Warning: Are You Taking Melatonin As A Sleeping Aid? You Shouldn’t. Here’s Why.

too much melatonin overdose 1mg

Sleep experts recommend taking no more than 1 mg of melatonin per day. But there are products that sell melatonin in much higher doses. 10 mg is 10x more than you should be taking.

Why? Because melatonin is not a sleeping aid. It does not help you fall asleep. It’s a hormone (naturally produced by the pineal gland in your brain) that helps regulate your sleep by tricking your body into thinking it is night-time. On average, your body produces between 0.3 mg – 0.8 mg of melatonin per day.

If you are taking melatonin supplements that are over the recommended dosage of 0.3 mg – 1 mg, or multiple pills throughout the night, then you are taking too much and it’s probably diminishing your sleep quality more so than improving it.

So taking 2 mg is 2x the recommended dosage, 3 mg is 3x over, etc..

And you know what?

There’s lot of melatonin products on the market where a single dose is several times over 1 mg. The product from the photo above shows 1 capsule contains 10 mg of melatonin!

So how can they sell melatonin at higher dosages above what the recommended amount is?

Because melatonin supplements are not regulated by the FDA. That’s why there are two asterisks ** next to the “% Daily Value” on the bottle. That is why despite it saying on the bottle, “Promotes Sleep,**” in fine print it also states, ” These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration….”.

That is also why you have to do your own research if you are going to start taking such supplements. Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe. I decided to write this article because I, myself, was taking too much melatonin until I did the research which I should have done in the first place before taking any dose. So do not take them simply because Dr. Oz or some expert said it was okay.

In fact, Dr Oz said it was okay earlier this year to take melatonin for those of us having trouble sleeping. But is was a more recent show where he had sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus, come back on the show and say that it is not okay for everyone who has trouble sleeping to take melatonin on an ongoing basis, especially not at dosages above 1 mg. In fact, Dr. Oz said himself that he was not aware of the dangers and that many health practitioners are not either.

Don’t get me wrong, I watch Dr. Oz episodes and think he provides a lot of good information and tips…but you yourself have to do some follow-up on supplement suggestions, or any drug for that matter, and research all the pros and cons of each before considering taking it or not. I also don’t take Dr. Breus’ advice as fact either until I check it myself. Here is the video series and info from the show, “Is Melatonin Sabotaging your sleep?”

Too much melatonin (over 1 mg) can cause these side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Feeling groggy and “hung-over” in the morning
  • Disruption of your sleep cycle

Fact: Melatonin does not help you fall asleep. It does not sedate you. It is, again, a sleep regulator in hormone form. Most people are taking melatonin for the wrong reasons and at the wrong dosage. If you are having trouble falling asleep because of stress, anxiety, your mind’s racing with thought, etc.. you don’t need melatonin, rather you need something to calm your mind and feel relaxed. In this case, you may want to try something like progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).

When Can Melatonin Be Helpful:

For temporary usage, up to 2 weeks, melatonin can help restore regular sleep patterns for those experiencing jetlag or a change in their normal schedule – like working the late shift.

Also, because you produce less melatonin as you age, for those over 60 and having trouble sleeping can try a low dose of melatonin and see if it helps.

There are exceptions to melatonin use and dosage as it is has been used to help patients with fibromyalgia, irritable bowl syndrome, ADHD, epilepsy, breast and prostate cancer, autism and more.

Dr. Mercola Explains The Function of Melatonin and It’s Role in Regulating Your Sleep

Recommended Melatonin Dosage For Temporary Use:

Take 0.3-1 mg of melatonin 90 minutes before going to bed. Do not take for longer than 2 weeks in a row unless instructed by a physician.

How I Take Melatonin

When I do take melatonin, I take it in liquid form because it’s absorbed faster sublingually than in pill form which first has to be digested and then absorbed into your blood stream before taking effect.

I take NOW Foods Liquid Melatonin.

I also like it in liquid form because I can completely control the dosage. I have yet to find a melatonin supplement where a single dose is less than 1 mg and sometimes I feel I do not need a 1 mg dose.

But beware! This bottle has a dropper that when filled will give you a 3 mg dose – too much! It even says a serving size is one full dropper or 3 mg. So if you visually segment the dropper into quarters or eyeball half of the dropper (which would be 1.5 mg – still too much) then half of that length, you will get a dosage of approximately 0.75 mg which is under the 1 mg guideline. I like to take the lowest dose that is effective, so I will divide that dose again and take around 0.36 mg.

Note: I recently found that Sundown Naturals Melatonin comes in a low 300 mcg dose as an alternative to liquid melatonin.

Liquid and Chewable Melatonin

Below are liquid and chewable melatonin products that can be taken in 1 mg or less doses. Both the liquid and the chewable (dissolve under the tongue), are absorbed faster than tablets. You can divide the chewable tablets in half or even quarters to control the dose.

Use Blue Light

Check out our article about using a Blue Light Therapy Box for insomnia as a drug-free, natural alternative to sleep medication.

There are lots of other supplements marketed as sleep aids (some better than others) as well as techniques and sleeping tips which I will discuss in another article about insomnia, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

Q: Have you ever taken melatonin to help you fall asleep? Were you taking over the 1 mg suggested dose? Did you experience any side effects? Let us know by commenting below.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Always consult a physician before starting any treatments and before taking any medications or supplements.


  1. I have disrupted sleep because of late night anxiety attacks. I tried everything out there, and melatonin was the only thing that worked for me. ask your doctor if it is right for you because it can be useful to the right person

    • I agree, Laura. The danger is when people purchase melatonin and the dosage is above the recommended range of 0.3-1mg. I have seen bottles of melatonin where the dosage is 10mg which is dangerously high. The best bet is to discuss your options with your doctor, like you did, to know what is best for you. A recent study has also shown that taking melatonin at bedtime helped those with chronic acid reflux, so yet another use you can discuss with your doctor.

      • My acute acid reflux stopped completely with taking BLACK COHOSH because I am 65 and started minimal hot flashes.
        I take 10 mg melatonin and have for decades. Wake refreshed and ready to go!!!

      • DANGEROUS?…..I’ve taken up to 60mg of Melatonin with no problem!!!

        • Just because you’ve taken 60 mg of melatonin and haven’t noticed any side effects yet, short or long term, doesn’t mean it’s safe for you, or anyone else at that dosage.

          Of course, there are exceptions, when under a doctor’s supervision, high doses of melatonin are warranted. As Michael explains:

          I currently take 43mg of Melatonin each night before bed, with my sleep specialist approval. I do not take it to sleep, but as treatment for REM Sleep Disorder, in which I act out my dreams. The Melatonin is effective in preventing me from acting out my dreams while asleep; hence, preventing me from harming myself as well as my wife. I am willing to take the risk at age 63, rather than jumping through a window, falling out of bed, or beating my wife.

          • Vanessa Ricciuti says

            I have suffered severe insomnia for 50 years. The Dr.’s have given me everything…Benzo’s, 1400mg of Seroquel, and now they have me on 300mg. Trazadone plus I take 80mg. of Melatonin and 2 dosages of zzzquil. It still doesn’t make me sleepy. When I do fall asleep in about 60-75 min. and I wake up at 6-7AM feeling well rested. I don’t experience the side effects listed. My Dr. has approved this. I have been to sleep clinics and they have told me I would be on medication for life. It’s awful not to be able to lay down and sleep. So don’t be so judgemental on people taking higher dosages of any drug. They tell me I am an anomaly. I went on a trip a year ago to the Islands and somehow I forgot my med’s and I was up for 3 days non-stop until I got back home. The Island pharmacy didn’t carry melatonin and zzzquil and I forgot my trazadone. I do not suffer from depression or anxiety. It’s strictly for my insomnia.

      • Doctors,? sorry, I prefer to educate myself. I’m sure there are great Doctors out-there. If you are older a low dose of Melatonin .5 to 2mg does helps you sleep take it stop for couple of months and then start again.. Melatonin isn’t produced in our senior years… I took it didn’t improve my sleep at all….

    • I am bipolar and never slept well. I take 9 mg daily and have no bad side effects and sleep well. Perhaps because bipolar people are deficient in melatonin it’s enough. I am considering increasing the dose. But this is for a bipolar person with sleep apnea, deep depression, and anxiety attacks. It seems not enough research has been done on melatonin. Without special needs I would listen and be cautious in taking melatonin. Rick M

      • Rick – How did you arrive at taking 9 mg? Was this a doctor recommendation or did you gradually increase the dose on your own until you were able to sleep well? You certainly have greater challenges than the average person who has trouble sleeping. I imagine being bipolar along with having sleep apnea, depression and anxiety would make things very complicated. I’m sure you have tried a lot of treatments. Have you tried light-box treatment which has been shown to be effective in treating bipolar affective disorder?

    • I have been takin forever 5 mg. Of Melatonin for 2 or 3 yrs. every night, along with .25 mg. Mirapex. I did take a mussel relaxer ( Soma 350). I read that it can make you lose your balance. I was always so foggy when I go up in the morning, it took some time for me to get going. It was prescribed to take 2 per day, I have never take it 1 and at night. Can I take Mirapex at night along with 1/2 of a 325 Mg or percocet? I have a back a back problem. Trouble sleeping. I’ve had no noticeable side effects.

