Can Taking Melatonin Cause Nightmares?

Deep sleep is great and ecstatic thing for our well-being, but nightmares are not. It’s often an unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling that might affect our mental health.

We know that the supplement form of Melatonin has been increasingly popular as for insomnia and other sleep regimens.

However, some people report when they are using Melatonin supplements; they experience nightmares, does taking melatonin cause nightmares?

This article will explain the details, tips, and tricks to understand why you experience a nightmare and what you can do. Also, you’ll learn how to optimize your sleep a natural way.

Understanding Nightmare: Why People See Nightmare?

Nightmare is not a disease, but they can be a symptom of other health problems, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD.

There are many theories about why people see nightmares, but there is no conclusive answer to this question yet. Here is the reason that might be causing Nightmare:

Potential causesExplanation
StressCan trigger nightmares due to psychological and physiological triggers
TraumaTriggered by traumatic experiences, which can manifest as nightmares
DepressionDepression, if severe enough, could lead to nightmares
AnxietyAnxiety disorders can also lead to frequent nightmares
MedicationsCertain medications can lead to nightmares as a side-effect
Substance abuseSubstance abuse(marihuana, alcohol, and other drugs) could affect brain chemistry, leading to nightmares.
Sleep disordersSleep disorders, such as insomnia, can lead to nightmares
Medical conditionsCertain medical conditions can cause nightmares
Hormonal changesHormonal imbalances and changes can affect sleep and trigger nightmares.

Melatonin supplements can cause nightmares, a “side effect” and not common.

But the reality is that Melatonin deficiency has far the worst situation people can experience.

Truth: Melatonin Deficiency Has Far More Worsening Symptoms

Melatonin deficiency can impact your health far more dangerously than most of the deficiencies you might think. Melatonin is a hormone, and the hormone regulates most of the things you don’t become aware of.

The symptoms of melatonin deficiency are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Excessive Stress Hormone

Without proper Melatonin, our brains tend to be damaged more than ever. Why? Because Melatonin helps detoxify Beta Amyloid proteins from your brain. Also, this hormone stimulates the production of the new brain cell by stimulating the BDNF protein which helps neurogenesis. 

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The problem is that a new study found people who have a deficiency of BDNF protein tend to have more depressive-like behaviors and increase the risk of anxiety. You can read about the relationship between BDNF and depression in the article I provided.

Related: Why is BDNF Protein Crucial For Depression And Anxiety?

Melatonin Deficiency Cause The Activation Of the Amygdala

The brain has a small almond-shaped structure(near the hippocampus) called the Amygdala. It is responsible for regulating our emotions by sending signals to other brain parts when it detects something that triggers fear or anxiety.

What’s surprised that the Amygdala can cause nightmares when it detects danger in a person’s surroundings during sleep. It can also cause panic attacks in some people if they are exposed to a trigger that reminds them of past trauma. And it might happen during sleep. 

Melatonin deficiency is the number one reason why people experience sleep problems. If people are chronically deficient in that hormone, they might be more vulnerable to depression and anxiety as we cause nightmares at night by activating the Amygdala. (the fear center)

Why Might Melatonin Cause Nightmares?

Can Taking Melatonin Cause Nightmares

There are many potential reasons why you might experience nightmares after taking Melatonin supplements. Let’s check some of the potential reasons it might be related to your Nightmares

Potential Reason

  • You Are Using High Dosage: If you use Melatonin supplements high dosage, it might lead to a sudden increase in plasma Melatonin levels which might carry some of the potential side effects. What you can do? You can reduce the Melatonin supplement to 0,5 mg if you have slight sleep problems. 3mg dosage might be high; reducing the amount of Melatonin 3 mg to 0.5-1 mg is safe.
  • GABA: You might have GABA Deficiency. Why? Because it is most common in people same, like Melatonin and significantly impacts our sleep quality and mood.
  • B1 Vitamins: B1 vitamins involve proper Adrenal Gland functions, and deficiency leads to activation of the Amygdala and the reason why nightmares. 

Also, drinking too much caffeine before bed can spike cortisol and lead to GABA dysregulation, which might cause nightmares.  There is also other reason it might cause Nightmares such as Suppressed Emotions and the REM Sleep cycle. Let’s check them in order to understand them in a better and more comprehensive way.

See also  Does Melatonin Counteract Caffeine?

Related: Can Melatonin Supplements Make You Anxious?

Vivids Dreams And REM Sleep Might Cause Nightmares

Yes, melatonin can promote vivids dream, and there is also A study by the University of California that found that Melatonin can increase vivid dreams by expanding the REM sleep state and releasing vasotocin protein. (for regulating REM)

What is REM sleep? REM sleep occurs at intervals throughout the night, with each cycle typically lasting about 90 minutes. REM sleep involves emotions; some studies show that emotional and perceptually vivid dreams are more common in that state.

As a result of that the longer you experience REM sleep, the more vivid dreams occur, and you might be more vulnerable to “nightmares” during that state.

