Saturday, September 23, 2023

Is Melatonin Good To Take

Health Benefits Of Melatonin

Is melatonin safe for kids to use?

Studies have shown that melatonin is safe and effective as a sleep aid. Medications are usually tested on just healthy adults, but researchers have tested melatonin on a lot of people, including children.

Here are what studies have shown about using melatonin for sleep and other possible health benefits of the supplement.

Work With Not Against Melatonins Sleep

Melatonin levels rise about two hours before bedtime, Buenaver says. Create optimal conditions for it to do its job by keeping the lights low before bed. Stop using your computer, smartphone or tabletthe blue and green light from these devices can neutralize melatonins effects. If you watch television, be sure youre at least six feet away from the screen. Turn off bright overhead lights too. Meanwhile you can help program your body to produce melatonin for sleep at the right time of day by getting exposure to daylight during the morning and afternoon. Take a walk outside or sit beside a sunny window.

Melatonin: Benefits Uses Side Effects And Dosage

Melatonin is a common dietary supplement that has gained widespread popularity around the globe.

Though renowned as a natural sleep aid, it also has powerful effects on other aspects of your health.

This article reviews the benefits and potential side effects of melatonin, as well as its best dosage.

Its primarily responsible for regulating your bodys circadian rhythm to manage your natural sleep cycle .

Therefore, its often used as a sleep aid to combat issues like insomnia.

Its widely available in the US and Australia as an over-the-counter medication but requires a prescription in other parts of the world, such as Europe.

In addition to improving sleep, melatonin is also involved in managing immune function, blood pressure and cortisol levels .

Plus, it acts as an antioxidant, with some research finding that it can significantly affect many health conditions.

In fact, studies show that melatonin may improve eye health, reduce symptoms of seasonal depression and even provide relief from acid reflux .


Melatonin is a hormone responsible for regulating your bodys sleep cycle. Its also associated with other health benefits.

Recommended Reading: High Dose Melatonin Side Effects

So Is It Bad To Take Melatonin Every Night

While short-term melatonin use is considered safe for most people, there is limited research to show that it is effective for promoting sleep long term. And beyond being ineffective, taking melatonin every night can be harmful.

“It’s important to remember that melatonin is a hormone and using any hormone regularly can down-regulate your own production of that hormone,” notes Bonney.

“I have not seen good data to show that high doses of melatonin will not impact your endogenous, natural production of melatonin,” echoes Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, mbg’s vice president of scientific affairs.

Furthermore, initial research has found that melatonin supplementation may negatively affect the function of other hormones like estrogen and male growth hormone3.

Considering its potential to throw off hormone health, it makes sense that melatonin is only available as a prescription in most countries. “Melatonin is a hormone and should be used intentionally, ideally under the guidance of a licensed health professional,” says Bhopal.

So consider this sleep myth squashed: You should not take melatonin every night.

Who Can And Cannot Take Melatonin

Can you overdose on melatonin?  Mattress Review Center

Melatonin is mainly prescribed for adults aged 55 or over, to help for short-term sleep problems.

It can sometimes be used by adults under the age of 55 and by children, if a doctor recommends it.

It’s not suitable for some people. To make sure melatonin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:

Recommended Reading: How To Level Out Hormones

What Happens When You Take It Every Night

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that results may vary. The response to melatonin fluctuates according to age group, gender and time of consumption.

“In adults, impacts on physical and mental health may be noticed from seven days to months, depending on the dose. Women might also see a different response to melatonin according to their menstrual phase,” says Dr. Weiss. “People with sleep disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea may notice other impacts of melatonin or experience side effects such as daytime sleepiness and dizziness, depending on the dose.”

Consider Melatonin Sleep Help For Occasional Insomnia

Even sound sleepers have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep once in a while, Buenaver says. You may want to try melatonin for sleep if you have difficulty for more than a night or two. Research shows that a supplement may help people with insomnia fall asleep slightly faster and may have bigger benefits for those with delayed sleep phase syndromefalling asleep very late and waking up late the next day.

Read Also: How Much For Testosterone Shots

Should You Take Melatonin For Jet Lag

Jet lag is a circadian rhythm disorder, albeit a temporary one, so melatonin may help. To alleviate the worst effects, doctors recommend consulting one of several online calculators available, which ask you for your destination and arrival points, your flight time and your normal sleep patterns. Two sites that Dr. Avidan recommends are Jet Lag Rooster or the calculator from Fleet Street Clinic.

Theyre trying to tell you when to take the melatonin so your body knows: Oh, its dusk where Im going, Dr. Rosen said, explaining how you can use the supplement before your trip to readjust your body clock.

You May Notice A Slight Decrease In Body Temperature

Health experts warn of risks with taking melatonin

“It’s critical to remember that melatonin does not make us fall asleep but increases the signaling to the brain to create sleep opportunities. Thus, by taking melatonin, our brain gets into ‘sleep time mode,'” says Dr. Weiss.

