Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

August 15, 2022 | Uncategorized

Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

What is Melatonin and How is it Used?

In the past, sleeping pills were a popular aid used by many people across the United States. In more recent years, more natural remedies like Melatonin have replaced traditional sleeping pills in an effort to be drug-free. You should consult a sleep specialist before you begin any course of over-the-counter or all-natural remedies. This way you can discuss any long-term effects, adverse impacts, or allergic reactions that may occur. Night shift workers and others with off-hour sleep often turn to sleep aids and other remedies to get into a regular sleep pattern. Good sleep hygiene makes sense but individuals should always be wary about depending on drugs or dietary supplements for quality sleep.  

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How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin is different from traditional sleeping pills because it is actually a hormone that your body naturally produces. Speaking to a sleep specialist or your doctor before starting to take Melatonin to promote sleep is your best course of action. This is because taking any drug or supplement to combat sleep issues may be just addressing the symptoms and not the root of the problem. Melatonin is naturally produced by the pineal gland on a schedule basically based on the light of day. As the day fades to night, the pineal gland produces Melatonin to get you ready for sleep. 

How Much Melatonin is Too Much?

An adult dose of Melatonin is typically considered between 1 and 10 milligrams. There’s not a lot of data on the subject, but a 30 milligram dose is believed to be harmful. Melatonin is not safe for children and even a dose as low as 1 milligram can cause seizures and other adverse effects. You should always investigate other options when it comes to sleep hygiene. A regular sleep time, a pre-bed routine, no screen time, and even a bedding change like a memory foam mattress or adjustable bed can all have positive effects on you and promote better sleep patterns. 

Melatonin Side Effects

There are side effects that can occur when you take Melatonin on a regular basis. You should monitor your sleep issues and the levels of Melatonin you take to see what dosage works for you. You may still experience some of the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Drowsiness can also occur after you wake up which is another reason to keep track of the levels of Melatonin you take each night. You also should not take Melatonin and alcohol together, as this can cause negative reactions, too. 

Symptoms of Taking a High Dose of Melatonin

Taking too high of a dosage of Melatonin, especially on a regular basis, can definitely cause problems. The goal of any sleep routine or supplement is to help you fall asleep and have healthy sleep, not to sleep in a way that causes adverse effects. Taking too much Melatonin can cause unwanted side effects like being groggy during the day. A high Melatonin dosage can also cause nightmares and vivid dreams, which are not part of healthy sleep. Taking a high dose of Melatonin can also result in some of the same unwanted side effects of prolonged use mentioned above, like headaches, dizziness, and nausea, plus joint aches can occur. 

How Much Melatonin Should You Take?

Individuals should talk to their doctors before taking any sleep medication. You should take the lowest dose of Melatonin that works to help you fall asleep. You should start as low as possible and increase as needed. Before taking Melatonin or any sleep medication, you should talk to your doctor about addressing any sleep issues, like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. If you have any questions about the effects of long-term Melatonin use or sleep cycles or a recommended dose, you should speak to a sleep expert or your doctor.