Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Is using melatonin to help fall asleep safe?

  1. Jun 20, 2012 #1
    My mom got some and I'm wondering if it's safe to use. Is it actually effective? And are there any other issues associated with it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I've used melatonin for quite a few years, 500 mcg tablets, one or at most two, to promote sleep. I find it effective, and without problems.

    I'm unaware of any safety issues associated with its use, although you will have slightly more, shall we say, "lurid" dreams. :)

    Respectfully submitted,
  4. Jun 20, 2012 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Please be careful when self medicating. Always see your doctor before you decide to use over the counter medications.

  5. Jun 20, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The timing that melatonin is taken is also of importance, it can deregulate sleep rhythm when taken at the wrong hour.
  6. Jun 21, 2012 #5
    Melatonin has very few side-effects in the short-term, as long as you don't overdose. The main problems with overdosing is hypothermia.

    However, I would avoid it unless you have serious problems with sleeping. Animal studies are showing that it increases the risk of cancer, and damages the retina.
  7. Jun 22, 2012 #6
    Being a Doctor's Assistant, i'll say Melatonin is completely safe and can be taken to fall asleep but make you'll consult your Doctor before taking it....
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook