Can you take melatonin with alcohol? A lot of people take melatonin with alcohol because they believe that the combination will help induce sleep faster, but what they do not know is that taking melatonin with alcohol produces a negative effect on health.
WHAT IS MELATONIN?
Melatonin is a hormone occurring naturally in the body, that regulates your sleeping pattern, also known as circadian rhythm or the biological sleep clock. Most of it is produced by the body in the hours of dusk -after the sun has gone down, especially between 10 pm-3 am.
When your body’s melatonin levels rise, you begin to feel drowsy and you are put into a deep state of sleep. In patients who suffer from insomnia, it is often reported to be a cause of low levels of melatonin.
Melatonin supplements are available and act as a natural sleep aid for insomnia and other sleep disorders.
It helps by regulating your circadian rhythm, causing you to fall asleep faster. They can be used until the body adjusts to the new sleep cycle or until it can produce enough melatonin on its own. Melatonin supplements can stay active in the body for 5-6 hours. If you are awake at these hours, you are prone to feel drowsy it dizzy.
SIDE EFFECTS OF MELATONIN SUPPLEMENTS
Although melatonin isn’t known to cause any life-threatening damage, some reports suggest that melatonin supplements rises the risk of seizure in people with a history of having seizures, so it is not recommended for such people.
Some minor side effects that can be noticed when using melatonin supplements are: Headache, daytime sleepiness, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, stomach cramps, Irritability, unexplained feeling of depression.
SAFE MEASURES IN USING MELATONIN SUPPLEMENT
Each brand of melatonin supplement carries its instructions on how to use them on the labels, it is best to read those instructions and adhere to them. It is also best to speak with your doctor to determine if you should or shouldn’t use any melatonin supplement.
There are certain categories of people who shouldn’t use melatonin supplements:
- Pregnant women, intending pregnant women, and breastfeeding women.
- Those with autoimmune diseases.
- People suffering from depression.
- Those prone to seizures.
- Diabetic patients.
- People with high blood pressure.
If you fall in any of the categories above, then you shouldn’t use melatonin supplements, this is because it might be fatal to the fetus for pregnant women or intending pregnant women. Melatonin could lose its potency when taken with other medications, and also since one of the side effects is an unexplained feeling of depression, taking melatonin supplement when you are already diagnosed to be depressed would only be slowing down or preventing even, your healing process.
Some other drugs that will interfere with the potency of melatonin supplements include:
i) blood thinners
ii) hypertension medications
iii) birth controls
Avoiding blue lights and a bright screen before bedtime can help stimulate natural melatonin production and can make the supplement more effective.
Doctors recommend taking 1-3mg of the supplement, ensure to avoid overdosing. Doctors and nutritionists also recommend taking melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime.
Avoid alcohol after you have taken the supplement, especially if you are taking it to help you fall asleep. This is because having a drink of alcohol after taking the supplement, will interfere with the functional process of the supplement and can be deadly to your health.
CAN YOU TAKE MELATONIN WITH ALCOHOL?
Although alcohol can induce the feeling of drowsiness and make you feel sleepy after a few drinks, it can also disrupt your circadian rhythm and worsen sleep quality.
Being that both alcohol and melatonin cause a feeling of sleepiness, it is no wonder that a lot of people decide to use alcohol to take melatonin. However, taking melatonin with alcohol will counteract the effect of the melatonin, possibly making it even difficult to fall asleep.
Drinking alcohol with melatonin supplements can cause severe life-threatening sedation and increase the risk of an overdose.
There are possible negative side effects that come with taking alcohol with melatonin, such as:
i. Increased heart rate
ii. Poor sleep quality
iii. Fuzzy thinking
v. Extreme drowsiness
vi. Trouble breathing
viii. Swelling of extremities such as feet and eyes
ix. Redness of the face
x. Sudden unconsciousness
The most dangerous side effect that happens from taking alcohol with melatonin is the risk of having liver problems. When alcohol is mixed with melatonin it decreases the liver’s ability to produce enzymes that function in detoxifying both the alcohol and melatonin, so it is accumulated in the liver causing severe liver problems that may require surgery to be treated.
So, can you take melatonin with alcohol? Simple answer is NO!, you shouldn’t take alcohol with melatonin. If you take alcohol before taking melatonin, doctors recommend that you wait at least 30 minutes before taking melatonin, so there will be no trace of alcohol in your system when you take your melatonin supplement.