Monday, October 2, 2023

Can You Overdose On Melatonin For Adults

Reduce Blue Light Exposure At Night

Melatonin wont help everyones sleep issues, experts say

The blue light from our electronic screens can often mimic sunlight. Using our devices before bed can trick the mind into thinking it is still daytime, causing melatonin to slow and cortisol to increase. When this happens, it can be difficult to sleep. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid blue light for at least 2 hours before bed.

Reducing the light population in your sleep space and keeping it as dark as possible can also help increase your melatonin levels so you can sleep soundly.

Why You Shouldnt Combine Melatonin And Alcohol

Even though alcohol is a sedative that can make you feel sleepy after a few drinks, its known to reduce the amount of melatonin that your body can create. This can interrupt your sleep cycle. Alcohol can also cause some of the muscles around your airways to work differently and affect your breathing. This can make it hard to sleep if you have a breathing issue, such as sleep apnea.

Because combining alcohol and melatonin can cause negative side effects to your health, its not recommended. Some of these side effects can be disruptive or potentially dangerous, such as:

  • drowsiness, which can make it much harder for you to drive or focus on certain tasks
  • dizziness, which can make driving or even walking around dangerous
  • increased anxiety, which can make you feel irritable or raise your blood pressure

Combining melatonin and alcohol can affect your livers ability to create certain enzymes. The following complications may also result:

  • flushing in your face and upper body
  • swelling in your feet and ankles
  • an abnormally fast heartbeat

See your doctor if you experience any of these side effects.

If youve been having insomnia or sleeping inconsistently, talk to your doctor before taking melatonin supplements as a sleep aid. Your doctor may decide that melatonin isnt the best solution for your sleeping issues. In the case that you have a sleep disorder, other medications or treatments may be more effective in helping you sleep better at night.

Risks And Side Effects Of Melatonin

Melatonin supplements dont carry a lot of risks or negative side effects. Most of the time, in controlled doses, melatonin wont have any noticeable effects on your body or sleep cycle. Buy from a reputable source, because melatonin supplements are not standardized in processing or packaging. Melatonin is not monitored by the FDA for purity, safety, or effectiveness.

Melatonin can have some risks in its interactions with some prescription drugs, including:

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Can You Overdose On Melatonin

Dr. Abhinav Singh, Sleep Physician

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Melatonin is a hormone that plays a significant role in the regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms. Dubbed the sleep hormone, melatonin is formed in the brains pineal gland in response to falling light levels to prepare the body for sleep.

In recent years, melatonin supplements marketed to treat a variety of sleep disorders have become common. From 2007 to 2012, melatonin use in the U.S. doubled and it now ranks as one of the nations most popular supplements. Its popularity stems in part from its image as a more natural alternative to traditional sleep medications, which are known for side effects. However, this does not mean melatonin supplements are harmless.

It is important to be aware of the safety risks posed by taking too much melatonin. We take a closer look at melatonin dosing, potential symptoms of a melatonin overdose, and when to contact a doctor.

Things To Consider Before Taking Melatonin:


So what can you do to get better sleep, instead of reaching for that bottle of melatonin every night? Dr. Mobley stresses the importance of healthy sleep habits, exercise and stress management all of which can give you the “right building blocks” your body needs for a good night’s sleep.

One of the most important things to do is practice good sleep hygiene, which refers to the various healthy habits and behaviors you engage in to help you have a good night’s sleep. According to Dr. Mobley, this includes:

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Symptoms Of A Melatonin Overdose

what are the symptoms of melatonin overdose? While overuse of this drug might not cause death, it can cause a few of the below melatonin overdose symptoms:

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How Much Melatonin Does It Take To Overdose

Is 24 mg of melatonin too much? Generally, an adult dose is between 1 and 10 mg. Doses near the 30 mg mark are usually considered to be unhealthy. However, peoples sensitivity to it can vary, making some more predisposed to side effects at lower doses than others. A 10 mg melatonin and alcohol can be harmless to others, but it can lead to adverse side effects for some. Alcohols effects vary from person to person, no matter the amount consumed. This is based on a number of unique factors, such as age, genetics, and other health conditions you have. When taking melatonin, its best to avoid alcohol while taking this supplement completely.

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Kids Are Getting Sick From Melatonin

As melatonin has become more widely available and popular over the past decade, there has been a dramatic rise in cases of children unintentionally swallowing melatonin.

The annual number of pediatric melatonin ingestions reported to poison control centers increased by 530 percent from 2012 to 2021 for a total of 260,435 cases, indicates a study released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . About 84 percent of the children experienced no symptoms, but 287 required intensive care and five needed to be put on mechanical ventilators. Two young children, aged three months and 13 months, died in their homes.

The dose recommended in children is significantly lower than what is recommended in adults, and if you take too much of anything you have an overdose, Rishi says. Although its come to attention really in the last couple of years, we know that cases of melatonin among children have been on an upswing even before the pandemic.

