Can You Overdose On Melatonin? A Look At The Side Effects And Dosage

melatonin overdoseMelatonin tablets are generally viewed as being safe sleeping pills by most consumers, doctors and scientists.

This is largely because Melatonin is a natural hormone which your own body produces.

But is it completely fool-proof safe, or can you overdose on Melatonin? And what kind of side effects can you expect with a normal or high dose?

Technically anything over the recommended dosage could be considered an overdose. The problem is though, Melatonin doesn’t really have an official recommended dosage.

That said, most doctors and researchers say you should take no more than 5mg a day. And preferably less for most sleep problems.

This was also the standard dose we found in most brands during our review of over the counter sleep aids.

So we will look at what might happen if you take more than that dosage. And what symptoms you might expect from a Melatonin overdose.

And if you are interested in more background information, have a read of our article examining how well Melatonin works.

Surely there must be a recommended dosage of Melatonin?

There really isn’t a standard recommended dose of Melatonin at the moment. And interestingly most brands sell it in quantities far higher than the body actually produces.

Melatonin is marketed and sold as a dietary supplement or natural remedy. So it has not undergone the rigorous testing of organizations such as the Food and Drugs Administration in the United States. And therefore there is no central body to say exactly how many milligrams you should take.

So you are left to trust the advice of anyone else who speaks up on the matter. Some good advice from the University of Maryland Medical Center for example recommends taking a dose as close as possible to that which the body produces. And the body usually produces less than 0.3mg per day.

They also go on to suggest that a dose of 1 to 3mg an hour before bed works fine for most adults. But even as little as 0.1 to 0.3 mg might work. And if that dosage of Melatonin doesn’t work after a few days, you can increase it to 5 or 6mg.

Even though Melatonin is available over the counter in many countries, you should discuss it with your doctor first. They can tell you if it will be safe for you, and if so, how much to take.

Is Melatonin safe at these low doses?

Research in 2005 concluded that taking Melatonin at low doses is safe for periods of 3 months or less.

And more recently the Mayoclinic also stated that it is safe at a dose of 5mg for up to 2 years. Although on another section of their website they say it’s best not to take it for more than 2 months.

Even at these low doses though you may still experience side effects. Safe doesn’t necessarily mean no side effects; it just means that it probably won’t cause most people any serious medical damage.

What is considered a Melatonin overdose and what might happen?seek help if you take a melatonin overdose

So what happens if you have a bottle of Melatonin 3mg pills which tell you to take one before bed. But you decide to take two or three times that amount, or even more?

Well according to most research, you shouldn’t be in any great danger if you take a small Melatonin overdose.

And in fact it is common for people to take a pill too soon before bed, decide it isn’t working fast enough and take another one. Then in the night to wake up and take yet another.

Whilst this may not cause you too much trouble, it is not the right way or safest way to use Melatonin. The more you take, the more likely it is that you’ll experience unpleasant side effects.

And the more likely it is that you will experience a ‘Melatonin hangover’ the next day. This is because the Melatonin effectively tells your body ‘more melatonin means it’s time for sleep’.

So when you take it in the middle of the night, your body clock is being pushed forwards. If you are very drowsy the next day then you run a higher risk of having an accident which could harm you or others.

There is no medical advice or research stating what would happen if you took a very high dose of Melatonin. It is highly recommended that you do not consider doing this. At the very least you are likely to experience some unpleasant side effects.

Whatever dose you take, if you start experiencing side effects, then you should seek medical attention.

And if you do take a large Melatonin overdose, intentionally or by accident, it is advisable to seek emergency medical attention immediately. In the US this could be an emergency room or poison control center.

So what are the side effects of Melatonin that you might experience at any dosage level? Let’s take a closer look.

Possible Melatonin side effects

1. Daytime drowsiness

Ok you might laugh, but one side effect is of course drowsiness. Yes, it’s like saying on a bottle of milk ‘warning contains dairy products’. But the point is, if you take Melatonin at the wrong time you can end up being drowsy during the day. You are then a risk if driving or operating heavy machinery for example.

2. Hormonal changes

Again this sounds obvious. You are taking a hormone after all, right? But the effects can be serious in some cases. For example pregnant women are advised not to take Melatonin as it can have negative effects on fetus growth.

But it can also reduce the sex drives of both men and women. As well as interfere with women’s ovulation and men’s sperm count. So if you are trying to get pregnant, Melatonin probably won’t help.

3. Mood changes

This is especially likely if you take too much Melatonin. You may experience a range of mood changes such as sadness, worsening depression or even feeling over-excitable. People who suffer from any kind of depressive illness should not take Melatonin.

4. Hallucinations, paranoia and disorientation

More likely if you take a Melatonin overdose, you may experience hallucinations, delusions, disorientation, confusion and paranoia. These are side effects not to be taken lightly as they can be very disturbing.

5. Increase in vivid dreams and unusual sleep behavior

You may find you have very vivid dreams. It can also increase the possibility of other events such as sleep walking and nightmares.

6. Physiological effects

Melatonin has been found to have several effects on the body. This includes lowering blood pressure, or even raising it if you are taking drugs to control it. It may have effects on blood sugar levels and cholesterol. It can also bring about further problems for type 1 diabetics. This is due to a reduction in tolerance to insulin as well as increasing blood sugar levels.

7. Risk of seizures

This is a particular risk if you overdose on Melatonin or have any existing kind of seizure disorder. Again this can be potentially serious and another good reason to be careful with how much you take.

8. Nausea and other stomach problems

This is one of the more common side effects of Melatonin, even at low doses. You may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and pains, and diarrhea.

9. Risks to infants through breast-feeding

Melatonin is possibly not safe for infants, even though some sources argue that it’s safe for children. Breast feeding mothers should therefore not use Melatonin as not enough is known about its safety at this time.

10. Serious allergic reaction including rashes and swelling

In some rare cases you may experience a severe allergic reaction. This could result in a rash, swelling of any parts of the face, tongue or throat, itching, dizziness and trouble breathing. You should definitely seek immediate emergency medical help if these symptoms occur.

11. Increased risk of contracting immune system disorders

Melatonin may increase the risk of contracting autoimmune disorders such as Hepatitis or Crohn’s disease. For this reason, people who already have an autoimmune disorder should consult a doctor before taking Melatonin.

12. Risk of liver damage

There is thought to be an increased risk of liver damage. This is another reason people who have problems with alcohol misuse need to consult a doctor before taking it.

Interactions with other drugs

Melatonin can also interact with other drugs. So you should consult a doctor if you are taking, or planning on taking any of the following:

  • Blood thinners, such as Warfarin or Heparin.
  • Blood pressure medicine, like Nifedipine.
  • Drugs to prevent seizures.
  • Drugs which affect your immune system.
  • Psychiatric medications, especially anti-psychotics or anti-anxiety drugs such as Benzodiazepines.
  • Anything containing caffeine or alcohol. Caffeine reduces the quantity of Melatonin so makes it less effective. And therefore more likely you’ll decide to take more and risk having an overdose.
  • Anything which can make you drowsy, such as sedatives, some cough medicines and anti-histamines, muscle relaxants, other sleeping pills and some pain killers – especially narcotics.
  • Medication for diabetes.
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox), which can decrease the amount of Melatonin your body can absorb and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Medication that slows blood clotting (anti-coagulants).

For a  extensive list of exact medications which can interact with Melatonin, have a look at the Webmd article here.

Conclusion

So can you overdose on Melatonin? It would appear that the answer is most definitely yes. But what might happen will depend on many different factors. As with most substances, two people might experience very different symptoms even when taking the same medication.

You can see that there a long list of potentially harmful effects of taking Melatonin. But there are also additional risks for certain people.

So we recommend you stick to the various recommended doses that major organizations such as the Mayoclinic offer.

But first and foremost speak to a doctor to check that it will be totally safe for you. You can also then get clear advice on what dose you should take and how long for.

And once again, if you do take a Melatonin overdose, please seek emergency medical help straight away.

343 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi Ethan,

    I used to take Melatonin when I worked, because of stress and number of hours sleep I got (usually about 5-6 hours a night). It induced REM, and that 5-6 hours was like 7-8, woke up well rested and great. Mentioned it to other people. I told them I heard at the time to get a bottle of 1mg tablets and start with 1 and increase each night if it doesn’t work by 4, it probably wasn’t going to work. Got good comments from friends about it… well, mostly. Some said it didn’t work.

    Thanks for the informative read!

    • Hi Phil
      Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad you found the article informative. I’ve given similar advice many times in the comments here, as it’s definitely best to start with a low dose. If it doesn’t work at lower doses, then it’s unlikely to work at the very large doses people sometimes take in the hope it will do the trick.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan,
    I suffer from migraine and read about 3mg at night can help the frequency and /or intensity of them. Took for a couple weeks and it did help. I got nervous that maybe it’s too much so I stopped and bam migraine the next day. I started taking again but now I only take half a pill 1.5mg a night. Do you have any information on migraine and melatonin? Thank you, Rachel.

  • I told my son to take his chewie. He is 7 and usually listens well he says he took 4 or 5 idk if this is true the bottle didn’t have many in it and still has close to what I thought was in it. Idk if he took any as some nights he puts his chewie somewhere and doesn’t take. I hate to rush to ER if he never took them idk what to do.

    • Hi L
      Thanks for your comment. By the time you read this, you will already have decided what to do. I imagine your son is fine and I hope he is. I think perhaps it’s a good idea to have a talk with him and his doctor about why he doesn’t want to take the chewies. And perhaps find a way to help him sleep better that he feels comfortable with. And of course, keep pills safely locked away where he cant get to them.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking small doses for a couple months now and then stopped for about a week bc it didn’t seem to work. then on a whim 3 nights ago I took 30mg (3 10mg tablets) and did so for the next two nights but it still took about 45 minutes to fall asleep, then tonight I took 50mg to try to fall asleep faster and after a half hour still not feeling the effects but I guess I should stop again because it doesn’t help much?

    • Hi Dan
      Thanks for your comment. It’s a common hope that taking more melatonin will have a better effect, but it’s usually not the case. I think if you haven’t had good results with the quantities you’ve taken, as you already worked out – it’s not going to work for you at all.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan,
    I’m a night shift worker. I have no trouble falling asleep after a shift but find I can’t get more than 5 hours sleep. Am interested in melatonin but unsure of timing. Would I take it after waking aiming to get another 3 hours sleep but not feel groggy or take it before going to sleep to help get the full 8 hours of (day) sleep? When I’m not on night shift I have no trouble sleeping.

    • Hi Sarah
      Thanks for your comment. You would take it before you went to sleep after your shift, or in the evening of your non-shift day if you had problems sleeping at normal times (which you don’t). But I wouldn’t take it after your 5 hour sleep.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I take anywhere from 10mg to 70mg or more every night and experience no side affect. I’m almost positive you could never take enough of the stuff to be honest

    • Hi Collin
      Thanks for your comment. I know that it’s often suggested that no amount of melatonin will do you great harm, and there are many anecdotal stories of people taking vast quantities and being fine – at least for now. My opinion though is that there’s no need at all to take anything like the amount you do. If it’s going to work, it will work in far smaller doses.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hey Ethan,

    So I’ve heard mixed reviews about giving children melatonin. We talked to our pediatrician, who suggested it. I’ve got one with Autism & one with a sensory processing disorder. Nighttime is a nightmare, as you can imagine. One takes 0.5mg and the other takes 0.25 then another 0.25 if that doesn’t work. I hate medicating them both, but I figure it’s better than the prescription Clonidine (what one of my kids was taking for sleep).

    Anything you’ve heard about the affect of long term use of melatonin in children? (I have a boy & girl?) I’ve read conflicting research/theories of hormone imbalances, especially in girls. Although I feel like both are taking a fairly low dose. Our pedia also said that kids with Autism usually aren’t even producing enough melatonin anyways.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Ali
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand your concerns, as there is an on-going debate about the long-term effects of giving kids melatonin and the effects it can have on the onset of puberty for example. And I’ve also seen suggestions that, as you say, it can be helpful for kids with melatonin.
      I think the best thing is to keep working with your doctor, as they are the medical expert at the end of the day, but also keep yourself informed of developments in the research world around melatonin. It’s still something which isn’t completely understood in terms of the long-term effects of long-term use, so it’s likely over the coming years more will be known.
      I would also focus hard on trying to help them sleep using as many natural techniques as possible. Ideally, the melatonin wouldn’t be used long-term and their sleep patters would be stabilized through natural means. I understand this can be difficult to achieve, but I think it’s important to keep on it and keep trying.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have a real sleeping problem, up all night doing nothing, but lay in bed with or without music trying to catch a nap, at least. but I’ve taken 3, 3mg of Melatonin before (at once), before bed but no drowsiness or sleepiness hit me. June 5th, 16 (tonight) I took 4 pills (at once) of the same mg. hours later, nothing but hunger has striked so i got something light to eat, which now keeps me up cuz I’m eating. If i take 5+ would it help me actually get sleep, or is it bad to be taking so many at once? I’ve taken X bars which i slept like a baby in a crib all night, seemed to help me better than this OTC doctor recommended stuff. i just want sleep, i hate life!):

    • Hi E-Z G
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’ve been having such bad problems sleeping and are feeling upset because of it. It’s understandable that a lack of sleep can make you feel bad generally.
      If the melatonin didn’t work for you at those doses, it’s very unlikely to help if you keep taking more. It just doesn’t work that way. I would perhaps look at trying a different type of otc sleep aid. I’d also talk to a doctor to get some advice and support – perhaps they can also help you with how you’re feeling about life generally at the moment.
      I also wrote an article recently about how I personally overcame insomnia. Have a read of that as you might find it helpful.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking at least 36to54 ml. each night. I have had absolutely horrible headaches daily. Could this have anything to do with taking it?

    • Hi Sherry
      It’s possible, yes. I would stop taking it for a week and see if the headaches clear up. If not, then ask your doctor to check you out to try and find out what’s causing them.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I am taking 5mg of melatonin, which does not help me at all. I have started taking Ambien, 5mg. Is this safe to take every night. I have a friend who has been taking 10mg a night for years and is fine.

    • Hi Pat
      Thanks for your comment. Do you mean is it safe to take the combination of the ambien and melatonin every night? As far as I’m aware, they are generally considered safe to take together. However, you may feel the effects even more strongly, meaning you should be careful what you do after taking them. To be on the safe side, I’d consult your prescribing doctor to get their advice.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking melatonin for about 7 months now and I know everyone is different. I have found by trial that 20mg (10mg tabs) is what it takes to put me to sleep. If I take any less then there’s no effect. There have been a few times I’ve taken 30mg just to see if it works better but everytime I do that I have really weird dreams. I don’t think I’ll go higher then 20 unless I have nothing planned the next day…. I’ve never slept better in my entire life as I have always had issues not with staying asleep but just getting to sleep. However 2 months after taking it at 20mg I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune. Nothing as serious as the ones listed above but I can’t help but wonder about the timing. They said it was not the cause but we’ll never know. If I had known about this product sooner and known the risks I still probably would have took it as I have never had as much energy from feeling fully rested as I do now!

    • Hi Jeremy
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’ve developed that condition. I think it’s hard to avoid trying to pin the blame or work out cause and effect when things like this happen. But it’s probably better to try and avoid doing so. I imagine that will be a little easier for you considering what you say about not regretting taking the melatonin. Did your doctor advise against continuing with the melatonin though? I guess it’s a difficult decision if you think it’s doing you harm, but at the same time helping you sleep and feel good.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi
      Hopefully you’ll be ok. I suspect the cocaine isn’t exactly going to work well In tandem with a sleep aid. To be honest, it’s a fairly pointless cocktail you made for yourself, and I would be having a think about the point of taking these substances.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • My husband has been taking melatonin for about a month now and he started with hallucinations, delusions, disorientation, confusion and paranoia. Will this go away now that he has stopped taking it, and how long will this last?

