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Middle-of-the-Night Melatonin Supplementation: Better Sleep, Improved HRV and RHR?


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Interesting, thanks for sharing.  Have you collected data for melatonin supplementation before bedtime to compare vs. taking in the middle of the night?  From what I've read melatonin supplements take about an hour to peak in the blood, I'm thinking at least for some people, it might be less optimal to take it in the middle of the night. 

I don't have any sleep issues myself, but my wife does, I will recommend she try melatonin.  Also curious about the dosage you are taking and if you tried higher/lower dosages to find some optimal level?

 

 

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MedicalXpress looks at the question

What to consider before using melatonin supplements for sleep

Dr. Covassin says melatonin is not a sleep promoter. It's a circadian rhythm regulator that can help "reset our clocks" when sleep is difficult due to circadian disruption from things like shift work, jet lag or disorders that interfere with the time of sleep.

Higher doses are not necessarily more effective, and actually can be counterproductive because they can have opposite effects

Serious side effects include worsening of seizures; changes in heart rate and blood pressure; decrease in glucose tolerance; and possible drug interactions for people taking seizure disorder medications, antidepressants or blood thinners.

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I go on and off melatonin, on when I am jetlagged, sometimes for a month or two, then I taper off. I take 1mg before I go to bed. Who knows if it really helps me sleep...?

Interestingly, it's prescription-only in the UK, as I remember.

Here is a good summary of the pros and cons:
https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/food-nutrition-and-diet/is-long-term-use-of-melatonin-safe

And a small study on its long-term effectiveness as a sleep aide:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23432361/

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22 hours ago, Gordo said:

Interesting, thanks for sharing.  Have you collected data for melatonin supplementation before bedtime to compare vs. taking in the middle of the night?  From what I've read melatonin supplements take about an hour to peak in the blood, I'm thinking at least for some people, it might be less optimal to take it in the middle of the night. 

I don't have any sleep issues myself, but my wife does, I will recommend she try melatonin.  Also curious about the dosage you are taking and if you tried higher/lower dosages to find some optimal level?

 

 

Thanks Gordo. I've only supplemented with melatonin 2x right before bedtime over the past 6 weeks-I don't have issues falling asleep at that time, so I want to avoid supplemental melatonin until I need it, which is middle of the night. In terms of dosage, 150 - 500 mcg/d. I'm taking small bites off 1 mg tablets. I'm trying to stay away from higher doses, as even 500 mcg induced a daytime sedative effect, which wasn't fun.

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Wow, that is an ultra low dose, you should have mentioned that in the video (or maybe I just missed it) because it is non-standard. But anyway I was thinking if you took it right at bedtime and it takes an hour to peak in your blood it wouldn't be for helping one fall asleep (you'd want to take it an hour before bedtime for that purpose) and maybe it would prevent sleep disruptions during the night plus it would then be near 100% out of your system by morning which is what you want. 

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19 minutes ago, Gordo said:

Wow, that is an ultra low dose...because it is non-standard.

Sub 1mg doses are routinely advocated.   Higher doses, of course, are also discussed.   Correct me if I'm wrong,  but  I'd say there really isn't an established standard.

Edited by Sibiriak
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On 2/26/2022 at 8:01 AM, Gordo said:

Wow, that is an ultra low dose, you should have mentioned that in the video (or maybe I just missed it) because it is non-standard. But anyway I was thinking if you took it right at bedtime and it takes an hour to peak in your blood it wouldn't be for helping one fall asleep (you'd want to take it an hour before bedtime for that purpose) and maybe it would prevent sleep disruptions during the night plus it would then be near 100% out of your system by morning which is what you want. 

Yes, I forgot to mention the dose, sorry about that! I've tried to stay away from taking melatonin before bedtime because then I'd probably become dependent on falling asleep with it. I don't usually have issues falling asleep, so I've tried to not take melatonin right before bed, although your idea about doing that, and then melatonin peaking an hour later is reasonable. However, the frequent awakenings start about 5h later, so it wouldn't be as beneficial for impacting that if taken right before bed. That said, I took it last night before bedtime, as it was a rare night of not being to fall asleep right away, but I still woke up at 2, 4, and 5AM.

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Actually, almost every severe calorie restricter that I know has sleep problems.  Michael Rae mentioned them, so did Khurram Hashimi; Dean Pommerlau at one point suggested that CR'd people need less sleep.  I think no one -- including Dean - thinks that now.  (Research here at UR showed that, during non-REM sleep (the deepest sleep), cerebral spinal fluid rushes through the brain, "cleaning it out".  Probably, inadequate non-REM sleep might lead to mental degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers)

My guess:  The CR'd body wants food.  It wants you yo get up and hunt an animal or grab some wild grain.  (The fat diabetic døesn't have this problem.)

  --  Saul

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On 3/1/2022 at 11:28 AM, Saul said:

Actually, almost every severe calorie restricter that I know has sleep problems.  Michael Rae mentioned them, so did Khurram Hashimi; Dean Pommerlau at one point suggested that CR'd people need less sleep.  I think no one -- including Dean - thinks that now.  (Research here at UR showed that, during non-REM sleep (the deepest sleep), cerebral spinal fluid rushes through the brain, "cleaning it out".  Probably, inadequate non-REM sleep might lead to mental degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers)

My guess:  The CR'd body wants food.  It wants you yo get up and hunt an animal or grab some wild grain.  (The fat diabetic døesn't have this problem.)

  --  Saul

I know a gentleman who is a respiratory therapist and he works in a sleep clinic. He claims low blood sugar is one cause of sleep awakenings and trouble falling back to sleep. He tells me that he eats a large meal before bed to avoid this. 

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2 hours ago, Mike41 said:

I know a gentleman who is a respiratory therapist and he works in a sleep clinic. He claims low blood sugar is one cause of sleep awakenings and trouble falling back to sleep. He tells me that he eats a large meal before bed to avoid this. 

Paul McGlothin said years ago to eat a not large but carbohydrate-rich meal before bedtime.

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1 hour ago, AlanPater said:

Paul McGlothin said years ago to eat a not large but carbohydrate-rich meal before bedtime.

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/trouble-sleeping-some-bedtime-snacks-can-help-you-sleep

"The connection between what we eat and how we sleep is only just taking shape," says Antonio Culebras, MD, neurology professor at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse

Edited by Mike41
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15 hours ago, Gordo said:

I'm fine when I go up to 6 hours fasted before bed (no sleep issues) but any more than that seems to impact my sleep. I could not do the one meal a day early in the day routine without having sleep disruption. Just going to bed hungry results in sleep disruption.

I definitely understand that. Eat too far from bedtime-->increased likelihood for poor sleep quality. Eat too close to bedtime, maybe better sleep quality, but fasting may also drive the geroprotective effects of CR

so there's definitely a tightrope.

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