Melatonin can you overdose

What Happens If You Take Too Much Melatonin? This Is Why You Should Always Stick To The Recommended Dose

If you have a hard time falling asleep, melatonin might be your bedtime bestie. And if the first dose doesn’t help you drift off to dreamland, you may even consider taking another. But before you pop that second (or third) pill, it’s important to know what happens if you take too much melatonin. First, some background: Melatonin is a hormone that occurs in your body naturally, and while taking too many melatonin supplements won’t kill you, it can give you some pretty gnarly side effects, according to Medical News Today.

“Too much” melatonin is a pretty vague term, for a reason. Because dosages vary between supplement brands, and everybody’s natural sensitivity to melatonin is different, the threshold where it becomes too much won’t be the same for everybody. “In adults, doses in the 30-mg range may be harmful,” Healthline reports. A general starter dose might be around .2 mg to 5 mg, according to Healthline, but pay attention to how you feel after starting to take some.

The most surprising side effect of taking too much melatonin is hyperactivity, which is the exact opposite of what you want when you’re trying to get to sleep. Taking too much melatonin can also cause crankiness, headaches, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, joint pain, anxiety, and excessive sleepiness. If you’re new to taking melatonin, Medical News Today recommended starting with the lowest dose to see how it affects you.

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The National Capital Poison Control Center explained on its website that because melatonin is a supplement and not a medication, it’s not regulated by the FDA. “This can make it hard to interpret research studies that don’t describe the formulation of melatonin used. Melatonin seems to be safe when taken for short periods of time, though there are no studies of long-term safety,” the NCPCC wrote. What’s more, the website reported that people with seizure disorders should not take melatonin at all.

This is why the Mayo Clinic recommended talking it over with your doctor before taking melatonin. “Your body likely produces enough melatonin for its general needs. However, evidence suggests that melatonin promotes sleep and is safe for short-term use. Melatonin can be used to treat delayed sleep phase and circadian rhythm sleep disorders in the blind and provide some insomnia relief. Treat melatonin as you would any sleeping pill and use it under your doctor’s supervision.”

While you can’t become dependent on melatonin like you can on prescription sleep aids, it does have the potential to interact with certain medications, including: anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements; anticonvulsants; blood pressure medication; certain antidepressants; diabetes medication; immunosuppressants; and contraceptives, according to the Mayo Clinic. What’s more, it’s not recommended for people with autoimmune diseases.

“Less common melatonin side effects might include short-lasting feelings of depression, mild tremor, mild anxiety, abdominal cramps, irritability, reduced alertness, confusion or disorientation, and abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension),” the Mayo Clinic reported.

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Taking melatonin can also produce vivid dreams and even nightmares in some people. Research suggests that it’s not actually the melatonin that causes these dreams but rather, the fact that you’re experiencing deeper REM sleep than you’re used to. Make sure you know up front what to expect so you’re not freaked out the next day.

If you’re not used to remembering your dreams, it can be a little unsettling at first. Overall, just because it’s sold over the counter in the vitamin aisle doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be treated like any other medication. Follow the dosage instructions carefully, and evaluate how it makes you feel the next day before adopting it as part of your bedtime routine. #TheMoreYouKnow

Finding Your Optimal Melatonin Dose

Melatonin is a molecule indispensable for life. Found in most plants and living organisms, melatonin contributes to a wide range of functions in the body, working as an antioxidant, hormone, and anti-inflammatory agent.

In spite of its varied benefits, melatonin is still best known for its role in improving sleep and reducing jet lag. And after testing the combination of Omega Cure® with melatonin for several years now, we have a good idea of how this combination works for our customers in terms of sleep effects.

I want to share what we have learned to date with you and compare our experience to the findings discussed in a comprehensive melatonin review published only a few days ago.

How Much Melatonin Do You Need?

The dose necessary to get benefits from omega-3 fatty acids has always appeared to be relatively stable. For an adult with chronic inflammation, studies routinely suggest the optimal dose ranges from 3000 to 4000 mg of EPA/DHA omega-3 per day (1).

