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Side Effects, Dosage And More – Forbes Health



Melatonin, best known for its use as a sleep aid, is one of the top five most widely consumed nutritional supplements in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Health Interview Survey (NHIS). And it’s no surprise when you consider that nearly 40% of Americans have trouble falling asleep, according to a 2013 study by PloS ONE.

Since its discovery in the late 1950s, melatonin has become a well-known natural sleep aid. But once you get into the facts, you might be surprised at what melatonin really is, and what researchers say it can do for your body.

Melatonin facts

Melatonin is a hormone made in the body by the pineal gland, a tiny gland located deep in the brain. The pineal gland releases melatonin in response to reduced light. Endogenous melatonin – melatonin found naturally in the body – is said to help make you progressively sleepy in the evenings and bedtime.

Melatonin supplements (called exogenous melatonin) are generally synthetically produced hormones. They’re available without a prescription in the United States, but many other countries require a prescription to get them.

Melatonin is widely used as a sleep aid, but people often misunderstand it, says Michael Grandner, MD, director of the sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson.

“Melatonin doesn’t work like a prescription sleeping pill. It’s much more nuanced, ”he says. “Melatonin can help someone fall asleep a little quicker and it can help them sleep through the night, but many supplement manufacturers make over-promises.”

Grandner says melatonin supplements can improve some people’s ability to fall asleep faster, but how much is measured in minutes – not hours. Melatonin supplements are best for someone with mild sleep problems, he says.

In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says melatonin can be used for some problems related to sleep timing, but it is not a solution to a serious sleep problem like chronic insomnia.

Melatonin dosage

Grander advocates low doses of melatonin to mislead the body that the supplement is a natural signal – which means that the body is mistaking the supplement for the body’s own natural melatonin production. If you flood the body with extremely high levels of melatonin, he warns, the chances are your body may simply overwrite it and treat it like an error signal.

For this reason, he suggests that patients take half a milligram of melatonin about an hour or two before bedtime. However, you may need to experiment with timing and a higher dose. Here’s an example of what the research says:

For adults who have difficulty falling asleep at regular bedtime (delayed sleep syndrome): A review in Sleep in 2010 found that studies giving participants 0.3 to 5 milligrams of melatonin daily concluded that melatonin had a positive impact on overall sleep time and on falling asleep.

For adults who have trouble sleeping caused by beta-blockers (medicines used to treat high blood pressure): A 2012 study in Sleep found that 2.5 milligram capsules of melatonin taken an hour before bed each night increased participants’ total sleep time by 36 minutes and decreased sleep time by eight minutes.

For adults aged 65 and over with insomnia: Natural melatonin production can decrease with age, leading to more sleep problems as you get older. A 2019 review that only included studies in adults aged 65 or over concluded that those participants benefited from taking 1 to 6 milligrams of melatonin per night.

Children on the autism spectrum (2 to 18 years old) with delayed sleep: A study in the Journal of Pineal Research gave children with autism 5 milligrams of controlled-release (or timed-release) melatonin every night. The researchers concluded that the supplements improved the sleep of 47 out of 51 children participating in the study, producing an average improvement in overall sleep time of 30 minutes.

Can you overdose on melatonin?

Taking a large dose of melatonin is unlikely to cause you serious side effects, but you may not feel as good either, Grandner says. You may feel nausea or a headache. It won’t last long, however – melatonin only stays in the body for about five hours.

Side effects of melatonin

Some users report headache, upset stomach, or drowsiness during the day after taking melatonin. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine advises people with dementia against taking melatonin as it could increase the risk of falls or nighttime feelings of disorientation. It is also known to remain active longer in the elderly, which can lead to drowsiness during the day.

But overall, melatonin, which is used as a sleep aid in the short term (less than six months), is considered safe. Since most studies, especially those looking at sleep and melatonin, only last three to four weeks, more research is needed into the possible long-term effects of melatonin supplementation.

There are other considerations to keep in mind as well. Researchers are discovering that melatonin plays a role in many components of health beyond sleep, including anxiety, migraines, heart function, immune responses, digestion, depression, fertility, and more.

For example, a 2013 study in the Journal of Andrology concluded that melatonin can negatively affect men’s semen quality. And Florida State University researcher James Olcese says melatonin can also affect female fertility. If you are trying to become pregnant, are currently pregnant, or are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking any melatonin supplement.

Mixing melatonin with other drugs

Melatonin has a wide variety of effects when mixed with prescription drugs. For example, research in the Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research found that melatonin could be beneficial for people taking beta-blockers because these drugs for high blood pressure reduce the body’s natural production of melatonin. But people taking the blood thinner warfarin should avoid melatonin as it can affect blood clotting, according to a 2016 study in the Life Sciences Journal.

