be unconscious. An occasional 5mg Ambien will work no matter what. Do try to get natural sleep first though.

yea. i’ve tried ambien and I definately don’t want to be doing that. I just need a safer alternative like melatonin for when this prick (my pothead roomate) stays up all night watching his TV.

Anyway, can someone tell me about ZMA. What is it?

I have taken Melatonin almost every night for over 5 years now, and it definitely changed my life! It used to take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours for me to fall asleep. Now I take 3-9 mg when I go to bed and in 10-15 minutes I am out. It did seem to take more to get the same effect for awhile, but now I am back to 2 3mg pills nightly. It may have been the different brands I tried. I now take the same brand all the time. I did notice on a couple of business trips when I ran out, that it took a little longer than usual to fall asleep, but nothing too bad, still better than it was years ago. Some people notice more vivid dreams when they first take it. When I started taking ZMA it seemed to enhance the effect…I fall asleep HARD and sleep hard. I have read afew studies that show that the body produces less and less Melatonin as you get older, maybe that is why old people sleep like 3 hours a night? Also, even when I tried over 20mg a night, (just an experiment), I had no after effects the next morning. Go for it, you will not be sorry.


tryin2getbig, ZMA is a Zinc and Magnesium supplement that also has B vitamins. A deficiency in Zinc and/or Magnesium can result in low Testosterone levels. The odds of you getting the optimal amount of these minerals in your diet is pretty slim.

I have never heard of melatonin. I often have a hard time falling asleep, usually once or twice a week. Sometimes I have to train late in the evening, (no choice) and
afterwards I can’t fall asleep for hours… other times I just can’t sleep. Is this melatonin an over the counter drug? Do you need a perscription to get it?


Melatonin is an endogenous hormone produced by the pineal gland. I’ve heard that in younger people, the lower the dose the better it works. It’s OTC and you can get it pretty cheap at any vitamin store, although it’s on the list of substances that the politicians are trying to ban.

Its just an over the counter supplement.

I use melatonin when I work night shift. I work a 3/12 schedule and on my days off I sleep at night with my wife. So when I go back to work my sleep is all screwed up. That’s when melatonin and ZMA save the day! Try it, just don’t get to where you have to have it. I usually use it once or twice a week, but zma daily!