It would be best if you did not take melatonin after drinking coffee. The interaction between the two is not the opposite, so melatonin will not reverse the effects of coffee.
Even if caffeine does not affect your sleeping habits, taking melatonin within a few hours after drinking coffee is dangerous.
However, there are other ways to go to sleep if you’ve had a cup of fully caffeinated coffee late at night.
Here is a complete guide to melatonin and coffee, the relationship between the two, and how you should prepare your body for sleep after drinking coffee.
Can You Take Melatonin After Drinking Coffee?
Because melatonin and coffee have different effects on the body, doctors do not recommend using both within a few hours of each other.
If you’ve had a cup of coffee and are ready for your nightly melatonin, you must skip a night or wait a few hours before ingesting the sleep aid.
This is because melatonin and coffee aren’t strictly opposites. When you ingest melatonin, it doesn’t negate the effects of coffee and vice versa.
Instead, they will interact negatively, and you won’t be able to sleep. You might feel strange, loopy, or have nervous energy. Side effects vary depending on the person.
Taking melatonin after drinking coffee is bad for your health at the moment, but it will also affect your long-term sleep patterns.
Drinking too much coffee can decrease the natural amount of melatonin your body produces, making it more difficult to fall asleep naturally.
If you habitually drink coffee before bed and then use sleep aids, you will likely need to increase your melatonin dosage and stop feeling the supplement’s effectiveness.
It’s better to stop coffee consumption earlier in the day and drink caffeine-free tea or warm milk in the evening instead.
How Soon After Coffee Can You Take Melatonin?
On average, a cup of coffee takes six hours to metabolize fully. For a fully caffeinated cup of coffee, you should wait at least five hours before taking a regular dose of melatonin.
By the time your coffee has metabolized, you will be able to feel the effects of the melatonin.
Of course, if you drink a late-night cup of coffee, you don’t necessarily want to wait until the early morning to take melatonin.
To be completely safe, you shouldn’t take any sleep aid until your coffee has completely metabolized.
If this is an issue, try not to drink coffee for at least five hours before you’re ready to sleep.
How do Coffee and Melatonin Interact?
Although coffee and melatonin can have health benefits, the interaction between the two is dangerous.
While coffee blocks certain glands and helps you stay awake and alert, melatonin is released by glands to increase relaxation and feelings of tiredness.
The two do not cancel each other out, which can be dangerous when paired.
Coffee contains large amounts of caffeine, which provides energy and prevents your body from feeling sleepy.
Although not everyone gets more energy from caffeine, it does block adenosine glands, which makes you feel tired and ready for bed.
On the other hand, melatonin is a chemical that naturally occurs in your brain. As you get ready for sleep, melatonin helps relax your brain and prepare you for rest.
Melatonin is released from the pineal gland and is usually released in response to outer darkness (which is why humans sleep at night).
While coffee affects the melatonin levels in your brain, it doesn’t shut down the pineal gland. Instead, it shuts down the adenosine gland, and your brain is tricked into not feeling sleepy.
However, the pineal gland still produces melatonin, relaxing your brain and making it tired.
The effects of the two together depend on how much coffee and melatonin are consumed and how sensitive a person is to caffeine.
Sometimes, a person will not feel any immediate effects but might have ongoing issues with their sleep schedule (which can lead to more significant health problems).
However, a extremely sensitive to caffeine might experience tremors, anxiety, or even more severe side effects.
In extreme cases, combining coffee and melatonin worsens or induces sleep disorders. In any case, it’s best to avoid mixing the two.
How Can I Fall Asleep After Drinking Coffee?
Since you shouldn’t take melatonin after drinking coffee, there are other ways to fall asleep after drinking an ill-advised cup of coffee late in the evening.
Although these might not work if you are caffeine-sensitive, they can help get you ready for bed sooner.
- Take a walk – it will help you metabolize your caffeine faster and tire you out.
- Meditate or do yoga to calm your mind.
- Take a warm bath or shower to calm your body.
- Set a sleep schedule.
- Don’t use electronics before bed.
Although these might not work independently, if you try them all to get to bed on a high-caffeine night, you might find it easier to sleep it off.
However, the best way to avoid sleepless nights is to set a good sleep schedule and avoid late afternoon or evening cups of coffee.
However, for melatonin to be as effective as possible, you should avoid coffee in the evening.