Melatonin is a hormone that helps in the wake and sleep patterns. It is naturally produced in the body by the pineal gland. However, in case one struggles with his or her sleeping behavior, then taking the melatonin supplement is an option. This refers to its synthetic version.
The National Sleep Foundation notes that there are concerns about the widespread use (and sometimes abuse) of the melatonin supplement as a consumer product. In fact, only the US is lenient on the availability and the use of the supplement over the counter. Another key concern is the side effects of melatonin.
Low levels of melatonin are considered safe in both the short term and the long term. However, a high dosage may carry a number of side effects. In particular, the children as well as the pregnant and nursing women should not use the supplement unless they talk to a medical professional first.
Melatonin Supplement Side Effects
Michael Grandner, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, states that contrary to what many people think, melatonin can lead to the next-day drowsiness. Sometimes, such drowsiness can be severe. In such cases, one should avoid to carry out some tasks such as working with machinery. After all, it is a hormone, and hormones, when they are introduced to the body, alter its normal functioning either to the positive or negative.
It is important that the user chooses supplements that are manufactured in a lab. The ones that initially come from animal sources may sometimes have contaminants may have adverse effects on your body.
Feeling Dizzy and Headache
With the use of melatonin, it is not uncommon to feel dizzy during the day. Again, one may experience a headache. One may also feel sleepy during the day more so when it is hot and humid. In connection to this, a significant number of users have reported feeling like falling down.
Melatonin and Other Medication
Melatonin supplement may affect the effectiveness of certain medications. For example, if one is taking medication that suppresses one’s immune system, this supplement may affect its effectiveness. Other medication that may not be compatible with the supplement includes some birth control methods, diabetes medication, and blood-thinning medication.
It is ironical that melatonin is supposed to manage sleep problems, but with its prolonged use, it has been known to amplify insomnia. This is because too much of the hormone overwhelms the body’s receptors. Melatonin works when you start to use it, but with time, you desensitize the brain, and this leads to a poor response. In fact, one is supposed to use the supplement for only two months.
Other Possible Effects of Melatonin
Other possible side effects of melatonin include the following:
- Morning grogginess
- Vivid dreams
- Slight changes on the blood pressure
- Lower body temperatures
- Mild anxiety
There are instances that may warrant more care on the use of melatonin and the side effects that comes with it. For example, if you take it, and consequently feel drowsy, you should not operate a machine. Similarly, if you when you take a health exam for any reason, inform your doctor if you are using melatonin. Overall, if one must use melatonin, then one should be careful to stick to the right dosage.