    • Hi Jeanne
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear your husband reacted in that way. I imagine he will get better pretty quickly. If not, definitely keep in close contact with your doctor about it.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello I’m 16 and I have been taking 10mg everyday of melatonin for the past 4-5 years. I’m really curious too know if that’s kinda bad or not. 2nd is it possible to build a tolerance for it because it doesn’t work any more and I still take it anyway.

    • Hi Noah
      Thanks for your comment. I think both points you mention lead to the same course of action, which is to speak with your doctor and family about it. It is a long time to be taking melatonin, and if it doesn’t work, why continue? I think it might help you understand why you’ve continued taking it if you chat to your doctor about it. And if they are the one prescribing it, I would want to know if they really think it’s necessary any more.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I gave my 8 year old little sister a 5mg tablet of melatonin (the usual amount she takes because she has ADHD) without knowing that my father already gave her one. So in total she had 10 mg, should I just let her go to sleep? Do you think she will be fine?

    • Hi Nikki
      Sorry I wasn’t in time to reply to you. Unfortunately I don’t always get round to replying to comments until a few days later. I imagine your sister was fine, but if this kind of thing happens again, I would tell your dad asap, and also ask a doctor for their advice.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • i sorta took 60 2mg pills, trying to commit suicide, and idk if i might die or not rn, like im scared cus i regret it
    whats going to happen?

    • Hi Adam
      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply to your comment. I imagine by now you know the answer to your question. I’m also sorry to hear that you were feeling so low at that time. It’s positive that you regretted it though as it says that you still do have a will to live. I hope you have someone you can talk to about what’s been going on in your life. I also recommend asking for some professional help, through your doctor would be a good starting point.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • 4 yr old took 6 tablets of 3 mg Melatonin and was sleepy 3 hrs later.. Is it ok to let her sleep? Just found out that she had taken them

    • Hi Mel
      It’s not my place to give advice on that, I’m afraid. I would call your doctor to check and get some medical advice based on her medical history.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I took 45mg… 15 melatonin 3mg pills… Will I die? Lol. I’m 16. And 10pills didn’t work, so I tried 15. I’m feeling the effects, but am I in danger???

    • Hi Zach
      Thanks for your comment. By the time you read this you will probably already have the answer to your first question. Obviously I don’t know what led you to decide to take so many pills, but if it was to try to sleep better, then it’s important to understand that higher doses of melatonin don’t necessarily work better than lower doses. And in fact, if 30mg didn’t help you sleep, 45mg is unlikely to. My advice would be not to take so many again, as it just won’t do what you want it to do. If you need help with your sleep, I’d speak to your doctor about it, and also your family. As for your second question, I think you need to be careful taking large quantities of any pills. Again, I’d speak to your doctor about the amount you took, why you took it and see if they can provide some better ideas to help you.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have an 8 yr old who has been put on melatonin by his pead, .75 of a ml, however, 5 hours after taking it, he is still wide awake and unable to get to sleep?

    • Hi Robyn
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately melatonin doesn’t work perfectly as a sleep aid for everyone. It depends on many different things, with one of the main factors being the root cause of the sleep problems. I’d have a read of this article about how melatonin works and it will give you some more information about it, which should help you understand when and how it works.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking 10 mg of melatonin for a couple of years now and it really helped me sleep. However in the last six months I couldn’t figure out why I was so exhausted all the time day or night all I wanted to do was sleep. I decided I would take a break from the melatonin and I feel like I am waking up for the first time in a long time out of the fog.

    • Hi Tammy
      Thanks for your comment. That’s an interesting discovery you’ve made there, and I hope that you continue getting back to your old self as the days go by. I think it’s a good lesson to learn that taking a sleep aid for a very long time isn’t always in our best interest.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi Cj
      Thanks for your comment. As with all medications, the list of possible side effects is just that – a list of possibilities, and not everyone will experience them. Out of interest though, have you tried taking a much lower dose, such as 3mg, to see if has the same effect?
      Regards
      Ethan

  • So, I get the 10mg bottles of “quick dissolve”. I start with Serquil, followed by roughly 50 mg or so of the 10 mg capsules a couple of hours before I go to bed. Once in bed I start the quick dissolve version. My doctor is aware I am up to 200 mg of melatonin a night and he has said nothing. I have been doing this for a couple of years. Which led me here. Thanks for the info

  • I took 10 mg last night and feel like absolute crap today. It was my first time taking it. When will the side effects go away?

    • Hi Carol
      Thanks for your comment. Hopefully by the time you read this response (sorry, it takes a few days to reply) they will have long cleared. If it has that effect on you, then melatonin probably isn’t right for you at all.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I usually take like 15mg of melatonin on occasion and it gives me night mares every time

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. I’d say that’s probably a sign not to use melatonin. There are other options of sleep aids and natural behavioral techniques you can try out. My opinion is that nightmares should be avoided if it’s possible to!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • If I could fall asleep without melatonin I would. My doctor says I don’t produce enough, so I need to take it every night. I believe him because I’ve tried going without melatonin for a while and I didn’t get to sleep until 6 AM every night. I have depression but it’s improving as I improve my life. It actually gets worse when I’m sleep-deprived. I’ve always had vivid dreams even before I started taking it, so I never noticed any changes in that area. I think I’ll continue taking melatonin until I can find some miracle that works better.

  • I suffer from severe anxiety and it peaks at night if I don’t take something to help me sleep I’m up all night and having anxiety attacks, I started out with Ambien but after about a month it gave me horrible night terrors. My doctor recommended Melatonin. He told me to start with one 10mg at night and see if it helps, I am up to 30 MG a night and it is helping but I’m worried I’m doing more harm than good.

  • I have trouble sleeping through the night and get vivid ass dreams. 5mg didn’t do anything neither did 10mg so I just said f it I need some sleep and took 30mg. Let’s see if this works

  • I can take up to 15mg a night without any apparent side effects. It just depends on the person and their tolerance to melatonin.

  • That would be sadly funny-I’ve struggled with indomnia for over 20 years. My regimine right now is 12.5mg ambien, 600mg seroquel, 15mg mirtazaprine, 2mg lorazapam and 12mg of melotonin. I also drink chamomile tea. For the last 3 months nothing has worked. I’ll lmao if it’s all because I’m taking too much melotonin. I’m going to drop the dose in half and see what happens……

    • Hi Jeff, have you had a sleep study? It may help you find the cause and fix it. Also check your “SLEEP HYGIENE” ie, use of electronics, diet, room temp, etc. Sometimes too many RX’s can actually mess you up. Good luck.

  • Who KNEW! I’ve been taking 10mg each night for about 2 years. I’m never depressed and it doesn’t cause my moods to shift. Always wake up alert and clear. Never really have odd dreams. But now reading I assume there could be other affects I’m unaware of happening to my body. I don’t use melatonin to go to sleep, I can actually fall asleep just find without it. I use it because of the depth of my sleep when I take it. It’s solid and I’m rested.

    Years ago I had a sleeping pill addiction. Started with the over the counter PMs and then moved into prescription types. Then I simply stopped and taught myself how to sleep naturally. It was only recently I tried melatonin and found it really helped me focus and work during the day.

    Thanks for the information here. I will be looking further into other methods and using less.

  • Thanks for all this info. I was taking melatonin 3 mg. for about 10 days and sleeping well, but had an anxiety attack this morning. I still have an earlier bottle, bought at Trader Joe’s. It says take 500 mcg, which is half a milligram . It says: Warning! do not exceed this recommended dosage. And goes on about not mixing it with other stuff, etc. etc.
    I believe Trader Joe’s headquarters is in Germany and think they must have studied it a lot more over there than we in the U.S. did.

  • I think it’s worth mentioning that hormones, such as Melatonin, don’t show a linear dose-response relationship – in other words, lower doses may actually be more effective than higher doses.

    A reference is Lewy et al (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12069043) – in this person 0.5mg, but not 20mg, showed efficacy.

    Personally, I started at 0.1mg (which didn’t show much of a response) and found 0.3mg to be efficacious when adopting to time zones after traveling.

    I think many of the doses mentioned on this website may actually be too high and hence counterproductive (see above reference), though it of course depends on the individual.

    • Hi Andreas
      Thanks for your comment. You make a good point there, and it’s another reason why it’s not usually effective for people to keep taking more and more melatonin if they found lower doses didn’t work.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • My husband took a double of 10mg.of melintonin,he became confused and didnt remember where he was ,he didn’t know what he was doing.I thought he was having a stroke untill I remembered that he took 2…..not good!

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear the melatonin disn’t agree with your husband. That must have been quite worrying for you indeed. I imagine he won’t be taking it again, even at a lower dose, which is probably the best thing considering his reaction to it.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • can a doctor just tell you to give melatonin to a child that doesn’t actually have any sleep problems on a daily basis?

    • Hi blair
      Thanks for your comment. Presumably the child has occasional sleep problems? I imagine the doctor might think it’s a good solution to brief spells of sleeplessness. But if it’s not a serious problem, then the parent can always choose not to take the advice and try to help the child sleep using natural methods.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hiyah
      I deleted the long quote with the typo highlighted from your comment, but just wanted to acknowledge and thank you for it. Very kind of you to take the time!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have Fibro, myofascial pain syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and 2 spinal diseases. I never had sleep issues til I wound up with Guillian-Barre Syndrome, then Fibromyalgia. I am up to 16 mg. a night, no help. This has went on with the no sleep since 2007. I was suggested to take the Melatonin, and so far, nothing. Trazodone helped, but my insurance stopped paying for it. I began the Melatonin regimen 40 days ago, with 3mg. At my wit’s end here.

    • Hi Mickey
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you’ve been having such a difficult time. I think that the melatonin is probably not going to start helping now if it hasn’t after 40 days. I would ask your doctor to try something else instead, and also perhaps really dedicate some time to trying to create as best set of circumstances for sleep as possible. Have a look at my article about healthy sleep habits for a start, and you also might find the article discussing relaxation techniques for sleeping helpful.
      All the best
      Ethan

      • My doc said that if your Insomnia isn’t caused by low levels of Melatonin it won’t work. She said it only helps with sleep if a Melatonin deficiency is the root cause, but can be used to get your sleep cycle back on track with low doses taken at the right times.

      • I have Fibromyaligia very bad too.
        I take 20 mg melatonin just to get some sleep.
        I realize that this is probably not acceptable dose
        But it is the only one that works.

    • Hey if your state has it you should qualify for medical marijuana for any one of those conditions (I was certified for Fibro in IL check out for your state). It can be a greaaaaat help. it’s the only pain reducer I use beyond breathing techniques and being healthy. Meditation while utilizing Medical MJ could be the life changer you are looking for. Best of luck. Don’t ever give up hope that it can’t improve. We have chronic pain but we do get a say in some of how we feel about how we feel.

  • Most of the time, oh I can’t sleep, it’s because m my house or room is too messy, I didn’t get enough activity into my day, or I’ve been looking at a bright screen for too long… or all three! I used to go several nights a week without sleep from the time I was 14 to about 24. That’s 10 years of occasionally losing my mind. I used to take melatonin in high doses, but now I try a few other things first. Stumbled upon this because last night I popped 12mg of melatonin with my hot tea and bowl, and slept until 9.30. Haha, here I was, worried that I overdosed because I didn’t wake up at 6.00 like I usually do. Looks like I’m just getting old!

    • Hi Sam
      Thanks for your comment. It’s good that you usually try other things first. Melatonin isn’t the best to be taking on an on-going basis or in high doses. It’s better as a short-term solution for certain sleep problems. It sounds like you have a good idea of the things which help you sleep, or not, so you should be able to get on top of your sleep by addressing those point as best as possible.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’m trying the natrol advanced melatonin 10 mg..I took one pill 20 minutes before bed with no results, I took another 2 hrs later and still awake, tried another about 1 1/2 hr later with no sleep. Most of the reviews are saying 2 to 5 mg,but my bottle says 10mg..So I took 30mg with zero effect, my question is,do I need to continue several nights for it to get into my system, or would you recommend sominex?Also I drank no alcohol or caffeine before the medication. Thanks

    • Hi Marc
      Thanks for your comment. It may be that melatonin just isn’t going to be the right choice for you. It’s not the same as many other sleeping pills in that it doesn’t just knock you out whatever time you take it. It’s all about re-setting your body clock. So it usually doesn’t help to keep taking more during the night, as you’ve long since passed the time period when it would be most effective by helping your body recognise that it’s time to go to sleep. You could try taking just the recommended dose in the evening for a few more days. If it still doesn’t help, perhaps try something else.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I used to be on Ambien 10 mg. every night for 10 years. I was taking it 20-30mg a night near the end. Then I was moved to Belsomra. I do not like the fact that it takes way too long to work and the paralytic side effect is terrible. with the need for sleep paramount for me with my pre existing Ehlers-Danlos, I went back to 100mg of Benedryl and 100 mg of Melatonin. I have been on this for 3 months. I will say the only side effect I have is that I am slightly drowsy in the day, unmotivated, and I have put on 45 pounds since I started this regimen. I will soon be switching back to the sleep meds again as this is what I have been doing for the last 3-4 years. But at 100mgs… I can say I have not had any liver issues.. gastro issues, seizure threshold issues, but the depressive state.. that is pretty much the only thing that bothers me now at this point.

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. I know that at the end of the day, the decision to take sleeping pills is between you and your doctor, but I can’t help think that you’ve been taking sleeping meds for a very long time, and perhaps it would be good to try to find natural ways to sleep better without them. Sleeping pills are best used for shorter periods of time, as I discussed in my article about the advantages and risks of taking sleeping pills. I think even with the side-effects of daytime drowsiness, weight gain and lack of motivation there’s something not quite right there. My advice would be to try to wean yourself off the sleep aids whilst seeking alternative ways to sleep better in the long run. But do talk it through with your doctor first.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi my name is Mari and I’m 19. I take 12-15 mg of melatonin every night because I’m an insomniac. I’ve been taking melatonin for about 3 years now and have been gradually upping the dose because my insomnia has gradually gotten worse. I also take Mirtazapine because I have anxiety that has also gotten worse over the years. Am I taking too much melatonin? And would it be causing my insomnia and anxiety to get worse over time? Thanks -Mari

    • Hi Mari
      Thanks for your comment. I can’t really advise you on whether it’s too much or not. The best thing to do is speak to your doctor about the combination of the melatonin and mirtazapine and take their advice. 3 years does seem a very long time to be taking melatonin for, so I wonder about the effectiveness it has for you. My personal opinion would be to try to tackle the anxiety through other means rather than medication, even though I understand that medication can be effective. But if it’s getting worse, then perhaps that’s a sign to both speak to your doctor about the meds, and also look down some other routes, such as talking therapy or self-help. Just as one idea you could look into straight away, have a look at my article about mindfulness techniques. It’s something I found very useful at a time in my life I suffered from anxiety, and has a lot of support from the medical and therapeutic community.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I (76 y), have been taking Zopiclone, prescribed medication 7 mg daily to go to sleep. I goto bed at 10:30 pm and wake up before 3 AM and try to sleep again with difficulty. Recently, a pharmacist suggested I try Melatonin 5 mg with Zopiclone and slowly switch to Melatonin daily because Melatonin is long term safe, well researched and documented. There are some Vedic Yoga teachings about sleep disorders, 1. auto suggestion and 2. do some Yoga postures that stimulate Pineal gland. Each one has to try what fits them.
    shared in the common interest of all having trouble falling asleep.

    • Hi Vaidy
      Thanks for your comment. I agree that it’s much better to either learn to relax and sleep through natural techniques such as relaxation, meditation, yoga etc if possible. And that in the long term it’s also better not to use stronger sleeping pills. If you’re able to get there and improve your sleep through those means, then great!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • My problem seems to be that I simply can’t fall asleep at all , it’s going on day 6 ,I’m extremely shaky and decided to finally try melatonin , I’ve taken 40mg now and still can’t sleep , I’m yawning and super tired I’ve been laying here with my eyes closed for 5 hours but every 3-5 minutes my eyes are open again and I find my self back on the internet doing research , I have fibromyalgia and I’ve never been a good sleeper , normally the doctor has to give me opiates and sleeping pills as well as Ativan for my anxiety . I just wish I knew what to do every day I feel worse and worse -_-.

