Aside from the natural hormone in your body, a synthetic counterpart of Melatonin is available in drug stores. Not to mention, this medicine is very important and widely distributed in the United States. But on the negative side, can someone truly get addicted to Melatonin?
Can someone Get Addicted to Melatonin?
No. Surprisingly, Melatonin does not cause withdrawal or dependence unlike other sleep medications. In like manner, it also does not cause sleep “hangover” nor might build up tolerance.
Even though there is no report to verify that it is addictive, care must be taken when using it. In spite of being a naturally occurring hormone supplement, the drug is not free from possible risks. Moreover, Melatonin is an over-the-counter drug.
For those reasons, it is still better to consult your doctor first.
Melatonin Side Effects
In the first place, Melatonin is a sleeping aid. Which is why, drowsiness or sleepiness is one of the main effects. Side effects take place if you take in more than the recommended dosage. Still, such scenarios may also occur even if you use it according to the prescribed dose.
Below are the enumerated side effects. The common side effects are formatted as bold
- Low blood pressure
- Mild tremor
- Reduced alertness
- Stomach cramps
- Temporary feelings of depression
For fear that you might experience the ones listed above, do not drive when taking Melatonin. In case side effects are observed, consult your doctor.
Inform your physician as well about what drugs or supplements you have been taking along with Melatonin. The severity of your side effects may be due to this. It is also equally important to know the dosage you have been using. Hopefully, the doctor might provide an intake amount more suitable for you.
As with other drugs, dosage is a key factor to get the desired results.
As a matter of fact, too much Melatonin will interfere with your body clock. Whereas administering too little might not give you the wanted effects such as sedation. By the same token, if taken with other sedatives, it might result to you being a lot sleepier.
Dosage varies from person to person. It mostly depends on age, weight, and your usual response when taking medications or supplements.
1. Dosage by the numbers
The general population buys the opioid at the dosage range from 0.1 to 10mg. Further, this does not present any adverse effects. And yet, such intake amount is not suitable for all.
Be careful because the Melatonin available in the market contain much higher doses. As what was stipulated before, high doses are not good for you. Remember, you already have Melatonin in your body. So it is suggested to indeed take low doses at the beginning.
To explain, the principle in deciding the best amount of the medication is for you is to begin administration with a small dose. Then sooner or later, you slowly increase to get your desired effect.
The general starting dose ranges from 0.5 to 5mg. As for adults experiencing insomnia, 3 to 5mg might be enough while 0.3 to 1mg usually works for the older counterparts.
2. Jet lag
If you are experiencing jet lag and are struggling with adjusting to a new time zone, do not take Melatonin yet. A better alternative would be to remain awake upon arriving at your destination. You are allowed to sleep during night time at your new time zone.
Frequency of use
How frequent you take the drug also contributes to its effectiveness.
Olakunle J Onaolapo and Adejoke Y Onaolapo, in their research, claimed that repeated intake of the drug might disrupt your natural body rhythm that could potentially affect the effectiveness of the supplement.
Melatonin’s Mode of Action
Melatonin is a hormone in your body that helps you sleep. To clarify, it is not Melatonin that drives you to sleep. In other words, it assists you by placing you in a “state of quiet wakefulness” during the night.
In essence, it regulates your sleep-wake cycle by putting you to sleep at the right time.
The Pineal gland, also known as the epiphysis, makes and releases this hormone into your brain. In due time, it will send messages to your body to regulate biological functions.
The hormonal release is only at certain times of the day. Moreover, amounts of this hormone is much more when it is dark at night. More specifically, the hormone levels increase two hours before you sleep in the evening.
This hormone also is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Among its other biological functions, it also regulates body temperature, blood pressure, immune function, mood, ovarian cycles, and puberty.
Melatonin is used to help people with the following problems, namely:
- Developmental disorders in children such as autism spectrum disorder
- Delayed sleep phase
- People working at the night shift who have difficulty sleeping at night.
- Jet lag
2. Melatonin Levels
Not much is produced when there is light outside such as in the morning.
The further you age, Melatonin levels may decrease. Not only that, but lower Melatonin levels are also seen in some diseases such as diabetes type 2, dementia, mood disorders, cancer, and severe pain.
Certainly, Melatonin has sedative effects. However, it will not cause euphoria, unlike when you abuse other drugs. Therefore, it is safer compared to other drugs that help people to sleep.
Summary and Conclusion
Melatonin is not addictive. Although this may be true, this supplement may still present bad repercussions.
For the most part, this medication is a sleeping aid. Hence, the side effects associated to it are related to sleepiness. To name some common ones: dizziness, drowsiness, headache and nausea.
Achieving the right dosage means you get the desired results while also avoiding side effects. Generally, 0.5 to 5mg is the most commonly used dosage range by the overall population.
Furthermore, it is commonly used to help people overcome insomnia probably because they work at night shifts and have trouble sleeping at night
Finally, please do not overuse Melatonin. Finally, kindly recommend this to a relative or friend who is currently taking it.
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