But when it comes to melatonin, there are huge variations from one person to another. Studies use anywhere between 1 – 100 mg of melatonin per day to document clinical effects. Furthermore, it appears that the same dose given to individuals can have very different outcomes. Consider, for instance, one study, which found that the same 10 mg melatonin dose given to a group of people could cause over 50 times higher levels of melatonin in the blood from one person to the next (2).

We have noticed the same dose discrepancy in feedback from our customers. Some people are knocked out or show signs of having gotten too high a dose with only 1 mg. Others say they only feel effects with 15 mg or more of melatonin a night. In spite of the variation, however, around 60% of our customers find that 5 mg works best, while the rest divide evenly between the higher and lower doses.

The dose variation will constitute the biggest challenge for melatonin research in the future since most clinical trials typically use one fixed dose. This may mean that a large number of participants will either get too high or too low a dose, impacting the results of the study.

The good thing though is that melatonin seems to be safe even in people who may be taking too high a dose for their needs. Studies routinely use between 20 – 100 mg/day with no safety concerns (3).

Why Do People Need Different Doses of Melatonin?

The pineal gland naturally produces melatonin to help regulate our sleep cycles. And because melatonin is naturally produced in the body, the melatonin dose a person may need is influenced by a number of factors, including age, genetics and the number of melatonin receptors in the cell.

Factors like diet may also make a difference, especially since certain foods, including tomatoes, olives and walnuts, contain notable amounts of melatonin (4). Lifestyle and medication use also play a role. For example, beta-blockers are known to knock out the body’s melatonin balance and influence sleep negatively (3). Similarly, light pollution and exposure to electronics at bedtime can shut down the body’s natural melatonin secretion (5).

To make matters more complicated, the bioavailability of consuming melatonin tablets is famously low, ranging from 3 to 33 percent (2). And the bioavailability can be influenced by other factors, like the amount of enzymes breaking down the molecule and the amount of liquid present when the melatonin is absorbed (6).

Regulating sleep is only a small part of what melatonin does. In this video, we discuss the science of melatonin and how its functions are deeply tied to the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

What Are the Benefits of Melatonin for Sleep?

Studies consistently show that melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more effectively – but not necessarily increase total sleep time.

In Xie et al’s review, the scientists discuss REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), which is characterized by abnormal, often violent body movements during sleep. Here they report major benefits from taking melatonin, including a decrease in muscle tension during REM sleep (3).

For people who have been trying Omega Restore, partners have noticed similar body calming effects, even in non-RBD people. Partners frequently report their significant other now sleep with less movement and tossing around, as well as snore less and breathe more quietly.

Are There Side Effects to Getting Too Much Melatonin?

If a person gets too much melatonin, they may experience some unpleasant effects. Customers report that if they get too high a dose, they might wake up early, wake up frequently during the night, or in a few cases, not to sleep at all. Vivid dreams or nightmares are other symptoms.

On the positive side, these are not long term effects, and only impact that day. In addition, the effects are strongly dose dependent. If a person gets too high a dose, we regularly see that reducing the dose will also diminish the side effects.

Since your sleep is influenced by more than melatonin, don’t give up after just one night if you don’t experience the desired effects immediately. We recommend trying your starting dose for 5 – 7 days before determining whether you need to adjust the amount of melatonin.

Finding the Right Melatonin Dose with Omega Restore

Working with customers has made me formulate this general guideline to finding your optimal Omega Restore dose:

~ If you get too high a dose — meaning, you experience frequent or early waking, or nightmares — then reduce the dose. While you are experimenting with finding the optimal dose for you, you can reduce the dose by taking half a vial.

~ If you do not feel any difference for your sleep pattern, increase the dose.

When you find the best dose for you, you should wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, plus feel less stressed and tired during the day. And when you have found this personal ‘best’ dose, there doesn’t seem to be much change over time.

Personally, I increase my nightly dose while traveling internationally. This seems to take away any jet lag issues. If I feel after some time that Omega Restore seems to work less, then I skip taking the vial for a few days for the body to break down any surplus.

If you have questions about using Omega Restore or finding your right dose, give us a call at 866.414.0188 or leave a comment below.

