Side Effects Of Melatonin You Weren't Expecting

Have you battled some sleepless nights with melatonin supplements? You're not alone — melatonin is commonly used as a more-natural sleep aid that is largely regarded as safe. However, there are some side effects you may not have been aware of.

A big part of melatonin's safety rating is due to it not having withdrawal symptoms or causing dependence (via Healthline). It also hasn't shown serious short-term negative effects, however more research is needed on possible long-term effects.

Some common side effects are dizziness, drowsiness, headache, or nausea, according to the Mayo Clinic. Additional side effects may include some mild symptoms of anxiety and short-term depression, confusion or disorientation, irritability, reduced alertness, hypotension, and abdominal cramps. 

Another risk to consider when taking melatonin is the possible interaction it may have with other medications. Sleeping pills and blood thinner medications should be used with caution with melatonin supplements. You should also consult with your doctor before using melatonin if you are taking anticonvulsants, contraceptives, diabetes medications, or immunosuppressants. 

When you should avoid using melatonin supplements

It is also wise to avoid melatonin in the daytime hours, as it obviously causes sleepiness. On a related note, it is not advised to drive or operate machinery within five hours of taking a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is best used in the evening if promoting sleep during nighttime hours. 

Some sensitive groups shouldn't use melatonin without consulting a medical professional first. There is limited information about longer-term effects of melatonin in children and for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Until further research is completed, it may be best to avoid taking melatonin supplements if you are in this group unless approved by a doctor.

Overall, melatonin is a safe sleeping aid supplement for most people. There are ways to increase your melatonin levels naturally by keeping a regular sleeping schedule and limiting your screen time in the evening hours. However, if you choose to start taking melatonin supplements, it is important to consult with your medical team if you have any health concerns.