Side effects of Vitamin M?

  • Creator
  • #3627
    Colin Simon

    A few years ago I started occasionally taking Melatonin to aid alpine starts.

    For example I was normally going to bed at 11pm-midnight, and then wanted to alpine start for the Grand Traverse. So, I ate 3mg of melatonin at 5pm, was in bed by 6, and asleep by 7pm, allowing me to get 8 hours of sleep before an alpine start.

    During occasional sleepless nights I’d take it at 3am or so.

    Lately I’ve been using it more, even just to help make sure I get a good night’s sleep during a normal week.

    Are there any nasty side effects to this? Will I make myself dependent on it?

Posted In: Nutrition

  • Participant
    Ed Schaefer on #3686

    I take melatonin pretty frequently/regularly as well and I have not noticed any negative effects. I do try to ‘cycle’ and not use it every day, or if I use it a bunch of days in a row I will take a break for a bit.

    Per the research I was able to find it is considered generally safe and has been studied in people using it continuously for up to 2 years. Some potential side effects can include headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability. I would say if you notice any of those symptoms discontinue use for a bit and see how it goes.

    I have a stack that I use to improve sleep quality that includes L-Tryptophan, 5-HTP, GABA, ZMA, and melatonin spray. The only time of year I find I have any lingering grogginess or anything is this time of year when the days are at their shortest and light exposure is minimized.

    I don’t think you can form a dependency on it. My only concern would be if supplementing with melatonin at some point limits the body’s production of it, but I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest this happens. In my experience I find that after I take it for a few days/weeks in a row it seems that my body adjusts and gets used to falling asleep at that time and I actually don’t need the melatonin for a while to get a good night’s sleep. This is anecdotal so not sure if others have the same experience.

    cramblda on #3689

    My teenage daughter was having sleeping issues and her Dr. recommended melatonin tablets as a very safe option for regular (daily) use. After hearing about this, I gave them a try one night and noticed how much easier it was to wake up after using melatonin vs. something like Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen PM. I also didn’t want to be using Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen PM more than a few times a year. Now I use melatonin just as you describe, for Alpine starts and occasion weekly sleep assistance. I also use it occasionally when backpacking and I’m going to bed earlier then my body is used to. The best advice would come from your Dr. However, my understanding is since melatonin is naturally occurring in humans it’s much safer than foreign substances.

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