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2. Lars Peter Holst Andersen LP, Ismail Go, Jacob Rosenberg, Russel J. Reiter. Pharmacokinetics of Melatonin: The Missing Link in Clinical Efficacy? Clinical Pharmacokinetics (2016) 55:1027–1030. DOI 10.1007/s40262-016-0386-3.

3. Zizhen Xie et al. A Review of Sleep Disorders and Melatonin. Neurological Research (2017) 0:1-7.

5. Russel J Reiter. “Melatonin’s role in Cancer.” Department of Cellular and Structural Biology – University of Texas. https://youtu.be/2DcLnIFXzoE

6. Lars Peter Holst Andersen et al. Pharmacokinetics of Oral and Intravenous Melatonin in Healthy Volunteers. BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology (2016) 17:8. DOI: 10.1186/s40360-016-0052-2

How Much Melatonin Should You Really Be Taking?

Just the right dose can help you sleep peacefully.

For the millions of people who have trouble falling—and staying—asleep, melatonin can sometimes be the solution. The powerful hormone is naturally produced in your brain and sends the message to your body that it’s nighttime and time to hit the hay. You can also take it as a supplement—it’s sold over-the-counter at your local drugstore.

People commonly make the mistake of assuming that taking higher doses of melatonin will lead to better shut-eye. But the opposite is true: Too much taken at once can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or irritability, all of which can disrupt your sleep. So talk to your doctor, who may suggest these dosage guidelines:

For Insomnia or Occasional Sleeplessness

Between two tenths of a milligram and five milligrams 60 minutes before bedtime is a typical dose for adults, while children should take a smaller dose. Too much melatonin can disrupt your sleep cycle, so start with the smallest dose of two tenths of a milligram and increase it as needed. Children with neurodevelopmental disorders often have trouble falling and staying asleep, so melatonin is frequently prescribed to them because it has been found to help them snooze longer. Kids with developmental disorders (including cerebral palsy, autism, and intellectual disabilities) can take larger doses, as recommended by their doctors.

Melatonin Dosage & Usage

When to Use It and How Much to Take

If you are considering taking a melatonin supplement to help with your occasional sleeplessness, one of your first questions is probably “How much should I take?”

While melatonin supplements are typically sold in doses of 1, 3, 5 and 10 mg, the right amount depends on your individual situation and how your body processes the supplement.

How to Find the Right Amount

If you aren’t sure how much melatonin to take, it is recommended to start with a smaller dose like the 1mg or 3mg rather than starting with the max. Although melatonin is safe in doses up to 10mg per day, more is not necessarily better.

Starting with a smaller dose will allow you to see how your body reacts and gauge if your body needs more or less melatonin. You can gradually increase or decrease your dosage until you find the right amount, but do not exceed 10mg, the maximum recommended dosage.

The chart below can help you determine when to take melatonin and how to identify your body’s reaction to help find the right dosage for you.

Is taking 30mg melatonin safe?

Research does suggest that Melatonin is likely safe when taken at recommended doses, typically 1-20mg, for up to three months.

Melatonin is a manmade form of a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate your sleep and wake cycle. It has been used in alternative medicine as a likely effective aid in treating insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep).

Melatonin is not regulated by the FDA in the US and is often sold as a dietary supplement and has not been subjected to the same safety or efficacy requirements as a medicine. There are no regulated manufacturing standards for dietary supplements and some have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. It is recommended you purchase Melatonin from a reliable source to minimize your risk.

Some animal studies have linked melatonin to depression, reproductive and immunological issues but there have been no long-term safety studies in humans to replicate this. There is little or no evidence of any major toxicities with melatonin, even at high doses. Common side effects include drowsiness, headache, depression and nausea.

For more information see: https://www.drugs.com/melatonin.html

Roughly 50-70% of Americans are affected by poor sleep. The modern world seems practically designed to distract one from a regular sleep schedule — with everything from car interiors shining with sleep-disrupting blue light to hyper-bright televisions, the ease of climbing into bed with a smart phone in hand for that infinite social media scroll, or the simple social expectation that we should all work later into the evening — how do you keep your sleep/wake cycles regulated? Enter: Melatonin.

