Melatonin And Alcohol, Harmful Interactions, Side Effects & Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland. That’s a pea-sized gland found just above the middle of your brain. It helps your body know when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Normally, your body makes more melatonin at night. Levels usually start to go up in the evening once the sunsets. They drop in the morning when the sun goes up. The amount of light you get each day — plus your own body clock — set how much your body makes.
You can also buy melatonin supplements. They come in pills, liquids, and chewables. You might find them in natural or synthetic forms. The natural forms are made from the pineal gland in animals. Can you take melatonin and alcohol at the same time? No. Alcohol disrupts our sleep-wake cycle, and natural melatonin promotes it. Drinking alcohol or alcoholism could also counteract a melatonin supplement’s effects, making it harder for it to do its job.
Can You Mix Melatonin And Alcohol?
A study revealed that over 70% of people living with some form of alcohol use disorder (AUD) suffer from alcohol-induced sleep problems. Some other studies also suggest that the percentage goes up to 91%. These numbers establish the basis for the educated fact that alcohol has a direct impact on sleep patterns. 
Melatonin is a natural hormone that can be found in the human body and is produced by the pineal gland, usually during the night’s late hours. The function of this hormone is to trigger the feeling of sleepiness. This reaction, by nature, allows one to sleep. The pineal hormone is also made synthetically in laboratories to provide options for those with sleep disorders.
The body’s melatonin levels generally peak around 2 am to 4 am when a person would naturally be expected to be in a deep sleep. However, this peak level is stunted in people with alcohol use disorders because chronic alcohol consumption directly alters the natural production of melatonin in the body.
Alcohol can cause serious complications when taken with melatonin, especially when an accident is involved. Additionally, alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, which may mean that melatonin loses its effectiveness. Some potential side effects of taking melatonin and alcohol together or close together may include:
- Poor sleep
- Fuzzy thinking
- Intense dreams
- Increased anxiety
- Redness in the face
- Swelling of feet and hands
- Fast heartbeat
What Happens If You Mix Melatonin And Alcohol
Mixing melatonin and alcohol is not safe. Alcohol interferes with the effectiveness of medications and supplements, and melatonin is no exception. Alcohol can either weaken or strengthen the effects of melatonin.
Some of the biggest safety concerns with taking alcohol with melatonin include:
- Trouble breathing
- Passing out
- Risk of falling
A person who has taken melatonin and alcohol may have trouble walking and driving. These side effects can have potentially dangerous consequences, as they put a person at risk of accidents and losing consciousness.
How Much Melatonin Is Too Much?
The human body’s pineal gland produces melatonin to help the body regulate times when a person feels more alert and when a person feels sleepy. The body is sensitive to light. During hours of darkness, the pineal gland produces more melatonin to help a person feel sleepy and prepare to go to bed. During daylight hours, the pineal gland stops producing melatonin.
For people who have insomnia or difficulty sleeping, melatonin, which claims to help a person fall asleep naturally and potentially help with other conditions, is widely available as an over-the-counter supplement.
General recommendations indicate that taking 1-3 milligrams of melatonin about 1 hour before sleep will help the body get the most use out of the melatonin supplement. People should expect to see results within a few days of using the melatonin consistently before bed. 
While there are no known major complications of taking melatonin by itself, minor side effects may include:
- Stomach cramps
- Daytime sleepiness
- Minor feelings of depression
Alcohol And Melatonin Death
It is not safe to take melatonin with alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the overall effectiveness of the supplement. Both melatonin and alcohol are sedatives, so there is an increased risk of accidents or over-sedation.
Drinking while taking any prescription or OTC sleep medication is a bad idea. Alcohol can worsen the side effects and the intended sleepiness of these medications. Drinking alcohol with any sleep aid can cause life-threatening sedation and raise your risk of a drug overdose.
Apart from the aforementioned symptoms, some severe complications may also arise from these two substances’ interactions. These complications occur mainly from the resultant effects of the interaction on the heart and liver, which inhibit the organ’s ability to produce some essential enzymes for the body. 
