Melatonin and Alcohol

Recent findings show that alcoholics and people in the withdrawal stage have reduced melatonin hormone levels in the brain. The study also shows that alcoholics have disrupted melatonin secretion. In alcoholics, the secretion of melatonin is during the day instead at night. This disrupted cycle of melatonin distorts the sleeping pattern and this can lead to insomnia or sleep deprivation. The Food and Drug Administration gave advice against taking alcohol and other drugs including melatonin sleep aids. The reason for the warning is that alcohol stimulates the nervous system before depressing it, the end result is a disrupted sleep pattern.

Interaction between Melatonin Supplements and Alcohol

There are medical exerts claiming that since melatonin is a natural hormone that exists in our body, it is therefore safe to combine alcohol and melatonin. Some experts suggest that it is a bad idea to use both because of the fact that melatonin is classified as a drug in some countries. It is always not good to combine any drug with alcohol. The tolerance level of our bodies differ, most people who have use both alcohol and melatonin reported a long but very inconvenient sleep. Research shows that the use of alcohol and melatonin at the same time, causes build up of lactic acid inside the muscles. The end result is waking up with body aches and terrible headaches compared to a normal hangover from using alcohol alone.

Aside from the usual melatonin side effects, some people even reported nightmares. This is the result of the psychoactive effect of alcohol interacting with melatonin supplements. There are also claims that alcohol and melatonin kept them awake throughout the night as if they have taken some stimulants.

Melatonin References:

Alcoholism abolishes the effects of melatonin on growth hormone secretion in humans . V. Coiro and P. P. Vescovi. Centro di Alcologia-Istituto di Clinica Medica Generale e Terapia Medica, Parma

Age, alcoholism and depression are associated with low levels of urinary melatonin. L Wetterberg, B Aperia, D A Gorelick, H E Gwirtzman, M T McGuire, E A Serafetinides, and A Yuwiler

2 Responses to Melatonin and Alcohol

  1. Richard Smith says:

    After reading the above in relation to alcohol causing disturbed sleep, i seriously think i must be from another planet, because i drank heavy everyday for over ten years before deciding to quit.

    During this period i never once experienced sleep difficulties. Infact it was the complete opposite the alcohol would always make me fall sleep during the drinking sessions, sometimes spilling the stuff all over my self.

    Can’t speak for others but since quitting alcohol over the last five years i now have trouble getting sleep and often lay in bed thinking to my self until the early hours. the alcohol did induce vivid dreams but upon cessation they stopped too.

    I plan to start taking melatonin at 10 mg per night to aid sleep, since, only getting a few hours a night is taking it’s toll.

  2. Fran says:

    can a blood test tell if you are low on melatonin? Is drinking alcohol and taking melatonin dangerous, like taking pharmacutical sleeping aids?

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