Role of Melatonin in the Management of Substance Addiction: A Systematic Review PMC

To best understand how to get a great night’s sleep, I’ll go over what melatonin is, how to use it, potential pitfalls and side-effects, and why melatonin and alcohol aren’t the best mix. Then, I’ll share some lifestyle changes to improve your rest and sleep quality. We can count alcohol and melatonin as things that we might think are supporting our sleep—but are actually really messing with it. These two substances are also dangerous when combined, so getting your nightly routine in check and cleaning up bedtime hygiene will be a much safer way to ensure overall sleep quality.

A high percentage of subjects diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD) suffer from sleeping difficulties. Lack of sleep could lead AUD patients to relapse or, sometimes, to suicide. Most of the currently prescribed medications to treat this complex problem retain a high risk of side effects and/or dependence. Therefore, the aim of the current clinical trial is to investigate the possibility of the use of a safer treatment, such as the natural health product melatonin, to treat alcohol-related sleeping problems. Sixty treatment-seeking AUD subjects were assigned to melatonin (5 mg) or placebo for 4 weeks of treatment. Change in sleeping quality which is the primary outcome of the study was assessed using the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) scale.

  1. That’s because as alcohol gets metabolized in the night, it disrupts essential deep sleep stages like REM sleep1.
  2. Do not have drinks that contain caffeine (including tea, coffee, cola or energy drinks) while you’re taking melatonin.
  3. You might feel a bit more groggy tomorrow morning, but you’re not causing harm to your body.
  4. If you or anyone you know is undergoing a severe health crisis, call a doctor or 911 immediately.

If you’ve made all these shifts and are still struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, consult with a doctor to get to the root of the problem. Alcohol can cause serious complications when taken with melatonin, especially when an accident is involved. Additionally, alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, which may mean that melatonin loses its effectiveness. It goes without design for recovery saying that after drinking 2 bottles of wine, you’ll feel worse than after 2 glasses. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the addictionresource.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Does Mixing Melatonin and Alcohol Disrupt Sleep?

Additionally, articles published within Cureus should not be deemed a suitable substitute for the advice of a qualified health care professional. Do not disregard or avoid professional medical advice due to content published within Cureus. Different formulations of melatonin such as immediate-release, controlled-release, and prolonged-release had been used. The dose range of melatonin in the included studies varies widely between 0.3 mg and 10 mg per day (Table ​(Table22).

Studies have been conducted on various substances of addiction including benzodiazepine [18,21,22,27,28,31,33-35], alcohol [29], nicotine [36] and opioid [32]. The sample size of the included studies ranges from 12 to 92 subjects (Table ​(Table11). Alcohol use and abuse in general are contraindicated for good quality sleep, even if a glass or two helps you relax at the end of the day. If you do choose to drink alcohol, try not to start too late in the evening and keep it to a minimum. Breathing issues such as sleep apnea and snoring can lead to poor sleep quality.

If you have trouble breathing at night, it can also be dangerous for your health. Most studies show that melatonin is effective at between 0.1 to 10 mg taken within two hours of bedtime, but a maximum dose hasn’t been defined [2]. I’ve found that the range of efficacy is much smaller in my clinic, with an ideal of 1-3 mg doses for most people. The good news is that mixing sober living recovery housing addiction alcoholic does not appear to cause harm. So, if you’ve had a drink or two, you can go ahead and take your melatonin without worrying about interactions between the two substances. The production and release of melatonin in the brain is connected to time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light.

When to see a doctor

As children grow older and approach adolescence, many of them may experience a shift towards eveningness, a phenomenon seen commonly in boys [11]. Beyond the second decade of life, individuals tend to revert back towards morningness [12]. The clinical significance of eveningness is that emerging evidence has linked it with an increased risk for psychopathology such as alcohol misuse [5]. Even one night of drinking is enough to disrupt your circadian rhythm and levels of melatonin and cortisol (over the short term). This isn’t a cause for concern if you’re just having a drink or two here and there , but if you are struggling with regular sleep issues, it’s worth considering your alcohol consumption. However, evidence suggests that melatonin supplements promote sleep and are safe for short-term use.

What Happens if I Take Melatonin After Drinking?

Research shows that regular alcohol intake can reduce sleep quality over time, potentially causing issues such as insomnia. If you combine alcohol and melatonin, it may seem like you’re not getting the effects of the melatonin, but this could be the result of alcohol. Alcohol reduces the amount of melatonin your body is able to produce naturally as well. Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we’ve helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We’re on a mission to save one million lives over the next century.

It may also make you more likely to experience raised blood pressure. Because of how commonly melatonin supplements are taken, people frequently wonder if alcohol affects melatonin. The consensus is that you shouldn’t take alcohol and melatonin together, for a few reasons. There are also trace amounts of melatonin in some foods including meats and vegetables, but many people take the supplement version of melatonin as well. Have you ever wondered if there are possible interactions between alcohol and melatonin? This is a common question as melatonin is a commonly used supplement to help regulate sleep.

Potential interactions with melatonin and alcohol:

Below you’ll find more information about melatonin and the potential side effects of combining it with alcohol. We’re here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol. Talk to our recovery specialists today and learn about our integrated treatment programs. Simply put, it is unsafe to mix melatonin supplements with alcohol.

AddictionResource aims to present the most accurate, trustworthy, and up-to-date medical content to our readers. Our team does their best for our readers to help them stay informed about vital healthcare decisions. Alcohol and melatonin together can make you sleep very deeply, so you do i have a drinking problem do not breathe properly and can have difficulty waking up. The search strategy identified 537 articles including 425 in the PubMed database and 112 from Google Scholar. After duplicate removal and merging of results from both databases, a total of 523 articles were identified.

Hence there is a necessity for more placebo-controlled double-blind RCTs with a larger number of subjects, a longer duration of treatments reviewed in this topic. We hypothesized that melatonin would enhance mood and decrease anxiety more than placebo based on previous research showing that melatonin has significant anxiolytic effects47. Moreover, agomelatine, a melatonin receptor agonist, is used as anti-depressant in some countries. However, while the results of the present study showed an improvement in mood and anxiety over time, there was no significant drug effect on mood scores. Between 5 to 9 months of continuous abstinence is needed to normalize the time to fall asleep and sleep efficiency12,13, and more than a year is needed to restore normal sleep duration12.

Transform your health

Practicing sleep hygiene techniques is only likely to be successful if used as part of a daily routine, and establishing healthy sleep habits could take a long time to be achieved52,53. For one thing, doctors discourage people from consuming alcohol, which can initially be sedating, with medications or supplements that could also be sedating. And while melatonin is not likely to knock you out, it could still “have a bit of a sedating effect” in some people, Dr. Gehrman said. So “the more conservative approach,” he said, would be to steer clear of mixing melatonin with alcohol so as not to risk becoming overly sedated. Alcohol interferes with the effectiveness of medications and supplements, and melatonin is no exception. Addiction Resource is an educational platform for sharing and disseminating information about addiction and substance abuse recovery centers.

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