Some research has also found potential benefits of adding melatonin to treatments that include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression and bipolar disorder. Melatonin can also interact with immunosuppressants and epilepsy drugs.

Bottom Line: Anyone taking prescription medication should consult their doctor before adding a melatonin supplement to their daily intake, Grandner says.

How to choose a melatonin supplement

There’s a lot to be desired when it comes to supplement reliability, research in clinical sleep medicine suggests. For example, it was found that the melatonin content in dietary supplements was between 83% less and 478% higher than the concentration stated on the product label. It also found shocking batch-to-batch variability – melatonin levels varied by as much as 465% when comparing different batches of the same product from the same manufacturer.

Grandner says there’s not much a consumer can do other than buy from a brand with a good reputation. “Look for the bigger and more established companies,” he says. “They have more to lose when they sell inferior products.”


A nationwide study reports changes in the use of natural products by Americans. National Health Institute. Accessed on June 3rd, 2021.

Melatonin: What You Need To Know. Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. Accessed on June 3rd, 2021.

Ferracioli-Oda E, Qawasmi A, Bloch M. Meta-analysis: Melatonin for the treatment of primary sleep disorders. Plus one. 2013; 8 (5).

Attenburrow MEJ, Cowen PJ, Sharpley AL. Low-dose melatonin improves sleep in healthy middle-aged subjects. Psychopharmacology. 1996; 126: 179-81.

Geijlswijk I, Korzilius H, Smits M. The use of exogenous melatonin in delayed sleep phase disorder: A meta-analysis. Sleep. 2010; 33 (12): 1605-1614.

F. Scheer, C. Morris, J. Garcia et al. Repeated Melatonin Supplementation Improves Sleep in Hypertensive Patients Treated with Beta Blockers: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Sleep. 2012; 35 (10): 1395-1402.

Brzezinski A, Vangel M, Wurtman R, et al. Effects of exogenous melatonin on sleep: a meta-analysis. Sleep medicine reviews. 2005; 9 (1): 41-50.

SackR, et al. Sleep-promoting effect of melatonin: in what dose, with whom, under what conditions and through what mechanisms? Sleep. 1997; 20 (10): 908-915.

Wasdell MB, Jan JE, Bombs MM, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled, controlled-release study of melatonin for the treatment of delayed sleep phase syndrome and impaired sleep maintenance in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Journal of Pineal Research. 2008; 44: 57-64.

Dolberg O, Hirschmann S. Grunhaus L. Melatonin for the treatment of sleep disorders in major depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 1998; 151 (8): 119-1121 /.

Härtter S, Grözinger M, Weigmann H, Röschke J, Hiemke C. Increased bioavailability of oral melatonin after simultaneous administration of fluvoxamine. Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. 2000; 67: 1-6.

Olcese J. Melatonin and Female Reproduction: An Expanding Universe. Limits in Endocrinology. 2020; 11: 85.

Luboshitzky R, Shen-Orr Z, Nave R, Lavi S, Lavie P. Melatonin administration alters semen quality in healthy men. Journal of Andrology. 2002; 23: 572-578.

Ashy N, Schroff K. Evaluation of the Potential Drug Interaction of Melatonin and Warfarin: A Case Series. Life Science Journal. 2016; 13 (6).

Buscemi N, Vandermeer B, Pandya R, et al. Melatonin for the Treatment of Sleep Disorders: Summary. Summaries of the AHRQ Evidence Reports. 2004; 108.

Besag FMC., Vasey MJ, Lao KSJ et al. Adverse events related to melatonin for the treatment of primary or secondary sleep disorders: a systematic review. CNS drugs. 2019; 33: 1167-1186.

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Men’s Health

Walking Daily Helped Me Lose 28 Pounds and Get Shredded at 52



Bernard Creed, a 52-year-old accountant from Dubai, shared the results of his 12-week body transformation with Men’s Health and revealed the surprising mental benefits of his new routine.

I always worked out and tried to choose healthy foods. Even during Covid, I stuck to my workout routine at home. I was never heavy, but after I was 50 I noticed that things were catching up with me and my metabolism was not what it used to be. I was no longer able to get away with my previous habits, had gained weight, and felt uncomfortable in my clothes.

I knew I had to make some changes so I started working at Ultimate Performance Dubai with my trainer, Tawfik Bakkar. In addition to our three times a week strength training, I also spent a lot more time doing cardio: I started daily walks and took 15,000 steps every day.

