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 often supplements of melatonin are utilised to treat sleep issues.
Our sleep cycle can be interrupted for various reasons such as jet lag so often it is prescribed as a drug to be used to regulate the sleep/wake cycle particularly when someone is traveling. However, long-term use can have health consequences so that it needs to be used with care over long intervals.
Some of the common side effects of melatonin usage include the following:
Reduction in concentration and endurance levels particularly when driving or doing any sort of mechanical or strenuous work.
Increased heart beat.
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 doctor. Those that are pregnant or are expecting pregnancy or breastfeeding should also avoid taking melatonin unless advised by a physician.
The side effects of melatonin with any of these conditions can interact poorly with other medications or create other health problems. If you don’t see any positive effects when taking melatonin following a period of one to three days you should stop taking it well or seek advice from your doctor. It is only advised for adults and children should not be given melatonin.