A new study has shown that Americans are turning to melatonin to help them get to sleep.

Researchers also warned that some people are using quantities that could pose a health risk.

According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Americans took more than twice the over-the counter aid in 2018 than they did a decade ago.

The study revealed that melatonin consumption has increased in adults over the 5-milligrams-a-day dose, which was used for short-term treatments.

“Taking aids has been linked in prospective studies with the development of dementia, early mortality. “Melatoin is one of these aids,” Rebecca Robbins, an instructor at Harvard Medical School’s Division of Medicine, said to CNN.

She was not part of the study that was conducted by Dr. Jingen Li from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

According to CNN, Melatonin can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, stomach cramps or drowsiness as well as confusion or disorientation. It can also interact with common medications, trigger allergies, and other medications.

Also, it is possible for pills to contain a higher level of melatonin than the label claims. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently not fully regulating melatonin. Therefore, there are no federal requirements for companies to ensure that their pills contain the advertised amount of melatonin.

Robbins stated that while overall melatonin usage in the United States is still “relatively low”, the study did “document a significant manyfold increase in melatonin consumption in the past few decades.”

CNN’s Sheri said that experts are concerned that the stress from the coronavirus pandemic could have increased the widespread use of sleep aids.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health), short-term use of Melatonin for Jet lag, shift workers, and people with trouble falling asleep seems to be safe. However, long-term safety is not known.