Melatonin has a reputation as the sleep hormone, thanks to its role in regulating circadian rhythm and letting your body know it’s time to start drifting off. When it gets dark outside and you notice yourself starting to yawn, that’s your body’s natural Melatonin doing its job.
But sometimes you need a little extra help getting to sleep when adjusting to shift work, travel, or life circumstances that keep your body and mind awake. Melatonin supplements can be a helpful natural sleep aid, but is it ok to take Melatonin every night? What does the science say, and what are the potential side effects and benefits that can come with this dietary supplement?
Ahead, we’ll answer the question of whether you can take Melatonin every night and give our tips on using this popular sleep support.
Is it Bad to Take Melatonin Every Night?
The short answer? We don’t yet know the long-term effects of taking Melatonin on a nightly basis. More research needs to be done until we can fully understand the possible health benefits or side effects of using this dietary supplement continually.
What we do know is that a Melatonin supplement is safe for most people to take every night on a short-term basis. It can be especially helpful situationally, to realign your circadian rhythm — think jet lag, postpartum, perimenopause, when you’re sick, or nights when you’re having extra trouble sleeping.
It’s important to note that how much Melatonin you take can also make a difference. Most Melatonin supplements come in a higher dose (1-5mg) than your natural range, flooding your brain receptors and creating up to 100x more Melatonin in your blood. That’s where the familiar “hangover” comes from.
It’s best to start with a lower dose of Melatonin and only take it in when needed. Sleepy Magnesi-Om® is a gentle Melatonin sleep support with 0.3mg plant-based Melatonin to help you get quality sleep sooner, along with relaxing Magnesium Bisglycinate and Gluconate and L-Theanine for sleep quality.* To help with temporary trouble getting to sleep, mix 12 oz of this Magnesium and Melatonin supplement in water before bedtime.
As with everything, talk to your doctor to determine if and how often you should be taking Melatonin for your sleep needs.
What Happens if I Take Melatonin Every Night?
While it’s typically safe to take Melatonin every night for short periods of time, research is limited as to its long-term effects and the risk of dependency. Other sleep aids, like prescriptions or pills that contain antihistamines, have been known to cause dependence.
Because Melatonin is a hormone, it’s been hypothesized that overuse could potentially disrupt hormonal balance, impacting important processes like menstrual cycles. However, we don’t have reliable evidence that taking Melatonin every night long-term can lead to dependency or disrupt hormonal function.
Generally, here are some of the different things you might notice or feel when taking Melatonin — particularly a higher dose of 1-5mg.
While regular nightly use of higher doses of Melatonin may lead to better sleep, it can also lead to daytime drowsiness or grogginess. Since Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles, taking it in higher doses than your body’s natural range can result in a “hangover” the next day. You might respond by counteracting with caffeine, which can again disrupt your sleep, keeping you stuck in the cycle.
Vivid Dreams or Nightmares
If you’ve ever had weird, confusing, or unsettling Melatonin dreams, you’re not alone — it’s a real thing. The hormone's influence on the sleep cycle might intensify dream activity and your ability to remember your dreams, which can cause you to wake up feeling distracted and off.
Melatonin supplementation can come with a headache. While the exact mechanisms aren’t fully understood, changes in blood flow, relaxation of blood vessels, or individual sensitivities might contribute to this side effect.
Reduced Effectiveness Over Time
The efficacy of Melatonin supplements may diminish over time with nightly use. Your body may become less responsive to the hormone, requiring higher doses for the same sleep-inducing effects. And with greater Melatonin use, you might risk increasing the likelihood of other unwanted side effects, like the grog.
Nightly Melatonin can make some people nauseous or have a stomachache. These symptoms are typically mild, but they can be bothersome for those more sensitive to Melatonin supplementation.
The long-term research on the effects of taking Melatonin every night is limited. While it’s been shown to be helpful support for short-term or situational insomnia, if you experience chronic insomnia on a long-term basis, talk to your doctor about alternative solutions for reaching rest.
Side Effects of Melatonin to Consider
It's important to note that individual responses to Melatonin can vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional before establishing a nightly Melatonin routine is advisable, especially for prolonged use or if you have pre-existing health conditions.
