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The Dark Side of Melatonin

  • 4 min read

Melatonin has earned its popular spot in medicine cabinets all around the country. It is inexpensive, easily accessible, and typically considered “safe” to take. Melatonin entices those who would like to avoid prescribed pills for sleep. However, that doesn't mean that melatonin is as safe as we predict it to be. 

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that the body produces to encourage and regulate sleep. This hormone is released by the pineal gland, a pea-sized gland in the brain. As melatonin naturally peaks in the human body around age 5, the production of melatonin begins to decrease over time. By the age of 60, it has been found that you could have as little as 20% of the melatonin levels that you once had. Because many people struggle to sleep and stay asleep, they turn to melatonin to help with their sleeping disorders. Melatonin is sold without a prescription as a sleep aid and, it can be purchased in capsules/tablets, children’s gummies, adult gummies, or as a liquid. Over the past several years, the use of melatonin has increased significantly, and it has become one of the most popular “natural” supplements that parents give to their children. 

How is melatonin affecting adults and children?

When you don't get a good night's sleep the first thing that comes to mind is to grab the melatonin. When it is bedtime, what parents long for is for their kids to go to sleep. Not only do parents want their children to rest, but they also want to get some rest and time to themselves. So it is understandable that parents reach for melatonin when their kids are trying to fight bedtime. Despite common perceptions, melatonin can cause next-day drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and mood swings. Excess melatonin can also induce hypothermia, cause hormonal problems and promote liver issues in men. Because melatonin is a hormone, it can disrupt children's puberty progression, disrupt menstrual cycles, and impede normal hormonal development. 

Recent research on melatonin 

According to a study conducted in 2022 by the Sleep Foundation, U.S. adults who take melatonin, do it 211 days out of the year. An average of 38.6 % of U.S. adults take melatonin every single day. The usage of melatonin has increased by 425% between the years 1999 - 2018 among U.S. adults. Although melatonin supplements have been thought to be “relatively safe” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements as strictly as over-the-counter drugs. This is why a majority of the labels on melatonin supplements contain dramatically different amounts than those stated on the bottle. A market analysis conducted in 2019 by Global Smart Sleep Tracking found that melatonin supplements in the U.S. may include 347% more melatonin per dose than what is on the labels. Only 12% of melatonin products’ actual melatonin quantity is within 10% of what is advertised. This same study found that more than 71% of melatonin supplements had at least a 10% difference of what was on the product label. The most shocking product contained 478% more melatonin than advertised on the label.

What happens to your body when you take melatonin? 

It is important to note that results may vary based on age, gender, and length of consumption. In adults, impacts on mental and physical health may be noticed within 7 days of taking melatonin. People who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, may have other impacts and side effects from taking melatonin. By taking melatonin every night, it is very likely that you will throw off your sleep cycle in the long run. Although melatonin is not thought to be addictive, just like any other sleep aid, it can create the need for you to feel dependent on it every night for a good night's sleep. If you decide to stop using melatonin, it is possible that you may experience side effects when your body is trying to rebalance itself back to its normal sleep cycle. Additionally, extra precautions should be taken if: you are pregnant or breastfeeding, use birth control pills, have an autoimmune condition, are undergoing dialysis, or are taking blood pressure medication. 

A safer and more effective alternative to melatonin

At Sol Nutrition, we treat the issues at the root cause. Sleep Deeply is a balanced herbal supplement that helps your body produce your own melatonin naturally, to help regulate your own natural sleep cycle. Unlike other sleep melatonin pills that can leave you groggy and disrupt your sleep cycle, Sleep Deeply takes a different approach. By supporting your body's natural production and regulation of melatonin, it helps you achieve a blanched sleep cycle, without the unwanted side effects. With this harmonious herbal supplement, you can say goodbye to being drowsy or oversleeping. This unique supplement helps you rest when you need to, without interfering with your daily routine. Whether you take it during the day, or at night, it gently guides your body into a state of relaxation ensuring you a restful sleep experience. 

The bottom line 

If you notice yourself experiencing sleep challenges, try to adjust your sleep setting for a better night's sleep. Check out our blog for tips on how to sleep better and sleep longerIf you are struggling to get a restful night's worth of sleep, it is okay to look for remedies. If you are experiencing sleep difficulties, and are considering taking melatonin, we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider, to ensure the best recommendations.

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