Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Here you can share your experiences with substances that are ingested, inhaled, or otherwise consumed for the purpose of relieving RLS, other than prescription medications. For example, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet, kratom, and marijuana (for now) should be discussed here. Tell others of successes, failures, side effects, and any known research on these substances. [Posts on these subjects created prior to 2009 are in the Physical Treatments forum.]

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QyX
Posts: 707
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by QyX »

So, I've written about using Melatonin (successfully) in the past and even claimed that there is no evidence that it can worsen RLS. For a few months, Melatonin was working quite good for me until it suddenly started to worsen my RLS and I had to stop using it.

When you know make a google search for Melatonin and Restless Legs Syndrome, you find a webpage that states:
7. Don't try melatonin

Though restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep, this common over-the-counter sleep supplement won't help, according to a 2004 Canadian study.

The naturally occurring hormone melatonin regulates your body's internal clock, or circadian rhythms. Its levels typically increase at night and taper off toward daybreak.

Melatonin also inhibits the secretion of dopamine, which makes it bad news for restless legs syndrome patients. It might increase RLS symptoms in the evening and night, according to researchers at Sacre-Coeur Hospital in Montreal.
In addition I have to say that Melatonin derivatives like the prescription drug Agomelatine (trade name: Valdoxan) can worsen RLS symptoms, too.

I think the problem for me was that my RLS baseline symptoms just got worse and worse and while those drugs were initially helpful, I stopped tolerating them after about 6 months, just like it happened with caffeine.

The use of medical Marijuana has now significantly improved my baseline symptoms and few days ago I started giving Melatonin 2nd attempt in the hope that medical Marijuana will now protect me against the worsening of my RLS symptoms.

This worked really well in the past 4 days. It made falling asleep so much easier and faster.

The question only is: how long will it be effective and what will happen: will it just stop working or will it start worsening my RLS symptoms again?

I don't expect it to work longer than 2-3 months, indeed I am actually surprised with it working in the past 4 days.

All I would want is to survive on Melatonin until I get the iron infusions. There is no telling when this will happen but there is no way it will happen sooner than by the end of February.

So getting some control back with Melatonin alone would be great.

For sure this will put medical Marijuana to the test since I know that without it, I will suffer significant additional symptoms when I use drugs like Melatonin or consuming even small amounts of caffeine.

And sure okay, I am also hoping it might work a little bit longer, maybe even long-term but this is really unlikely to happen. Most likely it will just stop working some day or cause additional symptoms. And then I have to stop and might be able to restart it a few months later.

Since Melatonin was so effective in the past, I have tried it a few times over the years again but not since I started using medical Marijuana.

To me this also proves again that medical Marijuana does not only help with insomnia & sleep quality but that medical Marijuana can have genuine positive effects on all the major RLS symptoms.

If medical Marijuana can make long-term therapy with Melatonin viable, that could help all of us who have major issues with our circadian rhythm in general outside of the RLS context.

Frunobulax
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by Frunobulax »

For me, melatonin + 5-HTP still works for my insomnia after a year. In fact it seemed to work better with time, what used to be 5-hour nights have become 7-hour nights and sometimes more.

No change with RLS symptoms though. A couple of years ago when I had regular RLS symptoms in the evening, anything making me tired would exacarbate RLS symptoms. But if I take my medication I'm fine right now, in fact my only problem is that I tend to get PLMS at night and sometimes wake up with RLS symptoms after 5-6 hours of sleep.

Stainless
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:30 pm

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by Stainless »

I've found that it works if used once but not on any kind of regular basis. I save it for last resort.

Yankiwi
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:20 am
Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by Yankiwi »

I was going to try melatonin but in New Zealand it is a prescription only drug. I get so many prescriptions I don't want to even ask for it since I'm dubious if it would help.

XenMan
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by XenMan »

QyX wrote: ...Melatonin was working quite good for me until it suddenly started to worsen my RLS and I had to stop using it.

