What are the Risks of Taking Melatonin?

Melatonin is one of several natural sleep remedies. Because the body contains its own means of natural melatonin production, sleep problems can be mitigated by supplementing with high quality melatonin.

Healthy sleep is very important for your overall health. Here are the health risks associated with taking melatonin, however, especially if it is taken in large doses or for an extended period of time. Some of the potential risks include:

  1. Daytime sleepiness. Taking too much melatonin can cause drowsiness and make it difficult to stay awake during the day. This can mess with your sleep schedule and be counterproductive in the end. 

  2. Headaches. Some people may experience headaches as a side effect of melatonin dietary supplements.

  3. Dizziness. Melatonin can cause dizziness or vertigo in some people.

  4. Nausea. Nausea and other digestive issues are also possible side effects of melatonin supplementation.

  5. Hormone imbalances. Melatonin is a hormone, and taking it in large amounts can disrupt the natural balance of hormones in the body, disrupting our natural sleep and wake cycles.

  6. Interactions with medication. Melatonin can interact with some medications, including blood thinners, medications for diabetes, and some antidepressants.

It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before taking melatonin to discuss the potential risks and benefits and determine whether it is appropriate for your individual needs. They can also assist with deciding the amount of melatonin you should be taking.

Is it Safe to Take Melatonin?

Melatonin supplements are generally considered safe for short-term use when taken as directed. However, it is important to keep in mind that like any supplement or medication, there may be potential risks and side effects associated with melatonin use.

For example, taking too much melatonin has health risks. It can cause drowsiness during the day, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other side effects. Melatonin risks in the long term may also affect hormone levels and interfere with natural sleep-wake cycles.

It is also important to purchase melatonin supplements from a reputable source and follow the recommended dosage instructions carefully.

Will Melatonin Improve Sleep Quality?

Melatonin can improve sleep quality in certain circumstances. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body and helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. 

Studies have shown that melatonin can help improve sleep quality in people with insomnia, particularly in people who have difficulty falling asleep. Melatonin can also help improve sleep quality in people with jet lag or shift work sleep disorder by promoting sleep at the appropriate time in the new time zone or work schedule.

However, it is important to note that melatonin may not be effective for everyone and may not improve sleep quality in all circumstances. Additionally, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional before taking melatonin, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

What are Other Natural Sleep Aids?

Sleep hygiene is incredibly important. And if you find you’re going through bouts of insomnia or broken sleep, melatonin, or other natural supplements, can be beneficial to course correct.

There are several natural sleep aids that you can take to promote more restful sleep. Here are some examples:

  1. Chamomile tea. Chamomile is an herb that has been used for centuries to help promote relaxation and sleep. Drinking chamomile tea before bedtime can help you feel calm and ready for sleep.

  2. Valerian root. Valerian root is a natural supplement that has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. It is available in pill form.

  3. Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that can help promote relaxation and reduce stress. Taking a magnesium supplement before bedtime may help improve sleep quality.

  4. Lavender. Lavender is a plant that is known for its relaxing and calming properties. Using lavender essential oil in a diffuser or applying it topically to the skin may help promote sleep.

  5. Exercise. Regular exercise can help promote better sleep, but it is important to avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as it may have the opposite effect.

  6. Relaxation techniques. Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation can help promote relaxation and reduce stress, which can improve sleep quality.

It is important to talk to a healthcare professional before trying any natural sleep aids, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

What to do if You’re Having Trouble Falling Asleep

If you are having trouble falling asleep, here are our top sleep hygiene tips to start implementing immediately.

  1. Establish a regular sleep routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Take a warm bath, read a book, or do some gentle stretching to help your body and mind relax before bed.

  3. Avoid screens before bedtime. The blue light emitted by electronic screens can interfere with sleep. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

  4. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. A cool, dark room can be more comfortable and less disruptive for sleeping.

  5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, and limit alcohol consumption.

If you continue to have trouble falling asleep, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional. They may be able to recommend further strategies or treatments to help improve your sleep.

How Can You Support Your Natural Circadian Rhythms?

There are several ways to support circadian rhythms, which is the natural 24-hour cycle that regulates various biological processes in the body, including sleep-wake cycles. Here are some strategies to support circadian rhythms:

  1. Establish a regular sleep routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, can help regulate the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.

  2. Get exposure to natural light. Exposure to natural light during the day can help regulate circadian rhythms. Try to get outside and expose yourself to sunlight first thing in the morning or anytime throughout the day.

  3. Avoid screens before bedtime. The blue light emitted by electronic screens can interfere with circadian rhythms. 

  4. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help regulate circadian rhythms and improve sleep quality.

  5. When in need, use natural sleep aids. Natural sleep aids such as melatonin may help regulate circadian rhythms and restore sleep quality.

By supporting circadian rhythms, you can improve your overall health and well-being, as well as reduce the risk of sleep disorders and other health problems.

Are There Benefits to a 20 Minute Power Nap?

When you’re really struggling with sleep, there can be several benefits to taking a 20-minute power nap.

  1. Increased alertness and productivity. A short nap can help increase alertness and improve cognitive function, which can lead to improved productivity.

  2. Reduced stress and fatigue. A power nap can help reduce stress and fatigue, which can lead to improved overall health and well-being. 

  3. Improved memory and learning. Research has shown that a power nap can help consolidate and strengthen memories, as well as improve learning and retention of information.

  4. Enhanced mood and creativity. A power nap can help improve mood and creativity, which can lead to better problem-solving and decision-making abilities.

  5. Reduced risk of accidents and mistakes. By reducing fatigue and increasing alertness, a power nap can help reduce the risk of accidents and mistakes, particularly in jobs that require high levels of attention and focus.

If you’re feeling sleep deprived, consider taking a 20 minute power nap to mitigate some of the discomfort of getting through your regular day unrested.

It is important to keep in mind that while a 20-minute power nap can be beneficial, taking longer naps or napping too close to bedtime can interfere with nighttime sleep and disrupt circadian rhythms. It is also important to find a quiet and comfortable place to nap, if possible, and to avoid caffeine and heavy meals before napping.

Can Melatonin Help with Jet Lag?

Taking melatonin can be very helpful in managing jet lag. Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder that can occur when travelling across multiple time zones, which can disrupt the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. 

Research has shown that taking melatonin supplements can help alleviate the symptoms of jet lag, particularly in people who are travelling across five or more time zones. Melatonin can help reset the body's internal clock and promote sleep at the appropriate time in the new time zone.

If you are planning to use melatonin to manage jet lag, it is important to take it at the right time. Melatonin should be taken in the evening, at the appropriate time for your destination time zone, to help promote sleep at the appropriate time in the new time zone.

Short-Term Use of Melatonin

Melatonin is an effective natural sleep aid when used appropriately. Mitigate insomnia and get a good night’s sleep with targeted melatonin supplementation. And to avoid any associated risks, always speak to your healthcare provider before using melatonin. 





Pascoe Canada does not offer health or medical advice as we are not a healthcare practitioner. Please speak with your healthcare practitioner before beginning any program related to nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical, and/or wellness. All content published by Pascoe Canada is developed through collaborating with licensed medical professionals and contributors. This includes text, graphics, images, and other material on the website, newsletter, and products (“Content”). This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The content does not substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always do your own research on whether this is for you along with your healthcare practitioner advice. Always consult your healthcare practitioner prior to using specific herbs because you might have underlying conditions that need professional care. The content is general in nature and is subject to change. It is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

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