How Much Melatonin Should a Dementia Patient Take?

Posted on September 29th, 2023 to Dementia by

Individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia often have trouble sleeping, and melatonin may offer some benefits for dementia. Find out more about melatonin and dementia, and how much melatonin a person with dementia should take for sleep support below.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain that influences the sleep/wake cycles, or the circadian rhythm, and your ability to fall asleep. While the brain produces melatonin, you can also find melatonin in supplement form. This melatonin is typically synthetically produced, but it can also be derived from microorganisms or animals.

Dementia and Sleep Issues

Sleep disorders are thought to affect as many as one in four people with dementia when the condition is mild to moderate. As the condition progresses and dementia becomes severe, the risks of sleep issues double. People with dementia can have a number of sleep issues, including:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep at night and staying asleep through the night
  • Nighttime wandering
  • Premature morning wakefulness
  • Confusion, agitation, or anxiety in the evening (also known as “sundown syndrome”)

Numerous studies have been conducted that support melatonin may be valuable for sleep support. Based on a review of over 2,600 published papers, melatonin was found to have a significant effect on the quality of sleep. Additionally, melatonin has been promote sleep and work as a sleep aid for Alzheimer’s patients and those with mild cognitive impairment, and to measurably improve cognition, though larger randomized clinical trials are needed to identify its effectiveness. It should be noted that Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, but there can be other causes as well.

How Much Melatonin Should a Dementia Patient Take?

The available studies, clinical trials, and case studies on melatonin for dementia patients have involved the use of doses ranging from 1 to 9mg of melatonin. At the lowest dose (1mg), researchers noted increased morning “restedness” and faster return to sleep after nighttime awakenings, along with improvements in one learning test. Higher doses (9mg) were associated with improved sleep quality and less-detectable instances of sundowners in one small group of patients.

According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, the general adult dose is between 1mg and 5mg of melatonin at bedtime. However, the most effective melatonin dose for a dementia patient can vary by patient and should be discussed with the patient’s medical provider.

A Final Word from Healer

While melatonin may be beneficial for dementia patients, dosing regimens should be outlined by the patient’s doctor. Be sure to discuss melatonin with a doctor familiar with the patient’s specific medical needs and condition. Dr. Sulak has found melatonin to be a useful addition to hemp and cannabis in patients with dementia and other conditions, and considers the two treatments safe to combine.


The information in this post/article is provided for educational purposes and is not a substitute for or alternative to information from your healthcare providers. Statements and claims on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.