Melatonin is a natural compound produced by the brain in the pineal gland. Darkness stimulates the release of melatonin and it’s at its highest in the blood prior to bedtime. It has antioxidant properties so frequently supplements of melatonin are utilised to treat sleep issues.
Our sleep cycle can be interrupted for a variety of reasons such as jet lag so often it is prescribed as a medication to be used to regulate the sleep/wake cycle especially when someone is traveling. However, long-term usage can have health effects so it should be used with caution over long periods of time.
Some of the common side effects of melatonin use include the following:
Reduction in concentration and endurance levels particularly when driving or doing any kind of mechanical or strenuous work.
Increased heart beat.
Sleepiness during the day.
Nightmares or confusion or sleep walking.
Nausea or giddiness.
Weakness and listlessness.
Anyone who’s taking drugs like blood thinners or anticoagulants, diabetes medicines, immuno-suppressants or birth control pills should consult their doctor before taking melatonin. If you suffer from depression, epilepsy, disorders of the immune system or have kidney or liver problems, you should get advice from your physician. Those that are pregnant or are anticipating pregnancy or breastfeeding should also avoid taking melatonin unless advised by a doctor.
The side effects of melatonin with one of these conditions can interact poorly with other medications or create other health problems. If you do not find any positive effects when taking melatonin after a period of one to three days you should stop taking it as well or seek advice from your doctor. It’s only advised for adults and kids shouldn’t be given melatonin.