  2. I’ve taken it before in small doses, though, when I brought up problems sleeping a few years ago at a doctors visit they were selling capsules with 25mg dosages. Reading this I now realize that was way too high, and hope that doctor has done further research into it since then. 25mg’s can’t be good.

    • Gary – 25 mg of melatonin in one dose is crazy! I can’t believe they were selling it at a doctor’s office. Just goes to show you that you have to do your own research before taking any medication whether it be prescription, OTC or natural. You have to become your own expert.

      • I used to take 40 mg a night. You guys obviously might not know how bad I’ve had insomnia before. 1 mg is pathetic for a dose for helping me sleep. Get a better sleep aid (only if you REALLY need one). Melatonin is good I guess but it’s not potent or anything. I’m a pretty severe insomniac and I can attest to it almost never being that effective for me. Maybe helped 20-30% of my insomnia the first week and after that maybe 10%? Eh, whatever. Go see a doctor and find something less harmful to your hormones and don’t follow what I did.

        • shaheena Hayat says

          I’m the same as Jacob, anything under 10mg is useless to me,even now with 10mg it’s hit and miss. I’m so tired my eyeballs hurt I just can’t sleep. I get zero side effect from the melatonin.

          • Shaheena – you might want to try this trick: when you are lying down, eyes closed, try and send the “energy” accumulated in your eyes outwards – as if you were “radiating” it or releasing it – in waves – through your eyes into the space before your eyes. It should take no effort – just keep releasing it in waves outwards.
            It is very difficult to describe, but very easy to do.
            It may help you big time.

        • U know i took 10mg my first nite trying melatonin and bout 45 mins later I felt it kick in and got a great 5 hours of sleep and woke up with energy so the next 2 nite s took another 10mg each nite b4 bed with no results so I looked on here to see how much was a high dose and every1 acts like 10mg is such a high dose it’s border line lethal so im confused ur saying u take 40+ with no problems

  3. I just started taking 5mg of Melatonin. Yes I should have done more research and consulted with my doctor…Melatonin is not for me. I’ve endured chronic headaches, dizziness, nausea, anxiety. ….ugh, bad side effects. The supplement works, but the side effects don’t work for me.
    Lesson Learned.

    • Lindsay – I take Melatonin for short-term use and only take up to a 0.5mg dosage – max. While 5mg produced bad side effects for you, a lower dose – under 1mg, may not. You could try it on a short-term basis to help you with your sleep.

    • I have 10mg of Melatonin, but split it in half, then half again…and it’s still too much.
      I only recently found out about the higher dose being risky…I have been taking it for several weeks…recently I am getting up couple times a week with a splitting headache with dizziness…the headache is almost like a migrane…plus I have noticed depression being worse also…yes it does help me sleep, in fact too much and too hard with vivid dreams..A doctor said no matter how much is said about natural ingredients, people just don’t understand there is no such thing as natural ingredients being safe or without side effects and I do believe this now!!!..I am over 75yrs old and have a very hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep…so what is there to take without the horrible side effects?…anyone know?… and thanks

      • Pat – Even after splitting a 10 mg tablet into quarters, you are still taking 2.5 mg of melatonin. The general recommendation is to start with 0.2 mg and adjust as needed. The headaches, dizziness and other side effects may go away with the lower dosing for you. And yes, just because supplements are natural, doesn’t mean they don’t come with side effects. Before you choose some other natural sleep aid, you may want to give the lower dose of melatonin a try.

        • Kevin Kuilan says

          I taking melatonin every day 10 mg for panic attack and now reading what I can do for panic attacks.

      • The best cure for sleep is cannabis.
        Speaking from personal experiance and masses of research, just google it.
        Enough said…

  4. Im so glad there is information like this on the net. I wonder now what may have happened if I took 25mg??
    That is crazy…..and scary……
    Thanks guys….

  5. I have taken 30mg every night for years. Say what you will but it helps me fall asleep with no I’ll effects.

    • Jeff – Unlike some, you may not have experienced any bad side effects from taking 30mg/day, but I would be concerned with the long-term effects of taking that much of a hormone in excess. Our bodies, if functioning properly, naturally produce 0.3 – 0.8 mg per day for sleep. Multiple studies have shown that the lower dosage works better than taking anything over 1mg. You may find you sleep just fine by taking 0.5mg/day. I’m assuming you haven’t tried the lower dose since you are used to taking 30mg?

      • Allison flynn says

        I’ve been taking 10 mg for 2 years. I’ve been buying it online as my dr would not prescribe it for me but I’m ADHD and have severe insomnia or has helped me loads, but recently I’ve been suffering with bad stomachaches. I have been and seen my dr today told them about the melatonin. She was furious and told me stop taking straight away. I really should of done more research before taking these tablets

        • Check your diet for stomach irritants (gluten, dairy, additives) and try removing them one by one till you get some relief. Also, ginger root and pure licorice root are wonderful gut healers. If you have high B/Pressure stick to the DGL version of licorice or just do ginger.
          One more note; Natural melatonin production is triggered by morning sunlight hitting your retinas (in the eyes) so as you get better and want to wean off the melatonin, just make sure to get early AM sunlight exposure (outside – not through a window) every day you can. That and supplementing with magnesium will help your sleep tremendously.
          Sweet Dreams!

  6. I started taking 3 mg. Made me feel groggy and drugged next am, then went to 1.5 was not enough so I went to 2 perfect. Is this OK to take on daily basis???

    • Denise – The very best dosage varies from person to person depending upon how much their body is producing or not producing naturally. As this article cites, some studies say you shouldn’t take anything over 1 mg while others will say 5 mg if fine. This is the problem with an unregulated supplement. The best thing to do is to start with the smallest dosage and slowly increase it until you get the desired effect. It appears yours may be 1.5 mg.
      Is it okay to take on a daily basis? Melatonin is generally recommended only for short-term use for up to two months.

  7. I took Melatonin for the first time yesterday. The guy at the Vitamin store said he takes 3 tablets every time he uses it. Like a dummy i followed his advice. I woke up later that day feeling hung over for no reason. Not realizing it was the Melatonin until I read some of the articles on this website. I’ll give it another try. The tablets I bought are 3 mg. so I’ll cut them in half. It did help me sleep but at a high price. Hopefully the reduced amount won’t give me that hung over feeling. If that happens again, then I’m done with it.

  8. Oh fascinating read. My 16 year old son has been taking 2.5 mg to help him fall asleep. He’s been experiencing unexplained nausea first in the morning and now all day long. Also are random intestional cramps and headaches. The GI doc has no idea what this is from. I think we’ll stop this. Any side effects from stopping?

    • Lori – I haven’t found much scientific research regarding withdrawal symptoms/side effects after stopping melatonin. Dr. Ray Sahelian, MD wrote in his book, Melatonin: Natures Sleeping Pill this:

      When deciding to stop the use of melatonin or any sleeping medicine, it is best to taper off over a period of 1 to 2 weeks to avoid any sleep disturbances. Melatonin may in some individuals cause rebound insomnia, as do some other sleeping pills, but to a much lesser degree. Only a small percentage of people feel any withdrawal symptoms. Marilyn, a survey participant, writes, “I stopped taking melatonin last summer after regular use and noticed no withdrawal symptoms at that time. Most recently, I have noticed that if I stop taking it after a few days (usually 3 or 4), I have more trouble falling asleep. I also wake more often during the night.”

    • I took 5 mg melatonin about two weeks apart, once each time. Both times i woke with pain in my upper body. Second time was exactly like a gall bladder attack. Won’t try this again.

  9. I have been taking 9 mg or melatonin (three 3 mg tablets) regularly for awhile. I have been experiencing irritability and depression lately that is not normal for me. Now I’m wondering if it is the melatonin. I also take wellbutrin which is not great for your sleep cycles, i was instructed by my doctor to use the melatonin to help with the insomnia.

    • Kathy – Yes, melatonin side effects (at any dosage) include depression and irritability. It can also interact with antidepressant medication, but most of the studies are related to SSRIs which Wellbutrin (bupropion) is not. I’m assuming your doctor instructed you to take the 9 mg?

  10. My 91 year old Mother with dementia was having trouble sleeping when first going to bed and was afraid of falling out of bed. Her doctor recommended 3mg to help calm her and as a sleep aid taken 1/2 hour before bedtime. 1st night she got sleepy and went to bed at 8PM without any problem but woke up at 3 AM wandered around confused. Got her back to bed. Next night she got up at 3:30AM & after getting her back to bed was up again at 5AM going through her drawers and closets until 6:30AM when we get up. Then she was more confused than normal, ate breakfast but didn’t want to eat lunch. We stopped the Melatonin and she is back to normal. Maybe if we gave her a quarter or less of a pill it may work OK.

    • Gary – Did her doctor suggest taking a lower dose? It is possible that an amount less than 3 mg would be helpful. The Mayo Clinic suggested melatonin dosages for problems with insomnia and alzheimer’s/cognitive decline in the elderly range from 0.1-5 mg and 1-10 mg, respectively:

      For insomnia in the elderly, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 0.1-5 milligrams at or two hours before bedtime for up to several months, in the form of melatonin-rich night milk or slow-release Circadin®. A dose of 0.5 milligrams has been placed in the cheek for four nights.
      For Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive decline, melatonin has been taken by mouth in doses of 1-10 milligrams daily for 10 days up to 35 months.

