What Happens If You Take Too Much Melatonin?

melatonin overdose symptoms

Taking melatonin supplements can aid in regulating sleep patterns, particularly for those struggling with falling asleep or experiencing insomnia. However, as with any supplement, it’s important to avoid excessive intake to prevent adverse effects and long-term health issues. Melatonin supplements are generally considered safe for adults at doses ranging from 3 to 10 mg daily.

Research indicates that very high doses of melatonin, such as 1,000 mg/day orally, 300 mg/day enterally (administered through the digestive tract), and 1-100 mg intravenously, do not lead to clinically significant side effects1. However, it’s recommended to avoid daily doses exceeding 10 mg unless under medical supervision for specific conditions, as higher doses can increase the likelihood of side effects without providing additional benefits.

Using melatonin responsibly is crucial, as well as being mindful of potential dangers and taking necessary precautions. Understanding the risks and consequences associated with excessive melatonin intake is essential for its safe and effective use as a sleep aid or for other purposes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Excessive melatonin intake can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle and cause various symptoms.
  • Drowsiness, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and irritability are common effects of too much melatonin.
  • In severe cases, melatonin overdose symptoms may include rapid heart rate, hallucinations, confusion, and seizures.
  • If you suspect an overdose, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Proper dosage precautions and consulting with a healthcare professional are essential when using melatonin supplements.

What Happens If You Take Too Much Melatonin

Taking too much melatonin can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle and cause a range of symptoms. Some common effects of excessive melatonin intake include:

  • Drowsiness: Excessive sleepiness or feeling excessively tired.
  • Dizziness: A spinning sensation or feeling lightheaded.
  • Headache: Pain or discomfort in the head or neck region.
  • Nausea: A feeling of sickness or queasiness in the stomach.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.

In more severe cases, individuals may experience:

  • Confusion: Difficulty thinking clearly or understanding information.
  • Disorientation: Feeling lost or having a lack of spatial awareness.
  • Difficulty breathing: Shortness of breath or struggling to breathe normally.

If you suspect a melatonin overdose or if these symptoms persist or worsen, it is important to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can provide the necessary guidance and support to address the situation.

what happens if you take too much melatonin

Recognizing Melatonin Overdose Symptoms

Recognizing the signs of excessive melatonin intake is essential for addressing the issue promptly. Knowing these signs, you can take appropriate steps to avoid potential risks and complications. Some key areas to consider when identifying signs of excessive melatonin intake include physical symptoms, cognitive and emotional impacts, and long-term risks.

Physical Signs of Excessive Melatonin Intake

Excessive melatonin intake can lead to various physical symptoms. These may include:

  • Excessive drowsiness: Feeling excessively tired or experiencing grogginess during the day can indicate an overdose of melatonin.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances: Digestive issues such as stomach pain, nausea, or diarrhea may be signs of melatonin toxicity.
  • Changes in appetite: A significant increase or decrease in appetite can suggest an imbalance caused by excessive melatonin consumption.

Cognitive and Emotional Impact of Overdosing

In addition to physical symptoms, overdosing on melatonin can have cognitive and emotional impacts. These may include:

  • Confusion: Experiencing difficulty with clear thinking or feeling disoriented may result from excessive melatonin intake.
  • Memory problems: Overdosing melatonin can affect memory and lead to difficulty remembering information or events.
  • Mood swings: Fluctuations in mood, including irritability, aggression, or sudden changes in emotions, can be attributed to melatonin overdose.
  • Depression: Overdosing on melatonin may contribute to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or a persistent low mood.

Long-Term Risks of Melatonin Overuse

While the long-term risks of melatonin overuse are still being studied, some concerns have been identified:

  • Dependency: Regularly taking high doses of melatonin can lead to dependency, where your body becomes reliant on the supplement to initiate sleep.
  • Decreased natural production of melatonin: Continuous melatonin supplementation may suppress your body’s ability to produce melatonin naturally, further exacerbating sleep issues.
  • Potential effects on hormonal regulation: Overusing melatonin could disrupt your body’s delicate balance of hormones, leading to unforeseen consequences.
Signs of Melatonin Overdose


Melatonin, while beneficial for managing sleep disorders and regulating sleep patterns, requires careful management to prevent adverse effects. The key to its safe and effective use lies in moderation and medical guidance. Overconsumption of melatonin can lead to a range of symptoms, from drowsiness and gastrointestinal issues to more severe effects like confusion and mood changes. These symptoms not only disrupt daily life but can also indicate an underlying overdose that needs immediate medical attention. It’s imperative to adhere to recommended dosages—typically between 3 to 10 mg for adults—and consult healthcare professionals before making any adjustments. This precaution ensures that melatonin supplements serve their purpose without leading to dependency or diminishing the body’s natural melatonin production.

Furthermore, understanding the long-term implications of melatonin overuse is crucial. Regular intake of high doses can lead to dependency. Users should be particularly cautious to avoid a decrease in the body’s natural melatonin production, which could exacerbate sleep problems in the long run. The risks associated with hormonal imbalance also highlight the need for controlled usage, as hormonal regulation is vital for overall health and well-being. By being informed about the potential consequences and recognizing the signs of melatonin overdose, individuals can take proactive steps to use melatonin safely and effectively, thus maintaining their health and enhancing their sleep quality.


  1. A Case for Higher-Dose Melatonin ↩︎

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