Side Effects Of Melatonin
Like any other dietary supplement, melatonin may cause side effects in some peoplepossible side effects include:
Dr. Bollu says drowsiness can mean either excessive sleepiness at night or grogginess the next day. He also adds that interfering with your bodys natural sleep cues may carry another side effect as well.
Taking a hypnotic medication regularly, on a nightly basis, would dampen your innate drive to sleep, explains Dr. Bollu, who adds that although we dont know for certain, this could also be true for melatonin. However,some research suggests melatonin may not dampen this drive in the same way that Ambien, for example, does. When your body recognizes more melatonin in the body, it begins to slow down its own production of melatonin over time. Therefore, short-term use of a melatonin supplement is preferred.
If you experience hypothermia, shortness of breath, chest pain, high blood pressure, or an accelerated heart rate, seek emergency care.
What Are Melatonins Side Effects On Kids
Potential, though mild, side effects of melatonin use in children include agitation, headache, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness. While it is not known for sure and more research on the long term use of melatonin in children is needed, its important to remember that melatonin is a hormone, and, as such, there is a possibility that it may affect hormonal development, including puberty and menstrual cycles.2
The Bottom Line
If your child occasionally has trouble falling asleep, instilling better sleep habits and routines might be in order. But if your child experiences significant difficulty falling asleep, melatonin might benefit your child, especially when its used in combination with behavioral interventions and healthy sleep practices.5
Most importantly, talk with your childs pediatrician before giving them amelatonin supplement to make sure its right for them, to understand the proper dosage, and to rule out any underlying health issues.
Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Dont Miss: How Much Melatonin For Adult
Does Melatonin Have Side Effects And Is It Safe
All medications and supplements have some risk of side effects. Melatonin is considered relatively safe and non-toxic overall. However, some mild side effects have been reported. These are most likely to occur with high doses of melatonin or with a controlled-release formulation .
The most commonly reported side effects of melatonin include :
- Drowsiness the next day
- Changes in blood pressure causing dizziness
Certain groups of people should avoid taking melatonin supplements. These include people who are pregnant or breastfeeding since we dont have safety studies for this group. You also shouldnt take melatonin if you are already taking other sedating medicines .
Other types of people should be cautious and talk to their healthcare provider before using melatonin for insomnia. These include people who :
- Are on dialysis for kidney disease
- Have impaired liver functioning
- Have had an organ transplant
- Are on immunosuppressant medicines
- Are children or teens
One other concern with melatonin supplements is that because the FDA doesnt formally regulate over-the-counter melatonin, there may be significant variations in the amount of melatonin present in the pills. An analysis of 31 melatonin supplements found that the melatonin content was more than 10% above or below the labeled amount in more than 71% of the products tested. You can help protect yourself from getting more or less melatonin than you need by buying a high-quality brand .
Recommended Reading: Does Testosterone Make You Last Longer
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
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.
Also Check: Why Doesn’t Melatonin Work For Me
How Often Are Children Using Melatonin
Its hard to know for sure. An article the New York Times, Parents Are Relying on Melatonin to Help Their Kids Sleep. Should They?, noted that melatonin sales overall had increased by 87% in the year prior to March 2020. The Times conducted a survey of 933 parents with children under age 18. One third had a history of sleep difficulties in the past year. Over half the parents reported giving melatonin to their children at one time.
Melatonin And Sleep: The Basics
Melatonin is a unique hormone because its only released in the dark. It prepares your body for sleep. And typically, melatonin levels increase in the bloodstream about two hours before bed. This causes a sleepy feeling, resulting in a restful night.
But melatonin doesnt only help you feel sleepy, it also helps your body stay asleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, melatonin levels remain elevated in your blood for about 12 hours. It isnt until the return of daylight that these levels drop.
Most people produce enough melatonin to fall asleep and stay asleep with no problem. But not everyone is as fortunate. And if your body doesnt produce enough melatonin naturally, you may need to supplement with synthetic melatonin.
Oral forms of synthetic melatonin include melatonin gummies, pills, liquid, chewables, and capsules. You can purchase the hormone in other forms, too. These include melatonin sprays, powder, patches, and creams.
