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Signs Your Melatonin Isn’t Actually Working For You & What To Try Instead

Melatonin is a hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to go to sleep, Rountree explained to mbg during a sleep summit webinar last year.

“It doesn’t knock you out […] It’s an indicator that now you can go into that circadian rhythm,” he said. This means that in the case of jet lag or another sudden disruption to one’s sleep schedule, it can be really beneficial.

Lipman agreed, noting on a recent episode of the mbg podcast, “When I see someone who has a sleep rhythm problem, if you want to get back into rhythm, melatonin is a good way to [do so].” However, he added, if rhythm isn’t really the challenge, and your issues are more about sleep quality, melatonin might not do the trick.

He then noted that under those circumstances, it’s not uncommon to see people upping their dose of melatonin (to amounts much higher [3 mg plus] than physiological melatonin levels). However, as you increase your dose, it could potentially affect your body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin.

The sleep benefits of melatonin can also start to wear off with continued use (i.e., a desensitizing effect), leaving users unable to fall asleep quickly and feeling groggy in the morning. “Most people find once they’ve [taken melatonin] for a while, it loses its effect,” Rountree added.

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