How does Melatonin work?
Melatonin's main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep. Light decreases melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake. Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. It is thought that adding melatonin from supplements might help them sleep.
Are there safety concerns?
Melatonin is safe for most adults when taken by mouth short-term or applied topically. It can cause some side effects including headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness
, stomach cramps, and irritability. Do not drive or use machinery for four to five hours after taking melatonin.
Melatonin should not be used in most children. Because of its effects on other hormones, it might interfere with development during adolescence.
Do not take melatonin if:
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- You have high blood pressure.
- You have had a seizure.
- You have diabetes.
- You have cancer.
- You have depression.