A lot of people ask the question, “Can I take melatonin and alcohol together?” The short answer is no.
Not only can side effects occur, but the alcohol can limit the effects of the melatonin.
Melatonin is usually given to people over 55 who have insomnia. Poor sleep, over time, can increase your risk of disease.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in the body. It’s produced by the pineal gland and helps regulate the sleep cycle.
Unfortunately, as we get older, our bodies begin producing less melatonin. This can result in an inability to sleep.
That’s why doctors prescribe it as a supplement. Many people turn to alcohol to get over their insomnia.
While this may work, it shouldn’t be done in conjunction with melatonin. Below we’ll learn about why this can be a bad idea.
Taking Melatonin and Alcohol – Is It Safe?
Many doctors don’t recommend mixing melatonin and alcohol. Individually, they are effective sedatives.
However, when taken together, then can disrupt your normal sleep cycle.
Alcohol can interfere with melatonin and prevent it from working properly.
It can also lead to negative side effects like drowsiness and headaches.
When you take both together, you may wake up feeling tired even after getting a full night of sleep.
Additional Side Effects
Many people who combine alcohol and melatonin report feeling sluggish and tired the next day.
They also report vivid nightmares, which interferes with their ability to sleep.
You might assume that mixing two sedatives will create a more potent sedative.
But in fact, the opposite is true: the alcohol and melatonin together can act as a stimulant.
The mixture can result in side effects like headaches, muscle pain, and dehydration.
You may feel like you’ve woken up with a hangover depending on the dosages. Take one sedative or the other, but never mix the two.
How to Take Melatonin
Here are some tips to keep in mind when taking melatonin:
- Follow The Instructions: Before taking the melatonin supplement, carefully read the instructions. It will not only show you how to take it but also list the potential side effects. Never take more than advised by your doctor.
- Don’t Break Open The Tablet: There’s a reason you should swallow some pills whole rather than breaking them open. When you swallow them whole, they release slowly over the course of many hours.
- Listen to Your Doctor: If your doctor prescribes melatonin for 12 weeks, then take it for 12 weeks and no longer. They’ll most likely tell you not to mix melatonin and alcohol, which can ruin your sleep cycle.
To increase the effectiveness of the melatonin, reduce your caffeine consumption (especially during the afternoon).
Get more exercise, limit your alcohol intake, and don’t eat big meals before bed.
Following these tips will result in a better night of sleep when taking melatonin.
Can Mixing Melatonin and Alcohol Kill You?
It’s unlikely that normal doses of alcohol and melatonin is enough to kill a person.
The main side effects include muscle pain, headaches, nightmares, and lower sleep quality.
The nightmares can be extremely vivid and wake you up in the middle of the night.
Some people have difficulty falling back asleep after waking up from a vivid nightmare.
Combining these sedatives can indirectly lead to poorer health by interfering with your normal sleep cycle.
Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from various diseases.
Taking Melatonin as a Dietary Supplement
When taken in accordance to the instructions and your doctor’s advice, melatonin is fine to take as a dietary supplement.
Just keep in mind that women who are pregnant shouldn’t take it without asking their doctor. Children shouldn’t take it either.
Some side effects of taking melatonin include:
Optimal doses will range from person to person.
If you’re constantly getting vivid dreams from melatonin, and it’s ruining quality of sleep, then let your doctor know. They may be able to find you a better alternative.
To summarize, you shouldn’t mix melatonin and alcohol.
Doing so will inhibit the effects of the melatonin and result in poor quality sleep.
You may also experience vivid nightmares that can have you waking up and not being able to fall back asleep.
When taken as a dietary supplement, melatonin can help you sleep.
Just remember that there may be mild side effects ranging from low body temperature to grogginess.