We will answer your questions in this blog post and list all the side effects melatonin can cause. However melatonin has many, many benefits which far outweigh any negative side effects. So let’s move on and discuss melatonin in detail.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement.
What does natural melatonin do in the body?
Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes.
Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.
Light affects how much melatonin your body produces.
During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression.
Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.
Why is melatonin used as a dietary supplement?
When you buy melatonin supplements they are sometimes used to treat jet lag or sleep problems (insomnia). Scientists are also looking at other good uses for melatonin, such as:
Treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Helping to control sleep patterns for people who work night shifts.
Preventing or reducing problems with sleeping and confusion after surgery.
Reducing chronic cluster headaches.
It may be that melatonin, when taken as a supplement, can stop or slow the spread of cancer, make the immune system stronger, or slow down the aging process. But these areas need more research.
Melatonin is also being studied to see if it can be used to treat sleep problems in people who are blind. Since these people cannot see light, they may have sleep problems such as sleeping during the day and being awake at night.
Is taking a melatonin dietary supplement safe?
In most cases, melatonin tablets are safe in low doses for short-term and long-term use. But be sure to talk with your doctor about taking them.
Children and pregnant or nursing women should not take melatonin without talking to a doctor first.
Melatonin capsules do not have side effects. But they will go away when you stop taking the melatonin.
Melatonin side effects include:
Changes in blood vessels that may affect blood flow.
Lower body temperature.
If melatonin makes you feel drowsy, do not drive or operate machinery when you are taking it.
During health exams, tell your doctor if you are taking melatonin. And tell your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping (insomnia), since it may be related to a medical problem.
Where to buy Melatonin
There are many websites selling melatonin supplements in the USA, but in Europe this is a different matter. Most European counties have banned the sale of Melatonin and especially it is illegal to over the counter.
In the USA try the trusted website at Amazon.com or you can buy melatonin supplements without a prescription at health food stores, drugstores, and online. Melatonin should only be taken in its man-made form.