How Long Does Melatonin Last in Your Body?

How Long Does Melatonin Last in Your Body?

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Fact checked

Last Updated on Jul 19, 2022

In this article:

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    When it is dark outside, our body produces a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin makes us feel sleepy. However, as the sun rises, melatonin production slows down, making us feel more alert. 

    People suffering from sleeping disorders take melatonin supplements to sleep well during the night. 

    Melatonin supplements are also used by night-shift workers and those who suffer from jet lag. But, nobody knows how long the melatonin lasts in your body.

    How to use melatonin, does melatonin help with anxiety, how much melatonin to take for sleep, when should you take melatonin, how to take melatonin? Don’t worry; in this article, we will answer this troubling question.

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    What Is Melatonin?

    Our body produces a hormone, melatonin when it’s dark outside. Melatonin makes us feel tired and sleepy. But as the sun rises, the hormone production lowers, and we feel more active and alert. 

    You must be wondering, What does melatonin do? What is melatonin used for?

    Melatonin helps regulate our sleep cycle and works as a sleep aid for conditions like jet lag and insomnia

    Situations in which people use melatonin:

    • Insomnia
    • Jet Lag
    • Migraines
    • Side effects of medicines 
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    One of the best benefits of melatonin is sleepiness. Your body naturally produces melatonin and causes drowsiness. Though, taking supplements can boost your melatonin production and help you get the sleep you require. 

    We often think of melatonin for adults, whereas kids can also consume melatonin under a doctor’s recommendation.

    How Does Melatonin Work?

    When our internal clock sends the proper work signal, our brain’s pineal gland converts serotonin into melatonin. High levels of melatonin lower our body’s blood pressure and temperature, which makes us feel sleepy. 

    When your body senses nighttime, eventually, our eyes absorb less light than usual. This is why if you keep the lights on in your bedroom or use electronic devices, your body will find it challenging to produce melatonin, and hence you will not be able to sleep. 

    Follow a proper sleep schedule, keep the environment cool, calm, and quiet to experience a good night’s rest.

    How Long Does It Take for Melatonin to Work?

    Usually, melatonin begins to kick in between 20 minutes and 2 hours after consumption. This is why it is advised to take melatonin 2 hours before bedtime.  

    Natural melatonin production increases 2 hours before bedtime. Sleeping at the same time consistently signals your body when it’s time for melatonin production.

    There is no fixed answer to how long does it take for melatonin to work. It’s different for different people. 

    Regular vs. Extended-Release

    There are two kinds of melatonin pills; regular and extended-release pills. Regular pills instantly release melatonin into your body. However, extended-release pills or slow-release pills gradually release melatonin into your body. 

    The latter one is similar to the natural melatonin production in your body. It helps keep you asleep throughout the night.

    A doctor can suggest what is best for you, regular or extended-release pills.

    When to Take Melatonin?

    The ideal time to take melatonin is different for everyone. Generally, it is suggested to consume melatonin 20-30 minutes before bedtime. 

    Start taking melatonin 30 minutes before sleeping. Gradually, change the amount according to your requirements. Make sure you don’t take melatonin at or after your bedtime to avoid daytime sleepiness.

    How Long Does Melatonin Stay in Your System?

    Melatonin does not stay in your body for a long time. Usually, it stays in your body for about 5 hours. But this depends on whether you have taken slow-release melatonin or not. If you have, then these timelines may not apply to you. 

    During this period, you may feel drowsiness. Avoid driving, making decisions, or using heavy machinery during this period. 

    Drugs work differently for different people. It mainly depends on several factors like:

    • Age: Metabolism slows with your age. The older you are, the longer it may stay in your body.

    • Caffeine: Study shows that caffeine intake can affect the effectiveness of melatonin.

    • Tobacco: Studies show that nicotine affects the effectiveness of melatonin. 

    • Light Exposure: Exposure to light and blue light from devices can affect melatonin levels.

    • Body Size: Bulkier people weighing greater than 250 pounds might not feel a small dosage of melatonin

    • Whether you are taking medicines: Medicines for blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, or immunosuppressants, might change the way the body functions melatonin.
       
    • Extended-release vs. regular melatonin

    If you take melatonin on time, you may not feel drowsy the next day. 

    How Long Does It Take for Melatonin to Wear Off?

    It depends on the amount of melatonin you consume. Generally, melatonin takes between 4 to 8 hours to wear off so the best time to take melatonin is a few hours before bed.  

    Start with taking small amounts of melatonin. It will wear off soon and will not cause you any significant side effects. 

    Melatonin Side Effects

    Generally, melatonin is safe to consume. Mainly, it causes sleepiness, but this is why we consume melatonin. 

    Common side effects of melatonin are:

    • Headache,
    • Nausea 
    • Grogginess

    Other Melatonin Side effects:

    • Confusion
    • Joint Pain
    • Sleep Loss
    • Seizures
    • Irritability
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Nightmares
    • Tremors
    • Low blood pressure

    You are more prone to experience these symptoms if you consume too much melatonin. 

    Avoid consuming melatonin if you:

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding
    • Have kidney disease
    • Have heart disease
    • Have depression

    We suggest you talk to your doctor before you start taking melatonin. They will advise you if you need to take any precautions. 

    Conclusion

    It’s okay to take melatonin. Melatonin does not have any significant harmful effects. Experiment with the dosage, and learn what is best for you. Consult your doctor if you are taking other medications as well. 