When you know make a google search for Melatonin and Restless Legs Syndrome, you find a webpage that states:
7. Don't try melatonin

Though restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep, this common over-the-counter sleep supplement won't help, according to a 2004 Canadian study.
So getting some control back with Melatonin alone would be great.
I'm not saying you are right or wrong, just that it is easy see correlation with causation when it isn't there; or ignore when it is. I've been sure some things do, or don't, change symptoms then being very wrong.

For most, night approaching leads to natural cycle of melatonin production increasing, dopamine decreasing and RLS symptoms ensue.

"...the changes in melatonin secretion were the only ones that preceded the increase in sensory and motor symptoms in RLS patients" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14991815

As for melatonin supplements impacting that cycle, it is most likely not, as your quote says 'it doesn't help'; falling short of stating it makes things worse. But there is enough anecdotal evidence that for some it worsens, so that can't be ignored. However as I have found, symptoms can just get worse over time no matter what is or isn't done.

So without a commitment either way, it comes down to trying and seeing what happens. I personally find 1gm potasium, ZMA (zinc, magnesium and B6) and 5mg melatonin gives a glorious sleep around symptoms. 500mg of Tyrosine helps to reset after a few nights of minimal sleep.

We are all different and react differently to supplements.

QyX
Posts: 707
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by QyX »

Yankiwi wrote:I was going to try melatonin but in New Zealand it is a prescription only drug. I get so many prescriptions I don't want to even ask for it since I'm dubious if it would help.
In Germany it is prescription only, too but you can still order it online without any issues.

Overall, I have to say that lately I can sleep without Melatonin, too ... at the moment I mostly take it for placebo reasons. Still, I forget to take it a lot and still sleep okay.

QyX
Posts: 707
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by QyX »

Okay, I can now give an update on my experiments with Melatonin. I stopped taking it for roughly 10 days and it made me lose my day-night structure and just in general made it way harder to fall asleep. Even when I used a lot of marijuana, it still took over 4 hours until I was finally able to sleep but most of the times my sleep was interrupted and all my structure fell apart.

Now I started taking Melatonin again and my situation instantly improved again. So there is no doubt in my mind that Melatonin makes a huge difference for me. This also shows that my insomnia is not only related to RLS itself but there are other factors who are just as important.

The thing is that I never would have stopped Melatonin in the first place when I found out for the first time how effective it can be for me. However back then the regular consumption of Melatonin caused quite severe RLS symptoms which forced me stop. However Cannabis is such a strong and potent analgesic that as long as I use Cannabis, I tolerate Melatonin quite well.

So in any case, Cannabis is still a huge game changer for me but it would not work as good without additional Melatonin.

QyX
Posts: 707
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by QyX »

To complete this: now I know why Melatonin (sometimes) works for me. It is because I do have a 2nd chronic sleep disorder called Non-24-Hour Sleep/Wake Disorder or short Non-24 or simply N24.

Melatonin and melatonin receptor agonists are one of the most important treatment options for chronic circadian disorders like Non-24. So no surprise Melatonin worked but sadly it also does trigger RLS symptoms.

Now I am investigating if low-dose Melatonin treatment <2 mg / 24h might work for me. There is some reason for optimism but there is no way to know if it will really work and if it works if the effects will be stable long-term.

In any case, if you simply have "just" RLS, Melatonin is unlikely to work for you and will just trigger RLS symptoms.

More information about chronic circadian disorders is available here: https://www.circadiansleepdisorders.org/index.php

XenMan
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by XenMan »

QyX wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:44 pm

In any case, if you simply have "just" RLS, Melatonin is unlikely to work for you and will just trigger RLS symptoms.
Endless debates on this in all the RLS forums and the consensus is that it helps some and hinders others. Your summary is wrong.

Me and many other people have no problems and get better sleep.

QyX
Posts: 707
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: Berlin / Germany

Re: Melatonin (2nd attempt)

Post by QyX »

I just said that it is unlikely, not that it doesn't work at all.

Based on everything that we know, Melatonin is a well known RLS trigger, especially in higher doses.

That of course does not mean that it may work for some RLS patients.

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