    • Hi Ginger
      Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear you’re having such bad sleep problems. Did your doctor recommend the melatonin? I’d check it over with them considering the other meds that they sometimes prescribe. Otherwise, have you tried all the possible sleep hygiene techniques that exist? I’ve written a lot about it here, so maybe there’s something you haven’t tried. Have a look at my article discussing healthy sleep habits to start with.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I take about 6mg. of melatonin, but also gabepenten*/oxycodone/flexerill. I can’t go into too deep of sleep because I have to switch sides in order not to hurt the next day. I have trouble with getting back to sleep. But, feel vertigo sometimes during the day. I take metformin twice a day for diabetes. In the article it said not to do this? But, my Dr. knows I’m taking this with my other meds. I also have to take med for high blood pressure. I don’t get vivid dreams, maybe because I don’t get deep sleep? Being a large person (300lbs.)I’m trying to lose weight, does it matter if a person is heavier or normal weight when taking melatonin? Thanks for the article, it was very helpful.

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found the article helpful. At the end of the day, your doctor is the person best placed to give you advice on which medications you can or can’t take together. I believe that factors such as size and metabolism may have some impact on the dose required, but again your doc would be the best person to ask about this. The vivid dreams is normal for many people. It could be because you just don’t tend to wake softly out of the REM stage of sleep, which is the time when we most remember dreams.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • You don’t have to seek medical attention after taking several doses. Trials have been done with up to 80mg doses where no dangerous side effects have been noted.

  • After my stage 3 cancer diagnosis, my doctor told me to take 30 mg melatonin a night as studies have shown that it can fight cancer. That was 15 months ago. I haven’t had any side effects and it’s effective in helping me go to sleep. Lately, I’ve been sleepy throughout the day and labs showed a shortage of dopamine – and I have all the symptoms of it. Seems melatonin and dopamine oppose each other. Are you aware of any studies on long term use of high dose melatonin or of it causing dopamine depletion?

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve heard of melatonin being suggested as a cancer fighter, but I haven’t heard of any studies which suggest it can cause dopamine depletion. I just had a quick look, but can’t find anything saying it does. What did your doctor say?
      All the best with the cancer fight.
      Ethan

  • Hi. I take 3mg of melatonin 30 mi s before bed and it doesn’t seem to be helping. I will wake up at lest five times every night and have really weird dreams that I remember in the morning.
    Am I doing anything wrong?
    This dosage is what the doctor told me to take. I have been on it for two nights and it doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Hi Bumble Bee
      Thanks for your comment. What was your sleeping pattern like before? Is it better or worse with the melatonin, even if you’re waking up? Some people do have vivid dreams with it too – myself included. I’d speak to your doctor asap and let them know what’s happening and they can decide with you what to do.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I occasionally take melatonin usually early mornings 1-2 o’clock in the morning when my other sleep meds ware off. I take 10 milligrams of melatonin and it has always helped
    to get me back to sleep. Within 10 minutes of waking up in the morning. I must run to the bathroom with explosive diarrhea. I have done the process of elimination and I am fully convinced that the melatonin is the cause of the diarrhea. Do you think if I reduced my melatonin tablet in half would eliminate explosive diarrhea that I have. I might try it Friday night since I don’t have work on Saturday. But just wanted to know if you saw any correlation between diarrhea and melatonin and taking 10 milligrams. Thank you for your answer I hope everything is going well with you.

    • Hi Marti
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear about the toilet issue. It could be due to the melatonin, but it’s impossible to say. The only way to find out is to stop taking it and see if the problem disappears. If you do think you’re having side effects like this, then I think it’s probably better to stop rather than try a lower dose. Perhaps talk to your doctor for some advice and see if the problem is being caused by something else maybe.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have to take 9mg, lower doses never helped. I don’t usually have a melatonin hangover.

    Also, I’ve found that after consecutively taking it for a week to two weeks I have to stop taking it, because it starts to trick my body into feeling like I’d already slept, when in reality I could go 3-5 24hour periods without sleep. That said, when I stop taking it at the right point I continue to have decent or great sleep.

    A question I have is can a higher dosage put me at risk for coma? Like say I took 20mg or some obsenely high dosage?
    —-
    (Lastly my mind remains fully active & aware whilst asleep, & it is awesome, I can always take absolute control of my dreams & remember them henceforth. Not only that, but I can continue where I’d left off in a past dream or start a new one *Like game save files* Screwing with the laws of physics beyond what I can explain is fun.)

    • Hi Burakkusuta

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure I fully understood the second paragraph – sorry! I think the risk of coma taking 20mg if you already take 9mg without problems is low. But I’d question why you felt the need to take more? It’s unlikely to do anything different from the current dose.
      As for the lucid dreaming – that’s great! I wish I had the ability to do it at will, including the save game concept!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello! I recently started taking 5mg of Melatonin. Its so effective. I have experienced the vivid dreaming and Im naturally moody. Also, I noticed I do wake up the next day with a feeling of being hungover. Its not extreme but blah. Would you recommend cutting the pill in half? The form I take is fast dissolves.

    Thank You

    • Hi there
      I think if it’s effective, but giving you some side effects, then you could try cutting the dose and see if you get the positive effects without the negative. And if you’re still not sure after trying that, you can ask your doctor for their advice on whether it’s the right choice for you.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Anyone who has chronic insomnia, especially if it takes a lot of medication to just try to get a few precious hours of sleep,should consider being checked for sleep apnea. I worked nights as a nurse,and had really hectic shifts. I was so tired when I got home I couldn’t wait for bed. Even though I took no sleeping aids, and had no noise, I woke up way to often, and I was exhausted. When I started Melatonin, I thought it would help but it didn’t. My daughter came into my room when I was “sleeping” and when I got up she told me, the truth. “Mom” while you were sleeping, I watched you and you were breathing and not breathing. Without knowing, I was gasping a lot just to get the air in. As a nurse, I wasted no time getting to a Pulmonary Specialist. I was tested, and sure enough, I had sleep apnea. Today with help of my breathing machine, I sleep so much better. Even 5 straight hours feels better since I am getting Quality rather than Quantity sleep.

    • Hi Lois
      Thanks for your comment and for your advice. I often suggest to people who have either worked out, or been told, that their breathing is irregular in their sleep to get checked out for apnea. And it may be that indeed insomniacs who regularly wake during the night could be suffering from a breathing disorder. It’d worth getting tested if you do find yourself waking up repeatedly.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • What is the recommended dosage for children ages 2 to 5 years old? I want to make sure I’m on the safe side. Thank you.

    • Hi Bumble
      Thanks for your comment. My personal view is that even if they are available over the counter, the best way to find out the safest dose is to discuss it with your doctor. I’d also recommend having a read of my article about melatonin for kids which explains in more detail why I think it’s good to talk it through with the children’s doctor.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Im 20 and i usually take 3 or 4 of the 3mg so roughly 8-12mg. Ive taken it on and off for about 5 years and it usually does the trick. However I have experienced what Heather mentioned, sometimes i will wake up after 3 or 4 hours, have VERY vivid dreams and irritability. Now that im older ive come to find i have some minor anxiety issues but i definitely feel like they are heightened occasionally when i take melatonin. especially if i stay stimulated after taking it : watching tv, playing on my phone etc. My advice is to follow his advice, after taking it really try to put your mind at ease, focus on relaxing. Try meditation it has done wonders for me !

    • Hi Ashley
      Thanks for your comment. Personally, I’d say that if the melatonin is exacerbating your anxiety it’s perhaps not the best way to tackle your sleep problems. Maybe you could try a lower dose and see if that reduces both the anxiety and the vivid dreams. And as you say, relaxation and meditation are great options of self-help insomnia cures. Maybe in time you’ll be able to sleep better only using those kind of natural techniques.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Thank you for this article. I too had no idea I was over doing it and taking 15 to 25 a night. I am starting to see it may be effecting me. But wouldnt have realized if I didn’t read about this.

    • Hi Beth
      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found the article helpful, and I hope you have a better understanding of the dosage and possible effects now.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi there,
      I recommend talking this through with your doctor. It’s a lot to take, especially mixed with alcohol. I do hope that you’re ok, and that you have someone to talk to about the way you must be feeling to take this kind of cocktail.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been taking an probiotic-fermented Melatonin in
    liquid form. A friend told me about it, I tried it and
    love it. I sleep like a baby now. However if I take too
    much at night, I do feel sleepy during the day. It comes with a dropper. I dont think I would be allowed
    to give the name of the company here but I think it would be easy to look up.
    Cheers
    Jay

    • Hi Jay
      Thanks for your comment. I think if it works for you, then great. Just don’t take too much if it’s affecting you badly, and also remember not to rely on it in the long term unless you get doctor’s advice saying you need it for a long period of time.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi Heather,

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. However I do and have taken an obscene variety of medications due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has been about 2 weeks since your post so I don’t know what your current status is, but I’ll offer my advice at any rate.

    One med I do take often is Methylprednisolone which is a steroid. Taking it causes your body to produce less/stop producing certain chemicals/hormones within the adrenal glands because it senses there is too much already from the pills. Thus it is necessary to wean off the drug to allow your body to gradually begin producing those substances naturally once again. Since Melatonin is replicating something also naturally produced by the body, it is possible your body has limited or stopped producing the melatonin on its own. I would say you should cut back gradually – say step down your dose by 5 mg. every 3 or 4 nights until you get down to 5 or 10 mg., and then from there step down by maybe 2mg. until you get to a comfortable level or stop altogether. If you just stop suddenly then you may find that you’re completely without any melatonin either from orally taking pills or natural production in the body and have all sorts of side effects including, obviously, sleeplessness.

  • DECEMBER 27, 2015

    I JUST READ THE ARTICLE & I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE MG.
    MELATONIN. I STARTED OUT WITH 5MG. DIDN’T WORK AT ALL.
    UPPED IT TO 10MG. & SEEMS TO WORK ALRIGHT. I ALSO
    TAKE TRAZODONE 100.MG X 2 AT NIGHT FOR SLEEP. I AM 84 YRS.
    & IN GOOD HEALTH EXCEPT FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO GO TO SLEEP & STAY ASLEEP. I DO NOT SMOKE OR DRINK. MY DOCTOR
    WILL NOT GIVE ME REGULAR SLEEPING PILL AS SHE IS AFRAID I
    MAY FALL. I LIVE WITH SON & DAU.-IN-LAW & HAVE “LIFE-CARE
    BUTTON IN CASE I DO FALL WHEN THEY ARE NOT HOME. I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. I HAVE SEPARATE ROOMS & AM ALONE MOST
    OF THE TIME. IT SEEMS THAT I CAN’T GO TO SLEEP WITHOUT ALL OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED AIDS. IF THERE IS ANY INFORMATION YOU MAY GIVE I WOULD APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH. JUNE LEWANDOWSKI. DURANGO, COLORADO.

    • Hi June
      Thanks for your comment. It’s very common for people to sleep much less as the go through life, so it could be that you’re body and brain just don’t need nearly as much sleep as they used to. I think it can be helpful to bear this in mind when thinking about sleep, as it can help you to stress less about how much you should sleep for. Have a look at this article which talks about how much sleep you need according to age. It could be that you only need as little as 5 hours a night for example, but perhaps you’re hoping for 7 or 8.
      Have you spoken to your doctor about taking melatonin? I think that even though it’s available over the counter in the United States, it’s a good idea to check it’s ok to take along with other medicine you make be taking.
      Otherwise, I think the key is like everyone, to follow good sleep hygiene practices. Have a look at the section on sleep hygiene for more about this.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi Kat
      Hopefully you were ok, since the comment was a while ago now. Do try to stick to the dose your doctor suggests. Did a doctor suggest that dose, or have you or your family decided it’s the right amount? It seems quite a high dose for your age.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I just read your article and I’m wondering….what do I do now? I’ve been taking 25-30mg of melatonin pretty much every day for the last couple years. For the last two months I’ve had terrible insomnia, never thought it could be the melatonin. Some days I even tried taking the dosage I stated along with a lot of the things you mentioned above as no no’s. Benzos, blood pressure meds, alcohol, and the occasional muscle relaxer. My husband thought maybe it was just causing strange dreams and asked me to stop taking it. I am a very vivid dreamer, but lately they’ve been disturbing so I’ve gone one day without the melatonin. I know it’s only been one day but, I still am not sleeping any better. After 3-4 hours of sleeping I just….wake up. How do I fix this?? I haven’t gotten good sleep in so long, it’s affecting my everyday life! Im so irritable, and I have been mean to people and that’s just not me. Have I already done to much damage?

    • Hi Heather
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think you’ve already done too much damage. Sleep problems can nearly always be resolved or greatly improved with the right approach. I would imagine that the best first step would be to keep going without the melatonin or other things you’ve tried to help you sleep. Then try good sleep hygiene techniques (have a look at this article). And if you still find after a couple of weeks that your sleep doesn’t improve, I’d suggest talking to your doctor about the on-going sleep problems and see if they can help.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Ethan, I would just like to say that I found this article extremely informative and am very impressed at your responses to many. You are a phenomenal person to take time out of your day to not only give advice, but to help save a life of one considering suicide. You are a blessing and have made my (unfortunately) sleepless night, complete.

    • Hi Maryssa
      Thank you for your very kind words! It’s comments like yours that makes keeping up with the comments so rewarding, so thank you for taking the time to write. I hope that anyone who ever arrives at this article because they are contemplating suicide finds some glimmer of hope that there are always people who care. And even if they can’t think of anyone right now, then I can say that I do.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan, thanks for your article. I have Attention Deficit Disorder which is why I have trouble getting to sleep so was prescribed 2mgs of melatonin tablets by my dr. They weren’t doing anything so I ordered 5mg tablets online. I was taking 2 of these a night, or 1x 2mg with a 5mg but didn’t know anything about autoimmune diseases and melatonin. I was also takng 1000 mgs of 5htp which after turning into seratonin then turns into menatonin (I didn’t know this). I also have Multiple Sclerosis which is an autoimmune disease. I had been taking them for about 2 and a half months when I decided to have a glass of red wine one night. I got so dizzy and went numb (with pins and needles feeling) on my face and head, the right side of my tongue and all down the left side the left side of my body. I had many other symptoms, too many to mention. The doc I was seeing (a trainee) and the one at A&E said I’m fine and Im just having a relapse so the dr at my practice tried to push methylprednisolone (steroids that speeds up recovery of an ms relapse). The thing is anytime I have taken tablets of any kind they have made my symptoms worse. I took amitriptyline 2 nights in a row and I got worse, especially the dizziness. Last night I had such a migraine (I’ve never had one before that btw) so I took paracetamol and ibuprofen and now I’m a lot worse. I need advice as the doctors won’t listen to me. Please can you help and can update your article or advise MS sufferers to be very cautious if they are going to take melatonin. I’m not the only person with MS this has happened to.
    Thanks (sorry for the long email. That’s the short version!)

    • Hi Rebecca

      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you ended up in A&E with what must have been a worrying experience. Unfortunately, I’m not a doctor, and not involved in your healthcare, so it’s difficult to give you the kind of advice you might be hoping for.

