When should I avoid taking melatonin?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Avoid taking melatonin in these circumstances:
  • If you can’t sleep because of issues like stress, depression, or anxiety. Melatonin may not work in those cases because the problem doesn’t lie with the body’s ability to make its own melatonin. You may benefit from practicing progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) to calm your body and distract your brain.
  • If you have already taken melatonin earlier that evening. Because it is so powerful, too much melatonin may actually disrupt your sleeping pattern, which may lead to your waking up in the middle of the night. Some people complain of a “melatonin hangover,” which may lead to them feeling even more groggy and unrested! This happens because any residual melatonin in your system in the morning will make your body think it’s still nighttime -- and it will be even harder to wake up.
  • If you find yourself needing more than 1 mg at night to fall asleep. You may be taking too high of a dose, and you'll put yourself at risk of disrupting your sleep cycle. If 1 mg of melatonin isn’t enough, your body may be telling you to add other methods to help your sleep.
  • If you’ve been taking melatonin for longer than two weeks. This may be a sign that your body’s sleep issues come from another problem, like stress or depression, that must be addressed differently.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.