Read Also: Para Que Es El Melatonin
You May Like: How Long Does Melatonin Work
Is Melatonin Approved By The Fda
Because melatonin supplements arent medications, they arent regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Theres no guarantee about the quality of the product youre purchasing or the quantity of ingredients claimed on the label, unlike prescription drugs. A pharmacist or nutritionist may be able to help you find a product produced by a reputable manufacturer.
What Are The Appropriate Doses Of Melatonin In Elderly People
Melatonin does not have a standard dosage that fits all. But when it comes to older people, the best results showed dosages from 2 to 3 mg taken 30 minutes before bedtime. These quantities do not cause overdose symptoms or side effects, significantly improve the quality of sleep, and help maintain alertness during the next day, according to Happysleepyhead.com.
Doctors usually recommend starting with the smallest dosage and gradually increasing it. Thus, you can better understand how much melatonin has the most pronounced effect.
Quick note: A large dose does not necessarily mean falling asleep faster. In many cases, smaller doses will be digested quicker .
Recommended Reading: How To Maintain Hormonal Acne
Melatonin Dose Chart For Adults
The optimal dosage can differ depending on your needs and the reason for taking melatonin.5
0.05 mg/kg to 0.5 mg/kg of body weight
children 1 to 8 years-old.
You can easily find products containing lower doses of melatonin for kids, but long-term usage of melatonin in kids still requires further study.Keep in mind, although melatonin can be a helpful sleep aid for children who may have trouble sleeping, it is not a replacement for good sleep hygiene and habits. That includes consistent bedtime routines that are free of electronics at least one hour before their bedtime.11
Superior Quality Dosage In A Single 60mg Melatonin Capsule
High Dosage Melatonin 60mg MAX in easy-to-swallow capsules format.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the enigmatic pineal gland in response to darkness, hence the name hormone of darkness.
Melatonin is produced by various tissues in the body, although the major source is the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin is produced naturally from the amino acid tryptophan, by the pineal gland at night-time.
The production and release of melatonin from the pineal gland occur with a clear daily rhythm, with peak levels occurring at night. Once produced, it is secreted into the bloodstream and cerebrospinal fluid and conveys signals to distant organs. Melatonin is carried by circulation from the brain to all areas of the body. Tissues expressing proteins called receptors specific for melatonin are able to detect the peak in circulating melatonin at night and this signals to the body that it is night-time. Night-time levels of melatonin are at least 10-fold higher than daytime concentrations.
In addition to its circadian rhythm, melatonin levels also have a seasonal rhythm, with higher levels in the autumn and winter, when nights are longer, and lower levels in the spring and summer.
Circadian rhythms Glande pinÃ©ale Humain Human Melatonin MÃ©latonine Pathophysiology Physiologie Physiology Rythmes circadiens.
Consult your physician before taking this product
You May Like: What Is The Normal Testosterone Level
Nobody Knows What Dosages To Take
Claims, Benefits: Promotes sleep, counters jet lag, improves sex life, slows aging, etc.
Bottom Line: This human hormone may help promote sleep, but the evidence is still not definite. The other claims are unproven. No serious side effects have been reported, but long-term effects are unknown. Hormones are powerful substances and can produce unexpected results, so we dont recommend melatonin.
Full Article, Wellness Letter, May 2000:
Melatonin: Questions, Facts, Mysteries
Look on any website selling supplements or in any health-food catalogue, and youll find melatonin recommended for insomnia, jet lag, arthritis, stress, alcoholism, migraine, and the signs and symptoms of aging and menopauseâalong with assertions that it staves off heart disease and cancer. Some people recommend melatonin replacement therapy for all postmenopausal women. But now that scientific research is catching up with melatonin mania, you may want to proceed with caution.
Melatonin is a human hormone produced deep in the brain by the pineal gland, dubbed the seat of the soul by philosophers in ages past. Discovered about 40 years ago, melatonin has been called the darkness hormone. Production rises at night, falls by day, and affects our internal body clock and sleep cycles. Melatonin has been assumed, logically enough, to have some use as a sleeping pill. Here are some questions, facts, and mysteries.
Does melatonin production decline with age?
220.127.116.11 02:45, 25 April 2006
Is Melatonin Safe For Children
Further research is needed regarding the safety of melatonin for children.
Nearly 25% of children have difficulty sleeping, and parents increasingly turn to melatonin for help. Between 2007 and 2012, pediatric melatonin use rose seven-fold and is now the second most common natural supplement in this age group.