      What I would say though is that I think that in cases where a person has quite a lot going on medically, really the best advice I can give is to find a way to work with your doctor that works better for you. If you feel that they aren’t listening to you, then you could tell them, in a nice way, that you don’t feel like you’re getting the results you need and is there anything else which might work better for you. You could also ask for a second medical opinion. And if your hospital or clinic has a patient advocacy service, you could speak to them about your concerns.
      I’d also suggest being cautious with the tablets you choose to take yourself. If you know that you have a bad reaction to tablets, then I think that it’s important to be careful when self-diagnosing. For example, taking more melatonin because the prescribed dose didn’t work, is generally not a good idea for anyone. If it doesn’t work at the lower dose, a higher dose isn’t that likely to help much.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Hello, my story is serious, I never had sleeping g problems and was a bit stressed not long ago. I went to the pharmacy and the pharmacist gave me melatonin pills to try and said to take 2 tablets. Each was 3 mg. I took 2 tablets for 2 days before sleeping. Then I just stopped. My wife took 1 pill. After stopping for a week we both got these huge headaches for 5 days now, my wife’s symptoms have gone but mine haven’t as of now. (I took 3 pills more than her maybe that is why I don’t know) I’m still waiting and I need help as the migraines are becoming unbearable accompanied with nausea and irritability. I am on paracetamol for 4 days now to cope with the pain. If anyone can advise anything it would be great. And I urge EVERYONE NEVER TO TAKE MELATONIN unless prescribed by a doctor and not a stupid pharmacist that told me there were no side effects. Thanks

    • Hi Kash
      Thanks for your comment and I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having these problems. Do you still have any pills left? I’d take them to your doctor and see what they say about them and the symptoms you’ve experienced. Whilst melatonin is thought to be safe for most people, either they just aren’t for you, there’s something not right with the tablets you received, or something else is coincidentally causing the headaches. Whichever it might be, I’d suggest getting a professional opinion.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have taken up to 80mgs (8 10mg caps) every night for at least a month. After reading this I’m shocked I’m not dead. Heck I just took 8 caps an hour ago, now I’m scared out of my mind. Guess it’s time to find another way.

    • Hi Tattooit

      Thanks for your comment. That does seem quite a lot to be taking. There are lots of natural techniques you can try to help you sleep better – have a look at the sleep hygiene section for some ideas.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Thank you for this! I have to take melatonin due to my insomnia caused by frequent nightmares. I had no idea taking too many would actually cause more of the problem I’m trying to solve!

  • dear Mr. Green
    Thank for writing this article. It answered all my questions except for one. I understand you can get pretty sick or experience side effects from melatonin, but I was wondering if you could die if taken to much. I recently had a very serious car accident and caused me a very severe brain injury. I had insomnia before this, and now it is almost impossible to sleep without melatonin due to extreme head pains and orbital socket aches. I am 14, and know that it is the best option since it is all natural..but I require very heavy doses…the most Ive taken at once is 30mg and I need to know if that will cause death because if so obviously I need to seek medical attention. Once again, thank you very much and if possible and if its not to much trouble, please answer my question…I am quite frightened

    • Hi Nicole

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story. I’m very sorry to hear about the accident and the injury it caused you. I can’t begin to imagine what you’ve been through. From my understanding, melatonin doesn’t have a reputation for causing death in the kind of quantities that people sometimes take it, including 30mg. My advice to you would be to speak to the medical professional who is in charge of your on-going care if you have someone, and if not to speak to your doctor and get their advice. It’s not really my place to advise you on how much melatonin you could safely take in your particular circumstances. The best person placed to do that is your own doctor who knows your full medical story.
      All the best and I do hope that you recover from the injury.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Dear Mr. Ethan Green,

    Having read your article, all I feel the need to say is thank you so much for going out of your way to reply to each person in need of reassurance/help. You are of a rare kindness and I wish you all the best. Also, I have insomnia, and this article helped me decide what dosage would probably be best for me at least tonight, but I am definitely planning to discuss it with my doctor.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment and the compliment. It’s nice to know the replies are appreciated. I think it’s definitely a good idea to discuss taking melatonin with your doctor, even if it is available over the counter in some countries.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • I had been having trouble sleeping and my doctor recommended 3-6mg. I took 6mg before bed because I hadn’t been able to fall asleep with only 3. I wasn’t asleep for about 3 hours and it slipped my mind I had already taken 6mg and accidentally took another 6mg. I have never done that and I’m a little worried. I’ll be okay, right?
    Thank you,
    Mary

    • Hi Mary

      By now you’ll already have an answer to your question – unfortunately I can’t reply to comments immediately, and often not for several days. Hopefully you were fine, and if it happens again you can always speak to a doctor for some advice.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking melatonin for 20 years and it really helped me a lot physically and mentally. First I started with 3mg a night off and on only when I couldn’t sleep after an hour on bed. After a couple of years I increased the dosage to 6mg then 9mg until now. I’m sure that there is no side effect at all. Now my question is, am I addicted to it because I can’t stop it otherwise I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I’d rather be addicted than not be able to function the next day due to lack of sleep.

    • Hi Ed
      Thanks for your comment. Understandably, many people do find themselves taking a sleep aid for very long periods of time. However, I think unless your doctor recommends taking them for such a long period of time, it’s better to find a way to sleep naturally. Are you addicted? Difficult question to answer, and it would seem that psychologically dependent might be a better expression to use. Have you tried speaking to a doctor to get their opinion?
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I work nights (for 20+ years) and sleep exclusively during the day. It had been recommended (by a doctor) to me to take up to 10 mg of Melatonin for a couple of months, stop for a few weeks and then i could start again.
    I took 3 mg and it worked for a while, then 6, then 5, then 10, then 15. Each time it worked for a few weeks. Then i’d stop and when i started again I needed a higher dosage. 15 was working great for a week and now it isn’t so much.
    I’ve been told because i don’t sleep at night, my body would not produce Melatonin naturally. I also try to keep a similar schedule each day, as i have heard that is best. Doctors haven’t helped much over the years. Now I’ve been doing 15 for awhile, and now reading this I am worried.
    Thanks.
    Nezmaster

    • I should add that I have not had trouble sleeping over the years, just more recently as i’ve gotten older. I felt very comfortable sleeping all day for many years, but lately less so.

    • Hi Nezmaster
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand why you might be concerned, but please remember that many drugs have extensive possible side effects. That doesn’t mean that you will definitely experience them. What’s important, I think, is that you ask your doctor’s advice if you are getting to a point of taking more than the manufacturer recommends, and are having to increase the dosage on a frequent basis. Even if you can get it over the counter, I think it’s still good to get their advice and be on the safe side.
      Keeping a stable sleep schedule is indeed one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep. When I started doing that many years ago, it has a profound effect on my insomnia. For me the main thing was to force myself to get up at the same time, more or less, 7 days a week. I found that helped me to keep to the pattern, even if I went to bed very late sometimes. Have a read of my article about sleep schedules for more on that.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello,

    I have sleeping problems ever since i was homeless around 13 years old and my mother would give me sleep aids to help me sleep since it was hard on me being so young and being homeless. I also often get panic attacks for one reason or another. i just started taking melatonin because i felt like i couldnt breathe but i was breathing just fine. Its helped relax me and it is allowing me to sleep. My boyfriend scared me awake and i couldnt fall back asleep so i took another melatonin i should be ok right?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. Melatonin isn’t a sleeping pill like many others. It is used to help regulate the sleep cycle, not to knock you out, or even help with relaxation. So if you take one, then can’t sleep so take another one later in the night, it’s probably not going to help much. I suggest reading this article about how melatonin works. You might find it useful. In terms of being alright, I can’t say because I don’t know how much you took each time, and I’m not your doctor. But by the time you read this, I imagine you will have discovered that you’re probably fine!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi! I was curious if it is dangerous to take 1 or 2 melatonin pills about twice a week while you’re also taking birth control pills. Would this result in too much melatonin in the body? Would this decrease the efficiency of the birth control pills in any way?

    • Hi Sydney
      My advice would be to talk to your doctor about any sleep aid you plan to take if you’re pregnant, just to be on the safe side.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi why is it that you shouldn’t rely on melatonin for too long? Does it cause problems or just eventually stop working?

    • Hi Tylor
      I think it’s a general rule of thumb that sleep aids are best used in the short term to deal with sleep problems. Unless your doctor recommends it, it’s best not to become dependent on them. What might happen is difficult to predict because the long-term effect of taking melatonin regularly is still a work in progress from researchers. So my personal opinion is that it’s best to use them for a period of sleep difficulty, but keep the ultimate goal of dealing with the problem through lifestyle choices and good sleep hygiene.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I always take 2-3 melatonin at a time, the only problem I get is having extremely vivid (good) and often disturbing or unnerving (bad).

    • Hi Bayly

      Thank for your comment. I guess then you need to weight up the pros and cons of having those dreams. If it were me, I’d probably not be very happy with having an increase of disturbing dreams, and would look for an alternative to the melatonin.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan. I’ve always had problems sleeping so when I heard about melatonin I was really hoping it would work for me. I bought 5mg time release tablets and 3mg fast dissolve tablets. I took one of the 5mg tablets one night, and shortly after felt short of breath and anxious, panicky. My legs felt really restless and I had to keep moving them, was sweating, needing the toilet more and all this lasted for about 6-8 hours. Haven’t dared take any since but wondered about trying half of the 3mg fast dissolve one, as I’m still desperate for sleep.

    • Hi Rachel,

      I definitely don’t think it’s a good idea that you take the melatonin again, even a lower dose. It sounds like your body very clearly said ‘no’ to it to the first time. If you’re desperate you can always talk to your doctor and see if they can help. I would also suggest trying out some sleep hygiene techniques as there are lots of things you can do which might improve your quality of sleep.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Wow, I actually quartered a six mg quick dissolve tab last night to see how it would affect me. I had the same exact reaction you describe and still feel off 24 hours later. I will stick to the benadryl occasionally from now on.

  • Hi there, this dose barely works, it makes me somewhat drowsy and I use it for shift work, I don’t use it on my days off. Thanks.

    • Hi again Ray,
      Thanks for clarifying that. It could be that it’s just not right for you then, unfortunately. You may find it helps more when you try to sleep again at a normal time in the evening, rather than in the daytime, depending on your shifts and when you’ve been trying to use it so far. If it makes you feel a bit drowsy, that’s possibly the best you’ll get from it anyway. It’s not known to be a powerful sleep aid like some prescription ones.
      My advice would be to not take a higher dose, and also try to look at some of the other info. on this site, for example that about sleep hygiene. You might find some other ideas which help.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been struggling with a sleep problem and LTD so normally I take xanax like 1-5mg. (depending on how much I need to sleep) before my bedtime.
    Yes I’ve been using bzd a lot because of anxiety too.It ain’t a good choice tho.
    my friend knows that so she handed me a bottle of melatonin a month a ago because she doesn’t want me to use drug so I give a try without consulting with my doctor and since its dietary supplement I didn’t search for details or any information just listened from her
    then I stopped using bzd and Started melatonin from 9mg to 21mg 2hrs before bed and recently everything is just getting worse. I feel bad like really bad . Weird dreams night after night. feeling tired and more so i just searched about things we call melatonin and found this page so can we really overdose on melatonin ? I m not quite sure but i guess I need to go back to see my doctor real soon

    • Hi Lyn
      Thanks for your comment. It could be that you’ve been having problems because of the sudden change from the xanax to the melatonin. I don’t know how long you’ve been taking it for, but it’s usually a good idea to work with your doctor on careful reduction in taking benzos. I would definitely recommend talking to your doctor about it, though it seems you’re instincts have already told you that.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi, so I have depression and I just took 5 of the 5mg hope I would sleep better than normal but reading this kinda scared me. I’m 17 year old female and I just want to make sure it won’t do anything too crazy since it’s first time taking that many.

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment. By the time you read this reply the next day, you’ll have already found out if it will do anything to you or not. If it didn’t help you sleep any better, then I definitely wouldn’t reccommend taking any more to see if it helps. It’s very unlikely to.
      And if it does help you sleep, and you plan on taking that dosage again, I’d recommend talking it over with your doctor just to be on the safe side.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I take between 30-50 mg and haven’t got any side effects. I do it because I barely feel any effect from it and basically no effect from low doses. Sometimes I think it is not being absorbed properly by the intestines, but couldn’t find any reason for the lack of effect. Hopefully this will not lead to any health problem in the future

    • Hi Ray
      Thanks for your comment. Do you find that this dose does actually work for you though? And out of interest, are you taking it to help with shift work or travel sleep problems for example, or for general insomnia?
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I take more than the recommended dosage, since I tend to have to take more than the recommended dosage for most things. I use the chalky pill form and always allow them to just dissolve in my mouth instead of swallowing them. Figure it’s easier on the liver if it’s getting into my system via the salivary glands. Haven’t had any significant side effects, use a mix of the 5mg + 3mg + DPH. Been doing it for some time since I have trouble falling asleep without it and I don’t want to get a prescription for this. It’s actually the only meds I take other than generic Naproxen (aka Aleve) for pain issues that crop up. Works fine.

    • Hi MJ
      Thanks for your comment. I do understand that people do sometimes need more or less than the ‘average’ dose for a medication, based on many different factors. I know I need more than one pain killer for example to notice any effects. Hopefully you’ve found a balance which works for you and won’t cause you any problems.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I take 3-4x the dosage of DPH (around 200mg) and drink a ton of booze, works well besides the fact that its a real trippy experience. knocks me out for 10-12 hours.

    DPH is terrible for your heart and liver but in short term use its foolproof. (provided you have a long time to sleep, otherwise you’ll be extremely drowsy during the day.)

    • Hi there,

      I’m not surprised it knocks you out! Diphenhydramine can be quite a strong sedative, especially if you take that much. And it can interact to cause even more drowsiness. I do hope you don’t plan on doing this long term, and even in the short term my personal feeling is that it’s not the best way to deal with any sleep issues you might have. It’s just not worth the risk.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • This is the post I shared in FB today and with my colleagues. I heard about melatonin from a fellow cub leader at camp- she gave her children a low dosage at night to help them sleep. I thought it was a miracle and more was better- never again.
    OK many of you know that the past few months have been the most stressful of my life. I almost let go of my faith but God did not let go of me. Anyhow over the winter I have developed terrible sleeping patterns and tend to roam from bed to bed not sleeping well at all. Anyhow I discovered melatonin and I was taking them two (5 mg)at a time to help me sleep. Recently I found 10mg capsules and was taking the same amount and probably another if I woke up 3 hours later. I have also been battling raccoons on a nightly basis- practically falling asleep in the barn while I wait. Last night I had an awful battle which left me crying, the cats cowering (my chickens alive) and the raccoon dead. I crawled in to bed at 1:07am after ingesting 3 more 10mg pills. The scene an hour later wasn’t good, I tried to get out of bed and fell( which caused peter to roar” what are you doing!) I tried to get up and fell again( by this time peter was up with the lights on- not sure how many times I went flying and hit my head, but water was also running out of every pore of my body- at this point I could not keep my face off the floor and I was convulsing – after vomiting several times and refusing 911, peter got me dressed and into the car- practically non- responsive all the way and never saw the admitting room nurse yet. Anyhow it turns out that the only case studies the Dr could find were from a hospital in Hong kong where women had tried to commit suicide by using melatonin. So I had a closing that I had to be to at 9:30 and I made it- but I am weak and my head is aching and all I can do is deal with the basic stuff today- I can’t chat- I just want to share with you what can happen when you take too much of an unregulated “natural” drug. I thought I was actually on the way out and I could not even get the words out for peter to tell the people I wanted him to how much I loved them.

    • Hi Katherine

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear you had such an awful experience, but I’m glad you pulled through, and I hope by now you’re back to normal again.
      Fortunately it very rarely happens that people have such a terrible reaction to melatonin. I guess you are particularly sensitive to its effects. That and it sounds like there was a lot of stress and sleep deprivation thrown into the mix as well!
      But your story does highlight the importance of staying within the smaller doses which the manufacturer of the particular brand of melatonin advises. It’s also important not to keep taking melatonin during the night. If you want to know more about why that just doesn’t work, have a read of this other article about whether melatonin works or not.
      All the best and take care.
      Ethan

  • I have always had trouble going to sleep and waking up during the night. I’ve had prescription medications but they make me hung over the next day. I heard about Melatonin so I bought a bottle of 10 mg I started taking 2 capsules a night and works great for me. It takes me a while to go to sleep but I sleep sound through the night and wake up feeling good. Melatonin is a great sleeping pill….