      • We tried 1/4 of the 3mg tablet. It worked well getting her to sleep and she didn’t get up until morning, but she was totally confused the rest of the day. She is confused enough without this pill, we aren’t going to use it anymore. Gary

        • Thanks for the update, Gary. Sorry to hear the lower dosage didn’t work for your Mother. Hopefully, the severity of confusion diminishes after stopping the melatonin.

  11. Hey my name is Desiree and I am a student. I wish I could have read this article before taking Melatonin. I started taking it about a month ago, only when I wanted quality sleep. Then I started taking it daily for about three weeks straight and I am on a slow summer vacation which not much occurs in the day, leaving me to sleep in until midday. I forgot to take it for a week when I started to notice withdrawal symptoms which were vivid and frightful dreams. My sleeping schedule is thrown off. I used to sleep no later then 1 AM but now I do not sleep until 3 AM. Just curious would these side effects be because of my sudden stoppage of Melatonin?

    • Desiree – What dosage of melatonin were you taking? When stopping melatonin, there can be a variety of withdrawal symptoms one may experience, although some people experience none. This study concluded that when patients stopped taking melatonin, “withdrawal delayed sleep onset time”. So yes, it may be the reason why you are unable to fall asleep earlier as you have in the past. Melatonin is a hormone that affects your sleep-cycle/internal clock/circadian rhythm, so taking too much or not having enough can disrupt your sleep.

  12. Hi I’m Heather, I’m an insomniac, I have a few auto immune conditions that cause chronic intense pain and fatigue, this disrupts my circadian rhythm. I’ve been taking 10mg of melatonin (combined with lemon balm and valerian, some nights it’s so bad I’ll even add an ambien or restoril, tizanadine or robaxin help too) every night for a few months now and I’ll admit noticing an uncommon spike in my day time depression episodes/mood swings. Any of the other side effects are to tough to discern the origin, be it my health condition or other meds.

    What worries me is quitting the melatonin and how to safely when you’re on a 10x dose? Or 20x or 30x in some cases. My approach will likely be to titer down by 2mg each week, then do 1mg for 1 week then 0.5mg for 2 weeks and maybe even 0.25mg for 1-2 more weeks. Meanwhile documenting changes you notice like how often you get head aches and what time of the day are the mood swings etc. Looking forward to a Melatonin Vacation 🙂

    I heard some where that long term melatonin use shrinks your pineal gland basically rendering it useless, when you need to put it back into action it can’t produce the hormone itself anymore because the gland went on vacation and dried up in the sun when you decide to take the synthetic supplemental hormone,
    I think I’m done with this one, I like the Valerian Root and Lemon Balm combo supplements for sleep amongst other alternative homeopathic remedies…arsenicum album.

  13. Hi, I have sleep apnea and insomnia. I take 1 mg. Ativan at bedtime and if I still can’t sleep I will take 1/4 mg. aroung 1-2:00 am. Talked to my sleep Dr. and he said to add 3 mg. melatonin with the Ativan. 1 mg of Melatonin and 1 mg. of Ativan and I am still waking 2-4 times during the night. I added 1/4 more of Melatonin last night and feel drowsy. My apnea numbers are wonderul with cpap therapy so that is not the problem (at least I don’t think). Dr. wants me to try 1 1/2 mg Melatonin and 1 mg. Ativan. Kinda afraid to as I don’t want this drowsy hangover effect. Not sue what to do.

    • Kathy – Just to clarify, your doctor said to add 3 mg of melatonin and you tried 1.25 mg, but it made you drowsy – did you sleep through the night or still woke up several times as usual? And now your doctor recommends 1.5 mg of melatonin – instead of the 3 mg he originally wanted you to try?

      • I still woke up 3-4 times a night with 1.5 mg. I also take 1 mg. Ativan. I am going to see him on Tuesday. He didn’t recommend 1.5, I was just trying to work my way up to the 3 mg. he wanted me to try. I was drowsy all day, sick stomach, slight headache. This medicine is not for me, not going to take it anymore.

        • Kathy L Donaldson says

          Hi, this is Kathy. Still have the sleep apnea which is the numbers are going well. I’m still having insomnia except it’s gotten worse now when I wake up to 3 in the morning I can’t get back to sleep at all and that’s what’s going to bed at 11 p.m. I have not tried the Melatonin again but my doctor said that I probably should I have taper in my Ativan to .88 from 1 mg I took a quarter of a 1 mg melatonin last night and it didn’t help and I have a slight headache. I will take some Tylenol for that but tonight I may take a half of the melatonin with the Ativan. I will work up to 1 if that doesn’t work as I have got to get some sleep.

  14. I used to take 5-7 mg as my doctor recommended for me. I took it for 3 years. I always woke up dragged and my brain would not function until around 12ish. I finally stopped taking it. I’ve been off it for 2 years now and I still can’t sleep. I don’t fall asleep until 4 or 5 in the morning due to this shitty medicine. I highly recommend not taking this.

  15. Hi, I’m 54 and have trouble sleeping during the winter. I’ve been taking 1.25 mg melatonin for about 2 months and have been sleeping well and waking refreshed, and I think it’s been helping with anxiety and depression too. BUT, ever since the day I started taking it I’ve had upper-back pain, around the kidneys, that I’ve never had before. I stopped taking it a few days ago and the back pain disappeared but I had a lot of sleep trouble and a considerable increase in depression/anxiety. I took it again last night and the back pain has returned. Has anyone else experienced back pain when using melatonin or depression when stopping? Thanks for this forum.

    • Amanda – Depression is one of the many withdrawal symptoms some people can experience when they stop taking melatonin in addition to headaches, muscle aches, body pains, irritability, ringing ears, and others. Side effects when taking the drug are similar to withdrawal symptoms – headache, stomach pain, dizziness, etc.. Melatonin also may cause symptoms from interactions with certain drugs such as NSAIDs, antipsychotics, steroidal medications, birth control, antidepressants, blood thinning and blood pressure medications. I haven’t found back pain as a specific side effect, but since “muscle aches” are listed, it may be how it affects you.

    • I stopped Melatonin on Jan. 8 and still have the most tremendous upper back ache. Went to the Chiropractor twice and it didn’t help. Going to GP this morning, maybe get an MRI. It’s odd that the backache occurred after stopping Melatonin. I feel it must be related but who knows.

    • I also had the back pain after the first dose, 5mg. Two weeks later i took it again, being unsure whether or not it was pain from the melatonin. I take no other meds. The second time i had terrible back and then front pain, exactly like a gall bladder attack. This lasted for hours, in the middle of the night.

    • I couldn’t believe it when I read about your back pain in the area of the kidneys… I’ve been worried about the slight “tenderness” in that area myself! (Although I wouldn’t call it “upper back” – it’ around the waist area, by the spine.)
      I’ve been taking melatonin – 1 gram only – for the past few nights. Apart from that pain – which I HOPE is a side effect – I am also slightly nauseous the next day (depressed, too, although I reckoned it could be unrelated to melatonin).

    • Annette Dudley says

      I just started taking 3mg Melatonin 3 days ago. Within an hour I’m getting severe back pain around my kidneys and down both legs, especially the backs of my thighs. This has happened all 3 nights. The pain subsides after a few hours, but returns on and off through till afternoon. Definitely can’t take it.

  16. My mind wonders too much at night and Melatonin has helped me through these years to fall asleep. It even has helped me stay asleep. I get vivid dreams but I don’t feel groggy. I get broken sleep as I use the restroom frequently and melatonin helps me stay asleep. No side effects actually and I never take more 6mg day. I know it seems too much but at times I take 2mg helps me. It actually saved my sleeping. I feel I’m dependent on it now but least I know I’m sleeping and have quality sleep. Having sleep is the best thing for me and I have to say Melatonin hasn’t caused me harm and I’ve been on it 2 years. I won’t stop and I feel if people drink caffeine to stay awake why can’t I take supplement so that I can rest my body? I don’t need coffee to keep me going.

  17. I have fibromyalgia and take 3mg of melatonin at night with magnesium and zinc (I call it my sleep cocktail). I have been taking it for almost 3 months and it has reduced my pain (from improved sleep) drastically. I still get flares when I overdo it or have serious stress, but the everyday normal pain level is manageable now. I have read a lot of conflicting information on melatonin, but finally decided to try and it am am glad for it.

  18. So I’m still unclear on how it is “bad” for a person. There seems to be very little research at all. Sure, if we take anything in large doses it may give us nausea, headaches, etc. And if we say that taking it can give a placebo effect as far as helping us to sleep then couldn’t the supposed negative effects also be a placebo? Again, I have tried researching effects of melatonin but the only places stating it’s “bad” are blogs and not one cites actual scientific research. Interesting.

    • Ellen – Double-blind placebo-controlled studies will account for negative side effects as well. It will be easier to find research studies on google scholar than your typical search engine search on google, yahoo, msn, etc. This article from the University of Maryland Medical Center cites supporting melatonin research at the end. And yes – “if we take anything in large doses it may give us nausea, headaches, etc.” – and that’s the point. Because melatonin is not regulated by the FDA, supplements are produced in higher doses and consumers should be aware that severe side effects from such high doses may be experienced.