Despite its prevalence, there are reasons for parents to be cautious about using melatonin. It appears that children may be particularly vulnerable to the possible effects of this supplement on reproductive hormones. Melatonin has been associated with puberty delays, irregular menstruation, and overproduction of the hormone prolactin. It is important to note, however, that research on this topic is conflicting, and experts agree that the topic is understudied.
Parents should also be aware that melatonin may . Children taking other medications or who have illnesses affecting these systems should consult their doctor before starting melatonin.
Melatonin should only be used for children under the guidance of a doctor. Most pediatric sleep disorders can be managed with behavioral changes, such as proper sleep hygiene and cognitive therapy. Melatonin should not be used before trying other measures.
Don’t Miss: How To Lower Cortisol Levels
What Is A Safe Melatonin Dose
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: Can Having Tubes Tied Cause Early Menopause
Melatonin For Children A Guide For Parents
Pediatricians frequently recommend melatonin for children with sleep problems, or parents might try it themselves. However, the proper use of melatonin is frequently misunderstood. Here is a guide for parents and pediatricians to decide if a child should try it, and to understand how it should be used.
Note: this is a long post so here is a table of contents, so you can find what you need.
A common thread I find in children coming to Sleep Clinic is that many or all of them have been on melatonin at some point, or are taking it currently. Melatonin is an important tool in the treatment of sleep disorders in children, and because it is naturally derived, there is a widespread perception that it is safe. However, I have become concerned by the frequency of its use, especially in an unsupervised way.
Melatonin sales have doubled in the past ten years, increasing from $90 million in 2007 to $260 million in 2012. Melatonin for children products are being marketed aggressively. I worry that the widespread availability of melatonin has led to some parents using it as a shortcut to good sleep practices. An article in the Wall Street Journal , quoted a fathers review on Amazon:
Short on time? Heres a quick video which should answer most of your questions:
Don’t Miss: 24 Hour Saliva Cortisol Test
What Are The Benefits Of Melatonin For Sleep
Studies consistently show that melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more effectively but not necessarily increase total sleep time.
Melatonin has also been used effectively to shift sleep schedules, which can be beneficial for people with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and jet lag .
For REM sleep behavior disorder which is characterized by abnormal, often violent body movements during sleep scientists reported major benefits from taking melatonin. This included a marked decrease in muscle tension during REM cycles .
Omega Restore users have frequently commented on similar body-calming effects, even in people without RBD. Partners often report their significant other tends to sleep with less movement and tossing around, as well as snore less and breathe more quietly.
Who Should Not Take Melatonin
According to John Hopkins Medicine, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take melatonin. Also, people with certain health conditions like autoimmune disorders, seizure disorders, and depression should avoid melatonin however, if you have one or more of these conditions, talk to your doctor about the safety and efficacy of melatonin use. Melatonin supplements can raise blood sugar levels they can also increase blood pressure in people who are on medications to lower blood pressure. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or take other drugs, talk to your healthcare provider before taking melatonin.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Test Testosterone Levels
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.”
Q: How Much Melatonin Should I Take To Help Me Sleep
A: Taking the sleep hormone melatonin is recommended to help induce sleep, but there is a good deal of confusion about how much to take. It is sold over the counter in a range of doses, from 1 mg to 10 mg and higher. The natural inclination is to take more melatonin if it is not effective in helping you sleep better, but this is not a good idea.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
The hormone serotonin is produced during the day and this changes to melatonin when it gets dark outside. Peak levels of melatonin are produced before 3 a.m., when it sharply decreases before natural daylight returns.
Research has found that taking melatonin in low doses is the most effective way to promote sleep if you are experiencing restlessness or insomnia. Recommended doses of melatonin are from 0.5 mg up to 3 mg, which are adequate to promote sleep or treat jet lag.
When melatonin is used at higher doses, it tends to increase daytime sleepiness. Other side effects of too much melatonin can include reduced focus and concentration, feeling chilled and higher prolactin levels.
If you find yourself taking higher doses of melatonin, you can decrease the dose by cutting your tablet in half or in quarters. Research indicates there are no side effects if you reduce the dose of melatonin you are taking.
Behavioral Health Nurse Practitioner Ann Pressler, CNP