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How to Boost MELATONIN levels

Eat foods rich in tryptophan and MELATONIN

Tryptophan-rich foods:

✔  Protein - turkey, chicken, fish, pheasant, partridge, cottage cheese, eggs, nuts, milk, cheese

✔  Non-Protein - bananas, wheat germ, avocados, and the legumes (beans, peas, pulses, soy)

MELATONIN-rich foods: 

Bear in mind that circulation levels of MELATONIN vary from several ng in the day to a peak of about 50ng at night.

✔ Tart (Montmorency) cherry juice concentrate: 175.25 ng/g) 1 Tbsp (~15mL) juice contains 2629 ng MELATONIN


✔ Tart cherries: Montmorency (prunus ceratus) cherries (~13 ng/g) - i.e. 1 cherry =~10ng;   Balaton cherries (~2 ng/g)

University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, research published in "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" in October 2001

✔ Walnuts~3.5 ng/g  (1 walnut half weighs approx. 2 g  = 7 ng MELATONIN)

University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, research published in "Nutrition”in September 2005

Other measurements were reported in the 1 - 4.5 ng/g range

✔  Bananas (236 pg/mg) (4oz Med. Ripe Banana contains ~21ng)

University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, research published in "Nutrition Reviews" in September 2001


Using Supplements


5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) - “Best SEROTONIN Supplement”– the body converts SEROTONIN to MELATONIN, the “Body's natural sleeping pill”. Low MELATONIN levels can prevent you from falling asleep.

–   Dose: Take 100mg 5-HTP before bedtime – also ensure sufficiency of vitamins B6, B12, folic acid and magnesium, which are cofactors in conversion pathways

More about 5-HTP



How to Supplement MELATONIN

Health Benefits of Supplementing MELATONIN



Boost body's MELATONIN production with herbs  - Most of these should be used one at a time and not be mixed with prescription drugs. Note that these supplements are also used in depression.

✔ Valerian - 250-500mg (Start with lower dose);

✔ St John's wort - 100mg before bedtime ;

✔ Calcium with magnesium - 600mg calcium and 600 magnesium before bedtime with food. (Be careful taking magnesium if you have a kidney disease.);

✔ Vitamin B6/Niacinamide (B3) – 10 mg B6 (>5-10 mg converts too much 5-HTP to SEROTONIN before crossing blood brain barrier) and 500 mg Niacinamide before bedtime;

✔ Chamomile - as a tea, 1 cup in the evening;

✔ Kava - 250 mg before bedtime (Standardized to contain 3.5% kavapyrones);

✔ Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) -50 mg daily; Good for relieving stress;

✔ Inositol -100mg daily; Enhances REM sleep;

✔ Other herbs: skullcap, California poppy, passionflower, catnip


Conversion of SEROTONIN to MELATONIN depends on SAMe. (S-Adenosyl Methionine) –   vital for neurotransmitter metabolism, SAMe donates methyl groups in the SEROTONIN to MELATONIN synthesis pathway. The body makes and recycles SAMe from the amino acid methionine, a process which requires enough vitamin B6, B12 and folate (folic acid) to maximize production.

✔ B12 - Take 125mcg - 1 mg of methylcobalamin / day if you suspect deficiency (can be a problem for vegetarians);

✔ B6 - Take no more than 10 mg/day as a supplement

✔  Folic Acid  (Vitamin B9)

SAMe - And other methyl donors


Study demonstrates that exercise boosts MELATONINa study involving 7 healthy women demonstrated that 1 hour of exercise on a stationary bicycle could double or triple MELATONIN levels. Other studies have also demonstrated that physical exercise can boost MELATONIN levels. However, do not exercise right before bed, which has a stimulating effect;



Go out in the sun – several studies confirm that natural sunlight exposure increases MELATONIN levels. This is not surprising, since bright light is known to increase SEROTONIN production, preventing depression.

Sunlight –Let there be Light!


Reduce light exposure in the evening - artificial light sources and excessive light exposure after darkness onset in modern societies can lower MELAONIN production by desynchronizing your biological clock, making your body think it's still daytime;

–   Use subdued lighting in the evening

–   Install F.lux sofware (free) on your computer to cut down on blue light emissions – don't forget your children's computers

–   Reduce computer screen brightness

–    Wear orange safety glassesat night to filter out blue light - Blue-filtering lights can also be installed in bathrooms (for the night-time excursions) or in the nursery / hall for nursing mothers who necessarily must attend to their baby at night, but don't want to stop MELATONIN production.


–   Use candlelight (read how asomeone gave this a try for 30-days).


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