Can you overdose on Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the body to promote a healthy sleep cycle. There are many questions regarding melatonin consumption; the most common question is Can you overdose on melatonin; or what is the right amount of melatonin for me?
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?
Melatonin is considered to be a dietary supplement, therefore it is not regulated by the FDA (food and drug administration) and is easily available over the counter. The lowest dose of melatonin that helps you in sleeping without causing side effects is safe.
According to experts, a melatonin dosage for adults between 0.1mg and 5 mg is considered safe.
As mentioned above, there is no standard safe dosage for a particular person. A safe dose of melatonin depends on your body weight, age, medical conditions, the sleep disorder you may have, and sensitivity to the dosage.
Melatonin Overdose Symptoms
Melatonin in limited quantity can be helpful, but too much melatonin can lead to some severe symptoms. It disrupts your normal circadian rhythm and hence 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 symptoms of melatonin overdose include:
- Joint pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
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.
It is advisable to get a prescription from the doctor about Melatonin use and any other supplements for blood pressure control.
Side effects of Melatonin Overdose
Melatonin overdose may impact the effectiveness of certain medications and lead to some other complexities.
- Blood pressure medications: Melatonin overdose affects blood pressure. Taking supplements for lower blood pressure like beta-blockers may further decrease the natural production of melatonin in your body.
- Diabetes: Melatonin overdose impacts diabetes medications to control blood sugar.
- Excessive Bleeding: Taking extra Melatonin with blood thinners, like Apixaban, can lead to excess bleeding.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Extra dosage of melatonin blocks the effects of immune response suppressors, like Cyclosporine, that control the symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
High doses of melatonin can have long-lasting effects on your body. There is no specific melatonin overdose treatment, but if you feel any unwanted symptoms after taking Melatonin, most healthcare experts will advise you to wait for a while for the drugs to process. If you still do not get over the symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor. You can also contact a nearby poison control department to get assistance with your symptoms and decide whether you need any medical help.
How to Increase Melatonin Levels Naturally?
Why take those melatonin supplements if you can increase the natural Melatonin levels in your body. Sounds interesting, right? Mentioned below are some basic ways to improve your sleep hygiene and increase melatonin levels naturally.
1. Prepare a Sleep Schedule
The pineal gland or epiphysis synthesizes and secretes melatonin. The rising and setting of the sun synchronizes the Melatonin production in our body. With sunlight, Melatonin levels stay low, while darkness increases it, so we can stay comfortable and sleep happily at night.
Following a schedule for sleeping and waking sets your circadian rhythm and helps you get a good night’s sleep. Following a sleep schedule 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 and becomes easy to fall asleep.
Waking up consistently and getting the required amount of sleep is equally important. Depending on your bedtime, you need to make sure that you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
2. Increase Sunlight Exposure
Increasing your sunlight exposure helps you maintain your sleep-wake cycle by slowing melatonin production and keeping you fresh and focused.
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 sleep better.
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 all contain Melatonin. Apart from this, almonds, oats, and honey also increase melatonin levels in the body. If you want to snack before bed, heading to one of these will help you sleep faster.
Check out our blog on Natural Sleeping Aid to understand how to improve your sleep naturally with the help of herbs.
Long Term Effects of Consuming Melatonin
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.
Check out our blog on Should you take Magnesium for sleep to understand the effects of magnesium on your sleep.
Is Melatonin Safe for Children?
According to studies, the parents of nearly 23% 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 affects the reproductive hormones in 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 for their children. Sleep therapies, behavioral changes are the other ways to increase sleep in children.
The Final Word
Melatonin is a natural hormone and should produce naturally. Using melatonin supplements is safe, but it comes with its risks. Whether you are using it to help with jet lag or simply because you have trouble sleeping, melatonin dosage should be considered before self-medicating. Consult a doctor to diagnose your sleeping problems and understand whether melatonin is suitable for you.
Melatonin overdose might lead to unwanted side effects and health conditions that include lower blood pressure, diabetes, excessive bleeding, and many other complexities. Hopefully, our guide above would have helped you get all the information regarding Melatonin and its overdose.
Can Melatonin cause depression?
Melatonin usage may cause side effects such as dizziness, nausea, or drowsiness. But, there is no concrete evidence of Melatonin leading to depression.
What is the best natural sleep aid?
The natural sleep aids include Chamoline, Valerian, Hops, Melatonin, Passionflower, Lavender, Ginseng, and 5- Hydroxytrphtophan.
Can a child overdose on Melatonin?
Melatonin dose is safe for children so long as the dosage is adequate. However, the risks of a melatonin overdose are more severe for children; it may lead to delays in puberty, an unusual menstruation cycle, and excess production of the hormone prolactin. In case of melatonin overdose, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Is Melatonin bad for you?
No, Melatonin in lower doses and for short-term use is safe. Melatonin makes you dependent and also makes you habitual for repeated usage. However, the effects of melatonin depend on the individual. Some people might be susceptible to the impacts of Melatonin than others.
Is 30 mg of Melatonin too much?
There is no predefined safe dosage of Melatonin. Generally, safe dosage of melatonin for adults is between 1mg and 10mg. A 30 mg dose of Melatonin is too much. Low doses of melatonin can save you from the serious side effects of an overdose.
However, it depends from person to person; while some people might be susceptible to the effect of melatonin, others won’t.
Does Melatonin cause weight gain?
Lower levels of melatonin disrupt the circadian rhythm of the body. It leads to an increase in the appetite in the winter autumn cycle, ultimately leading to weight gain.