What Is A Safe Melatonin Dose
According to Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, melatonin is very safe if taken in normal doses, which is anything between 0.5 mg and 5 mg.
A 0.5 mg dose may be all thats needed for sleep-cycle regulation, and should be taken three to five hours before bed, he says. For people who want to take melatonin just before bed, a 5 mg dose is appropriate. Some people report headaches or stomach problems at higher doses, but those side-effects are uncommon, he says.
Still, there are other concerns. Melatonin has an incredible safety record, no doubt about it, says Dr. Mark Moyad, the Jenkins/Pomkempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan. But its a hormone, and you dont want to mess around with hormones until you know what theyre doing.
People with existing medical problems should discuss melatonin with their doctor before using it. While some research has found that melatonin may help treat hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, for example, other studies have shown that, in diabetes patients who carry certain genetic traits, melatonin may interfere with glucose regulation. Its these sorts of contradictory findings that give experts pause when it comes to issuing melatonin a full-throated endorsement.
Who Can Take Melatonin
The following issues can benefit from taking melatonin supplements:
- Jetlag: Travelling across multiple time zones gives you jetlag and disturbs your sleep pattern.
- Shift work sleep disorder: Shift work disorder can be caused by working night shifts, rotating shifts, or even an early morning shift. This leads to sleep deprivation and the inability to fall asleep when you need to.
- Insomnia: Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Delayed sleep phase disorder : You cannot fall asleep fast, so you end up staying awake beyond midnight and find it difficult waking up early in the morning when you need to.
Doctors have also recommended melatonin supplements for the following conditions:
- Sleep disorders and certain developmental and behavioral disorders in children
Foods That Lower Heart Rate
While some supplements might help, Harvard Health Publishing recommends that you try to meet your dietary and heart health needs with whole foods that lower heart rate. Smokers should start by eliminating stimulants like nicotine, and sensitive people should consider cutting caffeine from their diet, as it can affect heart rate.
As part of a diet low on the glycemic index, beans and other legumes were shown in a study in the November 2012 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine to improve overall cardiac health, including lowering resting heart rate. As well as being full of heart-healthy fiber, beans are a good , which you can also get in nuts, whole grains, dark leafy greens and avocados.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been shown to lower resting heart rate and may have some protective effects on heart health, especially in conjunction with a reduced intake of omega-6’s. Fish is also a good source of coenzyme Q10, along with meat, nuts, and some oils.
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Heart Rate In A Nondiseased Population
A Norwegian study with almost 380 000 middle-aged men and women without overt cardiovascular disease during a 12-year follow-up revealed the strong correlation between heart rate, and cardiovascular mortality was greatly weakened after adjusting for the main factors of the disease. The authors suggested that increased heart rate in middle age may be only a marker of cardiovascular risk instead of an independent risk factor.
Determination Of Plasma Catecholamine Level
Aortic blood samples were taken at the end of the treatment period at 8:00 AM, 24 h after the surgery in chronically cannulated conscious rats, and were placed in ice-chilled tubes containing a preservative solution . The samples were rapidly centrifuged at 14,000 g for 5 min at 4Â°C. The plasma was frozen at â80Â°C until the assay. Plasma NE and epinephrine concentrations were measured by HPLC as previously described.
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Slow Heartbeat And Anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety symptoms generally and you also have what appears to be a slow heart rate, it is entirely possible that the two are related.
The causes of slow heart rate in the case of anxiety are not entirely clear. However, here are some possible causes:
Stop Checking Your Pulse
You should see a doctor if you’re concerned about a low heart rate. But once the doctor rules out medical symptoms, you need to stop checking your pulse unless instructed to do so by a doctor. Persistent pulse checking is a symptom of anxiety, and it’s a symptom that serves to fuel and reinforce your existing anxiety problem.
This behavior is self-sustaining. For example, when you check your pulse multiple times a day, you’ll never be satisfied with a normal result. You’ll instead keep checking until you finally have the anomaly you’ve been waiting for, which will then reinforce the idea that you need to keep checking your pulse constantly.
On the other hand, every time you check your pulse and you see that its normal, this gives you a bit of a buzz, temporarily alleviating your anxiety and giving you a sense that everything is ok. That positive feeling reinforces not just the pulse taking, but also the anxiety that precedes the pulse-taking. Youll soon find yourself becoming anxious and taking your pulse again, allowing the cycle to repeat.
In either case, the take-home message is that repeatedly checking your pulse is not a helpful behaviour.
Overview Of Cardiovascular Benefits Of Melatonin
The presence of melatonin in edible plants and other types of food is well established . Melatonin-rich foods include various food components from both animal and plant origins such as chicken, lamb, pork, cow milk, strawberries, tomatoes, olives, grapes, wines, cereals and cherries . Interestingly, melatonin concentrations are significantly higher in plants than in animals . This is most likely due to differences between the biosynthetic pathways of melatonin in plants and animals . Plants synthesize tryptophan themselves via the shikimic acid pathway, which increases their melatonin synthetic capacity . Animals produce melatonin from tryptophan . For more details on the biosynthesis of melatonin as well as the dietary source of melatonin, see reviews .