  19. For how long can i take 1mg of Melatonin? It really helps me sleep and I’ve been taking it for the past 2 months.. I have no side effects and i was wondering if i should stop or not. Is it dangerous to take 1 mg every night since i’m only 20? I also want to mention that i had really bad insomnia before I took it in December and I don’t want to be addicted to it.

    • Carina – The general recommendation is to take melatonin on a short-term basis, no longer than 2-3 months. It is also recommended that the lowest possible dosage be taken, 0.1-0.3 mg. Andrew Westwood, M.D., a board-certified sleep physician and assistant professor at Columbia University says this about long-term melatonin use:

      It can de-sensitize your receptors so they’re no longer responsive to lower doses of melatonin. Then, if you come off [the melatonin supplement], you might have difficulty sleeping and require more and more melatonin to fall asleep.

      You may want to lower your dosage and at the same time try to keep improving all aspects of your sleep hygiene – avoid blue light before bedtime, keep your room completely dark or wear a night mask, don’t use your bedroom for awake activities – reading, watching TV, etc., avoid caffeine 8 hours before bedtime, get up and go to bed the same time every day, exercise regularly – best if done in morning or at least 4 hours before bedtime, no alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime, expose yourself to sunlight for at least 15 minutes in the morning or use a blue light.

  20. I’ve been using liquid sublingual melatonin for 10 years. I take 1 ml about 10 minutes before I go to bed and I sleep very well. I’m not groggy at any time from it and wake up refreshed and well-rested. I also go to bed and rise at the same times every day and am into body-building, so I get plenty of exercise. I also wear an eye mask when I sleep to block out all light, and have a small fan going for some calming “white noise”. I am 64 years old and am in excellent physical shape and health.

    • Leslie – Just curious, because different dosages obviously works for different people, how much melatonin (mg) is in the 1 ml dose you are taking? For example, I have taken a liquid melatonin product where a 4 ml dose provided 1 mg of melatonin.

      • 1ml of liquid provides 1mg of melatonin. I think it’s just one piece of the puzzle and it works in combination with everything else I do to sleep through the night. I haven’t noticed it doing much to help with jet lag, though.

        • Leslie – In a study on using melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lag, they found that daily doses of melatonin between 0.5 and 5mg are similarly effective, except that people fall asleep faster and sleep better after 5mg than 0.5mg. Doses above 5mg appear to be no more effective. So perhaps using a higher dose, temporarily, might work better for you when using melatonin fo jet lag. The study’s reviewers noted, however, that for many people, 5mg may be more than needed and suggested starting with 2-3mg.

          • Thanks! I travel a lot and will try increasing the dose next time I’m halfway across the world. I’ll start with the lower dose and see if that does the trick.

  21. Leroy Even says

    I am 80 yrs old with a long history of severe anxiety/OCD and insomnia. For several years I have been taking melatonin 13mg thinking it had no downside. I would like to stop it. How fast can I reduce the dosage? I currently have bottles of 10 mg and 3 mg.
    Thank you for your informative article.

    • Leroy – Studies have shown that people over the age of 55 can benefit from taking melatonin since its natural production decreases as we age. If you personally don’t have any side effects (anxiety, irritability, daytime fatigue, headaches, nausea, etc.) from taking that dosage and it helps with your insomnia, then I don’t see any reason to change the dosage. With that said, have you ever tried a lower dosage? Is the 13 mg dosage what your doctor recommended? The general recommendation when taking melatonin is to use the lowest dosage possible to achieve restful sleep with no side effects. And you definitely don’t want to stop cold turkey or you may experience withdrawal symptoms. If you want to lower your dosage, I would suggest consulting with your physician first.

      • The reason I want to lower my oral melatonin is I that I’m concerned it may be decreasing my pineal glands natural production of both melatonin and DMT. I have not found answers to this question anywhere so far. Do you know?
        Because of my anxiety and OCD it is very difficult for me to experiment without having validating data.
        I live in a remote rural area and my local M.D. has no experimental or acquired knowledge of (or interest in) the use of ‘supplements’.
        Thank you for your helpful and informative response.

        • According to several studies, the production of melatonin by the pineal gland is not affected by oral supplementation. In this study, patients were given 50 mg of melatonin which did not alter their pineal melatonin secretion. Examine.com also states this based on several studies:

          Regulation of melatonin secretion from the pineal gland does not appear to be negatively influenced by melatonin supplementation over the long term (multiple days) and no negative feedback from melatonin supplementation (less natural secretion after a period of supplementation) has been observed.

          So you don’t have to worry about melatonin supplements decreasing your natural production. Synthesis and secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland is affected by light exposure and not how much melatonin you take – which includes natural edible plant sources such as tart cherries, tomatoes, barley, walnuts etc.. and any dietary souces of the amino acid, L-tryptophan, which converts to 5-HTP, to serotonin, and finally to melatonin.
          Also, older adults, as mentioned before, may not only produce lower amounts of melatonin, but possibly none at all. Supplementation may be the best method of helping with your insomnia.

  22. I have taken 5mg ever night for five years. love it. no side effects. I have a hormone deficiency so maybe that’s why it works for me.

  23. I haven’t slept in a week. 3-4 hours maybe every night and I can’t pass out till 6am. Benadryl, Nyquil doesn’t work. I was on visatril that stopped working leading to this insomnia. Tried melatonin 1mg fast dissolve tonight and that only allowed me to sleep for two hours. Now I’m up stressing I have no idea what to do I’m gonna freak out I hate this.

    • I started having serious sleep issues when I turned 50. Terrible nights! Then I started taking 25mg of Amitriptyline about 2 hours before bedtime and then taking 1mg of liquid sublingual melatonin about 10 minutes before hitting the sack. I keep the liquid in my mouth under my tongue for about 60 seconds to get the most exposure to veins and blood absorption. I’ve slept great ever since with very few off nights. I don’t feel any effect from the amitriptyline other than when my head hits the pillow, it never takes more than 3 or 4 minutes to fall asleep. I sleep through the night, too, and get a good 8 hours. I also wear an eye mask to make sure no light hits my eyes while sleeping until I’m ready to wake up. I recommend at least giving this combo a try for one month and see if there’s any improvement.

  24. I tried melatonin at least five years ago because I had to wake up early for school and I have sleep problems. It was sublingual which was sold by Dr. Mercola. The dosage was close to how much we would produce. It seemed to work for the first night. If I take it the next nights, I wake up too early. I don’t remember very much about it.

  25. My son is blind and suffers from non 24 where he can go to sleep but has difficulty STAYING asleep. He has tried several melatonin that made him feel groggy and dizzy. Then we found another that he likes. He takes 1/2 to 1 tablet depending on how he feels (it is 4.2mg per whole tablet). Instead of taking a break every 4-6 weeks he takes it 5 nights in a row with 2 days off. This helps reset his system without messing up his sleep routine. He never feels groggy or hung over and won’t go without it. He takes it about 1 hour before bedtime. He has been doing this for over 6 months and refuses to go without it now. This has been a God send for us.

  26. denise rice says

    I take 4mg every night with no effects in am. Slow dissolve table, strawberry flavoured, been doing it 2 years now

  27. I am so glad I looked melatonin up before I took any. I was told to take 5 mgs. Thank you for the important information.

    • Yes, it’s better to start at a lower dose of melatonin and then adjust. It has been recommended to begin with either 0.25 or 0.5 mg and then increase as needed. For some people, a higher dose of melatonin can actually make them feel more awake rather than sleepy.

  28. I’m 57 and began taking melatonin 3 years ago. I buy sublingual tablets that are 2.5 mg. and cut them into quarters. At bedtime, I take one of these quarters (a little more than half a milligram). Additionally, I take a 100 milligram capsule of 5 htp (precursor to melatonin). If I take only the melatonin, or only the 5htp then when I wake up I will stay awake for 1-3 hours. When I take them together, this is the sweet spot for me. I will fall right back to sleep after getting up for any reason. I feel wonderfully rested the next day due to deep, restorative sleep. The couple of times I have raised the melatonin even slightly to 0.5 mg., I woke during the night with horrible “spinning” dizziness and hangover the next day. This combination of low dose melatonin and 5 htp has been a game changer for me.

    • Teri – Thanks for sharing. I think it’s best to start at the lowest recommended amount and then adjust to find the “sweet spot” which you have. I just wanted to make sure I understood. So you divide a 2.5 mg table into fourths and take one of those which would be 0.625 mg. When you say the times you have raised the amount of melatonin to 0.5 mg (which gave you negative side effects), do you mean in addition to your 0.625 mg dose?

  29. I’m going to take 5mg each night for 8 weeks because I’ve read a few studies where it’s been very helpful in reducing reflux symptoms. In one study, 100% of the treatment group reported improvement. 100%! This is my own treatment plan. I have not consulted with any Dr. because they are not at all interested in anything other than PPIs. I am currently not on any other medications. I’m two weeks in and so far no side effects, maybe a little sluggish in morning, but totally gone by noon and I actually feel great the rest of day.

