Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound, a hormone found in human beings and other mammals. It is produced by pineal gland situated in the brain. The main function of melatonin is to regulate sleep and wake cycle in human beings. Products containing melatonin are available as dietary supplements in United States; however in many other countries this neurohormone requires a prescription for its use.
Though melatonin is beneficial in many conditions, increase dosage or its use is known to produce melatonin side effects. Before knowing what are melatonin side effects it is necessary to know what its use is, and how these natural compound helps humans in their daily life.
Benefits Of Melatonin
Melatonin synthesis has cyclical pattern, it is produced more as the night approaches or during the dark phase of the day. The level drops abruptly as soon as the day approaches. Even a brief exposure to light at night rapidly suppresses melatonin production. The level of melatonin starts decreasing as a person ages.
People above the age of sixty have low melatonin level due to its low secretion in the pineal gland, and that is the reason they often have difficulty in sleeping. Melatonin is useful for people associated with shift works, persons traveling more often and complaining of jet leg, blind person, insomnia and aged individuals.
Melatonin Supplement Side Effects
If you are having sleeping problem or insomnia, you may be taking sleeping pills. These sleeping pills contain melatonin. Consuming excess of melatonin synthetic products may cause unwanted melatonin side effects.
Following are the reported side effects of melatonin: headache, nausea, depression, dizziness, sleepwalking, weight gain, heart problem, sleepiness during day time, and discomfort in abdomen.
Most of the side effects such as drowsiness and sleepiness occur when melatonin supplement is taken during the daytime. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery if you are taking melatonin supplement.
Melatonin side effects weight gain: studies have shown that deficiency of melatonin is correlated to weight gain, especially around the waist and abdominal area.
Melatonin Side Effects On Depression And Heart
Melatonin side effects depression: If a patient is suffering from depression and he is already taking anti-depressive medicine, addition of melatonin supplementation may worsen the symptoms. Therefore a person suffering from depression should always consult his physician before taking melatonin supplementation.
Melatonin side effects on heart
A normal healthy individual has his heart rate between 80 to 100 beats per minute. If anything beyond this is considered as abnormal. Tachycardia is the medical word used for increased heart rate. One of the side effects of melatonin is tachycardia. The heart rate increases even when the body is resting when you take melatonin, as one of its side effect. Tachycardia will raise the blood pressure and put further load on your heart leading to condition such as heart attack of stroke. In case you feel palpitation and sudden increase in heart rate after taking melatonin supplement, you need to immediately consult your doctor.