The Complications are:
- Feeling cold and shivering
- Increased heart rate
- Reduced attention span
- Difficulty focusing
- Rashes in the face
- Sudden unconsciousness
The risks of melatonin and alcohol are even more significant with pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, which may affect the baby. Individuals with other health conditions such as bleeding disorders, diabetes, and high blood pressure are at significant risk of melatonin alcohol interaction.
Melatonin and alcohol death is quite rare, and even if it should occur, it would most likely be from underlying conditions or the sheer amount of ethanol taken. The pineal hormone reproduced in over-the-counter melatonin is relatively safe and is not lethal, even in extremely high doses. However, there will be negative health consequences.
- Regularly drinking can disrupt your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, and worsen sleep quality.
- Given the possible risks of drinking alcohol and taking melatonin together, it is not recommended to combine them.
- It is recommended to discuss the addition of dietary supplements for sleep with your healthcare provider before drinking and taking them together.
When To See A Doctor
A person experiencing chronic insomnia or sleep disruptions should make an appointment to see their doctor. There may be underlying causes of sleeplessness that a doctor can rule out. If other causes of sleeplessness have been ruled out, it is still a good idea to talk to the doctor before taking melatonin as a supplement. A doctor will be better able to determine the potential side effects of melatonin and how it will react with any other medications a person is taking.
Avoid alcohol when taking melatonin. If a person has accidentally taken melatonin and alcohol, they should seek medical attention if they experience breathing problems or dizziness.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Approximately 17 million adults ages 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and 1 in 10 children live in a home with a parent who has a drinking problem.  Alcoholism occurs when you drink so much that your body eventually becomes dependent on or addicted to alcohol. With this alcohol dependence, you will continue to drink even when drinking causes negative consequences, like losing a job or destroying relationships with people you love. Therefore, we suggest that if your condition is severe, you may need to seek alcoholism treatment at an inpatient facility.
If you are an alcoholic, your very first step in recovery should be to medical alcohol detox in a safe and medically supervised setting. We Level Up TX detox center medically assists clients to clear their systems of addictive substances, such as alcohol.
Symptoms of alcoholism are based on the behaviors and physical outcomes that occur as a result of alcohol addiction.
If you are an alcoholic, you may engage in the following behaviors:
- Drinking alone
- Making excuses to drink
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Being unable to control alcohol intake
- Missing work or school because of drinking
- Drinking more to feel the effects of alcohol
- Becoming violent or angry when asked about their drinking habits
- Continuing to drink even when legal, social, or economic problems develop
- Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use
You may also experience the following physical symptoms:
- Alcohol cravings
- Lapses in memory (blacking out) after a night of drinking
- Tremors (involuntary shaking) the morning after drinking
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, including shaking, nausea, and vomiting
- Illnesses, such as alcoholic ketoacidosis (includes dehydration-type symptoms) or cirrhosis
We Level Up TX’s thorough approach to rehabilitation supports several levels of care to ensure the best possible outcome for every client who enters our doors. From an intensive and more supportive atmosphere for those in the early days of recovery to a comfortable residential-style living dynamic upon completion of detox, we are here to help guide you down the safe and results-based path to your sobriety.
Once detox is complete, a new doorway in alcohol addiction treatment opens up, which is referred to as a residential level of care. Our residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.
If you or someone you love is seeking a safe, secure, and compassionate resource for alcohol treatment, We Level Up TX is here to guide you in giving up alcohol. Call us and speak with an addiction counselor today about our levels of care and if you have questions such as “is it safe to take melatonin and alcohol together?”
 Melatonin for Treatment-Seeking Alcohol Use Disorder patients with sleeping problems: A randomized clinical pilot trial – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
 Are melatonin and alcohol safe to mix? – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/potential-dangers-of-increased-melatonin-use-for-sleep#Untoward-effects
 Melatonin and Alcohol: Is The Mixture Harmful? – https://addictionresource.com/alcohol/and-melatonin/
 Alcohol Use Disorder – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism