As Lipman explained on a recent episode of the mbg podcast, he’s not against melatonin—but he does think it has a pretty specific use case: It’s best for helping with sleep rhythm.
“Melatonin is your main sleep hormone, and cortisol is your main daytime hormone,” Lipman notes. So, he adds, melatonin can be helpful if you’re experiencing issues with the rhythm of your sleep, such as jet lag from traveling. “If you want to get back into rhythm, melatonin is a good way to do so,” he adds.
But if your circadian rhythm isn’t the issue, taking melatonin likely won’t be the most effective option. In fact, he says, “Melatonin is a hormone. It can affect all the other hormones. And taking a lot of melatonin—a lot of people take 3 to 5 milligrams to sleep—over time is going to affect your other hormones and suppress your body’s own ability to make melatonin.”