The Betterment Project
Are Melatonin and Alcohol Safe To Mix?

Are Melatonin and Alcohol Safe To Mix?

Melatonin is available over-the-counter as a supplement. Alcohol is legal for purchase if you’re of age. But, just because you have access to two products doesn’t mean that you should mix them. For example, you can acquire bleach and ammonia, but combining those two products can create a fatal gas known as chlorine gas. 


When you want to add a natural sleep supplement to your routine, you should familiarize yourself with the supplement to understand how it is to be used, how effective it is, and how to take it safely. 


Melatonin


Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body that is produced by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the brain. The endocrine system is the body’s chemical messenger system. As part of your endocrine system, the pineal gland produces melatonin to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, and in the morning, it signals through a drop in production that it’s time to wake up.


Your pineal gland relies on the conversion of serotonin to produce melatonin, and your serotonin levels are affected by sunlight exposure. Sunlight is an important part of your sleep and wake cycles. Unfortunately, the blue light emitted by electronics can suppress melatonin production as if it were daylight when it’s actually nighttime.


You may consider a melatonin supplement if you have trouble sleeping, struggle to stay asleep, need to sleep at a different time of day due to shift work or combat the effects of jet lag. When you’re considering a melatonin supplement, you may be curious if it’s safe to take it with alcohol.


Melatonin Use


SupposeSuppose you are using a melatonin supplement to help you with your sleep cycle or improve your sleep quality. In that case. In that case, it is generally recommended to take one to three milligrams of melatonin about an hour before you plan to go to sleep. This will help your body to get the most use out of the
supplement


In Complete Calm Sleep Gummies, you’ll find three milligrams of melatonin along with other natural key ingredients. Some of the key ingredients include Holy Basil, a nighttime terpene blend, and extracts of chamomile, passionflower, Lion’s Mane, Rhodiola, and Lemon balm that work in tandem to achieve an improved quality of sleep that prevents you from feeling groggy. 


Melatonin is most effective when it is taken regularly as a supplement before bed consistently. After consistent use, you can expect the benefits of the supplement to be compounded. In addition to better sleep, you may even experience more calm throughout the day. 


Benefits of Better Sleep


Improving your sleep
can have many benefits. Melatonin is a natural part of any healthy sleep cycle, whether you are taking it as a supplement or relying on your body’s hormone production. 


Some of the benefits of getting more sleep and improved sleep are:


  • Support of the immune system
  • Support for maintaining a healthy weight
  • Lower risk of serious health concerns
  • Improved reduction of stress levels
  • Improved support for balancing mood
  • Improved cognitive functions
  • Increased feelings of emotional wellness
  • Support for making better decisions

Sleep is an essential function for everyone, and the better your sleep quality, the better you will feel. Does alcohol help improve sleep on its own?

 

 

Alcohol and Sleep


As a stand-alone substance, alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system. It causes your brain’s activity to slow down. Because of its sedative effects, it can induce feelings of sleepiness and relaxation. However, alcohol consumption, especially excessive consumption, can actually diminish the quality of your sleep, and it can impact the duration of your sleep.


You may have experienced the sleepy effects of alcohol, but you also may be familiar with the waking that comes after you initially fall asleep. Because everyone’s body is different, you may have a different experience with alcohol consumption than someone else. 


Some people, after consuming large quantities of alcohol, find that it takes longer to fall asleep. As the body works to process the alcohol, it is also common for people to experience sleep disturbances and disruptions, and it tends to decrease the quality of sleep. 


Alcohol can also suppress the crucial REM sleep cycle that our bodies rely on for brain development and memory retention. Despite initially making you feel sleepy, alcohol is not a friend of sleep. 


Alcohol doesn’t just affect your sleep, though. It can also impact how you feel the next day. Because of the sleep disruptions that alcohol can cause, you may experience grogginess the following day and feelings of drowsiness throughout the day due to a lack of quality sleep.


Alcohol doesn’t have a good reputation for mixing well with medications, and supplements like melatonin are no exception to that. Let’s look at the safety of taking melatonin with alcohol.


Is It Safe To Take Melatonin With Alcohol?


It is not safe to drink alcohol if you are taking melatonin. Despite its reputation, alcohol actually interferes with your regular sleep patterns, so it could cause melatonin to lose its effectiveness when taken together. As you may know, alcohol is known to interfere with other medications and their effectiveness, which is true for melatonin supplements. 


Some of the concerns if you were to combine melatonin and alcohol include:

  • Increased drowsiness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting 
  • Dizziness
  • Increased risk of falling

As a safety precaution, it is best not to combine alcohol with your melatonin supplement. 


Complications of Mixing Melatonin and Alcohol


In addition to being at an increased risk of accidents due to the concerns mentioned above, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of if you were to mix melatonin and alcohol. These potential side effects include: 


  • Inadequate sleep
  • Increased irritability
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Intense dreams
  • Increased feelings of anxiousness
  • Facial redness
  • Swelling in your hands and feet
  • Increased heart rate 

When your ultimate goal is to fall asleep, stay asleep, and have an improved quality of sleep, these negative side effects can interfere with that goal. 


If a person accidentally consumes melatonin and alcohol, it is advisable to seek medical attention if they experience trouble breathing or dizziness. 


Healthy Alternatives


Taking a melatonin supplement can promote better sleep quality. Instead of combining your melatonin with alcohol, consider some other combinations for a better night’s sleep. 


A Warm Bath


The warmth of a good bath can be just what your body needs to relax your muscles and quiet your mind to prepare you for a restful night’s sleep. 


Some Light Reading


Reading a good book for a few minutes before bed can help relax your mind and body as you prepare to sleep. It’s also a good way to spend some time before bed that doesn’t involve the blue light from a screen that can suppress your body’s natural melatonin production.


A Little Prep Work


Preparing for the next day before bed can help reduce stress and quiet the feelings of anxiousness that can come on at night about the day to come. Make it a habit to jot down your to-do list for the following day, lay out your clothes, and plan your breakfast. This can put you at ease and help you find sleep easier.


Forming A Routine


Our bodies respond well to establishing a sleep routine. Remember that sleep and wakefulness are part of a cycle. Consistent cycles run more smoothly than inconsistent ones, and that’s true for our sleep routine as well. 


If we give our brains the sunlight they need to wake up each morning; then they will be ready to slow us down and prepare us for sleep at night. As long as we don’t overstimulate our bodies with heavy caffeine consumption or exposure to blue light late into the evening, we can typically rely on circadian rhythms to keep us aligned with a good sleep pattern. 


Just remember to allow yourself enough time to sleep, and you’ll wake up feeling more rested and refreshed.


Summary


Remember that just because two products are available to you doesn’t mean that you should mix them. Avoid mixing alcohol and melatonin, and keep in mind that one is a productive part of your sleep cycle while the other tends to impede the process. Choose how you end your day wisely and enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep.



Sources:

Effect of sunlight and season on serotonin turnover in the brain | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

Timing of light exposure affects mood and brain circuits | ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

Get Enough Sleep - MyHealthfinder | health.gov 


Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.

  • Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert

    Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.

  • Dominick Gauthier, Performance Expert

    Former Olympic Athlete, Founder, B2ten Foundation (coach to multiple Olympic Champions)