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
    {"faq":[{"_id":"94dcbb4","title":"Does melatonin make it hard to wake up?","content":"\u003Cp\u003EIf you take melatonin on time, it won\u2019t cause much trouble. However, if you take melatonin late, you may feel a melatonin hangover. It\u2019s best to take melatonin 20-30 minutes before bedtime.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"46a5575","title":"Is 10 mg of melatonin too much?","content":"\u003Cp\u003EYes, 10 mg or more of melatonin can cause grogginess or daytime sleepiness in individuals.\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"7048a9d","title":"How long can I take melatonin for sleep?","content":"\u003Cp\u003EIt\u2019s safe to take melatonin for sleep for one to two months.\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"4c7325b","title":"What foods are rich in melatonin?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.nectarsleep.com\/posts\/foods-that-help-you-sleep\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noreferrer noopener\"\u003EFoods\u003C\/a\u003E\u00a0that are rich in melatonin include:\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cul\u003E\u003Cli\u003EEggs\u003C\/li\u003E\u003Cli\u003EMilk\u003C\/li\u003E\u003Cli\u003EFish\u00a0\u003C\/li\u003E\u003Cli\u003ENuts\u003C\/li\u003E\u003Cli\u003EGoji Berries\u003C\/li\u003E\u003C\/ul\u003E"},{"_id":"22ed9c3","title":"Is it wrong to take melatonin every night?","content":"\u003Cp\u003EMelatonin is safe if you take less amount for a short period. The side effects of melatonin are mild, so there is nothing to worry about.\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"df5afd6","title":"Can melatonin cause nightmares?","content":"\u003Csection class=\"sc_fs_faq sc_card\"\u003E\u003Cdiv\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"sc_fs_faq__content\"\u003E\u003Cp\u003ENightmares are a rare symptom of melatonin intake. If you consume a large amount of melatonin, you may have side effects like nightmares.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/section\u003E\u003Csection class=\"sc_fs_faq sc_card\"\u003E\u003C\/section\u003E"},{"_id":"449f917","title":"Can melatonin cause insomnia?","content":"\u003Cp\u003ENo, excessive melatonin may have various symptoms like anxiety, nightmare, joint pain, etc. However, it does not lead to insomnia.\u003C\/p\u003E"}],"__globals__":{"main_title_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=3e436c6","main_title_color":"globals\/colors?id=c758e82","question_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=9134c8d","answer_typography_typography":"globals\/typography?id=e88d36c","question_color":"globals\/colors?id=2f337da","answer_color":"globals\/colors?id=2325efb"},"main_title_typography_typography":"","main_title_typography_font_family":null,"main_title_typography_font_size":null,"main_title_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_font_weight":null,"main_title_typography_text_transform":null,"main_title_typography_font_style":null,"main_title_typography_text_decoration":null,"main_title_typography_line_height":null,"main_title_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"main_title_color":"","question_typography_typography":"","question_typography_font_family":null,"question_typography_font_size":null,"question_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"question_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"question_typography_font_weight":null,"question_typography_text_transform":null,"question_typography_font_style":null,"question_typography_text_decoration":null,"question_typography_line_height":null,"question_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"question_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"question_typography_word_spacing":null,"question_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"question_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"question_color":"","answer_typography_typography":"","answer_typography_font_family":null,"answer_typography_font_size":null,"answer_typography_font_size_tablet":null,"answer_typography_font_size_mobile":null,"answer_typography_font_weight":null,"answer_typography_text_transform":null,"answer_typography_font_style":null,"answer_typography_text_decoration":null,"answer_typography_line_height":null,"answer_typography_line_height_tablet":null,"answer_typography_line_height_mobile":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing_tablet":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing_mobile":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing_tablet":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing_mobile":null,"answer_color":"","_title":"","_margin":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_margin_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_margin_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding_tablet":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding_mobile":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_element_width":"","_element_width_tablet":"","_element_width_mobile":"","_element_custom_width":null,"_element_custom_width_tablet":null,"_element_custom_width_mobile":null,"_element_vertical_align":null,"_element_vertical_align_tablet":null,"_element_vertical_align_mobile":null,"_position":"","_offset_orientation_h":null,"_offset_x":null,"_offset_x_tablet":null,"_offset_x_mobile":null,"_offset_x_end":null,"_offset_x_end_tablet":null,"_offset_x_end_mobile":null,"_offset_orientation_v":null,"_offset_y":null,"_offset_y_tablet":null,"_offset_y_mobile":null,"_offset_y_end":null,"_offset_y_end_tablet":null,"_offset_y_end_mobile":null,"_z_index":"","_z_index_tablet":"","_z_index_mobile":"","_element_id":"","_css_classes":"","motion_fx_motion_fx_scrolling":"","motion_fx_translateY_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateY_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateY_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateY_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_translateX_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateX_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateX_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateX_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_opacity_effect":null,"motion_fx_opacity_direction":null,"motion_fx_opacity_level":null,"motion_fx_opacity_range":null,"motion_fx_blur_effect":null,"motion_fx_blur_direction":null,"motion_fx_blur_level":null,"motion_fx_blur_range":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_effect":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_direction":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_speed":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_scale_effect":null,"motion_fx_scale_direction":null,"motion_fx_scale_speed":null,"motion_fx_scale_range":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_x":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_y":null,"motion_fx_devices":null,"motion_fx_range":null,"motion_fx_motion_fx_mouse":"","motio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