I find it much more beneficial to try and preserve ones natural production of Melatonin.
-Avoid white light in the evening.
-Use the blue light filter on any tech devices used in the evening.
By design the brain starts to secret Melatonin in the evening and ceases production in the morning. White and especially blue light can create a false signal in the brain.
I’ve found that less is more with melatonin for me. At 3mg I wake up groggy.
Usually 500mcg- 1.5mg is the general sweet spot at night that works well for my body when I am tossing and turning. If i do 5mg or higher I stay up later and it doesn’t work.
Thank you. I wish people would not instantly shout, "it does nothing!" as most have not done what it takes to effectively evaluate this compoud. In the 21 years I have been in supplements nothing has proven as tricky as melatonin.
Some need to take it hours before sleep when the sun starts to set.
Some need very very little ex. 250MCG
Some need to take it immediately before bed.
Some need to take a time-released while others seem to do better with sublingual and it depends on what you have more of an issue with falling vs staying asleep.
As you stated there can be a paradoxical effect if too much is taken and IMO 3mg(the standard dose in most supplements) is too much for many.
I personally like to take 500mcg after waking to pee about 2-3 hours into my sleep.
Most people do not try all of the above variables. They buy a 3mg capsule, take it a few times expecting nature's ambien and then decree it as worthless. There is also a chance one already produces more than enough naturally and in that case, there should be no sleep effect.
That being said sleep is one of the hardest things to remedy as what works well for one person seems useless for the next. IME what works well today may not a month from now. I tell people to try to find a few things that help and rotate, this is of course in addition to proper sleep hygene.
I started using it going on 30 years ago. Many people I know have used it with success. As long as they realize it is not a sleeping pill that will knock you out. and only helps you fall asleep. And more isn't always better. The body makes a fraction of what most pills have in them. The people I know that don't like the dreams, they get seem to be the ones that have slept poorly for a long time and probably don't have a deep as sleep as others. And having a dep sleep and dreams is a shock to them IMO. I may get up groggy but I feel a lot better later in the day then if I didn't take it.