You’ll be counting sheep in no time
Q: I would give anything to get a good night’s sleep. But no matter what I do, sleep just doesn’t come. I’ve tried melatonin, but it didn’t work. Should I take more?
Dr. Wright: Melatonin doesn’t work for everyone. There are a significant number of people whose sleep difficulties are not at all helped by taking melatonin. But don’t give up before you try two things. First, try opening the melatonin capsule and placing the contents under your tongue. For some, this works even when swallowing the capsule whole doesn’t.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to adjust your dose. Determining the best dosage of melatonin is really based on how your body responds to it. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, the best dosage for you is the smallest amount needed to provide that improvement in your sleep, which may mean taking more than indicated on the bottle. However, it’s always best to consult with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in natural medicine before increasing dosages of any supplement you’re taking.
And if it turns out that melatonin doesn’t work for you, a naturopathic or holistic physician can help you find a natural alternative that will. To locate such a physician in your area, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine at (800) 532-3688 or www.acamnet.org, or the American Academy of Naturopathic Physicians at 866.538.2267 or www.naturopathic.org.