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Does Melatonin Raise Blood Pressure?

Melatonin supplements are a popular sleep aid option for those who experience difficulty sleeping, or disruptions to their normal sleep cycle like jet lag or night shift work.

Although generally safe for long-term use, there's evidence to suggest that melatonin may have an effect on blood pressure for certain people. Those who have conditions that require maintaining their blood pressure- especially at night- or are taking blood pressure medication should first consult with their physician about taking melatonin safely. 

 

Can melatonin raise your blood pressure? 

Across different studies, melatonin is observed to be able to both raise and lower blood pressure temporarily at night. Most of these studies were conducted with hypertensive patients, those at risk of raised blood pressure.

One study’s results found that melatonin both lowered and also increased blood pressure in patients, with inconsistent results. The inconsistent results did not indicate specific characteristics that causes them. 

One one hand, melatonin was found to possibly contain some antihypertensive agents, which might contribute to lowered blood pressure at night for some hypertensive patients. A different study found that repeated melatonin intake reduced blood pressure in hypertensive patients. 

On the other hand, there were other study results that indicate that melatonin might impair antihypertensive therapy, inducing a risk of increased blood pressure. This might pose a possible risk to taking melatonin in addition to having a blood pressure condition for some people. 

The link between melatonin and raised blood pressure requires further examination to determine the characteristics that put certain people at risk. Melatonin should not be used as a supplement to lower or raise blood pressure unless otherwise advised by one’s physician. 

 

What effect does melatonin have on blood pressure medication?

There is not much research available on the specific effect melatonin might have on blood pressure medication. Mayo Clinic provides a list of medications that might potentially interact with melatonin, which includes blood pressure medication.

While mixing melatonin and hypertension medication may have an effect on the  medication's efficacy or your body’s natural melatonin production at night, further research is required to explain these effects. 

Overall, one should avoid mixing melatonin with blood pressure medication until you are able to consult with your physician. 

 

What else should I not mix with using melatonin?

In addition to certain medication, it's not advised to take melatonin with caffeine or alcohol. While these may or may not affect your blood pressure, they can still negatively impact your ability to sleep. 

 

Risks of using melatonin

While melatonin appears to have an effect on one’s blood pressure, the effects differ between people’s conditions and whether or not they are on medication.

Melatonin is generally considered to be a safe supplement to take for healthy adults, but there are still potential side effects one may experience. These side effects include: 

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or grogginess 
  • Feeling tired in the morning 
  • Nightmares 
  • Agitation or mood swings

 

Melatonin does not “induce” sleep on its own. It merely signals sleep cues to the rest of your body to prepare for sleep, and does not guarantee sleep with use. You should still practice good sleep hygiene to support your body’s ability to sleep better.

 

Using melatonin safely

The average recommended dose for healthy adults is anywhere between 0.5mg to 10mg. The dose should be adjusted for children, elderly people, and people who have health conditions that might affect their sensitivity to melatonin.

When taking melatonin as a sleep aid, start with the lowest possible dose before adjusting to a higher dose. Melatonin supplements like Ascent Instant Sleep start as low as 0.2mg per dose, but are more efficient due to the way it is absorbed. 

Discuss with your physician before taking melatonin in addition to existing medication.

If you’ve previously experienced side effects or even a significant change blood pressure while using melatonin, please discontinue use and speak with your physician about considering alternative sleep aid options better suited for your lifestyle.