Q:

How long before bed should I take Melatonin and how much do I take ?

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Answers (2)

EXPERT
Jonathan Lopez, MD (Neurologist) answered
Immediate-acting melatonin is best taken in the 30 minutes before bedtime, but as CHIgirl noted, it takes longer for some. If you have never used it before, I would recommend taking it 30 minutes before you intend to fall asleep, and then climb in to bed about 20 minutes after you take it.

If you find that you are not falling asleep in that timeframe, it probably isn't because you didn't wait long enough.

One possibility is that you aren't taking enough- doses of up to 10mg have been used safely, although I have found that doses above 6mg usually make people groggy in the morning.

Another possibility is that melatonin cannot replace good sleep hygiene. Check out #6, 7, and 8 in this post to read more on sleep hygiene:

http://www.chickrx.com/questions/sometimes-i-take-ambien-has-anybody-researched-the-drug-s-long-term-effects-and-are-there-better-prescription-alternatives 
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CHIgirl answered
I try to take it at least an hour before I want to go to bed.  My understanding is that it helps you get sleepy closer to your natural bed time.  So if you take it too early you might get tired but not fall asleep (like when you're tired on the plane but can't sleep and then you feel worse!) I was going to bed at 2:30 am consistently and wanted to go to bed earlier.  I take the melatonin at 12 am and now fall asleep around 1 am or 1:30 am.  Obviously I know this is not an ideal time to go to bed but I'm trying to get my bedtime closer to midnight and want to do it gradually.  Hope this helps!
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