How Long Does Melatonin Take to Work?

If you struggle with sleep, you've probably heard about melatonin and how it can help. Let's explore how long it takes to kick in.

  • What is melatonin?
  • How does melatonin work?
  • How much melatonin should you take?
  • How long does melatonin last?
  • What are the benefits of taking melatonin?


Most commonly administered as tablets or melatonin gummies, more and more users are considering the benefits of using it as a sleep aid. If you’ve been tossing and turning, you might like our melatonin sleep guide to clarify many common questions about this compound.


What is Melatonin?


Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain when exposed to darkness, working with the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep and other biological rhythms. While the brain naturally produces this chemical, the older we get, the less we produce. Serotonin deficiencies in the body can also contribute to the decrease of melatonin, as melatonin and serotonin are of the same neurotransmitter family.


How Does Melatonin Work?


Basically, melatonin becomes serotonin in the body when your internal clock tells it to. As the melatonin in your body is produced, your blood and body temperature begin to lower, which naturally rests your body. Plus, the body produces more serotonin when it has to absorb less light, so at nighttime, that serotonin becomes the melatonin that gets you ready to catch some Zzzs.


How Much Melatonin Should You Take?  


Start with a low dose, as low as 0.5 milligrams, and assess how well it works for you. However, one to five milligrams is usually the most efficacious dose. Everybody is different, so be sure to check the specific instructions on the labels of your products and track your progress as you begin taking them.


What’s the Best Way to Take Melatonin?


As melatonin becomes more widely used, resources and options for purchasing melatonin products are vast. It can come as a pill, a chewable, or a liquid, giving you the power of choice. The most important thing to keep in mind is who you’re buying it from, how clean their ingredients are, and how effective their methodology is.

When purchasing sleep gummies, you want to look for products that are non-GMO and made with real fruit. While melatonin is a synthetic product in itself, you can still choose options that are healthier for your body. Some users love CBD gummies for sleep that include melatonin as well.


How Long Does Melatonin Take to Kick in?


It’s recommended to take your decided dose of melatonin 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. Since our bodies produce different amounts of melatonin naturally and are in need of different doses to best suit them, it’s not the same for everyone.

Generally speaking, it takes an average of 30 minutes for your melatonin levels to rise but knowing how long it takes to be absorbed in your body depends on you. You can consider starting 30 minutes before bed to see how it feels, but know to pay attention to your body’s reaction. You can choose to adjust that timing, and your dosage, if you see fit.


How Long Does Melatonin Last for Sleep?


Melatonin supplements last in the system for anywhere between four to eight hours; though there’s a bit more to it than that. Like many substances and supplements, there are many contributing factors that play into how long melatonin will last for you. Taking lower doses will also wear off quicker than higher ones.

How long melatonin will last depends on some of these things:

  • body weight/diet
  • age
  • genetics/hereditary issues
  • caffeine intake
  • frequency of use of melatonin
  • light exposure
  • tobacco/nicotine use


The type of supplement you use matters, too. Different formulations are designed for different effects, including how long they’re meant to last in the body. Melatonin gummies for adults may not have the same formulations as one designed for children.


What are the Benefits of Taking Melatonin for Sleep?


There are many reasons why people are choosing to take melatonin as a sleep supplement. Even though this substitute should not be a replacement for supporting good sleep habits, it can be useful for regulating your sleep-wake cycle when necessary.


Some people choose to use melatonin if they need to:

  • recover from symptoms of jetlag.
  • regulate daylight sleep for shift workers. 
  • reduce the time it takes to fall asleep because of insomnia.
  • improve circadian rhythm (the natural process of responding to dark and light) disorders due to blindness.


Many users do not take melatonin for long-term use. It can be used for a period of time to regulate your body and aid you in creating sleep habits that are more defined and cyclic.

Some people choose to take melatonin if they want to:

  • reset their sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) and create a new sleep schedule.
  • boost their sleep efficiency, which refers to the amount of time spent in bed versus the time they actually spend asleep.
  • fall asleep faster without inducing anxiety due to overwhelm.


Melatonin is also known to be effective in assisting people on the autism spectrum and those who have ADHD. Many parents and healthcare providers will suggest melatonin for children with these issues, as well.


What are the Side Effects of Melatonin?


There has been no research leading to melatonin being unsafe, and there have been no fatal overdoses. But like all supplements and substances, too much of anything is not good for you.

Side effects of overconsumption of melatonin should not be taken lightly. It can include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nightmares
  • anxiety
  • nausea


Some users will say that too much melatonin over time induced symptoms of being hungover. This could either mean it’s time to take a break from its use, or to re-evaluate the dosage you’re intaking. Remain in tune with your body and don’t ignore signs that you might not be feeling like yourself.

It’s essential to note that melatonin can interact with other medications you’re taking. If you have diabetes, take blood pressure medications or blood thinners, or are using birth control pills, consult with a physician and do proper research to be sure melatonin is right for you.


Melatonin and CBD


If you’re exploring melatonin as an option, it’s common to see that some products incorporate full spectrum CBD. This means CBD that contains the favorable compounds naturally found in the plant. Taking CBD in combination with melatonin through a 100% hemp-derived product is known to provide a unique synergy.

But the two work differently in the body. Melatonin will help you fall asleep and CBD will help you stay asleep. You can look into vegan products like Sleep Plus gummies that provide the ultimate blend of extracts, including CBD and melatonin.

Lack of sleep decreases productivity and motivation in your everyday life. Depriving yourself of a good night’s sleep can lead to long-term health issues you don’t want to go through. While it’s always recommended to talk to someone knowledgeable about taking melatonin, just know that melatonin is not an addictive supplement and cannot cause any dependencies in your body. You can better sleep with melatonin, but understanding what it is and how it works will ensure you do that successfully.

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Melatonin FAQ

How long after taking melatonin will I fall asleep?


Generally, your body will start to feel the calming effects of melatonin as quickly as 30 minutes after consumption. However, because it works with your natural sleep cycle, everyone is different.

How long does 10mg of melatonin last?


Melatonin lasts in your system for about 4 to 8 hours. The higher dosage, the longer it lasts in the system. The type of supplement you take, and other contributing factors like weight, age, and lifestyle will determine how long it lasts in the body.

Does melatonin make it hard to wake up?


There have been reports of drowsiness as a common side effect of melatonin, so it’s important to be aware of how your body feels the next day. If you struggle to wake up, consider adjusting your morning light exposure, taking the melatonin earlier in the evening, or taking a lower dose.

Can I take melatonin at 3am?


Timing is crucial when taking melatonin. Since it takes about 30 minutes to start kicking in and lasts between 4 to 8 hours, taking melatonin in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning is not recommended for those who want to regulate their sleep schedule.

What happens if you take melatonin and don’t go to sleep?


The most likely outcome is that you will continue to feel drowsy and eventually want to fall asleep. It’s a natural hormone in our body that will send signals we need to get ourselves ready for sleep.

Does melatonin work with THC?


Many people use THC to help with sleep, and melatonin can work well with THC, similarly to how it pairs symbiotically with CBD.

If you want to try THC for sleep, our Relax Plus gummies are a good place to start. Because we adhere to the criteria of the 2018 Farm Bill, all our Delta 9 THC products are federally legal!

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