I used Melatonin regularly and have done a lot of research on it.
Melatonin tablets are on of the most popular OTC sleeping pills on the market today. Melatonin is also seen as safe by consumers. Melatonin is a natural hormone which our bodies create to help us sleep. Most doctors and researchers have found that taking 5mg or less a day is safe.
Recommended Dosage of Melatonin
Since Melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement, it does not undergo the testing that other food and drugs do. Therefore, there is no organization that has stated exactly how may milligrams of Melatonin someone should take.
Like any drug or supplement, it is possible to overdose on melatonin. The main problem, however, is Melatonin has no standard recommended dose. Not only is it not monitored, but since our bodies naturally produce it. Making it almost impossible to judge rather, or not someone has overdosed on Melatonin.
The good news is that several Universities including the University of Maryland Medical Center has done research on Melatonin. From these studies, some good advice on dosages has come to light. Since the body usually produces less than 0.3 mg per day, it would be wise to take as close to this amount a day if you end up using Melatonin.
Some doctors, however, suggest a dose of 1 to 3 mg an hour before bed as standard for most adults. Only if you don’t get the desired results for 3 to 5 days should you then up the dosage. It is not recommended to go over 5 or 6mg of Melatonin a day as that is 18x what the body produces in a single day.
It should be noted though, that even with these low doses it is still possible to experience side effects from taking Melatonin. Just because something is considered safe, doesn’t mean that it won’t cause side effects. The good news, however, is most people won’t have any serious medical damage from taking these supplements, but it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor.
There have been several studies done on the melatonin’s effects on the sleep cycle. In these studies, most have shown positive results and individuals experienced very few negative side-effects. In most cases, they found themselves in a better mood because they were well rested.
Most Common Melatonin Side Effects
1) Daytime Drowsiness
Since there is more Melatonin in the body than what it’s used to, may result in you feeling drowsy at times you otherwise wouldn’t. You should avoid taking Melatonin in the morning or during the day to avoid this as much as possible.
2) Mood Changes
You may experience a range of mood changes. This includes increased chance of depression, anxiety and extreme sadness. If you suffer from any mental or depressive illness, you should not take Melatonin.
3) Risk of Seizures
If you have any seizure disorders, you should avoid taking Melatonin.
4) Nausea and Other Stomach Problems
This is a more common side effect of Melatonin, even when using it at lower doses. You may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
5) Allergic reaction
This can result in a rash, swelling of any parts of the face, tongue, or throat. You may also experience trouble breathing or itching. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical help.
Melatonin can also interact with other drugs. If you’re currently on any medication, consult your doctor if you are or plan on taking Melatonin.
Common Medications To Check
- Ambien (zolpidem)
- Aspirin Low Strength (aspirin)
- Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
- Calcium 600 D (calcium / vitamin d)
- CoQ10 (ubiquinone)
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
Click here for larger list of Melatonin Drug Interactions
Is Melatonin Safe?
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post I take Melatonin daily to help me fall asleep. However, please consult your doctor before trying Melatonin, even though I’ve had no medical problems from Melatonin doesn’t mean you won’t either.
Melatonin is one of the least toxic substances known. So unless you have severe mental illness, auto-immune disease or other lethal health problems such as cancer. Melatonin should be a safe option for you to help get sleep. Just remember that there have not been many significant studies done on Melatonin so like anything there is a risk.