How Much Melatonin is Too Much? Why It's Keeping You Awake

Is Melatonin Keeping You Awake?

You May Want to Think Twice Before Taking Melatonin.

Too Much MelatoninA tablet of melatonin before bed could be more harmful than helpful. Despite being one of the most popular alternatives to sleeping pills, such as Ambien, a new study shows that taking too much melatonin can actually be keeping you awake as well as causing some harmful side effects.

Humans naturally create melatonin. As the sun sets, levels naturally rise, signaling the brain to catch some much needed zzz’s. Despite this natural occurrence, insomnia still exists. Many resort to synthetic pills to battle restlessness.

While melatonin tablets are a proven sleep aid when correctly used, a recent study conducted by MIT researchers found that when taken in large doses it can hinder sleep.

How much melatonin is too much? The team found that the ideal dosage is 0.3 milligrams. This is alarmingly lower than the commonly found dosage, 3 milligrams. 

At ten times the dosage that your body needs, these capsules can mess with a natural body clock.

Exactly how much melatonin should you take if you choose to do so? “Our study has shown that less is more as far as melatonin is concerned,” Wurtman said in the MIT release. “Adult patients who suffer from insomnia and are considering melatonin should consult with their doctor about the appropriate dosage. We have demonstrated that with the correct dosage, melatonin can help an older person experience a restful and uninterrupted night of sleep.”

The study also revealed that taking too much melatonin can cause a “hangover” effect, making you groggy the next morning.

So when trying to get a good night’s rest remember: keep your Egyptian cotton thread count high and your melatonin dose low.

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