Melatonin is naturally created by the brain to help us fall asleep. A deficiency of this hormone leads to serious sleep disorders such as insomnia. However, taking melatonin supplement can help you in falling asleep fast and resetting the circadian clock.
Let’s look at the doses of melatonin that are considered safe and that are considered too much and cause toxicity.
Uses of Melatonin
Melatonin is considered effective for:
- Non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder
- Jet lag
- Cluster headaches
- Restless leg syndrome
When you take melatonin, it resets your circadian rhythm, so it can be very helpful in building a good sleep schedule. If you regularly travel, especially internationally, then melatonin can be effective in helping you with jet lag.
Further, melatonin has antioxidative properties, so it can be effective against chronic pain, especially cluster headaches and migraines.
Recommended Doses for Melatonin
Although melatonin is naturally produced by the body, it may not be enough to help you to fall asleep.
Other hormones such as cortisol (stress hormone) can hamper your sleep. Further, people suffering from sleep disorders may find it difficult to fall and stay asleep as well.
Melatonin starting dose
Start within the range of 0.2-5mg of melatonin per day. Increase dose as your body gets used to it.
Melatonin dose that is considered too much
Generally, anything higher than 30mg/day of melatonin is considered harmful.
Correct time for consuming melatonin supplement
Consume an appropriate dose of the supplement 30 minutes before going to sleep.
Symptoms of Melatonin Overdose
Since most of the research conducted till now has been on doses ranging from 1-10mg of melatonin per day, it can be difficult to discern the amount of melatonin that’ll lead to toxicity and serious side effects.
However, experts do agree that taking doses above 30mg/day can lead to side effects including:
- Strange dreams
- Fluctuation in blood pressure
- Joint pain
Note: Both alcohol and caffeine interact with melatonin, so don’t consume them together. Further, consult your doctor if you take any other medications.
Risk of taking Melatonin every night.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) report, if we use Melatonin for a short time, there are no side effects. However, if we use Melatonin 3 mg for a more extended period of time, then there are unlimited side effects.
Long term usage of Melatonin can delay puberty and mild side effects compared to a placebo in adults and children.
Some other side effects include:
- Drowsy or sleepy.
- Increase in urination or bedwetting.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Mild tremors.
- Depression or anxiety.
- Confusion or disorientation.
- Low blood pressure.
Melatonin does not cause addiction. According to experts, an addictive drug must build tolerance and cause withdrawal symptoms. Both of these characteristics are missing from melatonin.
While consuming melatonin can be very helpful in the short run, you shouldn’t consume it every night. Instead, use this supplement to create a good sleep schedule. If anything disrupts your sleep schedule, then build it back using a melatonin supplement.
While taking melatonin can help you in falling asleep fast and waking up well rested, consuming too much can cause serious side effects. Always go with the recommended doses in order to gain the maximum benefit from this sleep supplement.
Q. Is it safe to take melatonin every night?
A. In the short run, taking melatonin every night is considered fine. However, you want to use it to reset your circadian rhythm and build a good sleep schedule. Wherever you go off this schedule, you can take melatonin again.
Q. Is 10mg of melatonin too much?
A. No. You can take 10mg of melatonin a day, but it is advisable to start within the range of 0.2-5mg/day. As you build tolerance to the drug, you can take higher doses until you get the desired effect.
Q. Does melatonin make it hard to wake up?
A. If you don’t complete your sleep, then you’ll feel drowsy. However, if you sleep properly, melatonin will help you in waking up completely rested and refreshed.
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