What is Melatonin?

In short, melatonin is a hormone that lets your body know when it’s time to hit the hay. It regulates your body’s sleep/wake cycle so you can get to sleep when it becomes dark out. While your body naturally makes and regulates melatonin (mainly in the brain’s pineal gland), it is sometimes important (and relatively commonplace these days) to take a melatonin supplement to help your body readjust and get back on track! Unlike neurotransmitters that act as inhibitors like GABA, helping you relax and wind down, melatonin works in tandem with your body’s circadian rhythm to let you know that it’s time for sleep.

Melatonin levels can be negatively affected by a number of outside influences including:

  • Too much artificial evening light exposure
  • Not getting enough natural light exposure during the day
  • Irregular sleep schedules
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Melatonin levels naturally start to rise in the body when it becomes dark outside, but light pollution and the well-lit devices of the modern home can act in direct contrast to your body’s natural melatonin production. (Hot Tip: If you always keep lights on in the evening, try switching to candles for a more natural, low light!)

Taking melatonin for sleep can help you get back to regulating your natural circadian rhythm and getting a decent night of sleep without having to drastically change your lifestyle — sometimes its impossible for you to choose your work schedule or turn off the streetlight directly outside of your bedroom window — a regulated melatonin dosage is here to help.

Can You take too much Melatonin?

Okay, so you’re ready to try melatonin supplements to help you normalize your internal clock and get a healthy amount of quality deep sleep. Congratulations on taking the initiative! Now… how much should you take? How much melatonin is too much?

Melatonin supplements vary wildly on their dosages, ranging from less than 1mg to as high as a whopping 60mg. With numbers like that, how do you know what’s right for you? Furthermore, how do you know what’s safe?

Research shows that the best practices for melatonin dosage is to start on the lower side and work your way up, but only if you need to.

If you’re afraid of taking too much melatonin, start with a smaller dose. Take 0.2mg to 3mg in the early evening, around an hour and a half before bedtime, and steer clear of larger doses (anything over 3mg). When it comes to melatonin, more is not necessarily better — and starting with a smaller dose will allow you to feel out how your body reacts to the hormone so you can gradually increase or decrease your dosage accordingly. Here are some helpful hints:

Consider taking melatonin if:

You have occasional sleepless nights or trouble falling asleep, have a sleep schedule with variations of more than one hour, or are experiencing jet lag that you can’t re-adjust from.

Increase your dose if:

You’re still having trouble falling asleep within 20-30 minutes of climbing in bed or continuing difficulty staying asleep. If you tend to wake up in the middle of the night and have a difficult time falling back asleep, you might want to increase your dosage.

Decrease your dose if:

You feel any of the melatonin overdose symptoms listed below, feel groggy when you wake up the next morning after a full night of sleep, or are experiencing overly vivid dreams.

Can You Overdose from too much Melatonin?

The clearest indicator of how much melatonin is too much is experiencing any of the symptoms of a melatonin overdose. Don’t worry — melatonin is extremely unlikely to hurt you in the short run and is not known to be a potential cause of death, but it’s important to remember to use caution when taking over-the-counter supplements and hormones. Just because it is easily available does not indicate that it’s okay to take in excess amounts. Start low and work your way up if you need to.

It can be difficult to define an intake amount that triggers melatonin overdose because there is not a standard amount that works for everybody. A general rule of thumb: too much melatonin essentially has the opposite effect of what a proper dose does. It can make it harder to sleep when you take too much because your normal circadian rhythms get further disrupted, and you can experience a number of additional melatonin side effects. Some common symptoms of too much melatonin are:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Inability to fall asleep

According to the Mayo Clinic, “less common melatonin side effects might include short-lasting feelings of depression, mild tremor, mild anxiety, abdominal cramps, irritability, reduced alertness, confusion or disorientation, and abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension).”

Despite all this, there’s little reason to be alarmed about the safety of taking melatonin for sleep. It is so safe that pediatricians use it frequently to address sleep issues in children, and most adults who take the supplement never experience dependency or any overdose symptoms.

