YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Melatonin is a hormone in your body that helps regulate your natural sleep and wake cycle. Six million Americans take it as a supplement to manage their sleep.
Doctors say that we often misuse it, taking it as a general sleep aid and to help with insomnia.
But melatonin doesn’t promote sleep, it regulates your circadian rhythm, resets your clock after something like jet lag or a shift change at work.
The recommended dose is no more than five milligrams.
“Higher doses are not necessarily more effective, and actually can be counterproductive because they can have the opposite effect. They may end up making you sleepy during the day, when you don’t want to be sleeping, and also they increase the risk of adverse effects, as well,” explained Dr. Naima Covassin, a cardiovascular disease doctor at the Mayo Clinic.
Used in high doses, melatonin can change your heart rate and blood pressure and interact with blood thinners or medicines you might be taking for seizures and depression.