Sleep is an important part of our bodies’ natural cycle. We all require a certain number of hours of sleep per day in order for our bodies to function properly. As simple as it may appear, some people have difficulty falling asleep and sleeping soundly at night.
A person’s sleep quality and sleep-wake pattern can be influenced by a variety of factors. Temporary stresses, lifestyle constraints, and health conditions can all contribute to this. Those who are not experiencing it on a regular basis rely on one effective method to help them fall asleep.
Melatonin supplements are used in this method. This is a dietary supplement that people use to get enough sleep at night. However, because of its popularity and effectiveness, people have developed a habit of relying solely on this solution.
While this may be effective for many, there is still a chance that a person will react negatively to it, especially if they take too much of it.
Is Melatonin Harmful?
If you’ve been taking Melatonin as a supplement to help you sleep, you should keep reading to learn more about it. Melatonin, as you may know, is taken by people who suffer from insomnia, interrupted sleep, or other temporary sleep problems such as jet lag.
So, how exactly does it work? Is it possible to overdose on Melatonin? Let’s get into the specifics.
Melatonin is produced by our bodies, specifically the brain. This is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle. Its varying levels throughout the day can have an impact on our wake-sleep cycle, also known as the Circadian Rhythm.
The lower our melatonin level, the more active and alert we become. Melatonin levels that are too high, on the other hand, can make us drowsy.
Given this, the goal is to keep our melatonin levels high at night so we can sleep longer and better, until it drops by the time we wake up. Though this hormone is produced naturally in the body, taking supplements can also help.
Melatonin supplements are well-known for their ability to assist us in falling asleep. However, if you are thinking about taking it or are already taking it, you should consult a doctor first.
This is due to the possibility of an unintentional Melatonin overdose. And, yes, this can be harmful to some people, particularly those with pre-existing conditions.
How Do You Prevent an Overdose?
Of course, the best way to avoid having too much Melatonin in your system is to consult with a doctor before taking it. This is to ensure that you are in good health and are not suffering from any health issues that may be exacerbated by taking this supplement.
For starters, it is always best to start with the smallest dose of Melatonin possible. If you want to increase your intake, do so in 0.5 milligramme increments because high levels can be harmful to your body. A dose of 0.3 milligramme is sufficient for some people to sleep soundly at night.
Users frequently make the mistake of increasing or taking in high doses of Melatonin because they do not feel sleepy immediately after taking it. This supplement, however, should be taken at least an hour before bedtime.
It does not have the same effects as sleeping pills, which can knock you out within minutes of taking them. As a result, it’s critical to manage your expectations and monitor your body’s reaction during the first few days of consumption.
What Happens If You Overdose on Melatonin?
Melatonin tolerance and dosages vary from person to person, so it is critical that you understand and know your body well before taking it. It is advised to begin with low doses and observe the effects after taking it.
Some people experience increased wakefulness after taking it, while others experience extreme drowsiness. Some people have night terrors and vivid dreams. However, there are a few signs and symptoms of melatonin overdose.
Overdoes of Melatonin may cause headaches, irritability, dizziness, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, anxiety, or joint pains. If you have hypertension, you should consult a doctor because an overdose can cause sudden spikes in your blood pressure.
How Much Melatonin Do You Need?
The recommended dosage for Melatonin is a frequently asked question among melatonin enthusiasts and users. It is critical to understand that the dosage will differ from person to person. There are a few factors that influence how much Melatonin you require. However, for a starting point, consider the following information.
Melatonin Dosage Recommendation for Adults
There is no recommended dosage for Melatonin intake because it varies depending on a person’s weight, age, existing health conditions, sensitivity to the supplement, and other factors. Only a professional can give you proper instructions on how to take Melatonin because they will gather all of the necessary information before giving you the go-ahead.
However, because this is an OTC medication, it is best to start and stay within the 0.2 to 0.5 milligramme range. A first-time user should start with the lowest dose and work up in 0.3 milligramme increments. This is to ensure that they are able to manage the effects on their body.
