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How Long Does Melatonin Last in Your Body

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: May 26, 2023
5 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
How Long Does Melatonin Last

Why do people take melatonin supplements? As you age, your body’s capacity to produce melatonin decreases, and you struggle to sleep. Moreover, you may be sleep deprived due to workload, night shifts, or jet lag. In such cases, supplements help boost your melatonin level and prepare your body for sleep. Therefore, melatonin for adults is a boon. 

However, prolonged use of melatonin for sleep can increase your body’s dependency on the supplements leading to side effects. Thus, knowing how a sleep aid supplement works, its dosage, side effects, and how long melatonin lasts in your system is vital. Keep reading to know more.

What Is Melatonin

What is melatonin? Melatonin is commonly known as the hormone of darkness or the sleep hormone. What does melatonin do? It controls the human body’s circadian rhythm and signals your brain that it’s time to sleep. Melatonin is produced naturally in the brain by pineal glands. The retinas in the eyes absorb light during the day and signal the pineal gland to stop releasing melatonin. 

On the other hand, at night, as the light decreases, the retina signals pineal glands to produce melatonin. You will experience a 3.9 minutes increase in sleep efficiency and a 2.2% increase in sleep quality. Melatonin, the most common sleeping aid, is easily available over the counter. 

Also, many people are curious to know whether does melatonin helps with anxiety. Yes, melatonin can combat anxiety issues as it can cause insomnia, a sleep disorder. However, expert consultation is necessary before taking the supplement. 

How Does Melatonin Work

How does melatonin work? As mentioned above, melatonin is produced by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a group of neurons in your hypothalamus. They help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm by sending signals to each other. 

The retina in the eye absorbs light during the day. It sends signals to the pineal gland through SCN and stops melatonin production, keeping you awake. Due to a lack of light at night, the SCN signals the pineal gland to release melatonin, thus aiding in sleep. 

Also, how to use melatonin? There are two ways to use it. The first way is to use it to help you fall asleep. The second way is to use it to reset your body clock. In such a scenario, if used wisely, these are the benefits of melatonin supplements.

How Long Does It Take for Melatonin to Work

How long does it take for melatonin to work? Or how fast does melatonin work? Melatonin typically takes about one to two hours to work. However, varied melatonin supplements take different times to work. Thus, taking the melatonin supplement about one to two hours before sleep is vital. The liquid melatonin supplement goes directly into the bloodstream and therefore works faster. Consequently, you must consider the melatonin supplement form, dosage, and sleep routine while seeking the results.

Moreover, the results can vary for everyone. Avoid taking another dose if you feel awake even after taking the supplement. A double amount can have adverse effects on your body. Moreover, prolonged use of melatonin is prohibited. 

How Long Does Melatonin Last in Your System

Are you consuming melatonin every night and in too much quantity for quick sleep? Reconsider your habit, as the supplement particles can remain in the body and may cause a melatonin hangover. So, how long does melatonin stay in your system? The answer depends on the following: 

  • Age
  • Body weight
  • How often do you use melatonin supplements
  • Smoking habits
  • Other medications
  • Dosage
  • The form of melatonin supplement 

Supplement forms can be in melatonin pills, chewable or liquid. Melatonin supplement lasts in your system for about 4 to 8 hours. Melatonin half-life, which means the time taken by the body to metabolise half of a supplement dose, is approximately 20-50 minutes. Your body takes 4 to 5 half-lives to eliminate the melatonin supplement from your system.

Melatonin Dosage: How Much Melatonin Is Too Much

The FDA does not regulate melatonin. Hence, there is no limit on the quantity of melatonin in the supplements. Over-the-counter melatonin supplements come in varied forms. Therefore, you might need clarification about how much melatonin should I take. The melatonin dosage should be between 1 and 5 mg twice or thrice weekly. Most health experts suggest starting with a lower dose. If you still feel awake after consuming the supplement, increase your quantity gradually. However, ensure you stay within the dosage of 5mg.

You might wonder how to take melatonin dosage. Suppose you take the supplement at an appropriate lower dose of 0.3mg to 1mg initially and several hours before bedtime; you can benefit from the melatonin supplement.

Can You Overdose on Melatonin

There are no guidelines on the dosage of melatonin supplements. Therefore, you might wonder whether you can have a melatonin overdose. The answer is No! You can’t. What happens if you take too much melatonin? Although there is no research on the adverse consequences of an overdose of melatonin supplements, it can affect your circadian rhythm and enhance your sleep issues. 

When to Take Melatonin

 When should you take melatonin? As you know, melatonin helps regulate your body clock and sleep cycle. Therefore, you need to consider time release melatonin duration in the body. There are also slow-release melatonin supplements available in the market. Thus, normally the supplement takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours to work. Therefore, the best time to take a melatonin supplement is about 30 minutes before sleep.

How Long Does It Take for Melatonin to Wear Off

It takes around 4 to 8 hours for melatonin to wear off. However, the dosage can vary time significantly. Take around one to three mg of melatonin dosage. It will wear off quickly, and you won’t experience any side effects. 

Melatonin Side Effects

What are the side effects of melatonin? Long-term side effects are unclear as of now. However, the short term side-effects of melatonin are as follows:

  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache 

Less common side effects are as follows:

  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Increases risk of seizures
  • Reduced alertness

Thus it is vital to know what is melatonin used for and the right way to combat your sleep issues. If you need to know how much melatonin to take for sleep, consult your doctor for individual guidance. In such a way, you can avoid the supplement’s side effects. 


Thus, we learned how long does melatonin last in your system. The above information will help you to take melatonin supplements appropriately by reducing the chances of side effects. Moreover, try focusing on your lifestyle. After all, it is said, ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’


How long does melatonin of 10 mg last?

10mg of melatonin will last more than seven hours, and doctors never recommend them, even in severe insomnia cases. Thus, avoiding consuming a 10mg dose is best to prevent severe side effects.

Does melatonin make it hard to wake up?

Drowsiness, the common side effect of melatonin supplements, can make it hard for you to wake up. The solution is to reduce the dose and take the supplement about 1 to 2 hours before sleep.

Does melatonin make you groggy the next day?

Suppose you consume the supplement in large quantities at night or in the middle of the night. In that case, melatonin may cause grogginess the next day. 

What are the negative effects of melatonin?

Some of the negative effects of melatonin are headaches, nausea, decreased appetite, daytime drowsiness, reduced alertness, irritability, constipation, diarrhoea, and vivid dreams.

Is 10 mg of melatonin too much?

Yes, more melatonin consumption can lower your cortisol production level and cause adrenal gland fatigue or even Addison’s disease


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Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

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