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Melatonin Dosage, Benefits and Side Effects

May 30, 2018


Melatonin Dosage, Benefits and Side Effects

There are many sleeping tips and tricks people swear by but when it comes to melatonin, its best to err on the side of caution. While some studies suggest that melatonin can be an effective sleeping aid, taking too much can have several side effects. Although there is no evidence that an overdose of melatonin is life threatening, regularly taking large amounts can make your sleeping problems worse.

Melatonin is inexpensive and available without prescription but what is a safe dosage and what are the side effects of taking too much melatonin?

How much melatonin should I take?

There are several factors to consider including age, weight, general health status and the intended use. If you’re taking it for insomnia or jet lag, the standard dose for the average adult is between 0.5 mg and 5 mg. Start slowly and take the smallest dose increasing it gradually by 0.5 mg when needed. Similar to other prescription supplements, melatonin should be taken about an hour before going to sleep.

Melatonin generally has a subtle effect so it doesn’t cause a sudden onslaught of sleepiness. Another big advantage of a correct dose of melatonin is that it doesn’t make you feel groggy the next morning which is often referred to as “sleep inertia”. In addition, melatonin is not habit-forming unlike many other sleeping aids which can be addictive.

What happens when I take too much melatonin?

While normal melatonin use appears with no significant side effects, high doses can result in symptoms like hypothermia, depression, stomach cramps and headaches. Other side effects include daytime grogginess, irritability and even a decrease in libido. Taking high doses for a long period of time can have the opposite of the desired effect and will keep you awake instead of helping you sleep.

There are some concerns that too much melatonin could also interfere with menstrual cycles and ovulation. For that reason, always talk to your doctor before taking melatonin if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

Is melatonin safe for children?

Melatonin can help children especially those with ADHD, autism or other neurological disorders although it’s not recommended for children under the age of 3. In addition, melatonin should not be given to children experiencing temporary sleeplessness due to a short-term illness, situational anxiety or another physical disorder.

It’s always recommended to speak to your child’s pediatrician before giving them melatonin. This way you can ensure their sleeping problems aren’t illness-related, like an ear infection, or an underlying health issue such as sleep apnea.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.

At Bed King, we offer expert service, advice and quality beds. To benefit from our expertise and to find the perfect bed for you, contact our sleep consultants today.


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