Melatonin and Alcohol Interaction Side Effects Explained

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Melatonin and Alcohol

Can you take melatonin and alcohol together? Can you have a glass of wine with melatonin? The answer is NO.

Although both can help you get a sound sleep, when taken together, alcohol reduces the effects of melatonin. Plus there are some side effects of combining melatonin and alcohol, which we will see in detail here.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps with the sleep cycle. It also helps maintain a “biological clock” within the body. The body starts to produce it when the sunsets. Melatonin supplements are prescribed to those with sleep problems (1) that include the following:

  • Waking up early
  • Not feeling rested when awake
  • Waking up for an extended period during the night

If you are taking melatonin, it is best to refrain from alcohol. The other option is to wait 2-3 hours before taking melatonin after consuming alcohol. It depends on how much alcohol is consumed.

Related Reading: Can You Take Clindamycin and Alcohol Together? Is it Safe?

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Is It Safe to Take Melatonin and Alcohol Together?

Experts do not recommend taking melatonin and alcohol at the same time. Melatonin and alcohol are considered sedatives. Both of these are counterproductive as a pair, and these can interrupt sleep.

Alcohol enhances the side effects of melatonin: headaches and drowsiness. Doctor consultation is recommended when considering either alcohol or melatonin.


What Happens When You Take Melatonin and Alcohol Together?

Reactions to the combination of melatonin and alcohol depend on the person. Commonly, individuals feel drowsy when taking melatonin and alcohol together.

Some may feel they are on a stimulant. Some may get a full night of sleep, but they feel hungover the next day. Low doses of these two can still have adverse effects, such as dehydration, headaches, and muscle pain.

Alcohol can change the desired effects of melatonin. Alcohol is known to reduce the amount of melatonin production in the body.

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The combination of both can interrupt your sleep cycle. Alcohol can make it difficult to breathe while sleeping. Following are the major side effects of taking melatonin and alcohol together:

  • Drowsiness: This makes it hard to focus on certain tasks or drive
  • Dizziness: This makes walking and driving difficult and dangerous
  • Anxiety: This can make someone feel irritable or raise blood pressure

Doctors sometimes recommend melatonin for alcohol withdrawals at night. It is suggested to talk to a physician about taking alternative sleep aids.


Complications of Melatonin and Alcohol Consumption

There are health complications to keep in mind when considering the combination of melatonin and alcohol. Those complications are the following:

  • Decrease liver’s ability to create enzymes
  • Flushing in the face or upper body
  • Feet and ankles swell
  • Abnormally, fast heartbeat
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Feeling cold or shivering without reason
  • Breathing issues
  • Fainting

You should speak with a doctor about taking sleep aids and supplements. The doctor can determine if melatonin is not suitable for your case of insomnia or sleep issue. Other medications and treatments are also effective.


How to Take Melatonin for Best Possible Results

Melatonin supplements usually come in 1-10 milligram doses. The dosage amounts depend on the certain variables, such as age, health, and reasons for taking it. Doses range from .1-5 milligrams.

Since melatonin supplements are not regulated by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, it is hard to determine the optimal dosage for a person. Here are some tips on how to take melatonin for best results.

1. Read the Label

It is best to read the information on the label thoroughly. The label gives information on the supplement and side effects. Follow the directions the doctor gives. Physicians and nutritionists recommend taking melatonin 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime.

2. Take Melatonin after Eating

Having food or a snack before taking melatonin can help it work through the night. The supplements are time released. Breaking up a tablet or pill will destroy the time-release function. Instead, take the tablet or pill whole. Take the supplement right away if it is forgotten before the allotted time. Never take multiple doses to make up for forgotten doses.

3. Follow Recommended Timeline

These means do not exceed the doctor’s recommendation for the duration. Typical prescription is 13 weeks or less.

4. Develop Sound Sleep

Break the habits that could interfere with sound sleep. Avoid consumption of caffeine products during the afternoon and evening. Exercising earlier in the evening is better than later.

Do not use melatonin and alcohol together. Stop using products that produce “blue light” an hour before bedtime. Products that have blue light are smartphones and televisions. Bluelight prompts the body to make less melatonin and reduces the effectiveness of the supplement.


Other Known Side Effects of Melatonin

There are not many negative side effects of melatonin. It does not have any noticeable effects on body or sleep cycle in most cases. Buying melatonin from a reputable source is safer since the FDA does not regulate it. Here are common side effects of melatonin:

  • Interrupted sleep cycle. It could cause an inconvenience for night shift individuals
  • Groggy or sleepy feeling during the daytime
  • Irregular dizziness or disorientation
  • Occasional headaches or migraines
  • Sudden depression or depressive feelings

In addition to the side effects, melatonin can have negative reactions to prescription medicines.

  • Blood thinners
  • Birth control
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Diabetes medications

The ideal dosage of melatonin varies greatly from person to person, and hence you should ask your doctor for the right dosages.


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Irene Entila

Irene Entila

Irene is a health and fitness consultant based out of Albuquerque, NM. She was a personal trainer during the years of 2010-2013. She holds a Bachelors of Liberal Arts with a focus on creative writing from The Evergreen State College. She obtained her personal trainer license through Seattle Central College...
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