Side effects of melatonin
Side effects of melatonin are not completely researched; however, while this natural supplement is widely used without prescription for better sleep, physicians started to recognize similar side effects of melatonin in many patients. Your body’s melatonin-producing hormone is involved in your sleep-wake cycle. At night, melatonin levels in the blood are typically at their maximum. According to some research, melatonin supplements may be useful for treating sleep problems like delayed sleep phase as well as for easing insomnia and jet lag.
In general, using melatonin for a brief period is safe regardless of the minor side effects of melatonin. There are fewer side effects of melatonin than many other sleep aids can cause, including a low response after repeated usage (habituation), dependence, and hangover effects.
The most typical negative side effects of melatonin are
Other, less frequent side effects of melatonin may include
- transient depressive sensations,
- minor tremors,
- mild anxiety,
- cramping in the stomach,
- decreased alertness,
- confusion, or disorientation, and
- abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension).
Avoid operating heavy machinery or driving within five hours of taking melatonin because it may make you drowsy during the day.
Additionally, melatonin supplements may interact with some drugs, such as:
- Antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications
- medicines for diabetes
- medications that lower immunological function (immunosuppressants)
Consult your doctor before beginning any melatonin supplementation, especially if you have any medical issues. Your family physician can assist you in deciding if melatonin is the best option for you.
Melatonin is the #1 natural medicine for a sleeping disorder. One of the first over-the-counter supplements you’ll be told to buy if you have difficulties falling asleep is melatonin. And like countless others, I gave it a shot in an effort to achieve a better night’s sleep.
The few times I’ve taken melatonin, though, I’ve woken up feeling sleepy and “hungover” for hours. The goal of taking melatonin in the first place—to feel more rested during the day—seems to have been defeated by my body’s adverse response to it. Melatonin is obviously not the ideal sleep aid for me.
How does melatonin function?
Your brain releases the hormone melatonin in reaction to darkness. It aids in sleep as well as the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock). Light exposure at night can prevent the generation of melatonin.
Melatonin is thought to have more functions in the body than just promoting sleep, according to research. These consequences are not entirely understood, though.
Melatonin can be produced by microbes or animals, but synthetic production is more common. In this article, In this post, I will convey to my readers the negative part of the consumption of dietary supplements that contain melatonin and the possible side effects of melatonin they may face.
It seems that I’m not alone.
If you decide melatonin is not for you, Josh Axe, a clinical nutritionist and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, outlines the top substitutes below. Additionally, he explains why melatonin may cause a hangover and how to avoid it if you decide to continue taking it.
Does melatonin work to treat insomnia?
People who suffer from insomnia have difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep. Chronic insomnia is a condition where symptoms persist for a month or more.
Corresponding to practice recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2017) and the American College of Physicians (2016), there’s not adequate convincing proof on the efficacy or safety of melatonin supplementation for persistent insomnia to endorse its use. The American College of Physicians standards strongly endorses the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), or clinical hypnosis, as an initial treatment for insomnia.
Your body naturally manufactures melatonin. According to Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M., a sleep expert at Johns Hopkins, melatonin doesn’t actually send you to sleep but rather raises your melatonin levels in the evening, which puts you in tranquil wakefulness that aids in promoting sleep.
Why do I feel hungover after taking melatonin?
A hangover is one of the common side effects of melatonin. The hormone melatonin, which the body naturally produces, aids in regulating your sleep and wakefulness cycles. Because melatonin can encourage your body to manufacture more of the hormone, taking it is thought to promote sleep.
“Melatonin is typically regarded as being safer to use than other sleep aids and less likely to have adverse effects like drowsiness during the day the next day. However, if taken in excess or too late at night or in the middle of the night, it may induce side effects of melatonin that last into the next day,” Axe warns. “Continuous release melatonin tablets may also stay in a person’s system longer and occasionally cause negative side effects of melatonin.”
Despite the fact that melatonin differs from sleep aids and is generally regarded as safe, some individuals might not be able to take it effectively. “Some people might be more susceptible to having adverse side effects from melatonin, such as nausea or poor energy, for reasons relating to people’s metabolisms and possibly heredity,” adds Axe.
How to avoid a hangover and other side effects of melatonin (besides not taking it)
Does it follow that you should never take this supplement if you have negative side effects of melatonin, like tiredness the day after taking it? You might be able to start by making a few tweaks, says Axe. He advises against taking it in the middle of the night, to begin with. He explains that taking melatonin in the middle of the night isn’t the best choice if you want to wake up feeling energized because it takes about an hour for it to start working and lasts for about five hours in your body.
If this seems to apply to you, try starting with a low dose, taking it approximately 60 minutes before bed, and forgoing continuous release of melatonin, he suggests. The National Sleep Foundation states that a low dose is typically 0.5 mg and a high dose is 5 mg.
Axe advises people who regularly take melatonin to occasionally stop taking it if they aren’t feeling well. If you’re not working with a doctor, it’s usually only meant to be used constantly for brief periods of time, like a few weeks or months, according to Axe.
However, he adds, “it is not known to lead to dependency; therefore, using it for a longer period of time may not be a concern unless you encounter negative side effects of melatonin.”
Recognize when to stop to avoid the side effects of melatonin.
Stop using melatonin for sleep if it doesn’t work after a week or two, advises Buenaver. “Talk to your healthcare professional if your sleep issues persist. Melatonin is generally safe to take every night for one to two months if it does appear to be helpful. He advises, “After that, stop and observe how your sleep is.” For best effects, make sure you’re unwinding before night, keeping the lights dim, and sleeping in a cool, dark, comfy bedroom.
Don’t take melatonin for sleep and avoid side effects of melatonin if…
If you have an autoimmune medical condition, a seizure disorder, depression, or are breastfeeding, you should not use melatonin. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, consult your doctor. In addition to well-known side effects of melatonin, such as raising blood pressure and blood sugar levels, melatonin supplements may potentially adversely affect persons taking certain hypertension drugs.
Some people believe that just because melatonin is a natural product, it is absolutely harmless. Remember that one of the strongest poisons in the world, Potassium cyanide, is 100% natural. And what about 100% natural and 100% organic Death Cap, aka Amanita phalloides?
Avoid the side effects of melatonin and treat your insomnia.
If you suffer from persistent insomnia and need help, consider holistic treatment at the Philadelphia Holistic Clinic. At the clinic, licensed medical providers will serve you with acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, Ayurveda, and Reiki.
All services at the clinic are provided under the strict supervision of Victor Tsan, MD