It’s because melatonin helps govern your physique’s circadian rhythm—aka its sleep-wake cycle—so if you launch melatonin, it’s principally a organic sign to hit the hay. “Melatonin in our brains helps us get sleepy,” scientific psychologist and sleep specialist Shelby Harris, PsyD, creator of The Ladies’s Information to Overcoming Insomnia, beforehand informed Nicely+Good.
To assist improve the mind’s pure melatonin and induce sleepiness, some of us flip to taking melatonin in capsule type (although it’s discovered naturally in sure meals, together with pistachios). “Taking melatonin might enhance sleep in these with sure sleep problems, like insomnia, and others who’ve a tough time falling asleep,” says Rifkin. “Analysis additionally suggests supplemental melatonin might help those that are experiencing jet lag signs.”
The problem, Rifkin says, is that oftentimes individuals take approach an excessive amount of melatonin. Moreover, specialists do warn towards nightly use of it, citing causes like danger of dependence and an overriding of the physique’s pure response that they do not advise. Whereas melatonin has been proven to be protected for short-term use, there isn’t sufficient analysis to indicate that it’s protected for long-term use.
“The best dose of melatonin for an grownup ranges from 0.5 to 5 milligrams [per the National Sleep Foundation], and it must be taken half-hour to at least one hour earlier than bedtime,” behavioral sleep specialist Carleara Weiss, PhD, sleep science advisor for Aeroflow Sleep, informed Nicely+Good. “Doses greater than optimum—that’s, 5 milligrams at a time—can result in dizziness, complications, and nausea, and a few individuals might expertise modifications in blood strain, vivid goals, or nightmares.”
What’s extra, there’s some analysis that has proven that melatonin dietary supplements typically include false dose labeling making long-term use all of the riskier: A 2017 research revealed within the Journal of Scientific Sleep Drugs discovered that the content material of greater than 70 p.c of melatonin dietary supplements diversified by as a lot as 83 p.c much less to 478 p.c greater than what was listed on the bottle. Researchers additionally discovered that over 1 / 4 of dietary supplements examined contained serotonin, which if taken constantly long-term, can negatively impression the guts, the mind and extra. “Selecting a complement isn’t simple in a cluttered, unregulated market,” says Rifkin, who underlines that an important factor is to search for one with few to no chemically-based and synthetic components. “Moreover, search for merchandise that use scientific backing when growing merchandise. They need to even be inspected by the US Pharmacopeial Conference, which is able to usually say ‘USP-verified.’ Monat Sleep Drops are a fantastic instance of an excellent-quality complement with no synthetic sweeteners and a science-backed growth.”
Most significantly, be sure you seek the advice of with a doctor earlier than beginning on any dietary supplements, together with melatonin. And for those who’re new to taking melatonin, Rifkin recommends beginning on the decrease finish of the vary and regulate your dosage as wanted—and maintaining a tally of the signs under.
Right here’s how your physique is telling you that you could be be taking an excessive amount of melatonin
1. It’s now not working
“Taking an excessive amount of melatonin might intervene along with your physique’s circadian rhythm, inflicting extra sleep issues,” says Rifkin. “Moreover, some individuals could also be extra delicate than others to the results of melatonin, which is why it’s greatest to start out with a one milligram dose and improve solely as wanted.”
2. You’re groggy
“Taking an excessive amount of melatonin might result in signs, like grogginess in the course of the day and nightmares whereas sleeping,” says Rifkin.
3. Your temper is off
Rifkin notes that some individuals who take melatonin report signs like diarrhea, irritability, nausea, and dizziness. It may well additionally doubtlessly worsen melancholy and anxiousness.
4. Your blood strain is up
“An excessive amount of supplemental melatonin may even impression your blood strain, another excuse why it’s vital to talk with a physician about taking melatonin for those who’re presently taking remedy, together with those who scale back blood strain,” says Rifkin.