Signs of a melatonin overdose may include nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, dizziness, and confusion, he says.

The largest annual increase in pediatric melatonin ingestions coincided with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC noted. This might be because melatonin use increased among stressed-out adults, and children were spending more time at homein closer proximity to the supplementsdue to school closures.

Ways To Get A Good Nights Sleep Without Melatonin

Taking melatonin comes with risks

For a night or two, melatonin may be a viable stop-gap to boosting your sleep schedule. However, its not a permanent solution to sleep disorders or issues.

Instead of relying on supplements or medications, establish a sleep routine throughout the day and before bed. Exercise during the day and set up a good environment at night. That means no computer in bed or hours spent on your phone. Blue light exposure can actually negate the effects of melatonin because it can trick your brain into thinking its daytime.

The same goes for your diet. Avoid caffeine late in the day, and you shouldnt eat or drink near bedtime.

In the event you cant go to sleep, wait 20 minutes and get out of bed. Then try again.

Consult a primary care physician or a pediatrician if you or your child are interested in taking melatonin to help your nighttime sleep. They can help provide more context on what is a safe dose and weigh in on if melatonin is right for you. Contact us today with any questions you may have!

For more complex sleep issues, visit the INTEGRIS Sleep Disorders Center of Oklahoma. Our board-certified sleep specialists and registered sleep technologists can help you get a better nights sleep.

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How Can You Get Help For A Melatonin Overdose

If you think youâve overdosed from melatonin or are having an allergic reaction to the supplement, call your doctor, 911, or poison control right away. While itâs rare to have issues with melatonin supplements, itâs better to be cautious if you notice strange side effects from the sleep aid.

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What To Do In Case Of Melatonin Overdose

  • The first sign of overdose on melatonin is the side effects you may experience like nausea, joint pain, and dizziness. This is what happens if you take too much melatonin. If thats the case, immediately stop taking the supplements. If the side effects continue, speak to a healthcare practitioner directly afterward.
  • If you are experiencing any emergency after taking melatonin supplements, such as an allergic reaction, shortness of breath, or more, seek immediate emergency medical attention. You may also call poison control at 800-222-1222 or 911 for melatonin overdose treatment.

When it comes to supplements, always take the recommended melatonin dosage for adults.

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What Happens If You Take Too Much Melatonin

Can it lead to melatonin addiction? Melatonin is generally safe for short-term use. Unlike many sleep medications, you are unlikely to become dependent on melatonin. However, you may get your old symptoms back. If you are on a high dose, your doctor may advise you to reduce it slowly before stopping it completely.

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Melatonin Dosage And Side Effects: What You Need To Know Before Taking ...

In one report, a 58-year-old individual was hospitalized for a serious heart problem called endocarditis after crushing and injecting 5-mg melatonin tablets. He also experienced suicidal thoughts and other symptoms, but he did recover .

In another report, a 66-year-old man became confused and lethargic after taking 24 mg of melatonin. He also admitted that he normally took 6 mg of melatonin nightly along with sedative drugs .

It isnt clear if a melatonin overdose can be life-threatening, but its possible. Unfortunately, a death occurred in a 3-month old female infant whose parents reportedly gave her 40 mg to 50 mg of dissolvable melatonin. The parents also gave the same amount of melatonin to the infants twin sister, who was unharmed. It was not determined if melatonin overdose was responsible for the infants death .

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How To Increase Melatonin Levels Naturally

You can increase your melatonin levels without supplementing.

A few hours before bedtime, dim all lights at home and avoid watching TV and using your computer or smartphone.

Too much artificial light can reduce the production of melatonin in your brain, making it harder for you to fall asleep .

You can also strengthen your sleep-wake cycle by exposing yourself to plenty of natural light during the day, especially in the morning (

When To Worry And Seek Medical Assistance

You probably dont need to see a doctor for a minor overdose that causes a mild headache, nausea, or drowsiness. These symptoms may improve once you stop taking the supplement or reduce the amount you take each night.

In the case of a severe overdose or side effect like an abnormally low blood pressure see a doctor right away. You should also get medical help if you feel that the supplement interacts with your prescription medication. For example, you might take your diabetes medication as scheduled to control your blood sugar, yet your blood sugar still remains elevated.

Medical treatment will focus on stabilizing your health. So if too much melatonin causes low blood pressure, your doctor will work to get your blood pressure back to a healthy level.

To avoid complications, talk to your doctor to see whether melatonin is safe for you. If so, get dosing recommendations from your doctor to avoid problems in the future.

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How Does Melatonin Influence Your Sleep

Your body produces more melatonin when its in the dark, and this signals that its time to sleep. The hormones levels drop in the morning, when you are exposed to sunlight, also signaling to your body that its time to wake.

