Last Updated on February 18, 2021
It is a common fact that people who are suffering from insomnia or having trouble falling asleep take melatonin. Melatonin prepares your body for sleep and also promotes a healthy sleep cycle for your body. Although melatonin is produced naturally by your body, some people suffering from sleep disorders tend to take in melatonin gummies, which are dietary supplements rich in melatonin for better sleep.
What is melatonin, and how does it work?
Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is produced naturally by the brain’s pineal gland and then diffused into the bloodstream. Darkness triggers melatonin production as it causes your body to produce more melatonin, which in turn helps you prepare for sleep. On the other hand, light causes your body to decrease melatonin production and allows you to stay more awake and active.
What reduces melatonin production in your body?
Usually, melatonin production is reduced by aging. A disruptive routine, working late in the night, too much screen exposure can also lower the production of melatonin hormone in your body, disturbing your sleep.
Obesity is also a cause of reduced melatonin production. Physical inactivity, laziness and lethargy, and sitting for a more extended period are all associated with decreased melatonin production in your body.
What is Melatonin Supplement?
As a medicine, melatonin supplement is produced in the laboratory in two ways: synthetic and natural. Both help people adjust their sleep cycles when jet lagged and assist in the treatment of insomnia.
Although natural melatonin is derived from the pineal glands of microorganisms or animals, synthetic melatonin is much safer and recommended by doctors. This recommendation is because natural melatonin tends to be infected with the virus from their host.
Pros and cons of taking Melatonin:
The intake of melatonin supplements is safe and recommended. However, excessive consumption of melatonin may also prove to be harmful. The pro and cons of melatonin are listed below for your perusal.
Pros of Melatonin
Taking melatonin seems to have a large number of benefits. Melatonin also plays other vital roles in your body beyond sleep. Some of them are listed below:
- Prevents and treats cancer
A sufficient dose of melatonin as prescribed by a healthcare professional might reduce the size of a tumor. Melatonin also helps in increasing the survival rates among people who have cancer.
- Reduces migraines
A study shows that taking melatonin before bedtime can reduce migraines up to fifty percent, not only in adults but also in children. Headaches also occur less frequently and are also less severe because of taking in melatonin.
- Gets rid of insomnia
Many people declare that melatonin helps them to have a night of more restorative sleep. Evidence also shows that melatonin can help people with insomnia have a better quality of sleep and considerably improve their sleep cycle.
Cons of Melatonin
Exposing your body to a high dose of any supplement can increase the risk of side effects in your body significantly. Some of the side effects of melatonin include:
- Raises fatigue
Drowsiness, headaches, dizziness, and agitation are some of the most common side effects of melatonin in children and adults. Overdose of melatonin can also result in reduced alertness and low blood pressure.
- Interacts with various medications
Melatonin supplements might react with some other medications too. Suppose you take medicines such as anticonvulsants, diabetes medication, blood pressure medication, immunosuppressant, antidepressants, etc. In that case, it is advised that you consult a doctor before taking melatonin or any other supplement to prevent allergic reactions or even harmful reactions to these medications.
Melatonin intake can interfere with the effects of these medications. Therefore a physician’s recommendation is necessary.
Is it bad to take melatonin every night?
Although it is safe to consume melatonin supplements every night only for a short time, the limited consumption of melatonin is risk-free. Usually, doctors recommend sticking to a low dosage of melatonin supplements estimated from one to three milligrams per night.
This estimated dose should be taken from the very beginning to prevent unwanted side effects. You should only take melatonin supplements regularly for a month or two, in the beginning, to be on the safe side.
Risks of an overdose of melatonin supplements
Possible side effects of long-term dosage of melatonin are still debatable. However, consuming melatonin gummies in large amounts is not only unhealthy but can have some severe side effects on your body, which are as follows:
- Feeling faint or even pass out.
- Start feeling overly depressed and down.
- Having a blurry vision or your eyes become watery frequently.
- Bleeding continuously and unexplained blood in the urine.
- Having a severe allergic reaction
These side effects are infrequent, and you need to inform your doctor immediately if you face any side effects of overdosing on melatonin mentioned above.