    • Hi Mark

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found the melatonin helpful, and it’s always useful to hear from people that do find it useful as well as those who haven’t. Just remember not to rely on it for too long.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Melatonin doesn’t do anything to me anymore. The recommended dosage doesn’t get me tired at all. I’m 17 years old. I’ve done my fair share of actual drugs though so that may play a part in why this doesn’t work as well for me. I can’t sleep without something though, so I take anywhere from 20-30mg each night. Apparently this can be bad I hear. I haven’t noticed anything yet though

    • Hi Carissa

      Thanks for your comment. I’m a little confused by your comment, in that if it doesn’t work any more, why do you continue taking it? Is it for the placebo effect, or do you find that the higher dose does help? Perhaps it’s impossible to say if there is a placebo effect at work!
      Have you tried looking into natural techniques instead of taking things? You might find that by making adjustments to your lifestyle and sleep pattern etc, you can improve your sleep. I recommend having a look at the section I have here on sleep hygiene. You’ll find lots of useful advice, which in my experience can be more effective in the long run than any sleep aids.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been talking melatonin for 3 months now (3mg x 4-5 pills) and have had the best sleep ever. I wake up at 4am for work and it really helps me during my off days. I have never had any “side effects”. I have taken them before too, due to work, and quit them immediately after. I have to say that melatonin is the best sleep aid I have found and would recommend them to anyone. If they cause you to have drowsiness or depression though I would talk to a doctor. I haven’t had these issues so I wouldn’t know. I would recommend 3mg to try first and the 10mg if that fails due to the fact that when I took 10mgx2 I woke up stuck to my pillow lol. Just find what works for you.

    • Hi Nonya

      Thanks for your comment. With so many negative stories from readers it’s always good to hear from someone who has found melatonin helpful.
      I think in terms of your recommendations though, people would be better to stick to the recommended dose on the particular bottle they bought, and talk to their doctor if they feel like trying more.

      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi. So I have major insomnia. I have tried many over the counter sleep aides, none that work. I have many allergies to grasses and such so the herbal world is a little worrisome. I have also many drug allergies. I am very sensitive to everything and the older I get the more sensitive I am becoming. So I have been using melatonin.. I have worked up the dosage to 3 x 10 mg. It works. it puts me to sleep within 45 mins. I think its great. But now I am nervous after reading that I could be overdosing.. I have been having some issues with nerve pain in my left foot and wondering if it could possibly be the melatonin..but I also have a lot of stress so I tend to think its more from that..not the melatonin…If I may ask how many mg of melatonin do you take?

      • Hi Adnil

        My advice would be to speak to your doctor about the Melatonin, even though it’s available over the counter in some countries. If you do have a sensitive nature, then your doctor would be able to help you decide whether it’s right for you or not, and also advise you on your dosage. The foot issue may or may not be related, and the doctor would again be able to help with that.
        Regards
        Ethan

  • I read almost all of the comments and didn’t see anyone mention melatonin gummies, only pills. I’ve had sleep issues my whole life and I’ve gone 3-5 days without sleep more times than I can count. I have a 60ct bottle of 2.5mg(each) melatonin gummies and I must say, they are amaaazing. I’ve been taking them for a couple of months now and I love them. Every otc sleep aid I’ve tried has failed to work. These gummies work! I find they take 30-45 mins to kick in after chewing them up well. Just wanted to share this since I didn’t see anyone mention gummies. I hate taking any and all pills. I probably would have never tried melatonin if my husband didn’t see the bottle of gummies at family dollar. At $5 a bottle, getting a great nights sleep and feeling fantastic waking up… it’s well worth it. I’d pay $20 a bottle. Lol

    • Hi Nicki

      Thanks for your comment. I imagine it’s possible that one or two readers were taking gummies, they just didn’t specify that’s what they were. It’s great that you’ve found something which clearly works well for you. It’s always good to hear from someone who has had a positive experience with melatonin.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi, one of my friends used melatonin but she took about 5-8 pills. The pill I have and she has are both 5mg. I want to be cautios about how many I take so that being said what amount of 5mg pills is considered over dosing? Basically I’m asking how many should I not take. If u were to take more then you say what could happen to me?

    • Hi Athena

      I think all the information you need to know about what might happen if you take more than the recommended dose is in the article. I think the best thing is to stick with the dose that it says to on the packaging.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi there. So I am 13 almost 14 year old female and I have been going through A LOT of stress lately. I also have depression through the roof and have thought about overdosing on this sleeping pill. I was thinking about taking 3 of those pills a night could that harm me? What might the symptoms be for me? Please please please respond! Thank you

    • Hi Jennifer

      I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with stress and depression lately. Rather than answering your question about how much harm 3 pills might do, I think it’s more appropriate that I try and encourage you to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. You are so young and have your whole life ahead of you, and I’m sure things will get better for you. We all go through very dark periods in our lives at one point or another, and there is generally light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s not such an easy tunnel to walk through alone, which is why I think it’s important to talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Ideally if you can talk to your parents, but if you don’t feel you can, another close family member or friend. And if there really isn’t anyone, then your doctor would also be a good listening ear I’m sure. I’m sure there are many people who would be very upset should any harm come to you, and would want to do their best to help you through difficult times. So give them a chance to help you, and you might be surprised how much support you can find.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’m 15 and I’ve had ADHD for about 9-10 years and I’ve been taking one 3mg pill every night I’m failing some of my classes at school my dad got really mad and I want to take more I’ve never thought about doing would it be bad to that please respond thanks.

    • Hi Jake

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having sleep problems and difficulty at school, on top of the diagnosis of ADHD.
      To answer your question, my personal opinion is that it’s not a good idea to take more pills. It probably won’t help you sleep any more than 3mg does or doesn’t. My advice would be to talk to your family and also your doctor. If the reason you’re having trouble at school is a lack of sleep, then there are other things your doctor might be able to recommend you try. I also recommend having a look at the sections on this website about ‘sleep hygiene’. It might sounds like a weird name, and it’s got nothing to do with being hygienic! It’s about helping yourself sleep by doing the right things and avoiding the wrong things which can affect your sleep. There is lots of useful advice there, none of which involves taking pills.
      I won’t be able to ring you I’m afraid. I respond to comments, but it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to call you personally. If you do need someone to talk to, I recommend talking to a close family member or friend who you can trust. And as I said before, your doctor too.
      Take care
      Ethan

  • Hi, this is sort of a response to the side effects of overdosing rather than a question. I had overdosed on Melatonin while ago. I was depressed, and trying to recover from a panic attack, and overdosing was my “fight or flight” response. Afterwards, I fell asleep, but only for around 5 hrs. The overdosage only caused more problems than I could imagine – I had become jumpy during the day, small hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. I was not thinking straight and was not wise enough to own up to what I did and get checked out by a doctor. The vivid nightmares continued for months, while the small hallucinations only lasted a few days, sort of like a PTSD response.
    If anyone ever overdoses on Melatonin, although not as serious as other drugs such as Anti-Depressents, get checked out immediately.

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for your comment, and your advice is very wise I think. My personal feeling is that an overdose on most things warrants getting checked out by a doctor. Whether it’s to check you’re ok medically, or to talk through the reasons behind the overdose, I think getting professional help is always an important step to take.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi Mark,

      Hopefully nothing bad will happen, but I think it would be a good idea to contact emergency services to get their advice, just to be on the safe side.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I recently had a pineal tumor removed from my brain as well as 70% of my pineal gland. Obviously I don’t have as much melatonin running through my body any longer. What would be a safe dose to take now that I have only 30% of my gland?

    • Hi Robyn

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I couldn’t possibly answer your question. The best person, and the most qualified, to help you with this is your own doctor. I recommend speaking to them about it.
      I wish you a speedy recovery from the operation.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hey, I started taking melatonin (5mg) just two days ago, I’m only 13 and I was wondering if anyone knew if taking two pills would help me achieve a deeper sleep, or just a longer one. Or nothing at all! Please answer, my mom told me to take the pills at eight o clock. But she wants me to take two, instead of one. I’ve only taken melatonin twice. Tonight will be my third. I’m a bit scared to take two after reading a lot of these comments and replies. But I’ve seen a lot of people get help so I want to give it a shot. If someone were to tell me what’s best I’d be thank full. (Don’t know if it matters but I am a boy.) Thanks.

    • Hi Wade

      Thanks for your comment. It’s a very difficult question to answer to be honest, because I don’t know your medical situation, or the reasons your mum wants you to take two. Did she get some advice from a doctor, or someone else who knows about Melatonin? My opinion would be (and it’s only an opinion – I’m not a doctor!) that 5mg is probably enough to know if it will work for you. From what I know, if 5mg doesn’t work, then 10mg is unlikely to make much difference.
      I think the best step would be to talk to your mum about it more openly. If you’re concerned, as it seems you are, then you have every right to voice your concern. So perhaps find a quiet moment when you and your mum are both relaxed and tell her you want to know a bit more about the melatonin, and what dose you should or shouldn’t take. There’s nothing wrong with telling her you’ve looked online, and have found information which has confused you. Hopefully she will understand and be willing to talk to you about it, and also look into it further herself if she hasn’t. And of course, if you have sleep problems, you can also ask to visit your doctor and speak to them about it.
      I hope that helps, and feel free to pop back if you need more advice.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’m 14, I’ve been taking them for a few months (4 pills, probably about 10mg if that’s the average) how many is too many? What will the effect be if I take 15 or so?

    • Hi A
      Thanks for your comment. Can I ask you if you have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder by a doctor? Or has a doctor recommended you take melatonin?
      I think taking 4 pills for several months is probably too much without even thinking about how much each pill is. Unless a doctor has told you that you need to take them so regularly.
      Can I ask ask why you feel the need to take 15? That’s a worrying thing to want to do from my perspective. I think it’s probably a good idea to talk to someone you trust about that. If you can talk to a parent, then great. But otherwise, try and talk to someone else in your family, or an adult that you trust about it.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve had insomnia for about 5 years. My doctor had me on Ambien. I haven’t been able to go to the doctor in several months. I tried melatonin a few years ago to no effect. I tried 3 mg before bed and it did absolutely nothing so I stopped. Recently I thought I would try again since nothing else was working. I read an article that said anywhere up to 18 mg was normal. No wonder the 3 mg didn’t work at all. Right! I started out taking 18 mg and it worked good for about a month. I could fall asleep like a normal person. Now I’m having to take about 24 mg. I bought my first bottle of 5 mg tablets the other day. I am noticing the vivid dreams, low sex drive, and depression. Which is depressing in itself because no sleep will cause a wide range of problems including depression. I’m at a loss now.

    • Hi Terri

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having such difficulties sleeping, and then the other symptoms you mention.
      My personal feeling is that if it is then melatonin causing those symptoms, then it’s probably not a good idea to continue taking it. But perhaps the best step would be to talk to your doctor and get their advice. I know you said you haven’t been able to get to them, but if you can find a way, I think it would be a good idea.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have always had trouble sleeping. I have different types of sleeping pills Restoril, Dalmane, Halcion …
    and they never worked very well. Recently I started taking 20 mg Of Melatonin at night and it works great
    I am able to get a full nights sleep without waking up all during the night and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

    • Hi Mark

      Thanks for your comment, and it’s always nice to hear that someone has managed to deal with insomnia in a way which isn’t causing them problems the next day. Remember not to let yourself become dependent on them, and wean yourself off in the not too distant future!
      All the best
      Ethan

  • well i am 12 and have a hard time sleeping so i have started taking Melatonin but i have trouble with day time drowsiness should i consider a smaller dose that will work as well and if so what would that dose be. i would very much like it if someone would reply.

    Thank you
    Breckyn

    • Hi Breckyn,

      My personal feeling is that everyone who takes something like melatonin should take the smallest possible dose which works. But at your age, I think it’s something which should be discussed with your doctor and parents. What do they recommend? Have you told them you’ve been feeling drowsy? I think it’s important you do, so they can work out how to help you in a way which won’t affect your school work, activities and day-to-day life. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about everything you experience if you’re taking medication. It’s a big part of the doctor’s job to make changes until they help you in the best way possible:-)
      All the best
      Ethan

  • I have lots of trouble falling asleep, always have. I’m almost 43 and battled it since I was preteen. I have just accepted it. Though it makes for some long days. I crash about every 18 days or so. I tried Melatonin last night. Ended up taking about 70mg 7 10mg pills. I took 2 then two hours later took three then about an hour later one more. Still crashed same time as always. Had high blood pressure today and a headache. Yes dreamed crazy stuff last night too. I don’t remember now but woke me up at 4:00 am. I am going to try to take some earlier and less tonight. Hopefully that works. I took the Kroger brand sleep aid and was up to 10 pills and thought that was no good. I asked the pharmacist and she said it was nothing but Benadryl under a different name. Yikes!! So I took about 500mg of Benadryl I guess so I think I will just go back to my stiff toddy and three shots of Jack. I give

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experiences. I think that taking less is probably a very wise move! It’s always a good idea with medication to start with a low dose and work your way up if necessary, rather than the other way round preferably! Hopefully taking less will help you sleep, and have less side effects. But if it’s doesn’t, you just may be one of the many people Melatonin won’t help, so I wouldn’t experiment with lots of different doses if I were you.
      And many over the counter sleep aids share the same main ingredients, such as anti-histamines. In a similar way that many pain killers have the same ingredients, but are manufactured by different companies, and with differing quantities of ingredients.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • As an update from my previous comment. I didn’t want to risk 30mg being too much, so I stuck with one 10mg pill and a 3mg pill. The two combined help marvelously and don’t make me feel sick, dizzy, or anything other than sleepy, as they should. I don’t know if it’s me or the pills, but when I use them, I notice I have a five-hour sleep cycle. If it weren’t for the fact that I wake up at generally five in the morning, this’d be great! I wake feeling pretty good, but still wanting more sleep, as I usually do. All things considered, 13mg seems to work wonderfully for me!

    • Hi Tristan,

      Nice to hear from you again. As you’ll probably have noticed, another reader has just added some more thoughts on your original comment. I still think you need to be careful not to exceed the dose the manufacturer states, or get some advice from a doctor about upping it. If 13mg works ok now, have a long think before you take even more in the future!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello,

    So after about a week of no melatonin I can honestly say it has been my entire problem. I sleep better, I’m not dizzy or nauseous during the day. My stomach is a tad touchy still but I’ve had a touchy stomach long before melatonin. The first time off was a complete turn around and not just because the sun was out. I had energy! I was literally skipping down the sidewalk like a 5yo with to much sugar. Everything seems clearer both visually and mentally.
    Other then an occasional touch of issues here and there(I’m guessing my hormones are sorting themselves out?)
    I’m doing 90% better than I have in a year.

    • Hi Alisha,

      That’s great news! Well done for finding the strength to come off them and see how you will get on on your own. I’m very happy to hear that you’ve got a new lease of life. Long may it continue!
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Let’s see… in all the times, though it hasn’t been many, Melatonin has either had no effect, or has gently lulled me to sleep as it should. For those times it did nothing, I considered taking more than one 10mg pill but have been too afraid. I suffer heavily from emetophobia and have this irrational fear of pills possibly causing any form of nausea and vomiting. In your personal experience, have you gotten many people who’ve actually experienced these symptoms at just 20mg?
    I’m the type of person who doesn’t generally get sick, experience side-effects, feel ill, and I haven’t thrown up in over nine years and I’d very well like to keep it this way. Would you recommend I avoid taking more than one pill unless I feel it’s absolutely necessary? Thank you very much!

    • Hi Tristin,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m not a doctor, and more importantly not your doctor, so I can’t really recommend how many pills you should take. What I would say though is that it’s best to stay within the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. And if you want to take more, discuss it with your doctor first just to be on the safe side. As for people experiencing those symptoms, I think it depends on the person rather than the specific dose. You might get the same symptoms as someone else who is taking a completely different dose, or take the same dose and have totally different experiences.
      Sorry I can’t help more.
      Ethan

      • Tristin, I have been taking Melatonin for 20-30 years. Along with Benadryl and other “natural” sleep aids. On those nights where I wake up seemingly incapable of falling asleep I will take a second tab of Melatonin and that usually helps.
        However on those nights where sleep will not come or return, I learned long ago it is better to “rest” than to not sleep at all.
        I also use meditation to find that calm region in my mind that for many the active mind keeps them awake.
        I have never had any “reaction” to Melatonin. So far I have never heard of anyone who has….