Table 3. Some examples of melatonin content in different plants and foods.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Melatonin
Dose-wise, Dr. Drerup suggests you take between 1 to 3 milligrams of melatonin per night. Melatonin is generally safe for most people, but too high of a dose can lead to unpleasant side effects.
Common side effects from taking melatonin include:
- Reduced alertness.
- Low blood pressure.
The long-term effects of taking melatonin are also a question mark. Minimal research exists on using melatonin beyond a few months, says Dr. Drerup. In general, melatonin usage has only been deemed safe for up to three months, even though many people take it for much longer.
However, because melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement, it isnt regulated by the FDA. This means whats marketed as melatonin could be something far different. A 2017 study found the actual melatonin content in 71% of supplements didnt match the amount advertised on the label. Researchers found supplements contained fillers, preservatives or even serotonin the latter of which can be harmful in higher doses.
And while melatonin is easily available over the counter, Dr. Drerup recommends talking to your doctor before starting to take it, just as you would any other supplement. Its best to check especially if you have any health conditions, and also so your doctor can review any potential interactions with other medications/supplements.
Melatonin As A Potential Means Of Hr Reduction In Hypertension Or Nondipping Hr Conditions
Melatonin, a molecule produced in a circadian manner by the pineal gland, is the principle messenger in synchronizing the activity of peripheral systems with light/dark variations via an action on the master circadian generator, in the suprachiasmatic nucleus .- In addition to its chronobiotic actions, melatonin exerts a number of specific receptor-dependent and receptor-independent effects, which help to maintain proper physiological functions of numerous tissues and organs including the cardiovascular system .-
Melatonin has extraordinary antioxidant and scavenging potential both extra- and intracellularly reducing the level of oxidative stress. It enhances also the nitric oxide bioavailability exerting thus cardiovascular protection through vasodilatation, hypotension, and inhibition of pathologic growth.- Besides its receptor-independent effects, melatonin may act protectively also by interaction directly with the G-protein-coupled membrane-bound melatonin receptors or indirectly with nuclear orphan receptors., Melatonin confers benefits in a variety of cardiovascular pathologies,- and its pathophysiological actions predict melatonin to be a promising candidate in the struggle against elevated heart rate in a hypertensive population.
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Melatonin And Hypertension And Other Vascular Pathologies
Endogenous and exogenous melatonin play an important role in hypertension and other vascular pathologies . In animal studies, continuous light exposure or pinealectomy with a subsequent melatonin deficiency results in an increase in blood pressure , a condition which is reversed by melatonin supplementation . A similar finding is also reported in spontaneous hypertensive and metabolic syndrome rats supplemented with melatonin, thereby confirming its therapeutic potential in hypertension.
In human studies, night time melatonin administration reduces BP values of hypertensive men or women as well as normotensive women . In patients with metabolic syndrome, melatonin supplementation for 2 months reduces the systolic and diastolic BP, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol , thiobarbituric acid reactive substrates and increases antioxidant defense . These beneficial effects are also observed in patients with essential hypertension receiving medical treatment where melatonin restores the normal circadian rhythm of BP . However, in patients with postural tachycardia syndrome , melatonin does not affect systolic BP despite a modest decrease in standing tachycardia .
Side Effects Of Melatonin
Some patients have told me they experience a hangover or brain fog effect when they take melatonin. A few who suffered with depression said they felt more depressed. Dr. Reiter suggested that in those cases, to use a dosage of less than 1 mg, such as 200 mcg.
Dr. Reiter noted that in clinical trials with melatonin, you never see any mention of such unusual responses, which may also include hyperactivity. He attributed this to a potential reaction with other ingredients in the pills that are available commercially. Researchers, by contrast, use only pure melatonin in their studies. Still, he said, there could be some people with unique chemical sensitivities.
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Cant Sleep Dont Turn On The Light
Darkness not sleep, as many people think is what causes the body to produce melatonin. Exposure to light, including nightlights, short-circuits this process.
Still, its difficult to wean yourself entirely of light at night. Thats why its best to use red bulbs in nightlights. Red light doesnt interfere with melatonin like other colors of light do especially the blue bulbs that sometimes come with nightlights.
Whatever you do, dont get up and read a book or open the refrigerator to pull out a snack. According to Dr. Reiter, if you do you that, you are producing the equivalent of jet lag. Even if you lay in bed in darkness and dont sleep, you still produce melatonin. If you wake up in the middle of the night and find you cant readily go back to sleep, take some melatonin a reduced amount but dont turn on the light.
What Does This Mean For Me
Individuals who take beta-blockers can have less melatonin than needed, therefore making it difficult to sleep.
Many beta-blockers can decrease the amount of melatonin by up to 80% .
A clinical study conducted with patients taking beta-blockers showed significant improvement in peoples quality of sleep when they continually took a 2.5mg melatonin supplement one hour prior to going to sleep.
The results from taking this supplement showed that patients fell sleep approximately 10 minutes faster and progressed into deeper stages of sleep more quickly.
