Q. I am in good health but have trouble both getting to sleep and staying asleep. This may run in the family, since my dad also had trouble with insomnia.
I have tried everything under the sun and moon but nothing seems to work completely. I am now taking Ambien and I wonder if it would be safe to add melatonin to it. Can you send me any information to help with this problem?
A. We found only one study that addressed your question. Researchers in France found that elderly volunteers were more sedated soon after taking slow-release melatonin plus Ambien than after taking either pill alone (Human Psychopharmacology, Dec. 2008). The next day, though, memory and motor skills were no worse than when people took Ambien alone. There were no safety problems, but be sure to go straight to bed after taking your sleeping pills.
You may also want to consider some non-drug approaches. We are sending you our Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep with a list of dos and don’ts, as well as foods, herbs and other supplements that can be helpful.