Hit the Hay the Same Time Each Day

Melatonin is necessary for sleep. It’s one of the links in a long chain of reactions our bodies go through to get from the full alertness of daytime to the comfortable, deep sleep of nighttime. Serotonin levels, natural melatonin production, and a host of naturally-occurring regulatory neurotransmitters and amino acids all contribute to our body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night — unfortunately there isn’t one single cure-all.

Having trouble falling asleep at the same time every night? Give melatonin supplement a try! Just remember to start low and work your way up — the last thing you want is for your sleep supplement to give you a worse night of sleep!

It’s important to get to the root causes of why you are having trouble falling asleep. One of the main causes is snoring and you don’t necessarily need melatonin for that. Try out Smart Nora to stop your snoring.

The pattern of waking during the day when it is light and sleeping at night when it is dark is a natural part of human life. Only recently have scientists begun to understand the alternating cycle of sleep and waking, and how it is related to daylight and darkness.

A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothalamus. There, a special center called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake.

The SCN works like a clock that sets off a regulated pattern of activities that affect the entire body. Once exposed to the first light each day, the clock in the SCN begins performing functions like raising body temperature and releasing stimulating hormones like cortisol. The SCN also delays the release of other hormones like melatonin, which is associated with sleep onset, until many hours later when darkness arrives.

Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal (pih-knee-uhl) gland. This is a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of the brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” by the SCN and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. Usually, this occurs around 9 pm. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours – all through the night – before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 am. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable.

Besides adjusting the timing of the clock, bright light has another effect. It directly inhibits the release of melatonin. That is why melatonin is sometimes called the “Dracula of hormones” – it only comes out in the dark. Even if the pineal gland is switched “on” by the clock, it will not produce melatonin unless the person is in a dimly lit environment. In addition to sunlight, artificial indoor lighting can be bright enough to prevent the release of melatonin.

Appropriate Dosage

Chances are good that you have seen melatonin in health food stores or in an advertisement or article. No other hormone is available in the United States without a prescription. Because melatonin is contained naturally in some foods, the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 allows it to be sold as a dietary supplement (e.g., vitamins and minerals). These do not need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or controlled in the same way as drugs.

Because it is not categorized as a drug, synthetic melatonin is made in factories that are not regulated by the FDA. Listed doses may not be controlled or accurate, meaning the amount of melatonin in a pill you take may not be the amount listed on the package. Most commercial products are offered at dosages that cause melatonin levels in the blood to rise to much higher levels than are naturally produced in the body. Taking a typical dose (1 to 3 mg) may elevate your blood melatonin levels to 1 to 20 times normal.

For melatonin to be helpful, the correct dosage, method and time of day it is taken must be appropriate to the sleep problem. Taking it at the “wrong” time of day may reset your biological clock in an undesirable direction. How much to take, when to take it, and melatonin’s effectiveness, if any, for particular sleep disorders is only beginning to be understood.

While there are real concerns about the widespread use of melatonin sold as a consumer product, there have not been any reported cases of proven toxicity or overdose. If you are concerned about the correct melatonin dosage for you, talk to your health care profesional.

Research Data

For some people, melatonin seems to help improve sleep. However, when scientists conduct tests to compare melatonin as a “sleeping pill” to a placebo (sugar pill) most studies show no benefit of melatonin. Evidence that melatonin can reset the body clock is more well established, although it is not clear whether exposure to light may be more effective. Overall, research indicates improved sleep when melatonin is taken at the appropriate time for jet lag and shift work. Appropriate dosage and any safety risks will become clear with further research.

Some studies show promise for the use of melatonin in shortening the time it takes to fall asleep and reducing the number of awakenings, but not necessarily total sleep time. Other studies show no benefit at all with melatonin.

Large studies are needed to demonstrate if melatonin is effective and safe for some forms of insomnia, particularly for long-term use. It may be true that melatonin is effective and safe for some types of insomnia and for children but not for other types of sleep problems. How much to take, when to take it and its effectiveness, if any, for particular disorders is only beginning to be understood.

Learn more about melatonin on Sleep.org, the National Sleep Foundation’s new publication for sleep health.

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