    • Mike – Let us know how it goes for for you, especially at the end of the 8 weeks of treatment. I know a lot of people are looking for alternatives to PPIs, H2 blockers and antacids for the treatment of reflux. Was the 5 mg melatonin dose used in the study on the treatment group or is that of your own choosing?

  30. mg measures solids. need to know the density of liquid melatonin to convert from the 1 mL dose. can you help?

    • CJ – The liquid melatonin products will provide how many mg of melatonin are in 1 mL of the liquid. For example, in Sundowns Natural Melatonin, 1 dropper full (1 mL) equals 1 mg of melatonin.

    • Frank ito says

      You’re correct, from a chemist’s perspective. But that’s not how the medical/supplement industry works. The standard with liquid is always to give a mg/mL dose. Even IV fluids (like saline solution) give the amount of solute dissolved into the solution. Next time you’re at the drug store, take a look at the different liquid products. Unfortunately, the mg/mL dosing is very confusing to a lot of consumers. Many people get tunnel vision on the mL portion and will argue tooth and nail that they only took 30mg (not 50mg in 30mL) of Zzzquil!

  31. I started taking one Mature Made Sleep soft gel (3mg melatonin) once a night due to anxiety and panic attacks, it really helped. Then I started having a vertigo feeling while laying down,even before I would take my nightly pill, after 2 weeks it progressed into a 24/7 feeling. I went to urgent care 3 times, was given antibiotics for 5 days for a possible inner ear infection which did nothing, was told it’s not actual vertigo and to take motion sickness pills but was told they will make me drowsy so I don’t take them because what’s the point if I can’t take them while I’m awake? Anyway I’m finally approaching an appointment with my doctor for blood tests and a CT scan but I’m wondering if the dizzy feeling is because of the melatonin.

    • Chrisstina – Melatonin can cause dizziness, especially at higher does. Did you continue to have the dizziness even after you stopped (or have you stopped?) taking the melatonin?

      • I stopped about 4 days ago but am still dizzy.

        • If the melatonin was causing the dizziness, I would think it would stop once you discontinued use of melatonin, especially 4 days later. Dizziness can also be a withdrawal symptom. How long were you taking melatonin before you began having the vertigo symptoms?

          • But, I wonder if you are aware that melatonin is a very potent brain detoxifier? It eliminates mercury and aluminum and eliminating these toxins can cause quite annoying side effects,,such as headaches, dizziness and nausea… melatonin is more powerful than vitamin C and even glutathione, which was thought of as the master anti-oxidant of your body, but apparently it’s melatonin, also melatonin is not just made by the pineal gland, but in your gut as well. Your gut can make 500 times the amount of melatonin your pineal glands does… It’s in every cell of your body. .. So, I would think that people who have side effects, actually are quite toxic and melatonin is holding house…

  32. I have been taking 10 milligrams of melatonin for several years. I am type 2 diabetic and take medicine for that as well as blood pressure medicine. I also take antidepressants and I have been noticing I am getting more and more depressed. My doctor never told me to take melatonin I just did it on my own I also take Trazodone and Xanax. I am weaning off the Xanax now but I am very very depressed and have had IBS for a long time and as well as colitis. Should I taper off of the Melatonin? Or just stop abruptly

    • It is recommended to taper off melatonin over a 1-2 week period to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.

    • If you search the web you will find that it may be the melatonin that is contributing to your IBS symptoms. Many, including me have found that eventually melatonin can cause serious stomach and bowel problems..

    • Frank ito says

      Hi Kim, I’m not sure how old this comment is. But, you should just be honest with your doctor. S/he might be a tiny bit annoyed, but s/he would rather know that you decided to try melatonin against his/her advice. It is YOUR body, we don’t own your body, so you have the right to take what you want. Plenty of patients take much more dangerous stuff (like heroin!). I’m not your doctor, but I personally would recommend waiting to decrease melatonin until you’re almost off of the Xanax.

      Now it’s “our” fault that patients are often dishonest about certain things. My predecessors did enjoy lecturing patients and being very bossy. But us “new skool” docs would prefer to work with whatever drugs or supplements our patients are taking independently. I hope you eventually get to the point where your quality of life is much better! Don’t give up hope, keep trying different stuff (including stuff outside of medicine like cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, massage, different diets, etc) and you will find a combination of things that works! If this comment is older, I hope you’ve found that combination!

  33. I’m confused by this because both my doctor and therapist recommended for me to take melatonin for my insomnia 2 last year and now I take 5 mg every night and I fall asleep withing 20 minutes and stay asleep all night, the only problem is that I literally can’t fall asleep without it, but it definitely does make me fall asleep and works as a sleep aid.

  34. Ok, you are making a mistake in the very beginning by assuming supplemental melatonin is 100% bioavailable. In fact, oral melatonin is only 15% bioavailable, meaning that to get the “recommended dosage” of 1mg, you’d actually have to take upwards of 6mg of melatonin orally.

    • Rene – Bioavailability of melatonin varies from person to person, and if it is ingested orally or sublingually, which is why it it recommended to start at a dose of 0.3 mg and increase the dose until the desired sleep improvement is attained.

  35. I’m on 2mg because I’m on a cocktail of meds for bipolar disorder – it is the only thing that works for me. It actually does help me fall asleep – it takes me 15 mins or so rather than 3+ hours. It also allows me to sleep for more that 3 hours at a time.

    I do think it should be treated with caution and should be prescribed by a doctor, but in doses above 1mg it can be more effective. For me, the 1mg didn’t help me with staying asleep which is why my dosage was increased.

  36. Does anyone else experience diarrhea the following morning? Does it contain xylitol? If so, is there a brand that does not contain xylitol? I’ve tried 1, 2 & 3 mg.

  37. I have been taking 3mg of melatonin. It makes me feel not sleeping well and nightmares during the day. What should I do? Can I speak to my doctor when I am having nightmares during the day? I have been waking up at 2 yesterday. Does not feel well during the night.

  38. I have been taking Melatonin for about 12 years. I took 3mg daily for 10 years then gradually lowered my dosage down to 2mg for roughly a year, than lowered down to 1.5mg for 5 months than lowered to 1mg for 3 months than lowered to .5mg for 2 months. All the while no issues with going to sleep or staying asleep.

    I decided right before Christmas that I wanted to stop completely as I didn’t feel I needed them to fall/stay asleep anymore. So I stopped from a .5mg. The first few days were fine, I was sleeping okay then it went downhill fast!

    Within a few days-to a week (exactly how many days I am not 100% sure as this has been a very rough three weeks) I had the worst anxiety I have ever felt in my life. Daily panic attacks for over a week, then turned into extreme physical exhaustion, nausea and dizziness, medium – high level anxiety accompanies the dizziness, which then turned into a migraine which I am about five days into. The strange part is I think I would probably be able to sleep on my own if I wasn’t in pain from migraines and anxiety.

    I have long been a supporter of melatonin instead of prescription sleep aids but never in my life did I think I was going to feel this bad discontinuing something that I felt like I no longer needed. I want to thank whomever created this forum. I felt like a human instead of an anxious mess when I read these comments. I am hoping and praying, with my fingers and toes crossed that I feel better soon as I work a full time job and go to college part time (nights).

    I have actually started an anti anxiety pill (Lexapro) in hopes that this will help with the anxiety so I can live a normal life. My suggestion to those who don’t need melatonin for a medical condition of any sort would be try something else or keep dosage low and only take it for a short period of time.

  39. Warren, San Clemente CA says

    Lower doses did nothing for me. I have REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and restless leg syndrome and have settled on 5mg with the council of my neurologist (sleep disorder specialist) I am hearing too much concern about 5mg.

    • The concern is only for people who want to try melatonin and start at too high of a dose. As mentioned above, the very best dosage varies from person to person depending upon how much melatonin their body is producing naturally. Someone may need to take 10 mg of melatonin for the desired results, while others may only need 0.5 mg. But if someone starts taking 10 mg of melatonin (without consulting with a physician first) when physiologically they only need 0.5 mg, then they most likely will disrupt their hormonal balance even further and experience undesirable side effects.

    • I’m taking 30mg Melatonin and.75mg Clonazepam for my REM Sleep Disorder which is severe. I was on 2mg Clonazepam until 3 months ago, when I began using Melatonin.

  40. I am taking 20mg , my doctor put me on it because I am bipolar and I have bad depression, I get to where I can not sleep at night and cry and think about things I’m going through which is very rough for me. Is this to much?

    • Tandrs – 20 mg of melatonin is not too much if that is the dosage your doctor decided upon and if you are not experiencing any bad side effects. Has the melatonin helped with your sleep?

  41. I have bad dreams when taking melatonin, does anyone else experience this side effect?

  42. Never really suspected my weeks-long dizziness would return when I started melatonin 3mg/day a week ago. I have dizzy spells and tachycardia for which I take beta blockers. But since starting melatonin I began having the dizzies all day long, and heartbeat is a wee bit faster. Could it be that supplement? Should I stop cold turkey?

    • Katrina – In addition to side effects from taking high doses of melatonin, it can also cause reactions when taken with other medications, including those that affect blood pressure, like beta blockers. The withdrawal symptoms that some people have when they stop taking melatonin usually occur only after long term use. Regardless, if you think melatonin is causing your symptoms, you should stop taking it. There’s no way to know for sure that it is the melatonin, but having symptoms of dizziness and increased heart rate isn’t something to take lightly. I would consult with your physician if your symptoms persist.

