Melatonin and alcohol are the 2 most common sleep aids used all over the world. What happens when you take them together? Will it make you sleep better – or is it a bad idea? In this article we’ll dive deep into the topic. At the end you ‘ll know if you can combine the 2 if you want to sleep better.
Note: I’m not a doctor. If you want to combine (natural) medication and alcohol, always consult with your doctor if that’s a smart idea. Even for over the counter natural sleeping aids.
Is it safe to take melatonin and alcohol?
On a scale from 1 (incredibly stupid and life threatening) to 10 (completely safe and even positive interaction), melatonin and alcohol are probably at a 6 or 7.
This means that it’s better not to take them together. They have some interactions that make it a bad idea. But it also means that you’re not going to die if you combine them once.
Both melatonin and alcohol can make you drowsy, so combining them can expand on the negative effects…
Here are some side effects from combining melatonin and alcohol:
If you combine alcohol and melatonin, you may experience the following side effects:
- Increased blood pressure
- Reduces your natural ability to produce melatonin
- Difficulty breathing at night
Of course, this is all dependent on how much alcohol you drank. It goes without saying that after drinking 2 bottles of wine, you’ll feel worse than after 2 glasses.
I’m also aware that many people suffer from bad sleep after drinking, and might want to combat that by taking melatonin. We all know that alcohol shouldn’t be mixed with medications, but for some reason most natural supplements slip under the radar. But melatonin won’t help you get better sleep after drinking. It might knock you out more, but in the end the chances re high that you’ll feel worse in the morning. The only good advice here to give is to drink less 😉 Staying hydrated will go a long way to making you feel better in the morning.
One time won’t hurt you – but don’t make it into a habit
Let’s take a hypothetical scenario: you’ve drank glass of wine for dinner and 1 more around 9. Now it’s 10.30 and you usually take a melatonin tab at this time. Can you do so now?
If you still need to take the tab, then it’s better to skip it. Let the natural drowsiness from the alcohol help you fall asleep – but be aware that alcohol reduces sleep quality later at night.
If you’ve already taken the tab, don’t worry. A small quantity of alcohol and melatonin won’t hurt you. You might feel a bit more groggy tomorrow morning, but you’re not causing harm to your body.
Don’t do this on a regular basis, but if it happens once a month that you combined the 2 (accidentally), you’d lose even more sleep worrying about it. So skip the worrying and just go to your bed.
Why do you want to take melatonin and alcohol?
I want to quickly touch on this question. What are your reasons for combining this? This question isn’t for you if you accidentally combined the 2 once – and want to know if you’re hurting your body.
But if you’re consciously combining melatonin and alcohol, what are your motives for that?
If you want to sleep better, you’re better off skipping the alcohol altogether?
If you can’t sleep after drinking, then maybe there are some other factors why you can’t sleep? (Unresolved issues causing worries, or maybe you’re drinking a double espresso after dinner)
If you think alcohol makes you get better sleep, and you want to get even better sleep by taking melatonin, then you should know that alcohol does not make you sleep better. Try taking only melatonin.
There are very few reasons to combine melatonin and alcohol. The only ties I can imagine is if you’re jet lagged, or have a problem with your circadian rhythm. But really – you shouldn’t be drinking in those cases anyway 😉
Melatonin for alcohol withdrawal
If you’re used alcohol for a long time to help you fall asleep – and you quit drinking – it might be very difficult to fall asleep naturally. In this case taking melatonin can be a godsend for your tired body.
Melatonin for alcohol withdrawal is a good natural way to teach your body to fall asleep again on its own. You might need to take melatonin for the time of your withdrawals. Andt after several weeks, you can try sleeping without any supplements.
3 Other situations when it’s a good idea to take melatonin
The last step to getting a better understanding on the topic is to understand when it’s a good idea to take melatonin. here are 3 situations when melatonin is a good supplement:
- For sleep disorders related to circadian rhythm
- When you’re flying around the world and to reset your normal rhythm to beat a jetlag
- When you’ve stayed up too late one night and want to fall asleep the next day at a normal time.
Melatonin and alcohol conclusion
It’s not a good idea to combine alcohol and melatonin. You’ll be more drowsy than normal, ad you’re probably waking up even groggier than if you’d just drank alcohol.
That said, if it just so happened that you accidentally took a tab of melatonin (out of habit) after having a couple of glasses, don’t worry. It’s not causing any long-lasting damage.
Melatonin has its uses to reset your circadian rhythm, beat jet lag or help with some sleeping disorders. However, helping you sleep or beat your hangover after drinking isn’t one of them.
It can help to fall asleep if you’re suffering from alcohol withdrawal – and to help get you through the tough period.
Have you taken melatonin and alcohol together? What were your experiences? Did you feel worse than if you’d only drank? Let us know in the comments!