Can You Overdose On Melatonin?
Written by Dreamcloud Editorial Team
Last Updated on Feb 28, 2023
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Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the body to promote a healthy sleep cycle. There are many questions regarding melatonin consumption; one of the most common questions is- Can you overdose on Melatonin?
A melatonin overdose is hard to define since there is no predefined safe dosage for a particular person. Some people may be more susceptible to the impacts of Melatonin than others. Any dose that leads to the side effects of Melatonin is said to be an overdose.
How Much Melatonin Is Safe to Consume?
Wondering how much melatonin is too much? Well, the lowest dose of Melatonin that helps you sleep without causing side effects or overdose of melatonin is safe. So, how much melatonin is safe? According to experts, between 0.1mg and 5 mg is considered a safe dose of melatonin for adults.
Now, as mentioned above, there is no standard safe dosage for a particular person. Instead, a safe dose of Melatonin depends on your body weight, age, medical conditions, and sensitivity to the dosage.
Also, not all melatonin supplements are created in the same way. Their composition can be different. Hence, you must check for United States Pharmacopeial Convention Verified label for approved products to avoid an overdose on melatonin.
How Long Does Melatonin Take To Work
Melatonin starts working about 30 minutes after you take the supplements. Therefore, it is recommended that you take the supplements at least an hour before you plan to sleep. However, melatonin doesn’t work in the same way for everyone. In addition, its absorption rates are different. So, you can start taking the medication 30 minutes before your bedtime and then tweak your timings accordingly.
One thing you must avoid when it comes to melatonin supplements is to take them right before bed, as it can hamper your sleep cycle and even cause daytime drowsiness.
Is Melatonin Safe for Children?
Parents of nearly 25% of children who face sleeping difficulties turn to Melatonin. According to another report, there was a seven-fold increase in Melatonin consumption between 2007 and 2012 within this age group.
Although, there is no conclusive evidence on the safety of Melatonin for children. Many experts believe that Melatonin can affect the reproductive hormones of children. Melatonin can also lead to delays in puberty, an unusual menstruation cycle, and excess production of the hormone prolactin.
Melatonin can also decrease blood pressure and sugar levels in children. Parents should consult doctors before using Melatonin on their children. Sleep therapies and behavioral changes are the other ways to increase sleep in children.
Melatonin Overdose Symptoms
Melatonin in limited quantities can be helpful, but too much Melatonin can lead to some severe symptoms. This is because it disrupts your normal circadian rhythm and leads to sleep disruptions.
Melatonin overdose can also make you feel sleepy throughout the day. Melatonin overdose is also one of the leading factors for weird dreams. Other melatonin overdose symptoms include;
- Joint pain
- Abdominal cramps
Melatonin overdose can also affect blood pressure. Taking medications for lower blood pressure like beta-blockers may further decrease the natural production of Melatonin in your body. Therefore, it is advisable to get a prescription from the doctor for Melatonin and any other supplements for blood pressure control.
What To Do In Case Of Melatonin Overdose
- The first sign of overdose on melatonin is the side effects you may experience like nausea, joint pain, and dizziness. This is what happens if you take too much melatonin. If that’s the case, immediately stop taking the supplements. If the side effects continue, speak to a healthcare practitioner directly afterward.
- If you are experiencing any emergency after taking melatonin supplements, such as an allergic reaction, shortness of breath, or more, seek immediate emergency medical attention. You may also call poison control at 800-222-1222 or 911 for melatonin overdose treatment.
When it comes to supplements, always take the recommended melatonin dosage for adults.
What not to Consume with Melatonin
When you start taking melatonin supplements, the first thing to remember is not to consume too much melatonin and stick to the recommended amount. With melatonin, avoid taking any other health or herbal supplements. And if you must, consult with your doctor because it can lead to side effects and increase the risk of bleeding, low blood pressure, and seizures.
You must also avoid caffeine-rich drinks, such as tea, coffee, cola, etc. Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs also don’t work well with melatonin. Hence, always talk to your healthcare practitioner. Overall, if you are wondering, is melatonin safe? Well, the answer is yes when you follow all the precautions and do not mix the medications.
Long Term Effects of Consuming Melatonin
Taking melatonin for an extended period of up to 2 years is usually considered safe. The research on the long-term consumption of Melatonin is inadequate for us to pinpoint its effects. However, some reports indicate that long-term consumption of Melatonin can have adverse effects on reproductive hormones.
Some research has also seen that melatonin supplements can negatively affect puberty and the male reproductive system when taken for a long time.
Some of the other adverse effects one may experience when used for long bouts of time include;
How to Increase Melatonin Levels Naturally?
If taking supplements is not your cup of tea, you can naturally increase your melatonin levels. Mentioned below are some basic ways to improve the levels naturally.
1. Prepare a Sleep Schedule
The sunrise and sunset of the sun synchronize the Melatonin production in our body. With sunlight, Melatonin levels stay low, while darkness increases, so we can stay comfortable and sleep happily at night. Following a schedule for sleeping and waking sets your circadian rhythm and improves your sleep quality.
It also makes you habitual to the routine, and hence it becomes easy for you to sleep comfortably. According to studies, Melatonin production is highest between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and is considerably less in the latter part of the night. If you stay awake till late at night, it imbalances the circadian rhythm of your body, which makes it difficult for you to get sound sleep.
On the other hand, if you Sleep before 11 p.m, your body synchronizes with the natural circadian rhythm, making it easy to fall asleep. Therefore, waking up consistently and getting the required sleep is equally important. Depending on your bedtime, you need to ensure that you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
2. Increase Sunlight Exposure
Increasing your sunlight exposure bolsters your sleep schedule by slowing Melatonin production and keeping you fresh and focused. In addition, increased exposure to sunlight in the morning will enhance the effect of darkness that will increase the production of Melatonin in the evening, which will help you fall asleep faster.
3. Reduce Blue Light Exposure at Night
Using electronic devices before bed makes us think that it is still daytime causing slow production of Melatonin. Hence it becomes difficult to sleep. Reducing the blue light before you sleep and keeping it as dark as possible can increase the Melatonin levels that help you fall asleep faster.
4. Eat Foods Rich in Melatonin
Another significant source of Melatonin is consuming healthy foods. Foods such as bananas, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, and cherries contain Melatonin. Apart from this, almonds, oats, and honey also increase melatonin levels in the body. So, if you want to snack before bed, heading to one of these will help you sleep faster.
Melatonin is a natural hormone and should be produced naturally. Using melatonin supplements is safe, but it comes with its risks. Lack of knowledge about Melatonin is one risk that scars the most. Using Melatonin for sleep won’t cause any severe damage to you; it is best to be careful. Consult a doctor to diagnose your sleeping problems and understand whether Melatonin is suitable for you.
Melatonin overdose might lead to unwanted side effects, including lower blood pressure, diabetes, excessive bleeding, and many other complexities. Melatonin doses are ok, but overdosages are certainly not. Hopefully, our guide above would have helped you get all the information regarding Melatonin and its overdose.