Sleep Health Articles

Melatonin FAQs

Are you looking for a natural way to fall asleep and have been considering a supplement like melatonin? While it is one of the most popular natural sleep aids today, you will probably have some good questions before you start to using it to help you get a good night’s rest. Here are some of the most frequently asked melatonin questions:

What Is Melatonin?
Despite its popularity worldwide, many still ask, ‘What is melatonin?’ Melatonin is a hormone naturally made by the body and released into the blood stream once the body is exposed to darkness. Once this occurs, the melatonin hormone signals the brain that it’s time for sleep. Our natural melatonin hormone is greatly regulated by light, time, and the body’s natural biological clock. Oftentimes, our melatonin hormones are disturbed by lifestyle practices, such as an overnight job or a disturbance in the sleep pattern. Thankfully, this important hormone can be properly maintained through melatonin supplements.

Why Take Melatonin?
Millions of people struggle with sleep disorders— from insomnia and jet lag to Circadian Rhythm Disorder—and melatonin is a natural way to combat these disorders and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.  In addition, melatonin benefits individuals who just simply need some extra help falling asleep too.

Is Melatonin Safe?
Yes, melatonin is safe. There have been no reported cases of proven toxicity or overdose on melatonin. You should speak with your doctor if you have questions regarding what dosage is right for you. Do not operate machinery for at least five hours after taking the natural sleep aid.

Who Benefits Most From Taking Melatonin?
Melatonin benefits many different people for many different reasons. Here are the three most common types of people who benefit from a melatonin supplement:

  • Individuals experiencing jetlag. When traveling, circadian rhythms, can get distorted. Jetlag sufferers greatly benefit from taking a melatonin supplement since it helps reestablish the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
  • People experiencing a sleep disorder. Many sleep disorders stem from a lack of melatonin hormone production, therefore supplementing with melatonin may help sleep disorder sufferers fall asleep naturally.
  • People who simply don’t feel tired. Oftentimes, individuals just don’t feel sleepy when they should. This could be due to a lack of natural melatonin production. Luckily, melatonin tablets can help restore the biological clock’s natural rhythm.

When Should I Take Melatonin?
Melatonin is most effective at nighttime when taken 30 minutes to an hour before bed. Although users experience the effects of melatonin at different times, most users experience a feeling of sleepiness about 30 minutes after taking a melatonin supplement.

Is Melatonin Addictive?
Melatonin is non-habit forming and non-addictive.

How Much Melatonin Should I Take?
Melatonin researchers themselves have not determined the optimum doses for various users. Depending on the type of sleep issue and metabolism, individual dosages will vary. Typically, melatonin comes in 1 to 10 mg dosages, and larger doses are not more effective than smaller doses necessarily. Most individuals younger than 60 years of age are satisfied with taking 1 to 3 mg for a few weeks at a time until a natural sleep cycle is restored.

If you feel exhausted in the morning, you may need to lower your dosage. On the other hand, if you continue to have trouble falling and remaining asleep, you may need to increase your dose. Individuals 65 years of age and older typically need the highest potency, about 10 mg, of melatonin.

Will Taking Melatonin Make Me Feel More Tired In The Morning?
When the body is functioning properly, the pineal gland releases the melatonin hormone as the sun goes down. This release of melatonin signals the brain that it’s time to go to sleep – melatonin tablets do the same thing. Therefore, if you have taken a proper dosage at the right time, you should not experience a feeling of excessive sleepiness in the morning.

Can Children Take Melatonin?
It is safe for children to take melatonin with a pediatrician or sleep specialist’s approval.  Depending on the child’s age, dosage and underlying sleep issue, melatonin may or may not be good option for a child. Prior to giving a child melatonin, speak with a healthcare professional to ensure a melatonin supplement will be safe and effective.

According to research, melatonin is most commonly used in children who have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), sleep disorders, visual impairment, autism or other developmental disabilities. [3]

Can Melatonin Be Used For Anything Else?
Melatonin is most commonly used as a natural sleep aid, but research has found that the benefits of melatonin go beyond sleep:

  • Melatonin may promote immune system health. The melatonin hormone helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is strongly connected to the immune system.
  • Melatonin contains antioxidants that may promote healthy ageing by reducing oxidative damage.
  • Headaches may be better maintained with the help of melatonin supplements. Research has linked low melatonin levels to certain types of headaches.
  • Melatonin may play a role in weight management. Some research has shown a correlation between type 2 diabetes and low melatonin levels. [2]

1.Nights, N. S. (2013, September 6). Can You Overdose On Melatonin? A Look At the Side Effects and Dosage. Retrieved March 27, 2015, from No Sleepless Nights:

2. Taylor, P. (2013, April 3). Low Melatonin Linked to Type 2 Diabetes. Retrieved March 23, 2015, from The Globe and Mail:

3. Foundation, S. H. (2012, March 20). Melatonin and Children. Retrieved March 27, 2015, from Sleep Health Foundation: