Can You Overdose on Melatonin?

Can You Overdose on Melatonin

If you’re wondering about this question, then you may be someone who has tried a number of different things to get off to sleep better.

There are lots of people out there who get help from melatonin supplements when they’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep due to stress or overthinking.

The thing about this is that you can easily take more than your prescribed dose – especially if you’re looking for a quick way to fall asleep.

If this is you, then you’ve probably asked yourself this question before. With this in mind, let’s take a look at whether you can overdose on melatonin or not.

Looking at Melatonin Safety

Because melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies, many people are under the impression that it’s a safe supplement to be taking.

While this is true and means that it’s a much safer alternative to taking more harmful prescription medication for sleep, you do have to be careful not to overdose on it. This could potentially lead to health complications.

Side Effects of Melatonin Pills

Sleepiness During the Day

One of the most visible signs of a melatonin overdose is experiencing tiredness during the day. What this looks like is if you choose the wrong time of day to take it, then you could be experiencing drowsiness when you don’t want to. Naturally, this can lead to the risk of injury if you are operating heavy machinery or driving during this time.

Changes in Hormones

Remember, taking melatonin is taking a hormone. This means that there is a very good chance you’ll experience changes in other hormones as a result. An example of this is that women are advised not to take melatonin during pregnancy, as it could interfere with the development of the fetus.

Melatonin is also a hormone that could interfere with your libido – whether you’re a man or a woman. This is because it can interfere with the ovulation cycle and sperm count. This means that if you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s advised that you stop taking melatonin.


Another side effect of increasing your dose of melatonin by too much is severe headaches. Remember, it’s your brain that’s responsible for producing this hormone, so an overload of it will result in localized pain.


Dizziness is another incredibly common side effect of taking too much melatonin. This type of symptom can be frustrating and get in the way of normal everyday activities, like driving or concentrating on a task.

Issues With Your Stomach

Your stomach is going to be affected, either positively or negatively, by everything that you ingest. This means that of course, another common side effect of taking too much melatonin is stomach issues. This can be anything from vomiting and nausea to diarrhea. This is another symptom that can get in the way of everyday life.


While this symptom may not be as common as others, it can still certainly occur as a result of taking too much melatonin. As well as feeling confused and paranoid, you may experience hallucinations and delusions. Couple this with feeling dizzy, and you’ve got a recipe for a very unpleasant experience.

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Depression and Anxiety

Both anxiety and depression are potential symptoms of too much melatonin. Remember, both of these mental health conditions are the result of severe hormone imbalances, so it makes sense that if you have way too much of one particular hormone, health conditions like these could be triggered.

Melatonin Dosages and What is Too Much

One of the most significant factors to consider when deciding on the right dosage is your age. The average adult is recommended a dose between 0.2mg and 20mg.

Another factor that determines this is the reason why you want to take it in the first place. This is why it’s a good idea to consult your healthcare professional first before you decide on a dose.


Taking 10mg of melatonin is common because it is quite a mild amount. 10mg of melatonin is usually taken by people who are blind and have sleep disorders. Each dose is taken right before bedtime, and the entire prescription can last up to nine weeks.


This is a high amount of melatonin, which means this dose should be reserved for severe situations. An example of this is if you’re planning to combine a dose of melatonin with another more conventional therapy, like radiation.


Taking melatonin at this level is usually reserved for patients who have blood clots. It’s also used alongside traditional cancer therapy, and will be given to the patient for as long as the conventional treatment lasts.


This is an incredibly high level of melatonin and shouldn’t be used in any situation. This is when you can begin to develop complications from taking it, like the symptoms that are mentioned above.

What is a Lethal Dose of Melatonin?

Every medicine currently available on the market has its own overdose measurement. This is determined through mice – if 50% of mice who have taken the medicine at a particular dosage have died, then this is considered the amount it would take to overdose.

With this in mind, melatonin is relatively safe as it would take an incredibly high dosage to experience any complications – high doses didn’t seem to be enough to kill any mice.

How Long Do the Effects Last?

A dose of melatonin will last anywhere between 20 and 50 minutes. This means that it is better to take a melatonin tablet that is slow releasing that taking a higher dose right before bed. Remember, it is a case by case situation as everyone requires a slightly different dose.

Why Do People Take a Melatonin Supplement

Melatonin is the hormone naturally produced by our brains to encourage the onset of sleep. If an individual finds that they are struggling to get to sleep or aren’t sleeping well through the night, they may consider taking a melatonin supplement to give their body a boost of this sleep-inducing hormone.

Can You Become Dependent on Melatonin?

Melatonin tablets are considered a supplement and therefore not habit-forming. However, it’s important to remember only to use it when you absolutely need it. Of course, taking too much of it could lead to a number of unpleasant side effects, as mentioned above.

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Can Children Take It?

Melatonin has been prescribed freely to children for quite some time now, so it is safe for children to be taking it as well. Just remember that it is intended to handle quite specific sleep issues, and should only be taken out of necessity.

What Should I Do if I Take Too Much?

The first thing you should do if you feel like you’ve taken too much is to contact your healthcare professional. Try to remember though that it’s difficult to overdose on melatonin, so you can always just try to wait it out.

Final Thoughts

Because melatonin is the sleep hormone that our body naturally produces, it’s something that we need. This means that there is no real harm in taking it as a supplement.

Melatonin is considered a safe supplement because it is difficult to develop any side effects from it. Most people will end up experiencing the desired results – it’s so safe, in fact, that it’s considered an excellent sleep aid for children, too.

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