Melatonin is a molecule indispensable for life. Found in most plants and living organisms, melatonin contributes to a wide range of functions in the body, working as an antioxidant, hormone, and anti-inflammatory agent.
In spite of its varied benefits, melatonin is still best known for its role in improving sleep and reducing jet lag. And after testing the combination of Omega Cure® with melatonin for several years now, we have a good idea of how this combination works for our customers in terms of sleep effects.
I want to share what we have learned to date with you and compare our experience to the findings discussed in a comprehensive melatonin review published only a few days ago.
The dose necessary to get benefits from omega-3 fatty acids has always appeared to be relatively stable. For an adult with chronic inflammation, studies routinely suggest the optimal dose ranges from 3000 to 4000 mg of EPA/DHA omega-3 per day (1).
But when it comes to melatonin, there are huge variations from one person to another. Studies use anywhere between 1 – 100 mg of melatonin per day to document clinical effects. Furthermore, it appears that the same dose given to individuals can have very different outcomes. Consider, for instance, one study, which found that the same 10 mg melatonin dose given to a group of people could cause over 50 times higher levels of melatonin in the blood from one person to the next (2).
We have noticed the same dose discrepancy in feedback from our customers. Some people are knocked out or show signs of having gotten too high a dose with only 1 mg. Others say they only feel effects with 15 mg or more of melatonin a night. In spite of the variation, however, around 60% of our customers find that 5 mg works best, while the rest divide evenly between the higher and lower doses.
The dose variation will constitute the biggest challenge for melatonin research in the future since most clinical trials typically use one fixed dose. This may mean that a large number of participants will either get too high or too low a dose, impacting the results of the study.
The good thing though is that melatonin seems to be safe even in people who may be taking too high a dose for their needs. Studies routinely use between 20 – 100 mg/day with no safety concerns (3).
The pineal gland naturally produces melatonin to help regulate our sleep cycles. And because melatonin is naturally produced in the body, the melatonin dose a person may need is influenced by a number of factors, including age, genetics and the number of melatonin receptors in the cell.
Factors like diet may also make a difference, especially since certain foods, including tomatoes, olives and walnuts, contain notable amounts of melatonin (4). Lifestyle and medication use also play a role. For example, beta-blockers are known to knock out the body’s melatonin balance and influence sleep negatively (3). Similarly, light pollution and exposure to electronics at bedtime can shut down the body’s natural melatonin secretion (5).
To make matters more complicated, the bioavailability of consuming melatonin tablets is famously low, ranging from 3 to 33 percent (2). And the bioavailability can be influenced by other factors, like the amount of enzymes breaking down the molecule and the amount of liquid present when the melatonin is absorbed (6).
Regulating sleep is only a small part of what melatonin does. In this video, we discuss the science of melatonin and how its functions are deeply tied to the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
Studies consistently show that melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more effectively – but not necessarily increase total sleep time.
In Xie et al’s review, the scientists discuss REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), which is characterized by abnormal, often violent body movements during sleep. Here they report major benefits from taking melatonin, including a decrease in muscle tension during REM sleep (3).
For people who have been trying Omega Restore, partners have noticed similar body calming effects, even in non-RBD people. Partners frequently report their significant other now sleep with less movement and tossing around, as well as snore less and breathe more quietly.
If a person gets too much melatonin, they may experience some unpleasant effects. Customers report that if they get too high a dose, they might wake up early, wake up frequently during the night, or in a few cases, not to sleep at all. Vivid dreams or nightmares are other symptoms.
On the positive side, these are not long term effects, and only impact that day. In addition, the effects are strongly dose dependent. If a person gets too high a dose, we regularly see that reducing the dose will also diminish the side effects.
Since your sleep is influenced by more than melatonin, don’t give up after just one night if you don’t experience the desired effects immediately. We recommend trying your starting dose for 5 – 7 days before determining whether you need to adjust the amount of melatonin.
Working with customers has made me formulate this general guideline to finding your optimal Omega Restore dose:
~ If you get too high a dose — meaning, you experience frequent or early waking, or nightmares — then reduce the dose. While you are experimenting with finding the optimal dose for you, you can reduce the dose by taking half a vial.
~ If you do not feel any difference for your sleep pattern, increase the dose.
When you find the best dose for you, you should wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, plus feel less stressed and tired during the day. And when you have found this personal ‘best’ dose, there doesn’t seem to be much change over time.
Personally, I increase my nightly dose while traveling internationally. This seems to take away any jet lag issues. If I feel after some time that Omega Restore seems to work less, then I skip taking the vial for a few days for the body to break down any surplus.
If you have questions about using Omega Restore or finding your right dose, give us a call at 866.414.0188 or leave a comment below.
1. Carol J. Fabian, Bruce F. Kimler, Stephen D. Hursting. Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Breast Cancer Prevention and Survivorship. Breast Cancer Research : BCR. 2015;17(1):62. doi:10.1186/s13058-015-0571-6.
2. Lars Peter Holst Andersen LP, Ismail Go, Jacob Rosenberg, Russel J. Reiter. Pharmacokinetics of Melatonin: The Missing Link in Clinical Efficacy? Clinical Pharmacokinetics (2016) 55:1027–1030. DOI 10.1007/s40262-016-0386-3.
3. Zizhen Xie et al. A Review of Sleep Disorders and Melatonin. Neurological Research (2017) 0:1-7.
4. Katri Peuhkuri, Nora Sihvola, Riitta Korpela. Dietary Factors and Fluctuating Levels of Melatonin. Food & Nutrition Research 56 (2012): 10.3402/fnr.v56i0.17252.
5. Russel J Reiter. “Melatonin’s role in Cancer.” Department of Cellular and Structural Biology – University of Texas. https://youtu.be/2DcLnIFXzoE
6. Lars Peter Holst Andersen et al. Pharmacokinetics of Oral and Intravenous Melatonin in Healthy Volunteers. BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology (2016) 17:8. DOI: 10.1186/s40360-016-0052-2