By putting organs into “night mode” and changing the blood flow to support a drop in body temperature that normally occurs during the night as part of our circadian rhythm, per the NIH, melatonin might facilitate and support the bodily processes to fall asleep and stay asleep.

“But it does not act as a hypnotic or like a traditional sleeping pillby putting you to sleepbut rather prepares you for sleep,” says Dr. Raymann.

So since that’s the case, lifestyle changes, like reducing bright light exposure, taking a warm bath or shower and following a relaxation-promoting sleep routine, are also crucial pieces of the puzzle.

Also Check: At Home Cortisol Test Walgreens

Melatonin Dosage For Older Adults

Melatonin levels naturally , disrupting the sleep-wake cycles for many older adults. As a result, older adults may have an increased sensitivity to melatonin.

In a meta-analysis of 16 studies, melatonin dosages between 0.1 and 50 milligrams per kilogram were administered to older adults aged 55 to 77 years old. In all of the studies, the melatonin levels remained higher among the older adults when compared to younger adults and stayed higher for a longer period of time leading to increased daytime drowsiness. The more melatonin the person took, the more pronounced these effects.

As a result, researchers recommend older adults start with the lowest dose of melatonin possible. Lower doses may help older adults sleep better without disrupting their circadian rhythms and causing prolonged drowsiness.

Older adults with dementia should avoid melatonin, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

It Can Improve Insulin Function

Low night-time secretion of melatonin nearly doubles the risk of developing diabetes. In fact, melatonin improves insulin balance and protects insulin-producing cells in the pancreas from cell death. It can be used as a supporting therapy for treating prediabetes, diabetes type 2, Polycystic ovary syndrome , and insulin resistance.

Don’t Miss: Saliva Testing For Hormone Imbalance

How Long Does Melatonin’s Effect Last

If you do decide to take a melatonin pill now and then, the timing of when you take it matters.

“Your body absorbs melatonin fairly rapidly, and its half-life meaning the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of what you took is about 20 to 50 minutes,” says Dr. Ramkissoon.

Since its job is to help promote sleepiness, this means you’ll want to take melatonin about 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to fall asleep.

“What you don’t want to do is take melatonin at bedtime since this can shift when melatonin levels peak and, therefore, also when they fall meaning you could be sleepier later into the morning,” explains Dr. Ramkissoon. “Additionally, taking melatonin later than your planned usual bedtime can throw of your sleep-wake cycle.”

What Medications And Substances Does Melatonin Interact With

How To Take Melatonin Pills

Melatonin may interact with several different types of medications, including:

Because melatonin supplements can make you tired and drowsy, avoid mixing them with:

  • other sleep aids

Also Check: How Do You Measure Cortisol Levels

Using Melatonin For Sleep

Researchers have tested melatonin on people with insomnia. They have also looked at whether melatonin helps shift workers, military personnel, older adults, and kids.

Most studies have just looked at short-term melatonin use, ranging between a few days to just over three months.

Research has shown that melatonin may have these benefits:

  • Fall asleep faster: People who took melatonin fell asleep between 22 and 34 minutes sooner than people who took placebo pills.
  • Improve sleep efficiency: Sleep efficiency refers to the time you spend sleeping compared to the time you were in bed. Some studies have shown that taking melatonin might make your sleep efficiency better.
  • Help children fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Melatonin may help kids with sleep problems, such as those that are common in autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
  • Reset your sleep-wake cycle: When you feel like going to sleep and waking up is controlled by your circadian rhythm. Some studies have shown that melatonin may help regulate this cycle.

Melatonin: Are We Using Too Much

  • A good nights sleep is essential for good physical health, cognitive performance, and emotional functioning. Numerous sleep studies have documented these facts over time.
  • More and more adults are taking over-the-counter melatonin preparations to get a better nights rest, but some of them may be taking this substance at dangerously high levels, a new study finds.
  • Experts worry that the coronavirus pandemics negative effect on sleep has further increased the reliance on melatonin and other sleeping aids.

In the recent study, researchers obtained data from ten cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , covering the years 1999 through 2018. This study included 55,021 adults, 52% of whom were women. The participants had a mean age of 47.5 years.

The results showed that in 2018, adults in the United States took more than twice the amount of this sleep aid than they did a decade earlier, which may pose a health risk in some individuals.

The study revealed that melatonin use increased from 0.4% in 19992000 to 2.1% in 20172018, with the increase beginning in 20092010.

The study was published in the

Don’t Miss: Symptoms Of Low Estrogen Menopause

Does Melatonin Help With Cancer Symptoms

Studies of the effect of melatonin supplements on cancer symptoms or treatment-related side effects have been small and have had mixed results.

Keep in mind that unproven products should not be used to replace or delay conventional medical treatment for cancer. Also, some products can interfere with standard cancer treatments or have special risks for people whoâve been diagnosed with cancer. Before using any complementary health approach, including melatonin, people whoâve been diagnosed with cancer should talk with their health care providers to make sure that all aspects of their care work together.

Melatonin For High Blood Pressure

Does melatonin really help you sleep?

