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Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness.  It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythm (24-hour internal clock) and signals your brain when it’s time to sleep.

Melatonin supplements may help with certain conditions such as jet lag, shift work sleep disorder, delayed sleep-wake phase disorders in children, and anxiety before or after surgery.  Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplements. 

Melatonin supplements at normal doses appear to be safe for children for short-term use, but there is limited information on long term effects.

There is lack of research on the safety of melatonin use in pregnant and breastfeeding women.  Melatonin is not recommended for use in people with dementia. 

Side effects:

  • drowsiness
  • increased bedwetting or urination
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • agitation

Tips for Parents and Caregivers:

  • Melatonin comes in various forms like tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, and gummies.
  • Melatonin can look and taste like candy, so if a child gets into a bottle, he or she may eat several.
  • Exposure in children has increased with the development of gummy formulations.
  • Take care to keep candy-like preparations out of the reach of children.

Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this 
site for further treatment advice.

Last Updated on 12/21/2023