People with normal levels of melatonin in their bodies have a regular sleep-wake cycle. However, some people have a hard time regulating how and when to produce melatonin. These people often end up having low levels of melatonin in their bodies, which causes them to have a hard time getting to sleep.

Solution: Using synthetic melatonin in the form of pills.

Is Melatonin Good For Anxiety

Does melatonin really help you sleep?

Melatonin is not meant to treat anxiety, as it is a sleep aid. However, it does boost your gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in your brain. The higher those levels are, the calmer you may feel. It is also known to help you get a better nights sleep and align your circadian rhythm. This can help relieve uneasy and negative feelings.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Melatonin Overdose

Unwanted or troubling side effects can occur with any supplement, even if it is considered relatively safe. Concerning symptoms have been reported with higher doses of melatonin.

Possible symptoms of too much melatonin include:

  • Worsening of alopecia areata

Because melatonin can affect the cardiovascular, dermatologic, and central nervous systems, those with other conditions may be vulnerable to additional risks. Evidence suggests that melatonin supplementation may induce depression, particularly in people predisposed to or currently experiencing it. Research on this topic, however, is conflicting, since some studies have demonstrated the potential for melatonin to treat depression.

People taking blood thinners and benzodiazepines should be careful, as there is a possibility for interaction. Those with epilepsy should also exercise caution, as melatonin has been associated with increased seizures. People who are currently taking medications or supplements should discuss potential interactions directly with their doctor before taking melatonin.

Research suggests that elderly people, who have lower natural levels of melatonin, may be more sensitive to the effects of melatonin supplements. Therefore, older people are encouraged to check with their doctor before taking melatonin and start with the lowest possible dose.

Eat Foods Rich In Melatonin

Another significant source of melatonin is consuming healthy foods. Foods such as bananas, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, and cherries all contain Melatonin. Apart from this, almonds, oats, and honey also increase melatonin levels in the body. If you want to snack before bed, heading to one of these will help you sleep faster.

Check out our blog on Natural Sleeping Aid to understand how to improve your sleep naturally with the help of herbs.

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Why Do We Experience Lack Of Melatonin

Melatonin levels are generally always the same in healthy individuals, who also lead a healthy lifestyle. But, lets be honest, the lifestyle we lead nowadays is far from healthy.

Everything we do affects our melatonin levels negatively. Lets look at some examples and reasons we experience melatonin disruption

  • Artificial light were surrounded by artificial and blue light. Each of our electronic devices disrupts natural melatonin production, especially when we use them before bedtime. Because blue light mimics daylight, our brain becomes confused and halts melatonin production, when the production should be already happening. That is why we have a hard time falling asleep after hours of scrolling on Instagram or working on the computer before bed.
  • Sedentary, indoor lifestyle its a fact that people nowadays spend more time indoors leading a sedentary lifestyle, rather than outdoors being physically active. Because were not exposed to natural daylight, our brain needs to keep the melatonin production ongoing even during the day. Exposure to natural daylight halts the melatonin production completely during the day, so it can produce better at night. Because weve disrupted our lifestyle, and stay more indoors, our brain is confused and cant keep producing effective levels of melatonin when it needs to.

Because melatonin disruption comes together with the modern lifestyle, melatonin supplementation has become a quick help for many sleep-deprived people.

What Are Some Best Practices When It Comes To Using Melatonin Safely

Melatonin Safety: What Are the Side Effects?

The first rule of thumb for this and all medical concerns: Talk to your health provider first. This way youre able to make sure that melatonin is safe for you .

Its important to know that melatonin isnt carefully regulated by the FDA like prescription and over-the-counter medicines, said Dr. Osterhoudt. The quality control of supplements, by some manufacturers, may be poor and users may not really know how much melatonin theyre actually gettingIts a good idea to look for the USP Verified mark on bottles of melatonin supplements.

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Melatonin And Drug Interactions

Another important consideration before starting a melatonin regimen is the impact that it can have when combined with other drugs. For those with diabetes, this hormone can affect blood sugar levels.

If your teen is on hormonal contraceptives, the combination can have a sedative effect. Moreover, Benadry should never be taken with this supplement because when mixed there can be additive effects. Some drugs when mixed with melatonin can also enhance symptoms of drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.

What Is The Best Melatonin Dosage

People struggling with sleep issues often make the mistake of taking too much melatonin at once assuming that thats the best way to get better sleep. Excessive melatonin can just disrupt your sleep cycle and cause serious side effects , so its always best to consult your doctor if you arent sure.

For insomnia and occasional sleeplessness, the average adult typically takes 0.2 milligrams to 5 milligrams about an hour before bedtime. A good rule of thumb is less is better. Its better to start with the smallest dosage possible. Once your body adjusts to the smaller melatonin dosage, you can increase your dosage as needed.3

Your age, weight, and sensitivity to melatonin can affect how much of the supplement you should take. A study from MIT shows that adults over 50 should take 0.3 milligrams of melatonin to maintain good sleep throughout the night.4

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