  • I’m 13 and super stressed out about my day tomorrow. I took a mouth dissolving melatonin strip about 4 and a half hours ago. I fell asleep for an hour or so but I had to wake up to pack for my flight in the morning. Will it hurt me if I am to take another strip? I’m fine with feeling drowsy the next day.

    • Hi Julia,

      Sorry it took a while to reply to your comment, it’s not possible to reply to questions which need an immediate answer. Anyway, for anyone else reading who has a similar question, or if you find yourself in the same situation again in the future, it’s unlikely that taking another melatonin tablet in the middle of the night will help much. It’s meant to help regulate your sleep cycle, and doesn’t work in the same way as most other sleeping pills which may knowck you out any time you take them.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • For the last year I’ve been pretty sick off and on. The year before I had been getting ready for my wedding, working out, eating well(sometimes not enough). After my wedding I went back to eating normally, and also taking melatonin more often. Anywhere between 1-3mg. My wedding was in July and by August of last year I started getting sick. Nausea, vertigo, tired ALL the time, more forgetful and, anxiety and heart racing also I gained about 15 pounds. I was still taking melatonin but probably around .5-1 mg because even .5mg would make me feel groggy and I just thought that meant it was working. Fast foreword of many doctor visits, anti nausea medicine, allergy medicine, anxiety medicine(severe panic attacks) and a perfect bill of health according to 3 separate doctors. I read an article yesterday about melatonin and weight loss and did some research. Usually I’m good about my research but with all the mixing articles on melatonin I still thought it was safe. I had no idea that it could be the cause to all my problems and I have my fingers crossed that it truly was.

    I went my first night without it last night and I had a terrible time falling asleep(I’m pretty sure my body is addicted). But even though I slept pretty off and on and I’m sleepy today I don’t feel nearly as bad waking up as I do on melatonin. Keep in mind I was also sleeping 9-10 hours a night which I think is the only reason my symptoms got ‘better’ these last few months because I would out sleep the melatonin in my system but even then I would go to bed at midnight and get up at 10am dragging myself out of bed.

    Again fingers crossed but I’m hoping this is my ‘tiny’ problem I’ve had all along.

    • Hi Alisha,

      Thank you for your comment. Sorry to hear you’ve been having such a difficult time. I hope for your sake that the issues can be dealt with as simply as by stopping the melatonin. Only time will tell I guess, and I’d love to hear back from you in a few days to see how you’re getting on – if you have the time and inclination to share your story more.
      Even if it isn’t the melatonin, then perhaps you could at least take strength from that fact that you’ve got the willpower to stop taking something you may have become dependent on. And that same strength and willpower can be harnessed to find other ways to deal with the stress, anxiety and other symptoms.
      Stay positive and be strong!
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Hello,
    I took Ambien CR 12.5 mg for about 10 years. I felt I was out of control because I couldn’t sleep without it but I was also forgetting things, sleep eating (I’ve gained about 30 lbs) So last summer I decided to go cold turkey… I have not taken Ambien since.
    I do however take melatonin on a nightly basis. I took 2 10 mg to start but as I grow accustomed to that I kept increasing the dose to the point that I am taking 12 10 mg a night. I never knew it was not safe, can you tell me what can happen at this dose and is it truly dangerous? I thought this would be safer than the Ambien. Thanks for your input.

    • Hi Tina,

      Thanks for your comment. Well done for coming off the Ambien. That’s a strong sleep aid which shouldn’t really be used long term.
      As for the melatonin, it’s not my place to advise you on whether that dose would be safe for you or not. I’m not a doctor, and more importantly not your doctor who knows your entire medical history. What I will say though is that even though people do take melatonin in large quantities sometimes and seem to be ok, my personal opinion is that it’s best to stay within the manufacturer’s recommended dose. And if you want to take more, you should discuss that with your doctor. I’d try reducing the dose to the normal level, and see if that still helps you sleep. And I’d also have a look at all the sleep hygiene techniques you can try. You seem to be a strong-minded person, so maybe with some lifestyle changes and positivity you can come off the sleep aids altogether:-)
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan, I have been taking melatonin for about 3 months or more because I use to stay up for days at a time then sleep for hours and hours. I was taking z quil but it didn’t work very well. I started out taking 1 5 mg a night then it progressed until I was taking 6 or 7 5mgs a night. When I ran out I bought the 10mgs and took about 4 of those and now I take 5 10mg a night. The past few nights they haven’t been working and ive been waking up a lot during the night and very early in the morning and I can’t go back to sleep. I know now that my dosage is wayyyyy to high, and I’ve been experiencing mood swings such as depression, and sadness and now I know why. But I thought melatonin was supposed to regulate my sleep and wake cycle? I realized over my few months of taking it that if I dont take it i will be awake until the early hours of the morning. what should I do?

    • Hi brittanie,

      Thanks for your comment. The main point I can make is that melatonin tablets aren’t something which anyone can rely on to take on a permanent basis. Like any sleep aid, the best way to use them is just for a short period of time to help fix a broken sleep schedule and give you some stability again.
      I would recommend trying some natural techniques to regulate your sleep pattern. There are so many practical things you can do to try and improve your sleep, I always believe it’s worth giving that a shot. You can have a look at the main article about sleep hygiene, and I also suggest having a close read of the section on sleep schedules.
      I hope that helps!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • So last night I took four pills and I’m not sure if melatonin comes in more than one form but the ones I took were the powder capsules. About ten minutes after I did so, the capsule must have dissolved leaving just the powder, none of which have completely passed through my throat apparently because I began to choke on the thick, nasty powder! It was all at the back of my throat, so I’m over here choking, trying to breathe, drinking water trying to swallow it all. I had no idea what was happening because I had never taken a large dose of a powder type capsule before so I didn’t know such a thing could happen. The water didnt help, the powder had covered the back of my throat causing irritation and I threw up quite a bit. I did sleep, not when as early as I was hoping but I did also traumatize myself for the night.

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear you had such an unpleasant experience! I guess your story is a good reminder for other readers to make sure you take any pills with plenty of water to wash them down.
      I hope you don’t feel traumatized for too much longer because of this.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Hi. I’m 14 years old and I took around 25-30 5 mg tablets last night around 11:30. Did I overdose? If so, is it still worth it to seek medical attention?

    • Hi Taylor

      By the time you read this, you will probably have had any serious side effects if you were going to have them at all. If you’re feeling in any way unwell, then I would definitely seek medical help. But I would also consider talking to someone about the fact that you felt the need to take so many pills. Whether that is family or a medical professional, it’s a good idea to get some help for the sleep problem you might have, or whatever reason led you to taking so many pills.
      Take care
      Ethan

  • Nice article, but I am quite surprised that not a single person (unless I missed it), or the article mentioned FOOD.
    A lot of medications seem to work better or faster on an empty stomach, but melatonin is one that has increased effects if taken WITH food.

    I can take 10mg to 15mgs on an empty stomach and get no effects at all.
    But as small a dose as 2mgs with food, and I’m sleeping soundly within 30 minutes.

    Also, you have to go to bed. If you aren’t asleep within 30min to about an hour at most, you’ve missed it. So take the melatonin with food and go ahead and lay down within about 30 min (or sooner). Even if you don’t really feel drowsy. I bet you fall right to sleep.
    Hope that helps someone :)

    • Hi amethyst777

      Thanks for your comment. Can I ask where you found the information about melatonin working faster if taken with food? I haven’t heard that before, so was wondering if it’s your personal experience, or if you have read somewhere reliable that that’s the case.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi xx,

      As I’ve said to many previous readers, it’s probably the case that melatonin just isn’t going to help you, no matter how much you take. My advice would be to try an alternative sleep aid, or look into sleep hygiene techniques to see if you can sleep better using self-help techniques.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Ethan,
    Thank you for this article. However, I have a few questions.
    I am an 18 year old youth, 6’3 and 170 lbs. I’ve been self-medicating melatonin for about 5 weeks, after a bout of suicidal ideation that landed me in ER. I started on about 5mg a night, but it worked less each night. I’ve steadily increased my amount to about 110mg… This is considered dangerous, I’m assuming from your reactions to other comments. However, I feel no change–positive or negative. Any assistance with my insomnia, and an explanation as to why my body seems to have some sort of immunity to this supplement?
    Brian

    • Hi Brian,

      Thank you for your article, and I’m very sorry to hear about your recent experience. It must be a very difficult time for you, and I hope that you find a way to get through this period.
      To be honest, I imagine that melatonin just isn’t right for you. It only works for some people and in some situations. You might be better off trying a herbal remedy instead. And for the insomnia I highly recommend looking into self-help techniques, otherwise known as ‘sleep hygiene’. If you have a look at that article, you’ll find loads of useful and practical advice.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I take 1 capsule of melatonin 3mg every night, can I take 3 capsule every night? for pass recovery of my insomnia?

    • Hi Sarah,

      It’s not my place to give advice on how many tablets you could safely take, sorry. My advice would be to take no more than the recommended dose in the instructions. If it doesn’t work, then probably it’s not the right sleep aid for you, and taking more wouldn’t help.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I usually take 3mg to 5mg of melatonin depending on how i feel but sometimes the side effect of daytime drowsiness lasts me all the Way into the next night. I’ve tried taking less melatonin doesn’t help me sleep.

    • Hi Jacob,

      Thanks for your comment. It could be then that like many people, melatonin just isn’t quite right for you. Have you tried any herbal sleep aids? There are plenty of alternatives you could try which might not give you that drowsiness the next day. For example, you could try Nytol herbal or kalms.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking melatonin for 5 days now and only worked one night. And the only reason I think it worked was because I was extremely tired that one night. Should I up the dosage??

    • Hi Dan,

      It’s not for me to give advice on increasing your dose I’m afraid. Especially as you didn’t say how much your first current dose is, so I can’t even speculate on whether you’re operating within what would probably be considered a ‘safe’ dosage range or not.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • It’s funny, I remember taking a 1 or 3mg pill the first time I’ve ever taken any supplement for sleep. It knocked me out in 10 minutes and kept me out. Since then(7 years), high school, sports, college sports, and finally graduating college a year ago have happened. In those years I was put on and trialed many sleep aids(all sorts of otc stuff, ambien, lunesta, a/d’s, benzos, and a few other hypnotics). Now I am here many years later just wishing that small dose of melatonin would work again. Initially starting a hypnotic is awesome and seems to work great. But even that feeling was not as warm as the effects of when I first tried melatonin were. Don’t ask for anything prescribed unless you truly are desperate, even then seek other forms of help beyond a gp. That being stated, if melatonin works for you, don’t try to find something else. The least invasive can go a long way and save you years of sleeplessness if it works. -A sleep warrior.

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your comment, with your very wise words and advice which are clearly born from experience. I think you’re absolutely right about trying everything possible before going on to strong sleep aids. That’s one of the reasons that I have such an epic section here on sleep hygiene. I think once you’ve experimented with stronger sleep aids, it’s difficult to benefit from the more subtle ones like melatonin, especially if you have quite severe sleep problems. If only more people were aware of how much that you can accomplish simply with lifestyle and behavioral changes.
      All the best with your sleep warriorness!
      Ethan

  • Hi ethan
    Ive been taking melatonin gummies for about a week and a half and have now developed a rash on my back neck and chest. I stopped taking it last night when should I expect the rash to go away?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Sorry it’s taken a few days to reply – not very useful in your situation, I know! I imagine you now know whether it will go away or not. If it’s still an issue, then I would definitely talk to your doctor about it, just to be sure.
      If you get a moment, it would be great to hear from you again and to know that you’re ok.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I love Melatonin. Its the only over the counter sleep aid that works for me. It does cause me to have incredibly vivid dreams, but they’re usually awesome. I always wake up well rested and its great. I highly recomend it.

    • Hi Dalton,

      Thanks for your comment, and it’s good to hear from someone who has had a good experience with melatonin. And that you don’t mind the side effect of having those vivid dreams.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • This article worried me. I have an autoimmune disease (CIDP) and am coming off opioid meds so I was put on clonodine (a blood pressure tablet – but only a low dose as my BP is a LITTLE on the low side). I haven’t been able to sleep so I took melatonin for the first time last night. It says that it contains melatonin 6X but I have no idea what that means… It says on the bottle to take 3-5 tablets half hour before sleep. I only took 3 and was sleepy within 15 minutes. I had the best sleep ever… But had vivid dreams… I never usually remember my dreams. I need sleep as im sick of these withdrawal symptoms from taking opioids. I’m really tired but can’t sleep and its not bed time yet… I was thinking of trying one to see if I can fall asleep and when I wake up later which I know i will… Take another 2. Is this a bad idea…???

    • Hi Lara

      Thanks for your comment. The 6x melatonin usually means it is a homeopathic preparation and is to do with how much it has been diluted. Most sources say that this means it will have considerably less melatonin than other tablets would do.

      The thing with melatonin is that it’s meant to help regulate your natural sleep cycle. So taking it in the evening before going to bed might help some people, but I’m not sure how helpful it will be to take some again in the middle of the night, especially if it’s a really low dose.

      It sounds like as much as anything, you might benefit from working on ways to develop a different mindset where you don’t go to bed thinking you’re going to wake up a little later. I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s really important in my opinion for improving your sleep naturally and more long-term.

      My advice would be to stick with just trying the melatonin once when you go to bed, and not reaching for them again if you wake up. In fact, you might find this article about waking up in the night helpful.

      All the best
      Ethan

  • Hello……I have been laying here for a few hours worrying about my friend who has trouble sleeping so she decided to take a melatonin based sleep aid. It is called Natrol Advanced Melatonin Calm Sleep. Each pill contains 25mg of L-Theanine and 6mg of Melatonin. She took 10 pills at one time. So that cones out to 2500mg of L-Theanine and 60mg of Melatonin. What immediate adverse side affects can come from this. And is that a fatal dose. I’m a grown man but I am so scared right now and I need some type of advice on this. Then You.

    • Hi Eric,

      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply, but unfortunately I’m not able to respond immediately to comments such as yours, where if there is any serious risk involved, my advice would possibly be useful in the moment.
      It’s also not really my place to speculate on the possible effects of individuals taking large doses of any medication or combination of substances.
      Presumably by now your friend has either slept it off, or had some side effects and then dealt with them either alone or through medical help. And that would be my advice for anyone who is worried about something they’ve taken – seek medical attention immediately.
      Having said that, all I can say is that 60mg of melatonin is not known to be a dose which will have severe effects on everyone. Some might react to it, but not everyone. As for the L-Theanine, it’s not something I know a lot about. I’ve just had a look around online now, and it seems to be that there isn’t much known generally about the possible effects of taking a very large dose. At least nothing which can be conclusively said.
      Hopefully your friend will be ok – let me know what happened if you like.
      Regards
      Ethan

      • She woke up after a looooooong period of sleep lol. She is OK now but did have a melatonin hangover for a little while. Her appetite is low and she is kinda having some clinical depression issues but she is fine. I’m monitoring her and taking note if there are any changes. I appreciate your advice and concern.

        • Hi Eric,

          I’m glad to hear that, thanks for letting me know. It does sound like a visit to the doctor might be a good idea still. But it’s great that she obviously has a good friend there for her in you. Social networks are one of the most important ingredients for dealing with any kind of mental health issues.
          All the best and I hope she’s ok.
          Ethan

  • I haven’t had to much just the 2mg tablet, but feel very tired mid morning. Should I take the tablet earlier so it has more time to go through the body. I take it at 9pm and go to bed at 11pm.

    Very helpful article very enlightening.

