Is melatonin safe?

  1. Hi all, am starting the night shift tomorrow, and was wondering if this was a safe product to use, and if it is, how many mg. do you take, and when is the best time to take it?

    I am not a pill popper, in fact, I don't like to even take Tylenol, but I am so freaked out by starting nights, I just am looking into alternatives in case I need to.

    I am sad because I am finally doing what I love to do - L&D, and being a new grad right out of school, my hospital had me on an extra long orientation - 8 months, so if I am unable to do nights, I am going to have some problem. It's so hard to find day jobs in L&D, so I really want this to work.

    TIA!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Multicollinearity
    I don't think anyone can say if it's safe. Because it is a supplement, there probably haven't been many studies.

    I have taken melatonin in the past. It was especially helpful for me when I needed to move my bedtime earlier by a few hours. I heard a sleep specialist (MD) on NPR say that one should take melatonin 6-8 hours before the intended bedtime. This is totally different than what all the melatonin bottles say. They say take about 1 hour before bedtime. I must say the 6-8 hours before bedtime did the trick for me.

    I do know that I, personally, would take melatonin before I'd take anything Rx for sleep. It is my personal 'take' that any substance for sleep, long-term, isn't good.

    FYI I'm a student. So don't think this is a nurse speaking.
  4. by   caliotter3
    The moderators might not like your post; have seen several threads closed d/t not following TOS re we are not supposed to get specific about medical
    dx etc.

    That being said: I am noc shift worker from way back and found I could not take melatonin, bad effects around the time I took it that I could not specifically identify so I don't use it. Any of the supplements that relate to any of the brain chemicals-SAM-E, 5-HTDP(?), etc. should be tried with caution b/c you never know what might cause you problems.

    Most people will take a benadryl cap to help sleep.

    Suggest you do a search of threads on the site ref night shift---you will find all of the tips that people use to deal w/night shift. You have to try things until you find what works for you.

    As far as feeling insecure about your adjustment--look at being on night shift as a blessing b/c as far as the routine, you generally have more of an opportunity to figure out what is going on and adjust. Make it a point to spend any time you get to look around, read policy manuals, think of questions you have, get answers from supvrs, review emergency procedures, etc. A lot easier to do stuff like this on nights than during the day, when the phones ring all the time and tons of people come around with all of their demands. And keep your chin up, you can do it!

    Remember you can always come to this site to get questions answered or feedback from others; there's usually somebody around here who has a background that can help. Good luck!
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    Maybe if we limit our comments to our own experience - this thread would be ok? We cannot provide medical advice though, that would be against the TOS.
  6. by   SteveNNP
    I've taken melatonin 1-2 hours before bed, and it helps me to fall asleep, but not stay asleep. I also have to make sure I limit my caffeine and decrease stimulation (no tv right before bed, etc) I also have taken benadryl, which works to a point for me, but leaves me dry as a bone when I wake up. When I really need to sleep, I take an ambien and get 8 hours of solid sleep. No hangover, either. You will just need to find a routine that works for you. best of luck on night shift... I miss it already!


    Stephen
  7. by   caliotter3
    multicollinarity

    I did not visit this site for a very long time, and when I came back I noticed a lot of stuff with the thread content and how the moderators react to posts. It's hard sometimes to see where the line is drawn. I would think that one could describe personal experiences without it being construed that the poster is seeking anything but general input only. Liability (individual) would be hard to pin down when there is always the possibility of a hacker making "false" posts. For that matter when it comes to the more technical ?s I can distinguish verifiable, credible info posted by those w/the know-how.

    I was trying to warn the OP in case her thread is one of those that a mod finds objectionable. For myself, I'm always trying to learn something, that's why I like to use this site. Sorry for the side track!
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am sorry but the previous posters are right. Discussing specific supplement use and safety IS a medical issue. You need to take this one up your doctor or an herbalist/naturopath. Sorry to close the thread.

    I do wish you the best on your new job and coping with night shift.

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