Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone in the body. The primary purpose of melatonin is to keep your sleep-wake cycle in balance.
When you give your body too much of melatonin, you can actually create unwanted side effects. Let’s see what happens when you take too much melatonin.
Can You Overdose On Melatonin?
Simply said, yes. You can overdose on melatonin. But, what makes difficult to define is the fact that overdose on melatonin can be hard to define. We don’t have an official standard safe dose for everyone, so it’s difficult to define it.
Also, some people are more sensitive to the effects of melatonin than others. For example: a safe dose for one person, might trigger side effects on someone else.
There is one rule that you should follow all day. Young children should always avoid melatonin unless a doctor advises otherwise. As a general rule, doses between 1 and 5 milligrams can cause seizures or other complications for young children. On the other hand, when it comes to adults, the standard dosage ranges between 1 and 10 mg, although there is no definitive dosage.
It’s a common belief that a 30-mg range may be harmful. So, it’s better to start slow and move up slowly. Talking with your doctor can’t harm.
Why People Take Melatonin
Americans need sleep. Over 3.1 million Americans have sleeping problems due to numerous reasons. So, as the first and easiest help, they reach out to melatonin to get more sleep and better rest.
Since melatonin is naturally made within the body, additional melatonin can be ingested only by using melatonin supplements. Since overdose with melatonin supplements is a real thing, precision on taking melatonin is mandatory. But before we see how to set the dosage, let’s see what is melatonin precisely and how it works.
What Is Melatonin?
As mentioned earlier, melatonin is always naturally made within the body. Actually, melatonin is aa hormone made from tryptophan. And tryptophan is what is made naturally, coming from the pineal glands originally and regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
In addition, it regulates circadian rhythm and other seasonal rhythms. Melatonin has one purpose at night. From 9 PM, melatonin helps your body wind down, and by 9 AM, melatonin production will disappear.
How Do Melatonin Supplements Work?
Melatonin supplements just add more melatonin to the mix. The main goal of using melatonin supplements is to help people who have problems naturally falling asleep.
The idea here is to help the organism falling asleep faster. How? Since melatonin gives body more signals to go to bed, increasing the level of melatonin should enable more signs to go to bed, which you help you fall asleep faster and even provide you the better sleep quality.
Sleep can be postponed for numerous reasons. So, melatonin supplements should help you regulate the circadian rhythm and reestablish the regular day/night sleep schedule.
Overdose On Melatonin Symptoms
If you deal with sleep apnea or any other health or sleep problem, you know that you would do a lot, if not anything, to take the stress and pain away. Moreover, you would at least try a lot of things just to get more sleep. Therefore, the use of melatonin shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Actually, in the modern world, melatonin is an everyday go-to for sleep aid.
Melatonin is natural and, as such, has a low risk of any side effects. But, just like any other natural product, it should be used in moderate dosage. Otherwise, you can experience side effects. If you overdose on melatonin, you can expect to experience the following symptoms:
Some people can also experience insomnia. So far, no one died from an overdose of melatonin. But, what is your overdose on melatonin and drink alcohol?
Can You Mix Melatonin And Alcohol?
As you probably know, alcohol can heavily interact with numerous medications, especially with sleeping medications. So, if you take normal dosage of melatonin, alcohol can increase the effects.
So, if you have a celebration happening and you can’t miss having a drink, or you had a nightcap, make sure that you take your melatonin minimum 2-3 hours after drinking alcohol.
But… What Is the Right Dosage of Melatonin
Since melatonin is tricky, it can be difficult to recommend the exact dosage of melatonin. But, as a general rule, to reset your sleep cycle, you will need 3mg the most. Some people only need 0.3 to 0.5 mg.
Melatonin can vary from person to person. Yet, since melatonin can have serious side effects, it’s best to start small. So, use the lower dose possible and slowly increase until you find the amount that works for you the best.
The best dosage of melatonin is the one that helps you sleep better without any side effects.
So… How Much Melatonin Should I Take?
The safest melatonin dosage is the lowest one. So, start with a dose between 0.2 and 5 mg. This dosage is considered to be a safe starting dose. Of course, a safe dose may vary based on your:
- body weight
- sensitivity to the melatonin supplement
What Not To Take With Melatonin
We have already talked above about alcohol and melatonin. But, you should know that there are also avoid taking birth control pills and anticoagulant drugs. Why?
- Birth control pills can push the body to start producing more melatonin. So, if you take a supplement, you can actually cross over the healthy line of melatonin usage.
- On the other hand, if you take melatonin with anticoagulant drugs, you could increase your risk of bleeding.
Last but not least, you should think twice about taking melatonin if you are suffering from conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Can You Take Melatonin Every Night
So far, it’s known that melatonin for short-term use is safe. But, when it comes to long term use of melatonin, we don’t have studies and data to show us good or bad sides. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that hormones in harmful in the long run.
It just means that it can’t be guaranteed that the hormone has no side effects from extended usage. However, many claim that it’s safe to use melatonin every night as long as you stay under a 5-milligram dose.
What Are Other Options For Getting Better Sleep?
Naturally, melatonin can help you sleep better. Moreover, if you add extra melatonin in your life, you should be able to sleep better as long as you stay under the recommended dosage. However, there are also other and effective ways that can help you sleep. Try these hacks for every day better sleep:
- have a good sleeping routine that you will follow every day/night
- avoid nightcap, a have a cup of tea that will help you sleep better
- avoid spicy foods
- keep the bedroom cooler
Also, think about the time before you got to bed. Make sure that at least 30 minutes before you got to bed, avoid screens. Have a good barth or do some light exercises. This should increase your melatonin and help you fall asleep faster and sleep better.
When To Seek Medical Assistance?
For a minor overdose, you won’t have to see a doctor probably. In this case, you may experience mild nausea, drowsiness, and a mild headache.
Once you start reducing the amount of melatonin, you should be fine. However, the practice is not the same in case of a severe overdose or severe side effect. So, if you experience an extremely low blood pressure – see a doctor right away.
If you feel that melatonin interacts with your prescription medication, make sure that you contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Actually, the best approach toward the safe use of melatonin is to talk with your doctor first and see if its safe for you. If yes, get dosing recommendations from your doctor to avoid any of the problems in the future.
Overdose On Melatonin – Summary
So far, melatonin supplements have mixed results, but they are so perfectly safe and natural. Just make sure that you use them in the right dosage and don’t overdose.
Since its actually rather easy to overdose with melatonin supplements, make sure that you start small and increase the dosage. However, talk with your doctor to help you set the right dosage and recommend the the the dosage and for how long you should take melatonin supplements.