  43. I take about .5 to .75 mg of melatonin about an hour before bedtime. I tried 3mg but found that it made me feel depressed about an hour after taking it and that I woke up feeling groggy and depressed, and half a tablet still seemed to have that effect on me, so I decreased it more. I save small pieces that have broken off when I split the pills and keep them by my bed so that if I wake up 3 or more hours before it is time to get up, I take another small piece (maybe .2 mg) and usually I can fall back asleep. Sometimes I also take bendryl, but since it is believed to contribute to dementia, I try to use just melatonin instead. I keep trying to find out what the problem is with taking this long term as I have been doing this nearly every night for a couple of years now. I have had insomnia for most of my life, so I am happy that this helps me fall asleep.

  44. The Dollar Tree in my area has 3mg melatonin and that one I believe worked pretty good for me. Now I try to google something but can’t find anyone else with this same experience. I bought Rexall quick dissolve 10mg and I had the worst experience a few times (why I tried more than once? Just to be sure it was the melatonin) .. What happened was as soon as my body would shut down to sleep, a huge state of panic or almost heart attack feeling would wake me right back up so I was basically afraid to sleep! Felt like if I sleep I’m going to die! But somehow I would end up asleep after about 2 hours of trying, panicking, waking back up .. Like I said, haven’t found anyone else with an experience quite like it but I will continue my search. I don’t think I really need melatonin, I just thought it would be nice for a restful sleep.

  45. I have taken Melatonin the past 2 nts for insomnia. The late shift really messes up my ability to get to sleep when I get home. 1st nt I took 3 mg, slept great but also slept most of the following day. Last nt took 1.5mg, slept great but am groggy this morning which is what made me look into the topic and found this forum. I don’t think of myself as particularly sensitive to medications, I can take Ambien and still be wide awake all night, but this melatonin does seem to have a very strong effect on me. I never expected this from an OTC “natural” sleep aid. If I try taking it again I’ll be cutting it down to less than 1mg and if I’m still groggy in the morning I won’t be using it again.

    • Ginny – Yes, you may find you only need a small dose of melatonin to help you sleep. I found that I only need 0.5 mg. I take these sublingual melatonin tablets that are 1 mg each. I just divide them in half for a 0.5 mg dose.
      There are brands now that are beginning to make smaller dose tablets of melatonin like Sundown Naturals Melatonin which contains only 300 mcg of melatonin per tablet.

  46. I’ve been taking it for about a week. I did not do my homework. Wow. Purchased 10mg and took 7 from the bottle over the week. Few of the nights I took 2 tablets. I have been dizzy all week long and the headaches are killer as well as the nausea. I am throwing this out. I thought I had vertigo maybe but after reading all these posts, I’m convinced it was this product. I hope these side effects will go away and fast. I can’t take it anymore.

  47. Hi there, I am 1.5 weeks off melatonin after having taken it in high doses (10mg) for about 2 years whilst I was recovering from ME/CFS.. it didn’t actually work then (think I was just so ill with bad insomnia symptoms that nothing would) and I did taper down over a few months finishing with a 0.25mg dose.. Having some problems getting to sleep now.. It could be a number of other factors but think this is having an effect.. I didn’t realize it was bad at all and was being silly and hadn’t thought it through.. Would you expect withdrawals and for how long.. : ( Is there anything I can do to help myself..? Thanks so much

    • Verity – There’s no way to know for sure if you are having withdrawal symptoms and if you are, for how long. Melatonin is a hormone and it effects everyone differently. The best way to avoid withdrawal symptoms is to slowly taper off the amount of melatonin instead of stopping cold turkey, which you did, so it may be something else disrupting your sleep. If you continue to have trouble falling asleep, you may want to consult with your physician.

      • That’s great. Thanks so much : ) I think it is righting itself although my sleep cycle is a bit wonky now 🙃🙃 Thanks for help xx

  48. Valdoria says

    I’ve been taking melatonin for about 4 years every night, 3 mgs most nights even though I tried to drop down to 1 mg recently. I stopped taking it for three days and while I had not slept 1 wink during these three days, I was able to finally exercise feeling like I was not dying. I did give in and took it again last night and I feel sick today. Again, my stomach is in horrible pain, I feel nauseated, somewhat moody and heavy, weight, suffocating. Is there a way to get off of this stuff and get my sleep cycle back to normal? How can I feel normal again? The reason I am on this site is I got out of bed and googled melatonin and nauseated to see if it was related as it seems obvious to me – now that I took a few days off and feeling as sick as I do this morning.

    • Valdoria – It is recommended to slowly taper off melatonin instead of going off of it completely to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Try reducing the dose over a 1-2 week time period.

      • Valdoria says

        Thank you for the response. So I’ve been off melatonin about a week, still unable to sleep but at least I am waking up not feeling hungover like I used to and the stomach is a tad better. Yet I am exhausted. I bought a bunch of other natural sleep aids, valerian, passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile but this is not helping. Should I start back on melatonin again at half dose and try to taper down like you mentioned now or should I just keep like I am doing and hope this gets better with time? I am open to anything, just want sleep without the feeling of nausea and stomach pain all day every day.

  49. I’ve been taking 90mg of melatonin for months and I am wondering how I should stop. I’ve been trying to quit fast. The first night of trying to quit I didn’t take any and fell asleep fine. The second night I took 5 10mg and slept alright. Then last night the third night I took 3 10mg and had trouble staying asleep I would prob wake up every 10 minutes to 30 minutes all throughout the night. And had bad nightmares. And now today I feel really depressed. So I don’t know what I should do. Any suggestions?

  50. Michelle says

    Hi, I started to take melatonin 2 years ago every night after a bad breakup that caused me a lot of anxiety at night . I needed to make sure I got rest because I worked an hour away and couldn’t afford to be late because of sleep problems. I’ve been taking different amounts depending on how fast I fall asleep. I didn’t realize I’d been abusing the supplement. I have nights where it works and nights where it doesn’t now, no matter the amount I take. I need help. If I take nothing at all I remain wide awake all night. That feeling of “tired” doesn’t happen at all…. but now when I take melatonin on certain nights I also don’t get that “tired” feeling at all either. I end taking the melatonin still because I rather sleep some nights then not sleep at all. This isn’t insomnia by the way. I believe this is a side effect from taking melatonin for so long now. Please help. I need to be able to sleep again and I don’t want to rely on melatonin or any sleeping pill. What can I do? Everyone tells me to calm my mind before bed but I’ve tried that… my body just won’t shut down on it’s own….any advice?

    • Michelle – There are some other methods to try such as progressive muscle relaxation, aromatherapy, white noise or sleeping sound machines, sleep restriction therapy, avoiding blue light (emitted from TVs, computer screens, cell phones, etc.) at least an hour before bed – or you can use blue-light blocking apps or wear blue-blocking glasses, sleep in a cool bedroom (60-67 deg F), avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime, avoid alcohol before bedtime, sleep in total darkness or wear a night mask and expose yourself to sunlight when you awake in the morning to help regulate your natural circadian rhythm and your body’s natural melatonin production.

      • I have been on bupropion for over 4 years never had any trouble sleeping. I quit cold turkey about 6 months ago. My wife could see the change in my moods . I didn’t. I started taking 300mg a day. After about 1 week I developed RLS and insomnia. My Doctor has tried everything but no luck. I am waiting for an acupuncture treatment but after reading these post I am going to try melatonin again. I just took 1mg about an hour ago but no luck. My Doctor had me on 6mg for depression. It didn’t work. Should I try 1mg for a few days or should I try more.

  51. Fear-Mongering: Melatonin is not only safe but helps prevent cancer.
    There are many more FDA-Approved drugs far more dangerous than melatonin. This post is full of hyperbole. For your information melatonin is a powerful anti-cancer hormone and has been used in super high doses of up to (hold onto your panties) 50 mg!! And guess what happened – their tumors shrunk. This worked with PTs both on and not using chemo. And it can be used as a cancer prevention aide in doses of 3 – 6 mg. (Something we could all use these days)
    I used it for years to help me battle a difficult health issue in very high doses of 10-20 mg a night. It helped tremendously. And then after using it for more than 8 years – I cut it down and quit it. No problems at all. Save your grave warnings for the real threats out there, dangerous pharmaceuticals and tainted food and water.

  52. I took melatonin last night for the first time in tablet form that contains a few other things in it (source naturals NightRest), it has 5 mg melatonin. The reason i took it was to move my sleep pattern an hour or 2 early. I felt relaxed and fell asleep around 11:30 pm instead of 1 am but i woke up after 4h of sleep around 3:50 am. I still felt very relaxed in my head and body but i also felt awake and tense at the same time and couldn’t fall asleep. I felt deeply relaxed on one level but totally unable to fall back into real sleep. I did fall asleep after maybe another hour but kept waking up a lot. I feel pretty good today, very relaxed but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience, i had very vivid dreams though that were quite interesting.
    I figured out too late that 5 mg is a very high dose of melatonin!
    I have another sleep complex from Jarrow (sleep optimizer) that has a bunch of plants and only 0.3 mg melatonin. I ‘ll try it tonight and hopefully it let me sleep through the whole night.