    Thanks

    KO

    • Hi Kay Owl

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I think if you’re taking just 2mg and feeling tired mid morning when you take it at quite an early time of 9pm, then there are several possible explanations:
      1) the melatonin is having some effect on you which is lingering into the morning.
      2) the melatonin isn’t really helping, and you’re tired because you’re still not sleeping too well.
      3) something else is causing you to feel tired.

      I think it’s very hard to say which it is. If you’re feeling drowsy or groggy, then it would be easier to think it’s a sleeping pill. But if it’s the same kind of tiredness as you feel if you haven’t slept well, then it could just be that that’s it – you haven’t slept well!

      Perhaps try taking it earlier. And also try not taking it at all and see if you have the same feeling of tiredness.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Excellent answer Ethan.

    I would be more worried about how and why the child was able to gain access to any pill/medicine/supplement.

    Please make sure your guns are locked away where no child can access them. Do not use a key/lock safe. Keys can be found. More importantly when the child it 4 years old take them to the gun range and let them watch you destroy a watermelon.

    The bang will immediately enforce the idea they should not touch. It is a lack of parental responsibility when it comes to child gun safety and child related gun accidents.

    Why do I mention this here? Because you were not thinking about the child’s access to the melatonin and I have learned if a mistake can happen at that level it can happen at any level.

    Children do not think like adults, do not expect them to understand like adults. While we (hopefully) learn to accept the mistakes of others and use that knowledge to prevent the same mistake in our lives, children are a hands on learn from personal mistakes situation.

    A parent telling a child “Don’t touch it is hot!” means little to a child that does not understand the meaning of hot. But a personal experience burnt fingers immediately reinforces why you should not touch.

    That is how they learn. If adults were as well learned as we are supposed to be, how do we explain the last 70 years of trusting politicians over and over again with the same disastrous results?

    • Hi 5WarVeteran

      Thanks for your comment, even though it goes a little off topic!

      I’m sure the mum has already thought about what can be done in future to keep things out of the way of her daughter that she shouldn’t be touching. But in all fairness, people do make mistakes, and kids can be extremely good at finding their way into places they shouldn’t venture! Perhaps in this situation it’s the mum who is burning her fingers on the child’s behalf and taking necessary precautions for the future.

      I like the idea of keeping potentially dangerous items locked in a way which doesn’t involve keys. Whether people have the resources or motivation to organize such a thing in their house is another matter!

      Regards
      Ethan

  • My two year old just got into our bottle of melatonin and ate about 5 of them is she going to be ok she went to sleep within 5 minutes

    • Hi there,

      It’s not really my place to speculate on the potential result of your child taking those pills I’m afraid. I would suggest speaking to a doctor, though I imagine by the time you read this, you will have decided what to do long before. And
      So the only real advice I can give you is to do what I would hope is obvious to you after this and ensure that all medication is kept safely out of her reach in future.
      I hope she’s fine.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi Angel,

      It won’t work for everyone, and I think if a small to medium dose doesn’t work, it’s unlikely a larger dose will. If you still need something to help you sleep, I suggest trying something different – maybe even a herbal tablet containing Valerian for example.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hnahh.. My girlfriend was quite worried for mean few nights ago when I took eight (Natrol) Melatonin tablets… Which would amount to 40 mg. Nothing happened to me. I tend to do this a lot.. Take any number (never over eight) a night. I feel it helping and working… But is this going to cause any long-term problems..?

    • Hi Zoidion

      Thanks for your comment, and you’re definitely not alone in taking larger amounts of melatonin, nor in not having any problems from doing so. As for the long-term problems, it’s impossible to say as there is still no definitive answer to that question. Researchers are still looking into that, but we just don’t know yet. So my advice would be not to over-do it, and also look into natural techniques for improving your sleep, which come under the umbrella label of sleep hygiene.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • My 5 yr old girl has very hyper tendencies and for the first 4 1/2 yrs she did not sleep more than 4 hrs a night which really was getting to me as I have 2 other children..one who is 2 yrs younger than her..my other 2 children sleep fine and always have..I starting giving her melatonin as the Dr said they couldn’t do anything until she was in first grade..I started her out with 2.5 mg and that had no effect…I gradually increased this each week until we got to 30 mg…this amt seemed to work the best as it takes her only an hr and a half to fall asleep after taking it..I was told today that I am giving he too much..that she should only have 2mg a night and that 30 mg is too high even for an adult..I don’t know what to do now..this seems to be the only way to get her to sleep at night…I have been a single mother for two years now and work full time…I cannot do four hours a night..she doesn’t seem to have any bad effects on her but I’m not sure if I should continue this since I was told she is taking way too much…what should I do?

    • Hi Emmy,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear you’ve had such sleeping difficulties with your daughter.
      To be honest it’s not my place to give you advice on whether or not you should give melatonin to your children, or how much. That’s really between you and your doctor. My advice would be to tell your doctor how much melatonin you’ve been giving her and ask what they think about it. They are the best person to tell you whether it’s a safe amount or not. It does seem like a high dose for a child, just going from what is usually recommended. If you think about the dosage that manufacturers say you should take, it’s well below 30mg. My advice would definitely be to get some medical advice on the melatonin.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • My son has aspergers and takes .2mg of clonodine a night.. When he is out I give him between 12&15mg of melatonin. He is with me at all times.. He does not sleep as soundly. But he does thankfully sleep. Without it he would stay up days on end.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s good that you’ve found something which helps your son sleep. Hopefully though it won’t have to be a permanent thing, and that in time you can help him sleep well without any sleep aids! That would be the ideal situation, as I’m sure you know.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Ethan, Well I am as gray and as bald as I should be soo even no wrinkles does not mean much . . LOL! However as for the safety 31 years ain’t bad . . .
    I also went on line to find any reports of side effects and there are none other than the conjectured “possible” side effects.

    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      Well, I didn’t think you were telling me you still looked like a twenty year old! But no wrinkles is still good going…
      As for the side effects, well the short-term side effects are possible because some people have experienced them. Though to find out the statistics, you of course need to read medical journals to see the exact numbers of people who experience any given side effect for any given medication, and at what dose and in what conditions.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Ethan, I was in the NAVY and a light sleeper from PTSD. The navy would only allow benadryl and because melatonin was a “supplement” it was considered a vitamin and they said nothing about it. I also have worn earplugs to sleep since then as well. All since 1983. I got the PTSD in a combat outfit in the USAF from 74 to 1980.

    I research everything and really needed sleep. I worked with DARPA in the Navy and had access to all sorts of research and melatonin popped up way back then.

    • Hi again Mike,

      That explains it a bit better then! I thought there must be some unusual circumstance back then for you to be taking melatonin. Thanks for popping back and explaining. I still think taking melatonin long-term is an unknown, with no research published on the long-term safety of it. But if you’re convinced that it’s responsible for your youthful looks and heath, then I’m not surprised you don’t mind taking it still! It’s still a risk though until more research is published. Perhaps you know of some current research that you could point me in the direction of?

      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been taking Melatonin every day for the last 27 years. YES 27 years. I also am taking benadryl for that long as well.
    I never get sick I do not have allergies and have seen no “side effects” other than aging and guess what I do not have wrinkles at age 57.
    My wife also 57 has skin that looks like old worn out socks. She does not take either . . . .

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your comment – though I hope your wife never reads this article!
      You must have been one of the first people taking it, even before it was patented as a sleep aid! I’d be interested to know what got you started taking it.
      It is known to have some anti-aging properties, so your story is definitely interesting. But why have you been taking Benadryl for so long?
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I bought Nature Made 5mg Melatonin gummies to try, since I’ve had mild success with melatonin in the past and my therapist recommended it. I took the recommended dose for a few nights, then increased it when it didn’t work. Eventually I figured it has no effect on me, so I stupidly just ate the rest of the bottle (as its like candy) which totaled about 100 mg. That extra high dose seemed to make me drowsy, but it could be a coincidence. I slept for about 2 hours…but I guess this means that melatonin might just not be right for me…

    ….but I can’t take most other sleep aids due to contraindications.

    • Hi Taj,

      Thanks for the comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been having sleep problems and can’t find anything which helps by the sound of it. It could have been a coincidence, or just psychological. It’s impossible to say.
      If you can’t take sleep aids, have you tried herbal remedies? They don’t work for everyone, but some people have success with them. And of course you always have the option of sleep hygiene, which to be honest is potentially much better in the long run than any sleep aid!
      All the best
      Ethan

  • When I’m really having troubles sleeping, I feel like I have to take the entire bottle to get some rest. 42mg in one night was the most I’ve ever done.

    • Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for the comment. It could be though that if you’re having to take so much, it might not be the right kind of sleep aid for you. Have you thought about trying something else instead? You don’t want to go from feeling like taking the whole bottle to actually doing it!

      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello! I took 3 tablets once, before reading this. Nothing happened. Also, ever since taking melatonin, I haven’t had any dreams at all.

      • They were 5 mgs apiece, and only slightly. They always turned into nightmares if I didn’t wake fast enough, though. If I take enough at once, I don’t have to take it for the rest of the week. Melatonin hangover gets really bad. But then again, I like the feeling.

        • Hi Ashie,

          Ok, I guess nightmares is something you would want to avoid! With hangovers being another thing. Perhaps Melatonin just isn’t for you.
          Regards
          Ethan

            • Hi again,

              Ok I see. Well, I guess it’s up to you to decide what works and what doesn’t taking into consideration the various positive or negative effects it can have on your sleep.
              All the best
              Ethan

  • Hey, so I enjoyed your article but I wanted to ask a question. I’m a third shift worker that takes 5mg a night. 7 days a week for 5+ years. Are there any negative side effects that come from long term usage? I saw you recommended some people to not use it for an extended period of time.

    • Hi Perry

      Unfortunately the long-term effects of taking melatonin are still unclear. The reccommendation not to take it long-term comes more from a general point of view that sleeping pills shouldn’t be used long-term, not matter what type they are. Beyond that, I guess it’s a personal decision whether to take something long-term if researchers haven’t yet provided clear information about what could happen. My advice would be to speak to your doctor about it, and also have a look at all the basic sleep hygiene techniques which you could put into place. If you have a stable shift patter, then you may be able to find a way to sleep naturally by developing good sleep habits. It may even be that you find you don’t actually need the melatonin and that you sleep fine without it!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I started taking Melatonin because of breast cancer. Some doctors recommend to take it for relax and better sleep. I took 3 – 5 mgs each day for more than 6 months and after reading your article got confused. Should I stop it? I have only stomach cramps after taking Melatonin and feel a little bit dizzy after 30 min. I had info that Melatonin also works as Antioxidant. Am I in trouble since had Melatonin for more than 6 months?

    • Hi Yelena

      Thanks for the comment. Did your oncologist or doctor recommend it specifically to take on an on-going basis? The best thing would be to discuss it with them if you’re concerned. It’s not uncommon for people to take sleep aids for very long periods of time, even though it’s not the best thing for you. If you get stomach cramps and feel dizzy I’d definitely talk to a medical professional about it.

      All the best if you’re continuing to undergo cancer treatment.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • It would seem that Melatonin doesnt work that well for me. Yes i know sounds dumb. I have taken 100mg at one time and i still cant sleep. And i havent had any noticeable side effects. I need something that will help me sleep. Off 100mg i got 3 hours of sleep and then i was right back up agin. So lying here trying to sleep I looked at your report. I took it at 10pm got to sleep by 2am and back up at 5am. Ya this sucks.

    • Hi Mike

      It could just be then that your particular sleep problem is one which isn’t solvable with Melatonin, or that you’re one of the unlucky people who it won’t help even if it does for others. I would suggest giving up on the Melatonin, especially if you’ve taken so much and not found it helps. Perhaps look into a different sleep aid instead of melatonin, of which you do have quite a lot of choice.
      Hope you get some sleep soon!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • i just took 9mg of melatonin then saw that the recomended amount is only 1mg!
    Im worried i might hurt myself? do i have anything to be worried about? thanks

    • Hi Ralph,

      It’s unlikely that anything terrible will happen to you, though you might experience some side effects from taking it. But by the time you read this reply, you will know that for yourself!
      If you’re worried you can always talk to your doctor about the amount you should be taking to put your mind at ease.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan,

    Thank you for this article, it’s been really helpful :) I was prescribed Melatonin a few days ago (2mg) and so far it’s been working really well! The only issue I’ve had is that I’m having really vivid dreams which aren’t very helpful because I struggle to tell the dream apart from the reality (an issue I had before hand, I’m being treated for SAD and ‘morbid’ depression, I’m 15) so is there anything I can do to try and stop the dreams?? Thank you

    • Hi Julia,

      Thanks for the comment, and I’m glad you found the article helpful. Sorry to hear you’ve found a useful sleeping pill, but at the same time is causing your problems. I would say that if you were prescribed it, probably the best thing is to talk to the doctor who prescribed it. The vivid dreams might stop naturally, or you could just be unlucky and you’ll always react that way. And it could be that it’s interacting with another medication you may be on. Maybe they will reduce the dose, as even smaller amounts can still be helpful, or they may take you off it. That’s between them and you.
      Otherwise, you can have a look at this article explaining how to stop nightmares. But it may be that for all the advice in there, the only thing that would stop them is stopping the thing which is causing them.
      Hope that helps
      Ethan

  • I’ve been on the pill for a while now. And I started at 3mg and then went to 6 mg and now I’m at 10.. But the one I’m taking now gives off 5mg the first few hours then the rest later on. However tonight I took two 10mg pills.. Is that okay?

    • Hi Pearce,

      Thanks for the comment. It’s not really for me to tell you whether it’s ok or not to take a certain type or quantity of melatonin. I doubt it will do you any great harm, but if your intention is to continue with the increase in dose, I would recommend talking to a doctor about it, and getting their opinion on how well you will tolerate it based on your personal medical history. And it’ll also give you some peace of mind.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I am a kid with ADHD and an ASD, I am taking other mood-altering medications. I have been taking an increasing dose of Melatonin every night for 5 years. I started at about 3mg and now I am taking 10mg every night. It’s very relieving to read this article, seeing as I’ve had many daytime worries that I’m going to end up in the hospital. I read a comment here that said that the writer had to go tothe hospital due to dizzyness. I’m confused because I am taking other medications that cause dizzyness, and I only have a sudden burst of dizzyness when I stand up, and I black out for a second. It goes away right after that. Odd, seems like everyone’s experiences are different! Well, thank you for the article Ethan. Hope you have a great day.

    • Hi William,

      Thank you for the comment and sharing your experience. That sounds like a very long time to be taking melatonin – is it prescribed by your doctor, or have you been getting it over the counter or online?
      As for the dizziness, there could be lots of causes. I occasionally have it and am not taking any medication at all, in my case I believe it’s the sudden loss of blood pressure from standing up too quickly after a long period of sitting or lying down.
      If it happens regularly then I would get it checked out by your doctor.
      Dizziness is a possible side effect of lots of different medications as well, which is another reason it’s important to be monitored by a doctor to ensure they are not interacting in a way which causes you problems. And you are right in that people can have different reactions to medication.
      Anyway, my advice to you would be to talk to your doctor about the dizzy spells, and the melatonin you’re taking (if they are not the one prescribing it). This will hopefully put your mind at ease as it’s not nice to spend your time worrying that you’ll end up in hospital. And of course, they can double check that your health and combination of medication is all being taken care of properly.
      Have a great day too:-)
      Ethan

  • I think you should do a little more research on Melatonin and the new findings. Also check in on a Dr. by the name of Dr. Pierpaoli. Considerable progress has been made during recent years in the research of melatonin and melatonergic signaling.

    • Hi Carol,

      Thanks for the comment. Which new findings are you recommending I take a look at? Some specifics would be very helpful. I do know of Dr. Pierpaoli, being a melatonin expert and also someone involved in the creation of a particular melatonin tablet.

