After the top level post about it, I bought a bottle of Melatonin to try. I've been taking it for 3 weeks. Here are my results.

Background: Weekdays I typically sleep for ~6 hours, with two .5 hour naps in the middle of the day (once at lunch and once when I get home from work). Weekends I sleep till I feel like getting up, so I usually get around 10-11 hours.

I started with a 3mg pill, then switched to a ~1.5 mg pill (I cut them in half) after being extremely tired the next day. I take it about an hour before I go to sleep.

The first thing I noticed was that it makes falling asleep much easier. It's always been a struggle for me to fall asleep (usually I have to lay there for an hour or more), but now I'm almost always out cold within 20 minutes.

I've also noticed that I feel much less tired during the day, which was my impetus for trying it in the first place. However, I'm not sure how much of this is a result of needing less sleep, and how much is a result of me falling asleep faster and thus sleeping for longer. But it's definitely noticeable.

Getting up in the morning is not noticeably easier.

No evidence that it's habit forming. I'm currently not taking it on weekends (I found myself needing a nap even after getting 10-11 hours of sleep), and I don't notice any additional difficulty going to bed beyond what I would normally have.

I seemed to have more intense dreams the first several days taking it, but they seem to have gone back to normal (or I've gotten used to them/don't remember them).

Overall it seems to work (for me at least) exactly as gwern described, and I'd happily recommend it to anyone else who has difficulty sleeping.

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I've been trying it as well for ~2 months (with some gaps).

Normally I have trouble falling asleep, but have no problem staying asleep, so the main reason I take melatonin is to help fall asleep.

Currently, I take 2 5mg pills. Taking 1 doesn't have a very noticeable effect on my ability to fall asleep, but 2 seems to do the trick. However, I have to be sure that I give myself 7-8 hours for sleep, otherwise getting up is more difficult and I may be very groggy the next day. This can be problematic because sometimes I just have to stay up slightly later d... (read more)

0Jack10yThanks. It would be really helpful if people talking about their experiences would describe the entirety of their psychostimulant usage since how they interact and whether or not other drugs can be replaced are important things to know about Melatonin.
2Liron10yI also tried it out after reading that LW post. At first it was fantastic at getting me to fall asleep within 30 minutes (I'm a good sleeper, it would only take me 30 minutes because I would be going to sleep not tired in order to wake up earlier) and I would wake up feeling alert. Now unfortunately I wake up feeling the same and basically have stopped noticing its effects. The only time I take it is when I want to go to sleep and I'm not tired. Also: During the initial 1-2 week period of effectiveness, I had intense and vivid and stressful dreams (or maybe I simply remembered my normal dreams better).

Open Thread: April 2010

by Unnamed 1 min read1st Apr 2010539 comments


An Open Thread: a place for things foolishly April, and other assorted discussions.

This thread is for the discussion of Less Wrong topics that have not appeared in recent posts. If a discussion gets unwieldy, celebrate by turning it into a top-level post.

Update: Tom McCabe has created a sub-Reddit to use for assorted discussions instead of relying on open threads.  Go there for the sub-Reddit and discussion about it, and go here to vote on the idea.