The Very Useful: Melatonin and Getting SOM


  • What is it?: Your body’s natural sleep hormone, released at night in response to decreased environmental light. Artificial light sources like digital devices can delay natural melatonin release.
  • Melatonin Supplements: Doses of 1-5 mg have been associated with mild improvements in sleep (this isn’t a massively powerful drug)
  • Studied Uses: Jet Lag, Delayed Sleep Onset, Shift Worker Disorder and Insomnia
  • Dosages: Response by dose is variable by person, so start low and see how it goes, many people see good results with microdoses of 0.1-0.5 mg
  • Tolerance: Surprisingly, and uniquely for the sleep world, Melatonin does not seem to build up tolerance over time (nor does there appear to lead to withdrawal or rebound insomnia when stopping use)

My Experience:

  • Dose: I have used melatonin (0.5-1.0 mg) for many years
  • The main reason I’ve taken it?: To reset my internal clock after staying up too late for multiple nights, and to help me get to sleep earlier again
    • I tend to be on the sensitive end to many things, including melatonin (and caffeine)
    • I do this minimally, despite the evidence about tolerance, it is always better to take supplements/meds less than more
  • Stress Driven Insomnia: My other use for melatonin is to help me sleep when stressed or excited (generally about work)
    • My mind tends to circle around and around with good ideas or angry emails I’d like to write, but won’t ever send
    • As a result, my mind will be wide awake regardless of how tired my body feels, and the hours tick by with no sign of sleep
    • Melatonin is of limited value in this situation, but something I have tried in desperation
  • Fun Fact: This insomnia is actually the worst for me before starting a new business venture/idea, as I’m just too overwhelmed with ideas


  • What is it?
    • A “Sleep Stack” to maximize sleep onset and quality
  • What’s in it?
    • Magnesium: Many people lack enough magnesium which is key for producing melatonin naturally
    • L-Theanine: Found in green tea and associated with calming effects
    • GABA: Produced by your body and associated with calming brain activity and relaxation
    • Vitamin B-6:  Co-factor for natural melatonin production
    • Melatonin: Once the other ingredients help you get calm and relaxed, this helps supplement your body’s natural levels to help you take the final step into sweet sweet slumber


  • My Experience: ~6 Months
  • Overall: I have been testing out SOM for the past few months and after some trial and error, it has fully replaced melatonin pills as my go to sleep aid (when needed, not nightly)
  • 1st Night:
    • Taste was delicious and quickly drank the full can
    • SOM estimates you will feel an effect in 30 minutes, so I set a timer
    • After 10 minutes I was clearly feeling a strong effect and immediately dropped into bed, was out like a light not long after
  • Parenting Risks: While my youngest was almost 2 and generally sleeps through the night, she started crying during the night, and I ultimately had to dig my way up from a deep tunnel of sleep to go rock her…
  • I was able to get back to asleep eventually, but by morning I felt quite groggy (likely a mix of lost sleep and the ability of my body to work through the added melatonin – pharmacokinetics/dynamics)
  • Following Nights:
    • I should have been wary of drinking the full can at 3 mg of melatonin given my usual dose of 1 mg or less, so I shifted to drinking half a can
    • I continue to feel the effects rapidly – 10 to 15 minutes
  • The most pronounced difference is with Stress Driven Insomnia
  • The other ingredients do effectively shut down by “monkey mind” and help my head get in the right place for sleep, it’s pretty amazing for someone like me who can’t shut down their brain at times
    • I often drink it un-chilled and it’s still fine
  • Other Thoughts:
    • Elite Athletes: SOM has quickly become a favorite among Elite Athletes who need to be sure to safely get sleep and maximize their abilities during competition, see Sports Illustrated
    • Quality: As a result, SOM is NSF certified for quality and that it WON’T trigger failure of performance enhancing drug tests
    • Sugar vs. Sugar Free: No huge difference to me, those looks to keep glucose out of their body before sleep should probably go with the Zero option
    • Appearance: SOM is basically the anti Red Bull, but it is un-“cannily” similar in size/appearance, which I am guessing is not a accident
    • Podcast: You can hear Rob on the 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness Podcast


Want SOM? Use code “podcastnotes” for 10% off

Disclaimer: I’ve known the founder/CPO for many years and he was kind enough to ship me free SOM to try it out



You'll also get our weekly newsletter with the takeaways from our curated list of top podcasts. Unsubscribe anytime.