The biggest change for me was learning macros. That was really a revelation. I knew high protein would help me maintain my muscle percentage, but I hadn’t been paying attention to the healthy fats I needed and the effect of carbohydrates on energy. Keeping track of my macros and meeting my daily goals forced me to make much better decisions and ended up having a huge impact.

I had coaches in the past but never got very far. Tawfik taught me how the combination of weight training, macro goals, sleep, hydration, and daily walking was really transformative. He checked in with me every day and pushed me further – this professional support was great.

In total, I lost a total of 13 kg (28 pounds) and managed to gain 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) of muscle mass in 12 weeks.

Ultimate performance

While the physical transformation was quite drastic on the outside, I have to say that daily walks of over an hour a day resulted in the greatest change on the inside. It brought an element of mindfulness into my day and allowed me some peace to think and reflect. I had never experienced this combination of physical and mental changes.

I’ve also had back pain for years – but since I’ve been training with Tawfik without putting any pressure on this area, I haven’t had any back problems since then.

Mens Health MVP Subscription

I’ve kept up with my workouts, macro goals, and daily walks, and I feel really great with the choices I’ve introduced into my lifestyle. Tawfik recently started the bulk phase of my workout, which I love. I am building more muscle and increasing my calorie intake and I look forward to seeing where this next leg of my health and fitness journey will take me.

My advice to anyone looking to get in better shape is to find a program and trainer that will suit you and your needs. Having someone who pushes you knows what they’re doing and listens is key. If you don’t have the budget, there are plenty of apps and forums out there with useful information. But remember to block the noise from critics and focus only on what will help you pursue your goals.

Last but not least: a daily walk is free and will surprise you with its effects.

Philip Ellis is a UK based freelance writer and journalist specializing in pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ + topics.

This content is created and maintained by a third party and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may find more information on this and similar content at

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Men’s Health

It’s okay not to be okay



The Chronicle

Andile Tshuma
Last week’s headlines painted a sad picture with a string of suicides recorded across the country.
Ironically, we are still in suicide prevention month.

September is a time to raise awareness of suicide and help prevent it. It’s about people living with mental or behavioral health problems and helping to reduce the stigma that so many experiences have.

Most people can name many ways to measure physical health. Mental health is harder to define. We know what it is like to be happy, sad, angry, or satisfied. Sometimes we’re just somewhere in between.

The mental health of women and men has become a public health issue that requires attention, especially in the face of rising incidences of depression, violent crime, and suicide.

A man’s toughness is viewed as closely related to physical and emotional strength and invincibility.

Being told to be a man throughout parenting and even in adulthood reinforces the idea that men should be tough and deal with problems on their own.

There is a widespread social expectation that men should never rely on other people, talk about their feelings, or seek help with their physical or mental health.

Men in particular find it difficult and unnecessary to seek psychological help or counseling services.
The latest available data from the World Health Organization shows that Zimbabwe has the 34th highest suicide rate in the world and fifth in Africa behind Lesotho, ESwatini, South Africa and Botswana, respectively.

In the past five years, more men than women have committed suicide, according to mental wellness organization Create Zim.

Padare / Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender-Based Seniors Programs Mr Ziphongezipho Ndebele recently said the state of mental health of men in the country was of concern and called for a change in the behavior of men looking for health.

“You will find that men are most likely to experience mental illness because they do not seek help and do not share their problems. Many men struggle with depression. It’s real We really need to achieve more and share the message that it’s okay not to be okay. If you look at the suicide statistics over the past few years, you will see a worrying trend and show you that we are indeed in a crisis, ”said Ndebele.

Global and regional health institutions and bodies must assume specific global obligations as well as accompanying frameworks and strategies in order to better address the links between masculinity and poor health behavior.

Growing numbers of people are resorting to suicide in Bulawayo due to social pressure as police complain about the high rate of suicide cases in the city, including young people.
People usually think of suicide when they are exposed to social pressures, when they feel they have failed, or even when their family breaks down. Therefore, it is important that families watch out for suicidality as suicide can be prevented.

Communities need to be on the lookout for depression or other psychiatric problems that trigger suicide.

A local psychiatrist said that most suicide cases are male dominated because of the belief that a macho should suppress things even if they are affected by social pressures.

According to medical professionals, severe depression can be effectively combated with modern drugs and other medical techniques, but it is necessary that those who drift into suicidal depression are identified as quickly as possible and referred to competent doctors or psychiatrists.

Police in the city have also raised concerns about the alarming suicide rates in the city and urged parishioners to consider counseling before they commit suicide.

Surveys from around the world show that most men everywhere struggle to open up about mental health, but they are significantly more at risk of attempting suicide than women.

