Whether you take a long time to drift off or tend to wake up frequently throughout the night, you may have considered taking melatonin, a popular supplement used to achieve better sleep. But as with any other supplement, it’s important to be mindful of your doses. As they say, it is possible to have too much of a good thing, and that certainly applies to melatonin. In fact, a 2022 study found that the number of calls related to melatonin intoxication increased sixfold between 2012 and 2021.
Melatonin is a hormone that your brain naturally produces to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Research has shown that taking a melatonin supplement can improve insomnia, as well as help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Have Ngo HamiltonPharmD, a BuzzRx clinical consultant, notes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements like melatonin. However, according to Ngo-Hamilton, the usual safe and effective dosage range is 0.5 mg to 5 mg at bedtime. She says that taking 8-10 milligrams for up to six months can be beneficial for some people with severe sleep problems, but she doesn’t recommend taking more than 10 milligrams per day.
“You should always take the lowest dose of melatonin that helps you sleep,” she says. best life. Read on to find out what could happen if you took more melatonin than your body needs.
Read this next: If you wake up frequently at night, you may be lacking in this nutrient.
While the right amount of melatonin may help you wake up feeling rested, taking too much may have the opposite effect. According to Ngo-Hamilton, too much melatonin can disrupt circadian rhythms, which can lead to less quality sleep. This will leave you feeling very dizzy for the first few hours after waking up. You may feel low on energy, need to hit the snooze button a few times, or find it difficult to get out of bed.
However, Ngo-Hamilton notes that melatonin clears the body very quickly, so these symptoms shouldn’t last all day. She says that as long as you take a moderate dose of melatonin about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime, and you don’t have to get up in less than five hours, you probably won’t experience grogginess as a side effect.
Read this next: I am a pharmacist, and these are the supplements I would never take.
When you take too much melatonin, your body simply tries to get rid of it – and after grogginess, nausea is one of the most common side effects of taking too much melatonin. In extreme cases, you might actually vomit, says Ngo-Hamilton, who explains that vomiting is your body’s emergency response to poisoning.
Ngo hamilton says that in some cases, too much melatonin can raise blood pressure. This is especially true if you take blood pressure medications, advises the Mayo Clinic.
Because safe doses of melatonin can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure, their experts do not recommend taking it at all if you are already taking medication for high blood pressure. Needless to say, it is dangerous to take high doses of melatonin if you suffer from this condition.
For more health news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Paul BeckMD, MD, vice president of clinical pharmacy at Sedgwick, says it’s also common to get headaches after taking an excessive amount of melatonin. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help relieve these symptoms.
If you think you’ve taken too much melatonin, Ngo-Hamilton says the best thing to do is wait for it to leave your system, which usually takes about five hours. However, if you begin to experience vomiting, labored breathing, or excessive, restless sleepiness, it is best to call poison control or call 911.
Best Life offers the latest information from leading experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not intended as a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to medication you are taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.