Is melatonin addictive?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body that plays a role in sleep. Ideally, your brain begins to increase the production and release of melatonin when it gets dark outside, eventually making you tired and relaxed enough to drop off to sleep. Despite living a healthy lifestyle, many factors can affect your body’s natural production of melatonin, however, resulting in insomnia.
With proper usage, a melatonin supplement can be taken at night to replace the much-needed hormone. Because it is a naturally occurring substance in the body, melatonin is not found to be addictive. “Unlike many sleep medications, you are unlikely to become dependent on melatonin, have a diminished response after repeated use (habituation) or experience a hangover effect.”1
You may have to experiment to determine the proper dosage for your particular needs. Melatonin supplements come in a wide range of strengths, starting at .1 mg, and each person must discover the level that works best for them. It’s always best to start with the lowest dose and increase slowly until you reach an effective level.
But can there be side effects?
The most common of the side effects from melatonin is drowsiness, and it’s generally the result of taking too much melatonin. If you are in the process of gradually increasing your dosage and begin to notice that you’re starting to feel sluggish and sleepy the following morning, back down on the amount you’re taking until you’re able to wake up feeling refreshed and alert.
In addition to drowsiness, other potential side-effects of melatonin may include dizziness, irritability, headache, and nausea. These side effects may lessen over time as your body acclimates to the supplement. The American Sleep Association website states that studies show melatonin supplements are safe when taken in the short-term and the adverse effects are minimal when taken long-term.2
The benefits of melatonin include its ability to help fight jet lag, treat occasional insomnia and ease the transition into a different time zone. And unlike most prescriptions and some over-the-counter sleep aids, it’s non-addictive.
To ensure you’re getting the most from your supplement, make sure you’re taking the proper dosage and that you’re taking it at the correct time. Melatonin naturally begins to build up in your body at nightfall, so it makes sense to take the supplement at the time your body would normally be experiencing an increase in the hormone. “It is best to take melatonin supplements two hours before bedtime.”3
Delicious and all-natural, our chamomile flavored Melatonin Gummies are a great option for those times when you’re struggling to get to sleep. They’re easy to chew and provide an all-natural form of melatonin that will help prompt your body to return to your normal sleep rhythms.
NOTE: The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), American Sleep Association, and Sleep.org, have not reviewed or approved the above article.