Can You Drink Alcohol With Melatonin?

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Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 12/01/2021

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland in the brain. It is made naturally in response to darkness, and signals to the body when it is time to sleep and when to wake up. The hormone melatonin is instrumental in the timing of your circadian rhythm, or your internal clock. So, can I take melatonin with alcohol? Well, that's what we're going to answer for you in this article. 

Can I Take Melatonin With Alcohol While Pregnant? 

You shouldn't drink alcohol or take medications during pregnancy unless your doctor suggests that it's safe. Therefore, no, you can't take melatonin with alcohol while pregnant. Studies have shown that consuming alcohol during pregnancy can lead to adverse health problems in mothers and babies. One such condition that occurs in infants is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which causes lifelong health problems for developing children.

Mothers who are pregnant should avoid combining alcohol and melatonin to protect themselves and their babies.

Can I Take Melatonin With Every Kind of Alcohol? 

No, you can't take melatonin with every kind of alcohol. Both substances have sedative-like qualities, so combining the two substances can lead to oversedation. Over sedation can cause coma, death, and even unnoticed alcohol poisoning if large quantities of alcohol are consumed. 

Studies have also shown that melatonin and alcohol can cause adverse health effects. Side effects like swelling, increased heart rate, lack of focus, trouble breathing, and passing out can all occur. It's not safe to combine both substances under any circumstance.

While it doesn't always lead to death or coma, it can cause negative reactions in many individuals.

Does Melatonin Affect the Taste of Alcohol?

Melatonin does not affect the taste of alcohol. That said, melatonin that was taken orally as a liquid can leave an aftertaste in your mouth that changes the way alcohol tastes. Still, you won't notice major differences when it comes to the taste of alcohol when also taking melatonin.

Does Melatonin Affect the Effect of Alcohol? 

Melatonin can increase or decrease the effects of alcohol on the body. Alcohol reduces the amount of melatonin that you produce naturally, which can mess with your sleep cycle and sleep pattern. Taking melatonin with alcohol can reverse this issue but lead to a plethora of other side effects. Some side effects include increased flushing, more intense confusion, and passing out. 

Melatonin can amplify or reduce the effects of alcohol depending on the person and how much melatonin was consumed.

How Much Melatonin Can be Dangerous To Take With Alcohol? 

Drinking alcohol with melatonin is dangerous regardless of the dosage. That said, taking less than .5 milligrams (mg) of melatonin with alcohol shouldn't cause adverse effects. Once you enter the .5-3mg range of melatonin consumption, health risks increase. In fact, taking 10mg of melatonin by itself can cause side effects like headaches, changes to heart rate, and passing out.

Combining alcohol and melatonin is not safe. Even if it's a small amount you shouldn't take alcohol and melatonin together.

Is Using Liquid Melatonin With Alcohol Different Than Using Melatonin Pills With Alcohol?

Liquid melatonin and melatonin pills are designed to treat the same condition and as a hormone melatonin functions the same. Therefore, liquid and pill versions of Melatonin can lead to many of the same side effects that occur when combining alcohol and melatonin.

The differences that occur between liquid melatonin and pill melatonin are based on dosages. When in pill form, it's often easier to consume more melatonin than recommended. That, combined with alcohol, can lead to worse side effects of the mixture.

Why Do Individuals Mix Melatonin and Alcohol? 

Individuals mix melatonin and alcohol to amplify the effects of alcohol or to force themselves to sleep. Because alcohol disrupts our sleep-wake cycle, and melatonin promotes it, one might be inclined to take melatonin in conjunction with alcohol consumption to regulate their sleep schedule.   

Studies have shown that more than 70% of people who live with an alcohol use disorder have alcohol-induced sleep problems. Someone who has difficulty falling asleep without a drink might be likely to take melatonin as, on its own, can be effective in inducing drowsiness and sleep.

Melatonin and alcohol are not a good combination to help you fall asleep. If you're having trouble sleeping speak with your doctor about melatonin.

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Melatonin Will Work?

Yes, alcohol affects how well melatonin will work. If you've only taken a small amount of alcohol with melatonin you might not notice any adverse effects but if you drink a lot of alcohol or take a significant amount of melatonin there are negative side effects.

Alcohol disrupts your sleep pattern, and as a result, its consumption will hinder the efficacy of melatonin, a sleep-aid.  Furthermore, since both drugs are sedatives, combining the two risks oversedation, which can be extremely dangerous. 

Depending on how much you consume and the individual, it's a coin flip between passing out or not being able to sleep.

What are the Possible Side Effects After the Intake of Melatonin and Alcohol Mixture?

Some of the side effects you might experience when taking melatonin and alcohol at the same time or separately in a short period can include:

  • Poor sleep

  • Irritability 

  • Confusion 

  • Intense dreams

  • Increased anxiety

  • Redness in the face

  • Swelling of feet and hands

  • Increased heart rate

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of balance

  • Fatigue and drowsiness

  • Sudden loss of consciousness (passing out)

These side effects occur because alcohol and melatonin both function as sedatives. Therefore, combining the substances can slow down your heart rate and impairment.

1. Sleeping Troubles

Due to the reduced efficacy of melatonin’s intended effects by alcohol consumption, you may very likely experience more difficulty sleeping and staying asleep when you ingest the combination of these drugs.  While melatonin on its own should assist in falling into a deep sleep, alcohol has the inverse effect, in that you may be able to fall asleep after some time, but you will not likely reach deep sleep.

