I've been taking melatonin for almost three years now. At first, I was taking 6 mg 1 hour before bedtime every night. For the last 18 months, I've cut the dosage back to 3 mg every evening. I also use it very effectively it to address jet lag when I cross lots of time zones.
There's no question in my mind that melatonin works well to reset your clock and induce sleep with no after-effects of next-day grogginess. For this effect alone, I find it extremely valuable, since I otherwise occasionally suffer from work-induced stress-sleeplessness: Just being able to get a good night's sleep during high-pressure projects is a high value.
I believe I have experienced some mild amplification of dream intensity with melatonin, both in comparison to the time before I took it and those periods of up to a week when I haven't taken it in the last couple of years.
I can't speak to the potential for broader systemic benefits, since I haven't done a control with a clone :-) I'm unaware of any long-term rigorous experiments that are being done, but I'm someone is carrying out such research. I would be very curious to see the results of any such studies.
Greg Burch <GBurch1@aol.com>----<email@example.com> Attorney ::: Director, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide http://users.aol.com/gburch1 -or- http://members.aol.com/gburch1
"Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must
be driven into practice with courageous impatience."