Article at a Glance:
- Alprazolam (Xanax) is a benzodiazepine prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, while melatonin is a hormone that can be purchased over-the-counter for sleep.
- Because benzodiazepines interfere with deep sleep, it is best to avoid taking them for insomnia.
- Taking melatonin within one hour of Xanax can temporarily increase your risk of side effects like sedation.
Table of Contents
Can You Take Melatonin with Xanax?
The benzodiazepine alprazolam, also sold under the brand name Xanax, is an FDA-approved treatment for generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. Anxiety disorders can lead to a variety of other health issues and are closely linked to insomnia. For this reason, some people may wonder if it is safe to take alprazolam alongside over-the-counter treatments for insomnia like melatonin. Although generally safe, taking Xanax and melatonin together can temporarily increase your risk of side effects.
What Are the Risks of Taking Xanax and Sleeping Pills Together?
Like many sleeping pills, alprazolam is a central nervous system depressant. The problem with taking multiple central nervous system depressants at the same time is that doing so increases the risk of side effects. In some cases, mixing sleeping pills and Xanax can increase your risk of overdose. Melatonin is not considered a central nervous system depressant. Sleeping pills that are central nervous system depressants include:
- Zolpidem (Ambien)
- Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Zaleplon (Sonata)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Doxepin (Silenor)
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is an over-the-counter hormone supplement that is also produced naturally by the brain’s pineal gland. Naturally-produced melatonin controls sleep-wake cycles and is controlled by your body’s internal clock.
Melatonin levels naturally rise in the evening, stay high throughout the night and then drop in the morning. The amount of light you’re exposed to can play a role in how much melatonin you naturally produce, so you may sleep more in the winter, as an example. Your natural levels of melatonin also tend to decline as you age.
People use melatonin in supplement form if they have sleep disorders or problems, such as insomnia. People may also use melatonin to help with seasonal affective disorder and jet lag.
Some of the possible side effects of using melatonin can include vivid dreams, feeling drowsy in the morning and slight changes in blood pressure.
- Is melatonin a benzodiazepine?
Melatonin is not a benzodiazepine. It is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body and is also sold as an over-the-counter supplement.
What Is Xanax (Alprazolam)?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine and controlled substance used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax works on the central nervous system by stimulating the release of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. It helps to reduce the brain’s activity, which results in the person feeling calmer and more relaxed.
Some characteristics of Xanax include:
|Conditions it can treat||Generalized anxiety disorder
|Controlled substance status||Schedule IV controlled substance|
|Side Effects||Coordination problems, low blood pressure, trouble saying words clearly, low sex drive|
|How long it takes to have its peak effect||1 to 2 hours|
|Duration of effect||Roughly 8 hours; therefore, the medication is dosed three times daily|
FAQs About Xanax
- Is Xanax good for sleep?
Although benzodiazepines like Xanax can help you fall asleep, they suppress deep sleep, meaning you don’t get adequate rest.
- Does Xanax help you sleep?
Benzodiazepines like Xanax can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. However, they interfere with deep sleep, meaning that you wake up without being as well-rested as you would have without the benzodiazepine.
- Can I take a low dose of Xanax for sleep?
Because taking Xanax for sleep can lead to poor sleep quality from lack of deep sleep, it is best to avoid taking Xanax for sleep problems.
Melatonin & Xanax for Sleep Side Effects
Taking melatonin and alprazolam within one hour of each other can temporarily increase your risk of side effects. These include:
- Excessive sedation
- Memory problems
- Trouble with coordination
- Problems paying attention
You should always consult your physician or pharmacist before taking a supplement like melatonin with your Xanax.
Summing Up — Xanax and Melatonin
Xanax is a prescription drug that calms anxiety and is given to people with panic disorders as well. It’s supposed to be a short-term treatment because, in the long term, it can have serious side effects, including addiction and physical dependence.
Melatonin is something naturally produced by our bodies, but it can also be taken in supplement forms to help with insomnia, sleep disorders and jet lag.
Taking Xanax and melatonin together can temporarily increase your risk of side effects like sedation. You should always consult your physician or pharmacist first.
The Recovery Village can help you find a solution for substance use disorder and treat any co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or depression, that may contribute to a Xanax addiction. If you are abusing Xanax or using more than prescribed, contact us to discuss treatment options that can help.
- Drugs.com. “Xanax.” September 1, 2021. Accessed October 13, 2021.
- Staner, Luc. “Sleep and anxiety disorders,” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, September 2003. Accessed October 13, 2021.
- Drugs.com. “Drug Interaction Report.” Accessed October 13, 2021.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are prescription CNS depressants?” March 2018. Accessed October 13, 2021.
- Drugs.com. “Melatonin.” May 4, 2021. Accessed October 13, 2021.
- Chen, Lynna; Bell, J. Simon; Visvanathan, Renuka; et al. “The association between benzodiazepine use and sleep quality in residential aged care facilities: a cross-sectional study,” BMC Geriatrics, November 26, 2016. Accessed October 13, 2021.
- Medical Disclaimer
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.