    • After a few more tests I found that the Jarrow Sleep Optimizer at half dosage, so 1 capsule, works really well with me. No crazy awakenings in the middle of the night feeling completely awake and nervous, I do have clearer dreams and better dream recall with it but I feel that my sleep is slightly lighter than normal, which in my case is a good thing because it helps me be more tired by the next night and thus go to bed earlier.
      As a temporary aid to jet lag and time zone adjustment it s perfect, here’s what’s inside one cap: valerian root 200mg./ L tryptophan 150mg / GABA 50mg / melatonin 0.15mg / 50mg hops and 50mg lemon balm.

  53. I recently tried out 3mg of melatonin for about a month and a half. I stopped because my period came 2-3 days early, and it never comes early, late maybe but not early. I had read it could mess with your cycles so I was aware and stopped taking it.

    I started taking it for my chronic GERD and found out that it helped, I am not off of Zantac but was able to cut my dose significantly and I never had daytime heartburn while on it.

    I also noted that I had gotten the best sleep I have had in years, I often wake up multiple times throughout the night and toss and turn a lot, but have the ability to fall right back asleep, but with melatonin most nights I didn’t wake up even once, later on though I did start waking up a few times, perhaps my body adapted.

    I also always have trouble keeping a sleep schedule, I always push my bedtime back 15-30 minutes every night because I am just not tired, but I never have trouble sleeping for 8-9 hours minus the few minutes I wake up throughout the night. With melatonin I kept an amazing schedule the whole time.

    Lastly and most interestingly, I noticed that this menstrual cycle for the first time in my life, I did not have any migraines. Seriously, I have had migraines since I was 5 years old, and since I hit puberty like clockwork I get migraines with my period. This month, none, nada, zero. Until that is about a week after stopping melatonin and I got one of the worst I haver ever had, thankfully I have Imitrex, but I didn’t take it in time and the nausea got the best of me. Ugh.

    I read there are a few small studies showing that melatonin at around 3mg/day can prevent migraines, but how safe is it at that dose long term for preventative measures, and I know I already might have seen my reproductive hormones react negatively to that much melatonin. Something to think about.

    I wonder, how long does one need to wait after you stop melatonin for your blood levels to return to what they were in order to test and see if you have a deficiency? Because the response with my migraines, the GERD and my trouble falling asleep every night has me wondering if just maybe I don’t make enough melatonin on my own.

    I already bought yellow glasses to block blue light in hopes to increase it naturally that I have been using since I started melatonin, but it just doesn’t seem to be doing as much as I would hope, and it’s certainly not stopping my migraines. This is all very interesting, but concerning given this is a hormone and all hormones are powerful and should be used with caution.

    • Yes, melatonin can cause hormone fluctuations at the dose of 2-3mg or higher as well as other side effects such as nausea, next-day grogginess or a “hangover” effect, nightmares, and headaches. Even at the recommended dose of 0.3-1.0 mg, it’s advised not to take longer than 3 months. Your melatonin levels can be tested with a blood test, urine test or saliva test. The biological half-life of melatonin is 35-50 minutes so you would avoid taking melatonin, or any foods that naturally contain melatonin, near the time of your test.

  54. I’m an extremely light sleeper – comes with having a brain that doesn’t quite “sleep” (insomnia) & very sensitive hearing. Melatonin works quite well. Knocks me out like a light & keeps me out. The only thing else I’ve ever tried, as I am not for medication wherever possible, is an old wife’s tale recipe for sleeping. 3mg to 5mg for about 3 months. Then a month where I don’t take anything. The worse side effects are withdrawal like headaches during that month, obvious tiredness that I do NOT experience while taking melatonin, and mood swings because of that tiredness & headaches.

    As like any drug used in moderation melatonin is fine. Overuse and then you run into problems.

  55. A couple of weeks ago, I started taking 3 mg of Melatonin as I was told it would help me sleep. It initially did help me sleep but found the more I used it, was causing me to wake up very early and I felt I unrested due to dreaming all night.

    I began having anxiety attacks and severe irritability. I was trembling, having tightness in my chest and was very scared as to what was happening to me. I didn’t think my problem was due to the Melatonin as I had read it was an “all natural” product. However, after reading all of the comments and info provided, I’m going to exclude it to see if my irritability lessens.

    It’s a horrible feeling when you can’t get your body to relax! I’m a 61 year old female who takes very few, if any pills, so anything foreign in my body could be disastrous!

  56. Hi, I often take Melatonin, I was taking 3mg, but feeling very tired the next day. My doctor told me to cut it in half, and I felt a little better, then I stopped taking it, and was using Benadryl. I took 1.5 melatonin last night, I slept well, but today I feel so tired. My question is…..Can Melatonin at 1.5 make you sleep well, but feel tired the next day? Thank you.

  57. Adrian the crazy cat lady says

    Do not take melatonin before you check to see if it interferes with things like other medications for high blood pressure, thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases like lupus or myasthenia-gravis and heart or liver ailments, etc.some supplements are as high as 30 to 50 mg. Because it’s a hormone and not a drug, and therefore not FDA regulated. These mega doses are very dangerous and can cause strokes and awaken other autoimmune maladies in the body that were previously dormant or too mild to need therapies!

  58. Michael Wrenn says

    I’m currently taking 26mg Melatonin with .75mg Clonazepam for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. My sleep physician has no problem with it; and some physicians actually recommend it as a first line treatment of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder; in which I act out my dreams. Melatonin at different dosages has proven effective in treating the problem. I do not take it to help me sleep, but rather to aid me in not acting our my dreams in that my body does not paralyze itself in REM Sleep as it does normal people in REM Sleep.

  59. RON WILLIAMS says

    I am nearly 78 years old and in generally good health. I take small dosages of Metoprolol 100 mg/day and Atorvastatin (Lipitor) by doctor’s prescription.

    When I avoid the use of drinks with caffeine. for a couple of days, I am able to get to sleep more readily some of the time. I have had trouble getting my brain to “tuun off” and stop thinking of things to do and rethinking thing that I have recently done. I drink caffeine-free beverages and drink decaf coffee and tea when available, But if I drink one or two glasses of caffeinated tea at lunch, I can be sure that I may not sleep at all that night.

    When that happens and I’m still awake at 3 AM, I take a 25 mg Benadryl liquid gel capsule (I have eczema and itch a lot) and I can usually get to sleep in 30 minutes to an hour. I would like to stop taking the Benadryl and have been reading up on Melatonin supplements.

    I have found that most doctors tend to not want to assist in determining dosages for supplements as they seem to think they are not legitimate medications. How should I ramp up the dosage on Melatonin from 0.1 mg to larger dosage if it doesn’t help me get to sleep?

    Should I start at 0.1 on the first few days and increase it until it seems effective and then stay at that level for a month or two and then ramp back down over the same period of time or should I stay with the “effective” dosage for a sustained period of time?

    I don’t think my primary care physician will recommend or assist me with this supplement. I am averse to taking most medications other than baby aspirin for my ailments unless they are recommended by a doctor.

    • Because melatonin can have interactions with prescription drugs, which you are taking, I’d have to say to consult with your physician first. For example, if you take melatonin with anticoagulant drugs, it could increase your risk of bleeding. We’ve had people comment here about their doctor making suggestions for melatonin dosage, so not all of them are averse to using melatonin for sleep. It’s worth attempting to ask, even if you think yours will not.

      As far as how to increase the melatonin dosage to know what’s the right amount – that’s never been determined as far as any clinical research goes. Most articles on melatonin dosage will say “gradually” increase the dosage until it helps you fall asleep. What’s gradually? I did find one article that suggested if after 3 days you are not getting the desired effect from the melatonin, then increased the dosage. It’s something that you have to determine on your own.

  60. I have cancer and I was told by me Dr to take 25 mgs for cancer. She did warn that I might have vivid dreams. I don’t really have vivid dreams though.

  61. Diane Rueh says

    I use melatonin 1 mg each night for the last 3 years. After being poisoned by my dentist by putting bleach and gauze in a tooth that had he did a root canal on, the bleach unbeknownst to me was in my mouth for 4 months until another dentist discovered it. The damage done was huge.

    Thank God, I found some good naturopathic doctors to detox my system, it took about 2 years. Without the melatonin I think I may have had a worst time since my body would wake up at 3:00 a.m. each night drenched in sweat with my mind and heart racing. After a kind doctor told me about melatonin I could get a good night sleep so my body could heal.

    It sounds like a horrible ordeal but I learned more about natural medicine and my body’s will to be healthy, today I can use natural products to heal my body and keep the amount of prescription drugs (side effect ridden medication) to a minimum!

  62. I use high dosages of Melatonin every night; not to help me sleep, but to treat REM Sleep Behavior Disorder in which my body does not paralyze itself during REM Sleep, causing me to act out my dreams. I am currently taking 36mg and have taken 43mg. Better than punching walls and falling out of bed. For several months it has proven to be effective combined with 1mg Clonazepam.

  63. I actually have a problem sleeping and I used melatonin off and off for past 8 yrs.the last 3 months. I have used it everyday my doctor says it’s fine. I take 1 mg liquid. I only take a half of dropper 3 times so I’d say I take 2.5 mg at night. Then I get up at 1 am to get my other half up then I start the routine all over again.