According to the 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) report, three times as many men as women die from suicide in high-income countries.

However, reports show that men are less likely than women to seek psychological support or therapy when they have problems.

The 2018 WHO reports set out that the cultural stigma associated with mental health is one of the main barriers preventing people from admitting that they need help.

This stigma is particularly pronounced among men.
Prescribed age-old ideas about gender and expectations are also behind the leading cause of mental health problems in men that eventually lead to suicide.

The report goes on to say that many are embarrassed to seek formal treatment for mental health problems, which often leads some of them to contemplate suicide.

Talking about mental health is not as easy in a social setting as it is at a soccer game. Everyone wants to create the image that their house is in order and everything is good, which in many cases can be an illusion.

Family members must offer support if they notice any suspicious trends that suggest a family member is suffering from depression.

Self-medication with alcohol and other substances is a common symptom of depression in men and can worsen mental health problems and increase the risk of developing other health conditions. Family members need to try to find ways to offer support without being confrontational. This could save a life.

Policy makers and other responsible bodies need to seek better and more effective mental health education so that Zimbabweans, especially men, can easily seek help and know that there is no shame in using health services.

It is important to break the traditional mindset of men about depression and suicide by breaking the stigma that surrounds these issues.

Another way to remove mental health stigma is to treat our mental health institutions differently.
Sometimes the families are to blame.

Once someone has mental health problems, they are dumped and left in facilities like Ingutsheni Central Hospital without anyone bothering to visit them and hold their hand in their recovery process.

The more we view our mental health centers as places of hope and refuge, rather than places to leave social outcasts, we could change the societal perception of mental health. One might consider seeking help and not killing oneself.

Nobody is immune to mental episodes or depression. We must all be willing to offer a helping hand to one of us in need, as we may need the same help tomorrow.

There should be no shame in using mental health services and seeking help when one is depressed. Suicide and violence are not a solution, as such acts only transfer pain to loved ones. – @andile_tshuma

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Men’s Health

Meet The Competitors at the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals



This weekend some of the strongest men in the world will compete in the Giants Live World Tour Finals 2021. After the success of the 2021 World’s Strongest Man Competition in Sacramento, CA, which crowned the new Strongman King Tom Stoltman, the contestants will again fight body and soul for their chance to dominate the stage and face Eddie Hall, Martins Licis , Brian Shaw and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson in the Strongman Hall of Fame.

So who should you watch out for at the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals? Read on to find out:

Giants Live World Tour finalists 2021

  • Gavin Bilton
  • Adam Bishop
  • Luke Stoltman
  • Tom Stoltman
  • Maxime Boudreault
  • Andy Black
  • Markus Felix
  • Gabriel Pena
  • Evan Singleton
  • Kevin Faires

    2021 Giants Live World Tour events

    Nicol stones

    • Farmers carry for the distance
    • One stone weighs 114 kg (251 lbs) and another 138 kg (304 lbs)
    • Current record: 19.5 m, Luke Stoltman (Great Britain)

      Trunk lift for employees

      • 150kg (330.7-pound) log
      • “One of the unique challenges of the block press is that, unlike a barbell, the logs are often slightly unbalanced due to the natural growth of the log and balancing is critical,” the event information describes.

        Axial deadlifts for reps

        • “What makes this particular lift so difficult is the sheer diameter of the bar it lifts. Coupled with a bar that doesn’t bend, this really is an extreme test of strength and endurance,” the event information describes.

          Car hike

          • “The Car Walk is a test of balance, flexibility and of course strength,” says a Giants live description of the Car Walk. “The athletes have to pick up a 1000 pound VW Beetle with the frame resting on their shoulders and carry it over the entire distance. The races are usually driven by two people, with the fastest time to complete the route determining the winner. “
          • “Athletes need to combine tremendous leg strength to get the car off the ground, insane upper body strength to stabilize the car with their arms to avoid hitting the tires on the ground, and colossal amounts of core strength, Balance and control to keep your body stable when walking with the equivalent of 5 full grown men on your shoulders. “

            Atlas stones

            • “If there is one event that has always defined the sport of strongman, it is the Atlas Stones,” says the event description.
            • “The goal is simple: lift your 5 stones onto the platform faster than your competitor. Each stone is heavier than the last, usually between 120 kg and 200 kg. Lifting 200kg may not be anything for most of our athletes, but after lifting a combined weight of 600kg just seconds before, that last stone becomes the heaviest object in the universe. “

              Ed Cooper is Assistant Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing on anything you want to know – from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and more.

              This content is created and maintained by a third party and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may find more information on this and similar content at

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