If you've ever struggled to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, you've probably tried a ton of different options, from sleeping pills, to teas meant to help lull you to sleep and many thing in between. And if your difficulty sleeping is a chronic problem, chances are pretty good that you've given melatonin a try at least once or twice as well. Though melatonin is commonly considered to be pretty safe, with minimal issues or side effects, there are some unexpected side effects of taking melatonin that you need to know about if you want to take it or if anyone close to you uses it regularly.
Melatonin isn't a medication. In fact, your body already naturally produces it. It's a hormone that's made by the pineal gland, as WebMD noted, and is also found in extremely small quantities in some produce, like cherries. That's why you'll sometimes see people and articles recommend that you make cherries your pre-bedtime snack, if you feel like you need to eat a little something. The idea is that maybe they'll help give your body a little boost and help your melatonin kick in and regulate your sleep and wake cycles, allowing you to drift off to sleep without much of an issue. Whether you regularly reach for the bottle of melatonin or you've hemmed and hawed over whether or not to try it for yourself, there are some ways that it can affect you — outside of your sleep — about which you need to know.