How Much Melatonin Should I Take to Sleep?

melatonin structure

There’s a notion that taking more, means it works better. But how much melatonin should you really be taking?

The right dose is key to helping you sleep better.


Melatonin can sometimes be the answer for the millions of people who have trouble falling and staying asleep. The strong hormone is produced naturally in your brain and sends a message to your body that it is time to hit the hay at night. You can also take it as a supplement— it’s available at the nearest drugstore over-the-counter.

People are usually misguided to believe that taking higher doses of melatonin would lead to better sleep. But the opposite is true:

Too much can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or irritability. All of which can interfere with your sleep. So talk with your doctor for recommendations for dosage:

Generally, melatonin should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. It starts to work in about 30 minutes. Melatonin can stay about 5 hours in your body, although it depends on factors such as your age and overall health status. Take this into consideration before taking more than you required.

For Insomnia or Occasional Sleeplessness

A typical dose for adults is between two tenths of a milligram and five milligrams 60 minutes before bedtime.

While children will take a lower dose.

Too much melatonin will interfere with your sleep cycle, so start with the smallest two-tenths of a milligram dose and increase it as required.

Children with neurodevelopmental disorders sometimes find it difficult to fall and stay asleep, so they are also given melatonin because it has been shown to help them snooze longer.

Children with developmental disorders (including cerebral palsy, autism, and intellectual disabilities) can take higher doses, as their doctors recommend.

Is it safe to take 10mg of melatonin?


If you are not sure how much melatonin you can take, it is recommended that you start with a smaller dose such as 1 mg or 3 mg rather than the max. Although in doses of up to 10 mg per day, melatonin is healthy, more is not necessarily better.