    In December I started having I think hormone problems with increased anxiety and panic disorder, my bones and joints ached badly. And all of March I am having breast tenderness just like I’m getting ready for a baby. I am wondering if it could be caused by this. My regimen is 2 ibuprofen pm a 0.5 mg klonopin 15 mg of buspron and 2.5 mg of melatonin but I found out a yr ago that I have type 2 diabetes. And they have me on trisheba insulin so maybe I’m allergic to the insulin. What do you think?

  64. A couple of years ago a friend gave me some Melatonin 3mg. I tried it for a night or two without effect. Another friend told me to take two or three tablets and I tried that, still without effect. I decided not to try any more and am happy with my decision as I read later similar info that you have here.

    I have tried a number of products since. Right now I am taking 5HTP and Lithium 5mg. This seems to help much of the time. (Sometimes I add a GABA, but have read that it is better to take something that helps your body produce its own GABA.)

    I have also just started to take a product for pain, and in the PM tablet it has Honokiol from Magnolia bark which can make you drowsy. You can also find it as Relora. Source Naturals has this as a single ingredient product and also it comes in a tablet with L-Theanine, GABA, magnesium, Taurine, and Holy Basil leaf. This is a fairly effective product also.

    Though I have never tried it, I have heard from several people that when they can’t get a good night’s sleep they take a Gravol tablet. One lady I knew said it would give her 10 hours of sleep. Also a Vitamin B complex will help relax your body.

    So you see there are many different options to choose from to find the best one to suit each individual. Hope this info can help someone to get a better night’s sleep.

  65. Heather Smith says

    I’ve been using melatonin almost nightly for months, and don’t seem to have a problem if I take it 7 to 8 hours before getting up. But I often have insomnia at 3 or 5 a.m., two to four hours before I get up. I’ve noticed when taking it that soon before getting up that when I awaken, I feel very groggy, for like an hour or more after waking. Very unpleasant. I am going to stop using melatonin.

  66. If you had REM Sleep Behavior Disorder which caused you to act out your dreams, punching your spouse, falling out of bed, and screaming in the middle of the night; and discovered that Melatonin is one of the primary treatments and often effective, believe me, you would use it.

  67. Sometimes I sleep very sound and awake refreshed; while at other times I feel like I did not get much sleep. I can sleep sound for 6 hours and feel good; while sometimes 9 hours and not feel as well.

  68. I’m a 69 male suffering severe stress, anxiety, depression, and fear since the last five years. Tried so many antidepressants and sleep aids. Suffered badly with physical health like eye cataracts, glaucoma and then dried eyes and eye slag inversion. Also blood clot in lungs and arthritis n cervical neck, back and leg pains, severe headache etc.

    Tired and unable to sleep even taking 300mg x2 Gabapentine and 1 mg Clonazipam besides other thinker, BP and choke steal medicines. Now with Neurologist and quite seeing Psychiatrist who is little help Gul. He also asked to take 10mg Melatonin which now helped me sleep 7-8hrs.

    Seen this site and worried about addiction. Dr. Said you needs sleep first. If you not able to sleep then more health problems come up. So better take it to regain your sleep and recover from mental health which help recover physical health. Any suggestion, guidance and help appreciated. Very much worried due too much toxic medicines. Lots of side effects and inter effects usually not considered by doctors as mention in this Blog most of the doctors even don’t know about such things as of Melatonin and other medications they prescribe blindly.

  69. I was given 15mg melatonin after a severe head injury for severe headaches and lack of sleep (never had a problem with sleep before) I was told that a severe concussion will interfere with sleep. I cannot sleep without it. I don’t wake up and feel groggy. However, I have found that I cannot get off of it. No sleep is more detrimental than 15mg melatonin so I’ve stayed on it.

  70. HELP, Im 66 years old. I have been taking Melatonin 6mg for a bout 6 months. I reduced my dose a week ago to 3 mg and I got tinnitus. I reduced my dose to 2.5mg and got bad insomnia. 15 years ago I withdrew from valium and that was hell. How long will this last?
    1. what is a good taper schedule? Once a week cut 1mg????
    2. would Gabapentin or some other drug help?

  71. I took Melatonin like 6 years ago and felt weird probable was 3 mg. When I turned 60 years old my sleep went away. I have not problems falling sleep but 4 hours later I’m up. I also suffer from anxiety. When I wake up usually at 3:00 am if I don’t go back to sleep I take, 0.5 mg of Xanax and go back to sleep with no problems. Otherwise I do not take any other medications I exercises and eat very healthy… does Xanax put me to sleep? or i just need it for anxiety even if i don’t feel anxious at night.

  72. *Yawn*
    Melatonin is indeed used to “sedate” but not in the literal sense of the word. It won’t slow your mind down, etc. It is used to trick your body into believing that it is night time. It is a reason why Melatonin is suggested by REAL DOCTORS ***not*** quacks on the internet for people who are working rotating shifts or where they experience constant “jet leg” and time zone changes.

  73. I was having problems sleeping due to stress and age. I didn’t research. A friend at work suggested melatonin. I took one pill of 5 mg and went to sleep fast. The problem was how I felt the next day – hollowed out, headache, dizzy, depressed and lazy/sleepy.

    • Its because you took too much. Try it again in a much smaller dose. I also have problems sleeping due to stress and age. I take a small chip of a 3mg tablet, aiming to just replace the melatonin my body used to make naturally when young. There are no side effects with this small amount and it seems to help quite a bit. With the age related part anyway. The stress part may need an additional, different remedy.

  74. What about for cancer? Huge difference between taking it for cancer and taking it for sleep. My naturopath said for me to take 20 mg to prevent BC recurrence. I am glad there are doses as large as 10 and 20 mg so that I don’t have to take 20 pills a day.

  75. Frank ito says

    Here’s a fun fact: educated*, middle class, white people tend to be overly confident in their ability to read and understand scientific studies.

    This explains why it’s so easy to manipulate (using a lot of technical jargon) many of them into jumping right on board with pretty much every conspiracy.

    It’s also wild how many of them are blind to the fact that “big supps” is as bad (probably worse, tbh) as “big pharma”. Both industries are using dishonest scientific claims about health to make insane profits. Both industries have insanely powerful lobbying groups that sway government regulation. (Look up how hard big supps lobbies to keep supplements in the food category).Both industries are ultimately run by rich guys who don’t give a butt about your well-being.

    At least big pharma has SOME outside regulation and oversight. Pharma has to manipulate scientific data and schmooze doctors. Supps gets to literally say, charge, and sell you whatever they want (because purity testing is on the honor system in the supps world).

    That’s how big supps has got y’all out here paying $90 for 30 tablets of dirt, Chinese Xanax (in research chemical form), and binders that is marketed as a magnesium and B vitamin supplement that will cure everything from fibromyalgia to bad credit. That’s how big supps has got y’all paying $38 for a jar of powdered chicken stock because they told you that it’s “bone broth” and it will cure your depression, reverse aging, and make your adult children call every single day.

    Of course, y’all know everything (because you’re middle class white people with degrees in creative writing and photography), so you’ll just say I’m a sheeple blindly following allopathic medicine. But what if you’re just a sheeple blindly following modern snake oil salesmen??

    *People with bachelor’s degrees and above in non-science fields.

  76. Hello. I have general anixtey. I’m on ativan. Supposed to be twice a day but I don’t like the effects it has on me all day. So I only take a quarter of it once or twice in a day…and I don’t take them often. Only because I worry about becoming dependant. Also with the way our government is about meds I don’t want to be fending for aomething I can’t have no more.😕 but there are some nights I can’t sleep. I use melatonin about three or four nights a week. I only use a half milligram when taken. Works great for me and no side effects. It has me alot!!!

  77. I have PTSD, chronic depression, chronic anxiety, and chronic insomnia. Ive recently started taking Melatonin periodically to help me stay asleep. As a kidney donor however, this is a temporary and Short term fix that I have to stop and start in time frame intervals until I no longer need them. I use 2.5mg 30min before bed time once a night 2x week. Anything over 2.5mg will give me a deep hangover effect, Regardless of how long I stay asleep for. Each person is different. When I wake up, i find my mind and mood has dramatically increased, as if anxiety and depression doesnt exist, for several hours (its not a cure, thats just how it feels). As with all things, consult your pcp, (and other doctors, where applicable).

  78. I have taken 10mg of melatonin nightly for two years along with Nefazodone, 300 mg., at night and 120mg. of duloxetine in the morning. Most mornings I awaken dopey followed by a morning nap of 1-3 hours. Sometimes I take an afternoon nap. Could this all be happening because I quit the melatonin (reduced gragually over 3 nights) or is it more likely that the daytime issues are caused by the duloxetine?
    Or could it be some combination of all three meds?

  79. I have started an antidepressant for depression. Will melatonin counteract the antidepressant (Zoloft) and make the depression worse? I do have problems with sleeping so hoping the melatonin would help. I have not taken melatonin for the past few nights a d have had a headache and foggy feeling. Could this be withdrawal from the melatonin?

    • At Drugs.com they state that:

      No interactions were found between melatonin and Zoloft.This does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. Always consult your healthcare provider.

      Yes, it is possible to have withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking melatonin after prolonged use.

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