Melatonin is a natural sleep supplement often used for those with jet lag or other disorders related to circadian rhythms. However, it is possible that in addition to regulating sleep, it may be a useful treatment for some chronic conditions, including high blood pressure. While there is some evidence that it may be effective for blood pressure symptoms, melatonin can also interfere with some blood pressure medications. Be sure to check with your doctor first.

You May Like: Webber Naturals Melatonin 500 Mcg

Those Who Are Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

There is not enough information available on the side effects of melatonin supplements to determine if pregnant or breastfeeding people can safely take these supplements. Those who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid melatonin supplements unless directed by their physician. If you are struggling with sleep, ask your doctor for other ways to improve sleep during pregnancy.

Possible Side Effects Of Melatonin

There are severe side effects of taking melatonin, including drowsiness, headache, dizziness, nausea, and nightmares. Melatonin may also cause agitation and bedwetting in kids.

If you take too much melatonin, you might feel “hungover,” but the feeling usually goes away quickly.

Melatonin might stay active in the body longer in older adults. As a result, they might have daytime drowsiness if they use the supplement.

There are no reports of fatal overdoses caused by melatonin.

The lack of long-term studies means that it’s not known whether melatonin is safe to take for a long time .

You May Like: Can You Take Melatonin If You Have High Blood Pressure

When To Take Melatonin

Everyone reacts differently, but in most cases, youll want to take melatonin about 30 minutes before bed because it takes about 20 to 40 minutes to work.

Its not a sedative, so its not going to knock you out, notes Dr. Roth. Melatonin is like a little dose of nighttime. It tells that melatonin system to turn on.

Is It Safe To Take Melatonin With Alcohol

Stop Taking Melatonin Every Night

Alcohol can disrupt your natural melatonin levels, so experts recommend against taking melatonin when drinking or when using other sleep medications.

There is limited evidence that melatonin might be helpful in recovering from alcohol use disorders due to the antioxidant effects of melatonin. However, more research needs to be done.

Read Also: What Does Low Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Mean

Cautions With Other Medicines

Some medicines and melatonin can interfere with each other and increase your risk of side effects.

Certain medicines may increase or decrease the drowsy-making effects of melatonin.

Speak to a doctor or pharmacist before taking melatonin if you take any of the following:

  • antidepressants such as fluvoxamine or imipramine
  • blood pressure lowering medicines
  • zaleplon, zolpidem or zopiclone

It Might Not Work Long

While short-term use has been shown in some studies to help those with sleep issues, there is some evidence to show melatonin may not even work long term. In a 2013 study, participants reported improved sleep after taking supplements for three months, but these improvements werenât felt at the 12 month mark.

However, as with many studies on melatonin, these participants had a health condition, and thereâs not a lot of data on long-term use in healthy participants.

Read Also: Do You Feel Testosterone Shots Right Away

Address Your Sleep Problems

A common misstep with melatonin is taking the supplement without fixing other sleep issues. Relying on melatonin supplements alone without optimizing your nighttime habits, is often not the best approach, says Krieger.

The best use of supplements is to enhance the benefits of a good nighttime routine, she says. That means ensuring your bedroom is dark , quiet, and cold. You should also go to bed and wake up around the same time, reduce exposure to bright light before bed, which suppresses the release of melatonin, and how to reduce stressors and underlying anxieties that may be affecting sleep.

Sign up for the Fortune Features email list so you dont miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.

What Is A Safe Melatonin Dose

How Often Should You Be Taking Melatonin For Sleep? A Doctor Answers

According to Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, melatonin is very safe if taken in normal doses, which is anything between 0.5 mg and 5 mg.

A 0.5 mg dose may be all thats needed for sleep-cycle regulation, and should be taken three to five hours before bed, he says. For people who want to take melatonin just before bed, a 5 mg dose is appropriate. Some people report headaches or stomach problems at higher doses, but those side-effects are uncommon, he says.

Still, there are other concerns. Melatonin has an incredible safety record, no doubt about it, says Dr. Mark Moyad, the Jenkins/Pomkempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan. But its a hormone, and you dont want to mess around with hormones until you know what theyre doing.

People with existing medical problems should discuss melatonin with their doctor before using it. While some research has found that melatonin may help treat hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, for example, other studies have shown that, in diabetes patients who carry certain genetic traits, melatonin may interfere with glucose regulation. Its these sorts of contradictory findings that give experts pause when it comes to issuing melatonin a full-throated endorsement.

Read Also: What Doctor To See For Hormone Testing

How Do You Pick A Reliable Brand Of Melatonin

A study found that the content of more than 70 percent of melatonin supplements varied widely from their label claims. The concentration ranged from 83 percent less than the amount listed to 478 percent more.

Dr. Kolla advised looking for a GLP or GMP label, which refers to federal regulations designed to affirm a product has the advertised quality and purity. You really dont know what youre getting, so youre trusting the manufacturer, he said. Melatonin comes in pills, gummies or liquid the choice comes down to personal preference, he added.

Latest news
Related news