What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a type of hormone that is produced naturally in the human body and the pineal gland present in the body synthesizes it. Melatonin is associated with the circadian rhythms of the body and can induce sleep. The effect of Melatonin is higher at night and bright light can influence it causing damage to your sleep cycle. The human brain releases the melatonin in the bloodstream at night when it receives messages that it is dark and time for sleep. After release, the melatonin starts its action and helps the body in understanding whenever it is time for sleep and when to wake up.

The use of Melatonin as a supplement has increased in the current time because of our overly disturbed sleep cycle caused by many external factors. The supplement melatonin is mostly used to deal with issues like insomnia, jet lag, and also at times for Alzheimer’s and cancer.

There are many known benefits of consuming melatonin supplements but there are still questions that are being asked if melatonin is safe to use. There are questions regarding the correct and safe dosage of melatonin as well.

Benefits of Melatonin

There are many benefits of the use of Melatonin. The right amount of dose helps your body to achieve a deep state of sleep and prevents you from waking up in the middle of the night very frequently. Melatonin induces sleepiness and decreases the amount of time needed for you to fall asleep. A proper melatonin supplement has multiple benefits and the common of them are mentioned below:

  • Helps in Proper Recovery- When you have a good sleep, you tend to recover well and melatonin can help you to adjust your sleep cycles with the natural circadian rhythms. To recover properly from any health issues, along with proper medication you need to sleep quite well and melatonin helps you with that.
  • The Shift in the Sleep Cycle: Melatonin can help you to reset your sleep cycle and this changes your sleep and wake-up time. Changing your sleep cycle with the help of a melatonin supplement can prevent you from feeling jet-lagged.
  • Works As a Strong Antioxidant: The melatonin supplement also works as a strong antioxidant and helps the body get rid of harmful free radicals that have the potential to destroy cancer-causing cells in the body.

The Right Melatonin Dosage

Before consuming a melatonin supplement, it is necessary to find your correct dosage. This will help in maximizing benefits as well as avoiding side effects. It is to be stated that there are no such official standards to the right dose as it is considered a dietary supplement. But there are many scientific pieces of research available that would guide you on safe and effective dosing. Follow the below guidelines to understand your perfect dose.

General Guidelines

If you want to consume melatonin supplements in general, then consume one dose about 90 minutes before bedtime. The actual dose for the following factors is:

  • To Enhance Recovery: If you want to recover from your current health issues and want to have more productive sleep then you can take about 2 to 5 mg of melatonin.
  • Shifting of Sleep Cycle: Melatonin supplement can also help to shift the time you go fall asleep and wake up. This can be done to avoid jet lag or to start waking up early. You can start with a dosage of 0.5 to 1 mg and at the same time, you must also monitor your sleep like the time you are asleep and the time you wake up.

After deciding which dosage to proceed with, you also need to follow the below guideline. They will also help you to get an estimate of the effective dosage for you.

  • Age: As you grow, your dosage must also be increased and within your dosage range. Like a 20-year-old may need 3 mg for recovering while a 40-year-old may need 5 mg for the same problem.
  • Weight of the Body: Normally the dose must be towards the end of the recommended dosage range for you if your body weight is more. For example, a person weighing 130 lbs might need 0.5 mg to change his sleep cycle while for the same purpose a person weighing 220 lb might need 1 mg.
  • Trial and Error: The above-mentioned guidelines must help you in understanding the proper and correct dose. Or you can simply go with the plain trial and error process. You can use the estimated dose for 1 to 3 nights and you can increase and decrease the dosage as per your experience. If you don’t get any results then you can increase the dosage and if you experience side effects then you can decrease the dose or quit.

Side Effects of Melatonin

The dose guidelines have been created to minimize any chances of side effects. But you must remember and recognize your side effects which can help you be alert in time. The common side effect which considered minor are:

  • Altered sleeping pattern
  • Tremendous headache
  • Horrible and illogical dreams

Also, the rare side effects include:

  • Itching
  • Increase in the heart rate
  • Heavy head
  • Continuous mood swings

How To Avoid Side Effects

To avoid any sort of melatonin side effect, you need to have patience and stick to your prescribed diet. Let go of the more is a better mindset as it leads to overdose. It is advisable to start with the lowest effective dose and increase only with precaution and only if required.

How To Deal With Side Effects

In the case of melatonin supplements, any type of side effect that you experience is temporary and can subside once you decrease the dosage. But if you continue experiencing side effects after decreasing dosage, then you must quit using the supplement.


This article explains in detail melatonin, its appropriate dose, side effects, etc. You can follow the guidelines mentioned for a proper guide on how to use melatonin supplements.