Melatonin: Mental effects
Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 5:11 pm
Very little is known about what types of long-term psychological effects can be caused by the use of melatonin.
It is clear, however, that melatonin has short-term Mental effects. It definitely can cause drowsiness when taken during the day. Melatonin taken at night, however, will not cause daytime sleepiness. People who take melatonin are also less likely to respond correctly to visual and auditory signals. They are more likely to make mistakes and their reaction time decreases when they take this hormone. Several studies have shown that taking melatonin inhibits a person’s ability to concentrate and can cause confusion. People should therefore not take it when they need to stay alert, such as when they will be driving a car. The effects begin within approximately an hour of taking melatonin and last for about two hours.
Some experts are concerned that melatonin may worsen depression and recommend that people who have a mental illness not take this hormone.
Paradoxically, when taken with other drugs, melatonin may have very different Mental effects. It tends to stimulate some of the biochemical effects caused by methamphetamines; it can end up aggravating insomnia, instead of causing sleepiness, when taken with these drugs. Taking melatonin with benzodiazepines has been reported to cause anxiety.