You may find yourself stirring and waking up at random throughout the night or having your sleep disturbed very easily by noise or movement. Additionally, lack of deep sleep throughout the night will leave you feeling unrested and lethargic come morning.

2. Breathing Difficulties 

The interaction between alcohol and melatonin can cause the muscles in your throat to relax and loosen. The throat tends to collapse into itself when the muscles are loosened.  As a result, this side effect can cause difficulty in normal breathing, leading to further health problems in the long term.

3. Heart Rate Issues

Ethanol and melatonin combined can cause heart rate issues and cardiac dysfunction. The magnified sedative effects of these drugs together can cause your heart rate to reduce below what is considered clinically safe. Existing heart-health problems such as congestive heart failure and chronic heart failure can make this side effect particularly dangerous.

4. Increased Blood Pressure

Consuming alcohol and melatonin can increase stress, causing anxiety, spikes in blood pressure. The spike in blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other conditions. Moreover, the blood pressure increase has been linked with increased anxiety, which can rapidly increase heart rate. 

Is Taking Alcohol With Melatonin Dangerous for Everyone?

Taking alcohol with melatonin is dangerous for everyone. The combination of the substances can lead to adverse health effects like passing out, confusion, and even death in some cases. So, is it safe to use melatonin with alcohol? No, it's not.

While mixing alcohol and melatonin will impact everyone differently, it's dangerous and shouldn't be done. There are safety concerns that stem from how alcohol can amplify the effects of melatonin. It can make you more drowsy, confused, and increase your chances of falling and getting hurt.

Should People With Certain Diseases or Conditions not Consume Alcohol With Melatonin?

Yes, some people with certain conditions or diseases should not consume alcohol with melatonin. That said, nobody should be consuming alcohol with melatonin because of the potential side effects.

1. Older Adults

Older adults have a higher risk of feeling the impact of alcohol, specifically people over 65 years of age. Combining alcohol and melatonin in this group can lead to increased drowsiness and a higher chance of passing out. Even if melatonin is a low-risk sleep aid, combining it with alcohol in older groups can lead to accidental injuries, oversedation, and death.

2). Females 

Females have lower amounts of water within the body than males. Having less water in the body makes it easier for women to reach higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels faster. BAC is the amount of alcohol in the blood and can cause women to experience the side effects of alcohol faster. When melatonin enters the mixture females experience higher risks of passing out, getting injured, and experiencing increased drowsiness.

3). People who are Taking Medication 

People who are taking over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications shouldn't even take melatonin if it's not recommended by a doctor. Moreover, people who take medications shouldn't consume alcohol either. Combining both alcohol and other medications with melatonin can lead to adverse side effects depending on the medications. For example, anxiety medications can either become less effective or make anxiety worse if taken with alcohol and melatonin.

If you're on medications, you should only consume alcohol or melatonin if your doctor says it's okay. On the other hand, you should never combine alcohol, melatonin, or other substances.

Can the mixture of alcohol and melatonin lead to death?

Deaths from alcohol and melatonin interactions are extremely rare, and in cases where death does occur, it is more likely caused by underlying conditions, or solely from alcohol poisoning. Melatonin is relatively safe and non-lethal, even in extremely high doses. Still, consuming alcohol and melatonin will increase your general risk of dying.

While drinking alcohol and melatonin doesn't lead to deaths often, it's never a good idea to mix the substances.

Can you take melatonin after drinking alcohol?

Due to the strong interaction between melatonin and alcohol, and the intense resulting side effects, it is strongly discouraged that you take melatonin after drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol after taking melatonin can lead to you passing out faster, becoming over sedated, or feeling increased symptoms of intoxication.

How long after taking melatonin can you drink alcohol?

After you’ve taken melatonin, you should wait until you’ve had a full night’s sleep before consuming alcohol, as the effects of the drug will not wear off for several hours.  If you plan to take melatonin after you’ve been drinking alcohol, despite the risks inherent to their combination, you should wait at least 2-3 hours after your last drink, and longer still if you’ve had a lot to drink.

What are other drugs that are dangerous to take with alcohol?

Many drugs interact with alcohol, often with adverse effects, and some with the risk of death.

Some of the most dangerous drugs to take with alcohol include:

  • Opioids

  • Antidepressants 

  • Amphetamines

  • Amoxicillin 

  • Xanax

  • Ecstasy 

  • Hallucinogens 

These are only a handful of dangerous drugs, so you should consult with your physician if you're unsure.

Can Melatonin and Alcohol Mixture Cause Alcohol Addiction?

Mixing alcohol and melatonin can lead to alcohol addiction if used frequently. People can become dependent on the substance when they rely on it for sleeping or feeling good or happy. Therefore, taking alcohol and melatonin together over long periods can lead to alcoholism. If you or a loved one is abusing either substance, or both, it's important to seek out treatment immediately.

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Thomas Roth
Lead Editor

Thomas has been working in the substance abuse industry for over 3 years and he's made it his mission to help those in need. Tom started out by writing content to help people find addiction treatment centers near their location. Once he understood the value in the words he wrote Tom shifted to outreach, editing, and content creation. If nothing else, Tom wants to see those who struggle with Alcohol abuse disorder recover.