Melatonin and Alcohol Food Interactions

Addiction rehab centers provide help and support to individuals in need. Treating drug and alcohol addiction is a long process, but recovery is worth it. It is usually recommended that melatonin dosage be stopped if one does not experience positive effects on the sleep-wake cycle after a week or two of use. The doctor would be in the best position to recommend an alternative in this case. One must avoid the drug entirely if pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.

In fact, there are origins of alcohol-insomnia troubles attached to this interaction. If you must take melatonin after consuming alcohol, wait for at least two to three hours before taking it to avoid alcohol seizures. Know the potential risks, and don’t be afraid to consult with your doctor or pharmacist to understand them better. If you or a loved one struggles with substance use or alcohol disorder, we can help. The suggested dose is approximately one to three milligrams an hour or two before you go to bed. For example, if you are taking other types of drugs, drinking, or under a great deal of stress, the melatonin might not work.

  1. In conclusion, the use of melatonin (5 mg)/day didn’t differ from placebo in decreasing sleeping problems in a sample of AUD subjects after 4 weeks of treatment.
  2. This can lead to side effects like concentration problems, flushing, swelling in your feet and ankles, a rapid heartbeat, breathing problems or even fainting.
  3. Chronotype can be conceptualized as being categorical (“morning”, “evening”, and “indeterminate” or “neither” types) or dimensional (ranging from extreme morningness to extreme evenigness) in nature.
  4. In fact, while melatonin works largely by helping to regulate your circadian rhythm (your sleep-wake cycle), alcohol actually has the opposite effect and has been shown to disrupt your circadian rhythm.

However, your levels of melatonin can increase when taking the combined pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Melatonin is usually only recommended for short-term sleep problems. If you take it as prescribed, you’re unlikely to become addicted to it. For some types of insomnia specialists may prescribe melatonin as a long-term treatment.

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Tobacco smoking reduces, while caffeine increases melatonin blood levels. If you start smoking or undergo smoking cessation, your the most common causes of bruising after drinking doctor may need to adjust the dose of melatonin. Talk to a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.

At the same time, it is still important to consult a qualified healthcare professional before using the drug to make sure that one has no health issues that may interact with melatonin. Talk to a doctor if you think you might use recreational drugs while you’re taking melatonin. Stimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines have the opposite effect to melatonin and will stop it working reminding yourself that a sober life is a better life to help you sleep. Using cannabis, heroin or methadone with melatonin will increase the medicine’s sleep-inducing effects. If you still have sleeping problems after finishing your course of melatonin, try making lifestyle changes that can help with insomnia. Even though a glass or two may help you initially drift off faster, it probably won’t benefit your sleep quality in the long run.

Our results are consistent with a study among patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) where melatonin (10 mg) didn’t improve sleep quality vs placebo32. Another study among patients diagnosed with dementia didn’t show a significant understanding powerlessness and acceptance in early recovery effect of melatonin (6 mg) on sleep after 2 weeks of treatment33. Further, pooled data from three different RCTs in 209 AD patients suffering from sleep disturbances revealed no significant difference between melatonin and placebo34.

At the end you ‘ll know if you can combine the 2 if you want to sleep better. Needless to say, sleep deprivation increases the risk of car crashes and work-related accidents due to lack of focus and thinking problems. This condition can be a huge obstacle for a person trying to maintain sobriety.

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As an alternative to the naturally produced hormone, melatonin is available as an over-the-counter supplement in tablet, sublingual capsules, and liquid form. You can find out more about the side effects of recreational drugs on the Frank website. Do not have drinks that contain caffeine (including tea, coffee, cola or energy drinks) while you’re taking melatonin. Caffeine has the opposite effect of melatonin and stops it working properly.

The results of the current study showed no significant effect of 4 weeks oral melatonin (5 mg) on attenuation of sleep problems in treatment-seeking AUD subjects. Alcohol is one of the most commonly used psychoactive substances in the community. Alcohol also increases breathing-related sleep events such as snoring and oxygen desaturation, especially in those with pre-existing problems. Emerging data demonstrate that insomnia may co-exist with SSD and circadian abnormalities.

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We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help. Melatonin is a natural hormonal sleep aid that has been steadily rising in popularity over the last thirty years. While it doesn’t directly cause sleep, per se, our body’s melatonin levels naturally increase in the evenings, triggering your circadian response and encouraging your mind and body to sleep. The included studies were conducted in eight different countries such as Denmark [27,28,34,35], Israel [18,31], Iran [32], USA [30], Canada [29], Argentina [21], Spain [33], and Finland [22].

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Because melatonin can cause daytime drowsiness, don’t drive or use machinery within five hours of taking the supplement. Less common melatonin side effects might include short-lasting feelings of depression, mild tremor, mild anxiety, abdominal cramps, irritability, reduced alertness, confusion or disorientation. We would like to acknowledge the support of CAMH Addiction Medical Service staff and the Translational Addiction Research Laboratory staff for their support. We would like also to extend our thanks to Dr. Leanne Trick for her efforts in reviewing the manuscript. This study was funded by Center of addiction and mental health (CAMH) funds.

When to see a doctor

This means if you have impaired liver function or use other medications that could tax your liver, you should talk to your healthcare provider before trying it, just in case there’s a contraindication. If you’re looking to improve sleep quality, lasting lifestyle shifts will be safer and more effective than short-term fixes (that don’t even fix much, anyway) like melatonin and alcohol. “You want to avoid taking the two together,” Rifkin cautions, since alcohol has actually been shown to suppress melatonin levels in the body2. This means that drinking (even in moderation) while on melatonin may disrupt your circadian rhythm and have the opposite effect of what you want. Melatonin supplements don’t carry a lot of risks or negative side effects.

This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 2 Jan 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 16 Nov 2023), ASHP (updated 10 Jan 2024) and others. If one has high blood pressure or diabetes, the doctor must have a deep understanding of the person’s medical background before recommending melatonin. Side effects such as increased blood sugar levels can also be dangerous for people that are taking medication for hypertension. Along with the possible side effects of combining alcohol and melatonin, it’s also important to understand that alcohol on its own can have a negative impact on your sleep cycles.


For those with alcohol use disorder who stop drinking, the withdrawal effect can also temporarily disrupt circadian rhythms. However, abstaining from alcohol for about a month has been shown to lead to the re-synchronization of that sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin disruption itself, however, can continue for 3-12 weeks [3]. Drinking alcohol close to bedtime can disrupt your circadian rhythm, reduce REM sleep, adversely affect your heart rate, and change your core body temperature, ultimately resulting in poor sleep quality [3]. Too much light exposure in the evenings can disrupt regular melatonin production and reduce your natural melatonin levels.

During hours of darkness, the pineal gland produces more melatonin to help a person feel sleepy and prepare to go to bed. There is some evidence that melatonin makes your symptoms less severe. It can also help reduce recovery time after a long flight by a day to a day and a half. Taking melatonin tablets adds to your body’s natural supply of the hormone. This can help you get to sleep and improve the quality of your sleep.


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