If you’ve found that the lowest dose or a few steps higher than the initial dose of melatonin is enough to help you sleep, you can stop there. Taking too much Melatonin may result in the above-mentioned unwanted side effects or symptoms.
Melatonin Dosage Recommendation for Children
If your child has trouble sleeping and you intend to give him melatonin supplements, it is critical that he be examined by a paediatrician first. Melatonin may be prescribed by paediatricians in some cases, but only for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders or ADHD.
Before allowing your child to take Melatonin, he or she will be examined by a paediatrician. This is due to the fact that sleep-related issues in children are usually not that serious and are still manageable through simple lifestyle changes or improvements in their sleep hygiene.
Those who intend to take it, however, should begin with the lowest possible dosage. When taken an hour or two before bedtime, a dose of 0.5 milligramme or 1 milligramme usually suffices. Pediatricians may allow some children to consume up to 6 milligrammes. However, this is only applicable in exceptional circumstances, such as those suffering from severe insomnia.
An overdose of melatonin in children can also result in some unwanted side effects and serious conditions. So keep an eye on the dosage and keep track of how they react to the supplement. Most importantly, before making any changes to their diet, always consult with a paediatrician.
Melatonin’s Interactions with Other Substances
Taking Melatonin necessitates a great deal of knowledge and caution, especially if you are also consuming other substances. Here are a couple of Melatonin interactions to be cautious of.
Blood Thinners and Anticoagulants
Those who have blood clotting issues must take anticoagulants and blood thinners. These people should consult their doctor before taking Melatonin because the supplement may increase their risk of bleeding.
Pills for Birth Control
Women who use birth control pills should discuss their Melatonin intake with their doctors. This is due to the fact that oral contraceptives cause the body to produce more melatonin. As a result, an additional amount may raise their existing Melatonin levels, potentially leading to overdose reactions.
Seizure, Diabetes, and Blood Pressure Medications
People who take blood pressure, diabetes, or seizure medications should discuss it with their doctors. Melatonin may lessen the effects of these prescription drugs and aggravate their pre-existing conditions if taken concurrently.
Substances that are sedative
Melatonin users should avoid other substances that make them feel drowsy. Anti-anxiety medications, pain relievers, and even alcoholic beverages are a few examples. It is not recommended to mix those because it may have negative effects on your body.
When Should You See a Doctor?
After taking the supplement, if you experience sudden chest pains, shortness of breath, or signs of high blood pressure, contact your doctor or an emergency health service right away. These could be symptoms of Melatonin toxicity, overdose, or adverse effects.
Those who experience one or more of the previously mentioned unpleasant side effects should discuss them with their doctor. Untreated melatonin overdose can result in life-threatening conditions.
Treatment for Melatonin Overdose
The approaches that can be taken to treat an overdose are determined by a number of factors. If you visit your doctor due to a melatonin overdose, they will need to assess the severity of your symptoms.
If you have a medical emergency, such as chest pains or difficulty breathing, they may subject you to more complicated medical interventions. Subtle side effects, on the other hand, are managed by lowering the dosage or eliminating it entirely. Your doctor can assist you in gradually tapering off melatonin use.
Conclusion – Melatonin Overdose
There is nothing wrong with wishing for better sleep. After all, it provides us with all of the energy, repair, and rehabilitation that we require. Taking supplements is also beneficial. People who use Melatonin supplements to improve their sleep quality can reap all of its benefits as long as they use them responsibly.
Melatonin overdose: Is it possible? Let’s face it: in addition to the benefits that Melatonin provides, there are some health risks that we should be aware of. The importance of consulting with a doctor cannot be overstated, as it plays a critical role in keeping your health safe and in peak condition while using the supplement.
If you’re okay with taking this supplement without a doctor’s supervision, at least try to follow the instructions. Be cautious with the dosage you begin with; the same is true if you decide to increase your dose. Always prioritise safety over everything else.