In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use melatonin for opiate withdrawal insomnia. Melatonin is a natural supplement so it’s not as powerful and effective as using certain medications.
However, it can still offer some awesome benefits, and it works especially well for insomnia during post-acute withdrawal, which is the phase that occurs after one has gone through the acute opioid withdrawal phase.
Insomnia is one of the worst opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Staying up all night is not a good feeling.
And after you’ve gone through the night without sleeping, you have zero energy the next day.
Sleep is one of the most important things you can optimize for your health.
Melatonin is one of the many natural remedies that countless individuals have used to help prevent opiate withdrawal insomnia.
Read on to learn why melatonin may be able to provide you with better sleep while detoxing.
Table of Contents
While melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement here in the US, it’s actually something we make in our bodies. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland.
The pineal gland is about the size of a pea.
It rests just above the middle of the brain.
The pineal gland creates melatonin, and melatonin helps to regulate sleeping and waking cycles (circadian rhythm).
Typically, your pineal gland creates the most melatonin once it starts getting dark.
During the morning and throughout the day melatonin levels are lowest.
An important fact to note is that melatonin production declines with age.
My dad is 73 and he has a really hard time sleeping, so I bought him a melatonin supplement and now he falls asleep faster.
Melatonin supplements may be able to offer several benefits other than just helping with sleep. Another common use of melatonin is to prevent or treat jet lag.
I’ve used it for this and had great results.
Here are some additional ailments melatonin supplementation may be helpful for:
- High nighttime blood pressure
- Sleep problems in children with autism
- Eye health
- Stomach ulcers and heartburn
- Reduce symptoms of tinnitus
- Increase levels of growth hormone in men
- Help with seasonal depression
Mechanisms of Action
Melatonin is a full agonist of melatonin receptor 1 and melatonin receptor 2. While melatonin is commonly known for its ability to induce sleep, most people aren’t aware that it’s also a free radical scavenger in the body… especially within mitochondria.
Mitochondria (pictured below) are rod-shaped organelles that act as the power plant energy producers of our cells.
Melatonin creates antioxidant enzymes which help to protect our mitochondria from free radicals.
Mitochondrial health is paramount for natural energy production.
In addition to this, melatonin also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Melatonin has not shown dramatic results in studies, but many people swear by this supplement. It is touted to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.
A review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from 2015 stated that evidence of benefit in the general population was unclear.
How To Use Melatonin For Opiate Withdrawal
Melatonin supplementation helped me get off opioids many years ago. At night about an hour before bed, I took 9 mg of melatonin along with 2,000 mg of GABA.
These are very large dosages, but I needed a lot because the opiate withdrawal insomnia was so severe.
With this combination of supplements, I was able to fall asleep with ease and the first few nights I got around 8 hours of restful sleep.
After a few days, the melatonin and GABA didn’t help me as much, but they still worked, just not as well.
Here’s how to use melatonin for opiate withdrawal:
- Purchase a melatonin supplement or a sleep formula with melatonin and other nutrients that help with insomnia (click here to see my favorite).
- Take your supplement about an hour before you want to go to sleep.
- Over the next few days adjust your dose either up or down based on the results you get from the first dosage.
- Taking anywhere from 3 mg to 9 mg of melatonin will likely be needed to help you with opiate withdrawal insomnia.
- Taking melatonin with CBD oil is a great combination for sleep, anxiety, drug cravings, depression, pain relief, and much more.
Food Sources of Melatonin
Another great way to increases levels of melatonin in your body is to consume melatonin-rich foods and drinks. My favorites to use are walnuts and tart cherry juice concentrate.
Here are some other excellent foods that have high amounts of melatonin:
- Grains – Rice, barley, rolled oats.
- Nuts & Seeds – Walnuts (as I mentioned), peanuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, flaxseed.
- Fruits & Veggies – Corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber, tart cherries.
For a complete chart on the melatonin content of foods, click here.
Turning off Lights to Increase Melatonin
Another powerful way to increase melatonin is to use candlelight or dim lights a few hours before bed and discontinue looking at televisions, cell phones, and computers as these all emit light that can prevent your pineal gland from producing adequate amounts of melatonin for quality sleep.
This works extremely well.
If you make this a habit during opiate recovery your mental and physical health should skyrocket.
- Opioid withdrawal causes the fight or flight response to go into overdrive which leads to insomnia among other symptoms.
- Melatonin supplementation and foods rich in melatonin may help with insomnia due to melatonin’s ability to help a person fall asleep.
- Dimming lights or using candlelight a few hours before bedtime and avoiding looking at screens that emit light can help your pineal gland produce optimal levels of melatonin. Additionally, there are special glasses and software programs that you can use to continue looking at your cell phone or computer without decreasing your melatonin production.
- People stop producing as much melatonin as they get older, so this population could benefit the most from these tips.
- Using melatonin in a specific sleep formula (such as this one) with other nutrients beneficial for insomnia along with CBD oil is my preferred way to treat opiate withdrawal insomnia naturally.
If you have any comments or questions on the use of melatonin for opiate withdrawal insomnia, please post them in the comment box below.