REM sleep and dreaming have been overcome; several studies point out that emotional and perceptually vivid contents are more frequent when reported upon awakenings from this sleep stage. It is well-known that REM sleep plays a pivotal role in processing salient and emotional waking-life experiences, strongly contributing to emotional memory consolidation.

Suppressed Emotions

Not Melatonin, but the underlying emotions might cause nightmares. Scientific authorities say fear(amygdala activation) is the dominant emotion felt during nightmares and sadness, anger, confusion, disgust, frustration, or guilt, which are common AND traumatic experiences. It’s expected to have nightmares and anxiety.


  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Emotional Freedom Therapy
  • Gratitude
  • Meditation

These are tools easy to implement, yet they are powerful and safe methods proven from scientific research that help reduce amygdala activation and support better emotional well-being by changing the emotional state.

Suppressed EmotionsCognitive Behavior Therapy, Gratitude, and Meditation
AngerIdentifying and challenging negative thoughts related to anger
Practicing gratitude for things in your life
Mindfulness meditation to increase awareness of emotions
SadnessJournaling to process and understand your emotions
Identifying and reframing negative thoughts related to sadness
Gratitude journaling to focus on positive aspects of life
FearGradual exposure therapy to confront feared situations
Mindfulness meditation to increase awareness of emotions
Identifying and challenging negative thoughts related to fear
Some of the emotions

For example, long-term meditation can help boost grey matter volume and density in different regions throughout the brain, which helps better emotional support. 

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”

– Sigmund Freud

Are There Any Reported Cases Of Melatonin Causing Nightmares Or Vivid Dreams?

Yes, people on the internet emphasize that when using Melatonin supplements, they tend to experience more likely vivid dreams and nightmares. However, the nightmares are mostly underlying causes, not melatonin itself.

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Vivid dreams also can happen most of the time after using Melatonin. For me, a 0,5 mg dosage of Melatonin even can cause vivid dreams especially combining with B6 and Magnesium Asetil Taurat. However, is that a bad thing? No. A vivid dream shows that your sleep quality is not bad.

Natural Boost Melatonin Rather Than Supplements

The best way to optimize sleep is natural ways rather than supplements for preventing Nightmares. For that, you can try natural ways to ensure your pineal gland secretion of the proper Melatonin.

First and foremost, avoid article blue light at night because the light of our devices, TVs, and computer screens tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime when it should be night. Also, there are things you can make

Natural BoostEffect
Lower exposure to blue lightBlue light from electronic devices, including photons and notebooks, can have a detrimental effect on your Melatonin secretion. For that, Avoiding screens for several hours before bedtime and using blue-light-blocking glasses can help improve natural melatonin levels.
Increase sunlight exposure during the daySunlight exposure during the day can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle and mitochondrial levels as well as increase natural melatonin levels.
Reduce CortisolChronic stress overstimulates the adrenal gland and can cause the secretion of Cortisol, the hormone that can counteract melatonin secretion.

One thing we keep in mind is that Melatonin secretion is suppressed by chronic inflammation(which leads to cortisol spikes), and anything that reduces inflammation could help you get better results for Melatonin synthesis. 

For that reason, Wim Hof Breathing and inner smile Meditation are the best and most natural ways of reducing inflammation besides supplements. 

Always try to optimize Natural Melatonin Secretion.

SubstancePotential Effects
Natural Melatonin secretionThe safest way to ensure it is a safe and effective way to improve sleep quality.
Melatonin SupplementsMelatonin supplements are also safe if you use them correctly and do not overdosage. You only use it if necessary.

Check on The Melatonin precursors to boost the secretion with those minerals – Vitamins

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • B6
  • 5-HTP(or Tryptophan)
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Related: EMF And Anxiety Relationship: Does EMF Change How We Feel?

What Can You Combine With Melatonin To Intensify Your Dream?

There are some supplements that can enhance and intensify your dream, like Magnesium Acetyle Taurat(ATA) which is not known in the nutritional community. Why? Because this form of Magnesium can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and promote a valuable amount of magnesium in the brain. The brain cells utilize magnesium itself to reduce anxiety and depression and improve the quality of sleep.

Also, you can add to the bonus the active form of B6 and Glycine combined with zinc for further improvement. But be careful of B6 form, and check on if you have a methylation mutation or not.

Lastly, GABA receptors can play a crucial role, and most of the time, people feel calm and relaxed the receptors activate. For that reason, you can use high-quality Valerian Root will intensify your sleep. Be careful when you use valerian root because actually it’s a strong sedentary, and it might cause withdrawal for long-term usage.


While getting enough sleep is vital to our health, having bad dreams is not.

There are many different factors to consider when deciding whether or not to take Melatonin. Although it is mostly safe and beneficial for most people, some may experience adverse side effects like nightmares. I hope this article answers your question and targets to the potential cause of the nightmares you might experience.

The best way to utilize melatonin is to the lowest dosage as much as possible in a mindful manner. How can you do this? well, you can just look and read about the potential possession of Melatonin, and how it works in the article i provide below

I teach people about the biohacks and science of optimizing their health and performance. I like to write about Philosophy, Biohacks, Supplements, and Spiritual information supported by science.