The side effects of taking Melatonin for sleep issues can depend on your age, body weight, personal sensitivity, existing medications, personal sensitivity, and how much Melatonin you take. If you experience any of the following symptoms, avoid use until you’ve talked to your doctor:
- Possible allergic reaction
- Changes in blood pressure
- Interference with meds
- Nausea or stomach ache
- Grogginess and fatigue
Certain people should be careful about taking Melatonin supplements. Talk to your doctor before taking Melatonin if any of these apply to you:
- You’re taking these medicines: Melatonin may interfere with certain medications, including immunosuppressants or corticosteroids, birth control, blood pressure medications, blood thinners, epilepsy meds, or diabetes meds.
- It’s for your kids: Further research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of Melatonin on children. If you and your child’s pediatrician decide to use it, always start with the lowest dose, and don’t give Melatonin to kids under 5.
- You’re an older adult: Your body’s natural Melatonin declines as you age, which could make older adults more sensitive to the effects of Melatonin. In a systematic review of 16 studies in which Melatonin was administered to adults 55-77, Melatonin levels remained higher in the older adults over a longer period of time, leading to more pronounced daytime drowsiness, and this increased the more that each person took. Older adults with dementia should avoid Melatonin.
- You’re pregnant or breastfeeding: The research on the safety of Melatonin for people who are breastfeeding or pregnant is limited, so experts generally recommend against taking Melatonin during these phases.
You have certain pre-existing conditions: Melatonin is not recommended for people with epilepsy, bleeding conditions and anemia, or autoimmune diseases.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t mix a Melatonin supplement with depressants like alcohol or stimulants like caffeine, as these substances can already disrupt your natural Melatonin production and sleep.
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A Guide to Using Melatonin
While it’s always best to talk to your doctor about the best supplement schedule for your health history and goals, here’s how Magnesi-Om® products are intended to work as a sleep support.
- To reset your circadian rhythm during times of disrupted sleep, drink Sleepy Magnesi-Om®.* This formula combines a microdose of 0.3mg plant-based Melatonin, 2 bioavailable forms of Magnesium, and L-Theanine. It’s great for travel, shift work, and nights when you have trouble falling asleep.
- Once your sleep-wake cycle is back to normal, consider Magnesi-Om®, our Magnesium powder supplement, for nightly relaxation. Magnesium, an essential mineral, helps regulate your body’s natural Melatonin production, and over 50% of us are deficient in it. Drinking a glass every night can help support your body’s balance to encourage calm on a nightly basis.*
In addition to Magnesium and Melatonin supplements, practicing good sleep hygiene and healthy habits will go a long way toward helping you get a full night’s rest. Develop a routine with a consistent bedtime, wake time, and exercise schedule to encourage your body to get on track. Exercise regularly and cultivate calming techniques, like breathwork and relaxing music, to help you unwind at night.
Melatonin is a helpful sleep support for realigning your circadian rhythm, but once your sleep-wake cycle is reset, you shouldn’t need to take it every night. The long-term consequences or benefits of taking a Melatonin supplement every night are unknown, so it’s best to use it situationally, to help reset as needed or occasionally incorporate Melatonin-rich foods into your diet.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Melatonin: What You Need To Know. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know
- National Library of Medicine, Melatonin: Physiological effects in humans. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25908646/
- National Library of Medicine, Toxicology of melatonin. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9406047/
- National Library of Medicine, The effect of oral contraceptives on the pharmacokinetics of melatonin in healthy subjects with CYP1A2 g.-163C>A polymorphism https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18490497/
- National Library of Medicine, Corticosteroid therapy exacerbates the reduction of melatonin in multiple sclerosis. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29061489/
- UpToDate, Pharmacotherapy for insomnia in children and adolescents: A rational approach https://www.uptodate.com/contents/pharmacotherapy-for-insomnia-in-children-and-adolescents-a-rational-approach
- National Library of Medicine, Optimal dosages for melatonin supplementation therapy in older adults: a systematic review of current literature https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24802882/