      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’m 14 and took 6:5mg tablets while I took 24:200mg ibuprofen pills the day before… could that make the pill act differently? Melatonin:30 mg ibuprofen:approx 5,000 mg

    • Hi,

      That’s a really large amount of ibuprofen to take at once. I strongly recommend not taking that much again, and talking to someone in your family. I don’t know why you took so much of course, but whatever the reason, I personally think it would be good to communicate with someone you trust about it.

      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi David,

      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. I assume though that you would have done the right thing and taken your child to A&E to ensure they were OK. I hope nothing serious happened.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • ok so I was told to take 6 of Melatonin so I took 6 tabs witch turned out to be 6 6mg tabs so a total of 36mg of Melatonin a night for the last 6 months maybe more and now have had a host of problems once I quit taking it not sure how long it is going to take to get out of my system two weeks and counting any one have any ideas please help

    • Hi John

      It should be out of your system by now – especially as I have been slow to reply to your comment! Hopefully you’re OK and not worrying about it any more.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’m only 16, and I take 30mg or melatonin every night. About three days a week I have to take two pills, so that’s 60 mg and I have had no problems besides being drowsy for about a half hour after waking up. However, if I wake up and have a cup of coffee the drowsiness goes right away. I am also in anti depressants and other medications not listed as a problem above, and none of these side effects seem to be happening to me besides drowsiness and very vivid dreams(which I view as good thing, but if you are prone to nightmares I can see where that would be bad). Anyway, my point is if you suffer from any kind of sleep disorder, I would definitely try melatonin before any other heavy insomniac drug, for I have had no trouble with it at all, and without it I would never sleep. Sometimes you don’t even feel that you need to take them. I have a very addictive personality and I have had no trouble with these at all.

    • Hi Rhianna,

      Thank you for you comment and sharing your experience of Melatonin. That does seem to be quite a high dose. Are you self-medicating, or was it prescribed to you at that dosage?
      Whilst I agree that Melatonin can be helpful for some people, I think it’s important to note that it will only work for some sleep problems, rather than any kind of sleep disorder.
      It is good to hear from people who have had good experiences with Melatonin though, so thank you for sharing your story.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking 10mg of melatonin for sleep. Last night I also took 50mg of diphenhydramin along w/ t/ melatonin. I woke up with an awful “melatonin hangover.” I almost had to leave work early. I was real dizzy, drowsey, and sick to my stomach. I honestly thought I was going to pass out and have to go to the hospial. The dizziness lessened but I still felt like my head was full of sand for the rest of my shift. Have you heard of this happening before?

    CB

    • Hi Craig,

      It’s very possible that the combination of two things which can cause sedative effects is what led to the problems you had. They can both cause dizziness and drowsiness, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they left you feeling strange. It’s never a good idea to mix sedatives unless under medical advice.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been on melatonin now for quite a few years, when I first started taking it a few years back it worked perfectly. But now it’s not working at all :(. What would really happen to me if I took more than ×6 of my actual dose? Would I die? Would it make me really ill? I’m so confused :/!

    • Hi Leonie,

      It’s not really for me to try and predict what would happen if you took that much, and it’s impossible to say. My advice would be to speak to your family doctor and see what they recommend in terms of finding a dose which helps you. It may be that after so long, assuming you’ve been taking it continually, you’ve developed a tolerance to it. Or possibly your sleep problems are now such that melatonin wouldn’t be the right choice of ways to tackle it.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • one time I took 3 or 4 and I went to sleep and it was the most vivid dream. it felt like it actually happened. it was pretty cool. I was in Bora Bora. laying out on the beach. holding a girls hand. while drinking scotch. I have never felt more at peace and calm. I’ve thought about taking one pill every night. just because how good I feel that night and the day after.

    • Hi theblocktvinc,
      I can understand the sentiment following such a nice dream! But I personally wouldn’t advise taking Melatonin for that reason.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been taking about 5 mg a night for some time. Within 2 weeks of starting it, I stopped having panic attacks, and in fact, I find that I am rarely anxious. I have been battling anxiety and depression since I was 22; I am 49 and in menopause. My doctor was about to double my antidepressant, but it hasn’t been necessary, and I have to say, this is the best I have felt in a very long time.

    • Hi Suzie,

      Thanks for your comment, and it’s great to hear a positive story like this. It’s interesting that Melatonin has had such an effect on you. Do you think you have been feeling better because you’ve been sleeping more due to the melatonin, or because it has directly impacted on your anxiety and depression? I would be interested to know what your thoughts are.
      Regards,
      Ethan

  • Thank you so much for this article! The information given was very helpful in my case. I’ve heard a lot of people say melatonin helps them sleep soundly and wake refreshed. I bought a bottle and didn’t pay attention to the mg. I followed the directions on the bottle and woke up dizzy and exhausted, despite getting 8 hrs of sleep. Really freaked me out and I felt awful. Turns out I got 5 mg capsules and that’s way more than a first timer needs to start with. Just relieved to know why I felt so off!

    • Hi Andrea,

      You’re welcome, and I’m glad you found it useful. As I said in the article, it’s difficult to know exactly where the line is between the ‘right’ amount and too much. I’d be really interested to hear how you got on with a lower dose following your comment. If you have the time to come back it would be interesting to know if a lower dose produced the same feelings for you, or if you were ok with it.

      Many thanks
      Ethan

  • hi I am about 14 and have taken melatonin since I was 8, I haven’t had any side effects to 3 to 6 mg and it still helps,so are there any hidden side effects.

    • Hi Bobby Joe,

      I think I have listed the known side effects. Have you been taking it every night then for the last 6 years, or just from time to time when you need it?
      Regards,
      Ethan

  • I took 170 mg of melatonin at once a couple nights ago, what’s going to happen to me? I won’t do it again.

    • Hi again,

      I imagine nothing is going to happen, especially if it was a couple of night before you wrote your comment (and now quite a long time ago since I haven’t been able to reply to comments recently – sorry!). If you are still following this thread, then you can of course always talk to a doctor if you are worried about anything you have taken, or planning to take. It might help set your mind at ease.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • I took 170 mg of melatonin at once a couple nights ago. I still took a very long time to fall asleep. I’ve never taken a pill that has had noticeable effects (Prozac, Wellbutrin)…..I guess I didn’t take this seriously enough since I expect pills not to work..? I was pretty tired the next day but I couldn’t tell if that was because of the melatonin or if it was how I normally feel (probably the melatonin). It’s weird to me that a pill I can’t feel can have so many dangerous side effects. I’m 16. This is ridiculous. I won’t do it again.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment, and I definitely recommend not taking so much again, though it sounds like you don’t need any recommendation not to.

      The thing with side effects and medication is that there is very often an extensive list of side effects for most medications. This is because of the legal obligation of a company to warn people of all potential side effects which arose when the drug was tested and in subsequent use. But it certainly doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who takes a drug is going to experience the same, if any side effects. So I wouldn’t worry about it. But I also wouldn’t take that much either:-)
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been taking 10mg every night. I dont have most of the side effects beside the fact i have recently woken up in my sleep and I am completely confused of where I am and what are my surroundings. I feel like I am in another place that is not familiar to me. Then I stumble around to find a light and everything’s is fine again. I am not a couple different medications and I am not sure if that’s the cause. I have been taking this dose for more then 5 months.

    What should I do?

    • Hi Stephen

      Thanks for your comment. I’m a bit confused by the part where you say “I am not a couple different medications and I am not sure if that’s the cause.” I’m assuming you meant to say you are on a couple of others. The best thing to do, as far as I am aware, if you ever feel unsure about a medication you are taking it to talk to your doctor about it. If you have a serious reaction, then obviously call the emergency services. But if you are having less serious side effects, then you can talk to your own doctor at a normal time. Or of course you can just stop taking the melatonin and see what happens. If you continue having the confusions when waking up, then it might be an indicator that one or more of the other medications is causing it.
      All the best
      Ethan

    • Hi John

      That really is quite a lot. Can I ask why you decided to take so much? And if that much hasn’t done anything for you, then you can probably assume that no amount is going to work for you. Maybe have a word with your doctor to see what they recommend.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Melatonin made me sick! I was taking a low dose to help me sleep.. About a week after I started taking the pill, I started to get real dizzy while at work. Another week and I could barely function at work because the dizziness and constantly feeling like I was going to black out. Finally I went to my doctor only to find out he had no clue what was going on. I had to have an echocardiogram and wear a halter monitor for 24 hours. By the time they started all these tests, I had already stopped taking the melatonin. Slowly the dizziness went away on it’s own. All my tests came back fine, but I continued to suffer from lack of sleep. The doctor never confirmed that it was the melatonin, but it was the only new medication in my life. For the record, the doc never denied it was the melatonin either. Am I just a strange case?

    • Hi Misty

      Thanks for taking the time to share your story. The problem with testing sounds like something I’ve experienced – when you have tests done because of a medical problem, but you’ve already stopped doing whatever it was that you thought might be causing it. It makes it quite tricky to give you any firm answer much of the time, and probably the reason the doctor couldn’t confirm either way.
      It’s your choice whether to try it again – under medical guidance – but it sounds like you already know enough.
      I don’t think you’re necessarily a strange case, no! Dizziness etc is such a common symptom, with so many possible causes. It doesn’t mean you’re strange.
      I hope you don’t experience this again, with or without the melatonin.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’ve been taking 40-60mg of melatonin nightly for the past five months after seeing a neurologist to help with my inability to sleep well on my own even though I get tired. He recommended I take around 5mg max, which did nothing to help me. I have CPAP machine, sleep in a dark room with no distractions and only the sound of a fan. It’s rather frustrating when I take as much as 60mg and still don’t even become the slightest bit drowsy.

    • Hi Joey

      Did you read the other article on Melatonin which discusses the situations/sleep disorders it’s most useful for? I assume you’ve had good medical advice, but it’s possible that melatonin just won’t help you, no matter what dosage you take. It’s not like most sleeping pills which are designed to relax you, or knock you out. It only works in certain circumstances, and even then not for everyone. So you may want to have another chat with a doctor if you still feel that you need something extra to help you sleep.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • What about melatonin for children? I have an eight year old that has been having problems falling asleep at night. Once she’s asleep she’s good but it’s just the general falling asleep she has problems with. Although last night she slept for 4 hours. Went to sleep at eight and was awake for the day at Midnite.

    • Hi Andrea

      You’re not alone in considering Melatonin as a sleep aid for kids. It is quite a controversial topic though, and one which I wrote about in this article. The idea being that I wanted to explore the reasons for and against giving Melatonin to children. You may find that useful.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been taking 25mg each night. Having trouble sleeping since my husband died. I have not had any adverse side effects yet.

    • Hi Kathy

      I’m very sorry for your loss.
      Thanks for adding your experience of Melatonin – it’s very helpful to hear what readers have to say about it.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • can you cite your sources for the risks stated. I am having a tough time rationalizing and understanding risks for IBD listed above from taking melatonin when I read where melatonin has been researched for various IBD.

    • Hi

      I’m assuming you’re talking about some of the research in the last decade which has shown that melatonin may help people with a variety of gastrointestinal problems. I don’t discuss that above because the article was intended to be about people taking melatonin for sleep-related problems.

      I had a look after seeing your comment and from the research it seems that the current situation is still that more studies are needed to confirm whether or not Melatonin is an appropriate treatment for gastrointestinal problems. There is a good journal article about that here which you may find more helpful to read as it is specific to your topic. In addition this journal article might be useful to you.

  • Hi Ethan,

    This is a great piece of information about the effects of Melatonin. Especially because my boyfriend and I have problems with sleeping, and we are also considering having a baby. We are not very keen to take pills, but we were considering trying Melatonin.

    Now that I read your article, I might not use it. But still it was good to know more about this hormone.

    thank you, and keep writing!

    • Thanks for your comment and compliments Violeta. Life can be definitely be complicated when you have two aims which might conflict. So I am glad you are a little more aware now of the possible side effects Melatonin can have. It’s up to you and your boyfriend to balance the risks or either taking Melatonin or continuing to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation.

      If you don’t want to take pills, there are natural ways to work on your sleep problems. I highly recommend you have a look at our extensive section regarding sleep hygiene. I know many people feel they’ve heard it all before. So that’s why we have tried to compile a much larger resource than you might normally come across on the internet.

      And on a lighter note, you may also find the following article interesting. I’m sure you can guess from the title why…

      Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? – The Natural Insomnia Cure

      • Hi Byron

        To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure. After reading your comment I had a look at the research and there is nothing I can find which pinpoints it one way or the other. Magnesium, as you obviously know, is known to sometimes cause diarrhea when used as an ingredient in pills (as in all otc melatonin pills). So you may be right, but I can’t find anything to answer your question definitively.

        Ethan

    • Hi I’m 14 I think I have depression. I have trouble sleeping so i take 10mg to 15mg which Is 2/3 pills. I never had an issue until the night before last. I had done my nails and decided to go ahead and take some pills. Then I did yoga for an hour or so but I felt like I was out of my body. Almost like i was high. And it’s 4:50am now and I haven’t taken any pills but my stomach hurts and I can’t sleep. I have ADHD so I take pills for that. What should I do ? Plz answer back.

      • Hi ok I know I have already sent a message but I am thinking about takeing some more because I feel like shit. And if u will just plz respond back wen u can. I’d appreciate it is like to know if 2/3 pills are back for me. And if this will make my self harming worse. Ok I cut so will taking melatonin make any of that worse? Plz respond

        • Hi Sky,

          Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so bad and having sleep problems. It sounds like you have a lot going on and a lot to cope with. Unfortunately I’m not the right person to give you advice on how many pills you should or shouldn’t take, nor on how it might effect you. But I would say that if you have stomach pain, it’s probably a good idea to get that checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

          My advice would be to speak to someone about your questions regarding melatonin face to face, if you have someone you can trust. Your parents would be a good starting point of course, and your doctor. If you are taking other medication, then I think it’s a good idea to ask your doctor if it’s ok to also take something like melatonin. Even if you can buy it over the counter, it’s still good to make sure it’s ok for you.

          You may also find that there’s not much point in continuing to take more and more melatonin if it’s not helping you sleep. It doesn’t work for lots of people, because it doesn’t help all sleep problems. So you might just find you get more upset because it doesn’t do anything for you. Taking more probably won’t help you if the dose you’ve been taking hasn’t already helped.

          Again though, I think your first step could be to talk to someone you trust, and your doctor:-)
          I hope that helps.
          Ethan

      • hey I’m viva and Im 14 also. I wanted to sleep this one night because my family was arguing and i couldn’t take it. i take 3mg but i took 5 that night and same with me i feel like i’m high during the day only last for a couple hours but still this is my 3rd day and at school it happened out of no where. I dont know what to do.

        • Hi Viva

          Thank you for your comment. Again, you may find melatonin doesn’t work right for you. This is because it is only believed to work for some sleep disorders. If you just want to sleep, but don’t have those sleep disorders, it probably won’t work. But you might still get some side effects like feeling strange during the day.

          I think the best thing would be to talk to someone about how you feel. It could be that you are feeling upset by things at home. And that can stop you sleeping well. Hopefully you can talk to your family about how it makes you feel when they argue. And if not, talk to someone you trust. It’s better to have it out and spoken than sitting in your head and worrying you.

          Take care
          Ethan

      • Hey just read your text ,I also deal with being depressed, and have trouble sleeping, will say a prayer for you, watch taking those pills, di

        • I Will pray also. You can get through it. I’m going through a rough patch. I just took 18mg. So we will see.

    • Hi. I have been taking 5 mg of serotonin every night for 12 months. It is prescribed by my doctor. I have a cyst on my pineal gland in my brain , which had been causing terrible headaches. I have been headache free for 12 months now, thanks to the melatonin. I am sleeping much better and my moods have stabilised. I find that I am unable to drink alcohol or caffeine or the melatonin doesn’t work.

      • Hi Lyn,

        Thank you for your comment, Sorry to hear you’ve had such problems. I’m glad that you found something which helped though. Did you find that taking the melatonin also affected your sleep, either directly or indirectly by easing the headaches?
        All the best
        Ethan