Citation: Drew. "Miracle Cure for Insomnia: An Experience with Melatonin (exp8457)". Erowid.org. Jul 19, 2002. erowid.org/exp/8457
I have had a long history of severe insomnia. It usually took me a minimum of 3 hours to get to sleep each and every night. Some nights I recall having looked at the clock to see every particular hour in the night. I have tried every substance known to exist that might help with sleep including kava kava, valerian root, chamomile, skullcap, opiates, GHB, benzodiazepines, antihistamines (drugstore sleeping pills ie: sleep-eze, etc), tricyclic antidepressants, SSRI antidepressants, alcohol, 5-HTP, st john's wort, and probably a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember right now. I've tried all sorts of doses of these substances, including the recommended dose, half the recommended dose, double, triple, quadruple the recommended dose, with absolutely no results.
After trying all of this, somebody mentioned that melatonin might help, so I gave it a try. It was incredible!! Melatonin puts me right to sleep within 1 hour or less, consistently, no matter what the circumstances. It feels really strange and wonderful for me to know that I will be able to get to sleep when I want to, no matter what. This is particularly beneficial for times when I absolutely need sleep, because there is something important happening the next day. I previously would have the most difficulty falling asleep on these kind of nights, but with melatonin, it doesn't matter, I get to sleep when I need to.
As for dose, I try to take as little as possible. Sometimes 0.75mg is sufficient on days when I don't particularly need to get to sleep. 1.5mg usually does the trick, but sometimes 3mg is necessary. On particularly bad nights, I take 3mg, and end up waking up 3-5 hours later. Taking another 3mg at this point will keep me asleep until morning. I must say, however, that this dosage may not be recommended for everyone. I have a severe sleep disorder, and so these doses may be way too much for most people. I recall a friend of mine took 0.75mg one time, and it affected her so much that she was completely paralyzed with tiredness, unable to move.
The best part is that after using melatonin for a few nights, maybe a week at the most, I don't need it anymore. It seems to regulate my body somehow so that if I take melatonin consistently around the same time each night, I end up falling asleep naturally around that same time, without needing to use the melatonin. Occasionally I will need to use melatonin again (maybe a few times per month), but only for a night or two. Then I'm back to regular sleeping habits.
In conclusion, I cannot stress enough that melatonin is the _only_ thing that has ever worked consistently to help me sleep. I have had very limited success with certain other remedies, for instance, a high dose of GHB has helped me to get to sleep, but it has other problems later on with dopamine release, and it can actually disturb sleep at that point. Valerian root helps me only when I'm already tired. Kava kava is relaxing, but not really sleep-inducing for me. Chamomile, in conjunction with melatonin can be quite helpful. I haven't really tried any other combinations with melatonin, because I haven't needed to!
Some people wonder whether melatonin is psychedelic in any way. I would have to say that it is absolutely not psychedelic, and has no recreational potential (unless you consider sleep to be recreation). It is a simple and effective sleep aid, not a party drug.
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