No adverse reactions were seen from taking this melatonin supplement.
These improvements began after 1 week of taking the supplement and lasted for up to two weeks after individuals stopped taking it.
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Adverse Effects Of Melatonin Intake: Overview
Consumption of food supplements that contain melatonin or mainly contain melatonin has shown adverse effects in numerous studies. The most frequently reported side effects include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, tremors, migraine, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nightmares, vivid dreams, and irritability. There were even cases of supplement abuse for suicide attempts through melatonin overdose.
The reason for such adverse effects was traced to an incorrect presentation of the amount of melatonin a bottle of supplements truly contains. Investigation shows that melatonin supplement bottles can have 4 times more melatonin than indicated. This can affect ones health significantly, because of the higher the dose, the serious and more frequent side effects.
However, this is not the only reason side effects occur. Sometimes, doctors do NOT prescribe a suitable dosage, or the patients decide to dose themselves as they want. Some people even tend to drink alcohol with melatonin, hoping to emphasize the sedative effects. But, they just cause even more serious side effects.
How Can I Make My Heart Beat Normal
Exercise: The easiest and most effective way to achieve a lasting lower heart rate is to do regular exercise. 2. Stay hydrated: When the body is dehydrated, the heart has to work harder to stabilize blood flow. Throughout the day, drink plenty of sugar- and caffeine-free beverages, such as water and herbal tea.
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Cardiovascular Benefits Of Dietary Melatonin: A Myth Or A Reality
- Cardioprotection Group, Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
The role of the diet as well as the impact of the dietary habits on human health and disease is well established. Apart from its sleep regulatory effect, the indoleamine melatonin is a well-established antioxidant molecule with multiple health benefits. Convincing evidence supports the presence of melatonin in plants and foods with the intake of such foods affecting circulating melatonin levels in humans. While numerous actions of both endogenous melatonin and melatonin supplementation are well described, little is known about the influence of the dietary melatonin intake on human health. In the present review, evidence for the cardiovascular health benefits of melatonin supplementation and dietary melatonin is discussed. Current knowledge on the biological significance as well as the underlying physiological mechanism of action of the dietary melatonin is also summarized. Whether dietary melatonin constitutes an alternative preventive treatment for cardiovascular disease is addressed.
Reasons You Might Have Vivid Dreams After Taking Melatonin
If you are having particularly vivid or bad dreams after taking melatonin, it may be your bodys natural response to falling into a deeper, more restful sleep. Studies have found that melatonin can increase REM sleep, the sleep cycle known for causing vivid dreams. If you are spending more time in the stage of sleep where vivid dreams are most likely to occur, this may naturally lead to increases in bad/vivid dreams, says Dr. Drerup.
When youre sleeping, melatonin also releases vasotocin, a protein that regulates REM sleep, she adds. Increased amounts of melatonin may lead to higher levels of vasotocin therefore more REM sleep and potentially vivid dreams. Scientists are also exploring the links between melatonin and memory. A 2020 study found that after melatonin broke down in the body, one of the resulting molecules helped mice improve their long-term memory.
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Taking Melatonin When Pregnant
Taking melatonin during pregnancy might help protect the babys brain against damage. However, there is not enough available evidence to confirm this benefit.
A 2016 review of studies did not find any evidence that taking melatonin during pregnancy has protective effects on a fetus.
When it comes to promoting sleep, melatonin may not be the best choice during pregnancy. It might interfere with the sleep cycles of the woman and the baby.
Although melatonin is safe overall, there is not enough research on its effects during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should talk to their doctor before taking this supplement.
How Long Does It Take For Melatonin To Kick In
With the recommended dose of melatonin , it takes around one to two hours to induce sleep. Hence, you should take melatonin supplements two hours before your bedtime.
If you want to take melatonin to avoid getting jetlag, you need to start taking the pills a few days before you make your trip. Once you reach the new time zone, take the melatonin sleeping aid two hours before you go to bed.
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Melatonin May Worsen Heart Condition
Melatonin supplements, often taken to help insomniacs and jet-lagged travellers sleep, may make it dangerous for those with cardiovascular problems to stand, reported a researcher in yesterday’s issue of the Journal of Physiology.
The study by Chester A. Ray, associate professor of medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, suggests that melatonin supplements may make symptoms worse for the half a million people – many of them women and the elderly – with orthostatic intolerance, a condition in which the cardiovascular system cannot maintain adequate blood pressure and blood flow to the brain when a person stands, causing dizziness and fainting.
“Melatonin supplements can hinder nervous system responses that enable the body to compensate for the drop in blood pressure when a person moves from a seated to standing position,” said Ray.
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain and secreted at night on a circadian, or 24 hour, cycle, to make people feel sleepy. Available in synthetic form, dietary supplements of melatonin have been linked to improved sleep, prevention of jet lag, and more. Studies have also shown that melatonin supplementation may reduce blood pressure and decrease blood plasma levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter responsible for raising blood pressure.
Melatonin is also taken by astronauts in space, two-thirds of whom experience orthostatic intolerance immediately after touchdown on Earth.