How Long Does Melatonin Take To Work And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on November 24th, 2022

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard of melatonin. You may even know that it’s a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. But how does it actually work? And how long does it take for it to start working? In this blog post, we’ll answer those questions and more.

Exact answer: between 20 minutes to 2 hours (Approximately)

What Exactly Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm and induces slumber. Melatonin can assist regulate your sleep cycle and can be used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia. Melatonin is often used in the following scenarios in everyday life:

  • Getting over jet lag
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Adverse effects of stimulant medicines such as Adderall
  • Neurodevelopmental diseases, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies. Melatonin is found in the pineal glands, which are created by our brain. Synthetic melatonin, on the other hand, is accessible. Melatonin aids in the improvement and maintenance of the biological clock, often known as the wake-sleep cycle.

The biological clock, often known as the wake-sleep cycle, requires eight hours of sleep and sixteen hours of work. Melatonin is commonly accessible in tablet form. Melatonin is consumed in the form of pills or by holding it under the tongue. Melatonin is taken into the body immediately through the tongue.

Melatonin has several benefits, and it is used to treat a variety of health concerns. Melatonin aids in the treatment of sleep problems and the attainment of a comfortable night’s sleep. It is beneficial in the treatment of headaches, cancer, and sleeplessness. Useful for persons who have trouble falling asleep, such as those suffering from jet lag.

What Are the side effects of melatonin?

If you consume melatonin at the incorrect moment, your body’s internal clock will be thrown off.

Some persons who consume it may have the following negative effects:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability

You may be tempted to take extra melatonin to achieve a better night’s sleep, but doing so may exacerbate those negative effects, further disrupting your sleep. Try not to consume more than you need.

Melatonin should not be used if you:

  • Are you pregnant?
  • Is nursing legal?
  • Do you have an autoimmune disorder?
  • Have you ever had a seizure?
  • Suffer from depression

Melatonin can interfere with the action of some drugs, including:

  • Anticoagulant and anti-platelet drugs and supplements
  • Some antidepressants
  • Some anticonvulsants
  • Blood pressure drugs
  • Diabetes drugs
  • Contraceptive drugs
  • CNS depressants
  • Diazepam (Valium)

Before you begin taking melatonin, consult your doctor about how it may interact with other medications you are taking.

Understanding Melatonin Production in Your Body

Before you go looking for melatonin synthesized in a lab or packaged in a factory, why not try to improve the unbranded, customised form generated by your own brain? It’s not as difficult as you may assume. And, by asking the correct questions, you may learn more about how your natural melatonin functions. Let’s start with the fundamentals.

When and how does your brain make melatonin?

Melatonin is generated in the pineal gland of the brain at night in response to signals from the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a collection of neurons in the hypothalamus.

The SCN, as the master clock of your circadian rhythm, is attuned to the cycle of changing light we encounter every 24 hours via the retina and optic nerve. The SCN stimulates the pineal gland to release melatonin in the dead of night.

How Does Melatonin Help You Sleep at Night?

Melatonin helps your body prepare for sleep by reducing your body temperature, blood pressure, stress hormones, and attentiveness after dark. This period of night, which normally occurs 2-3 hours before going to bed, is referred to as dim light melatonin onset (DLMO).

It signals the start of the Melatonin Window, the period during which your brain makes the most melatonin during the night. Going to bed during this time frame will increase your chances of falling asleep fast and staying asleep all night.

How much melatonin should I take before going to bed?

The appropriate melatonin dose varies depending on your unique demands and sleep concerns.

We recommend beginning with a modest dose of roughly 2 mg. If you still have difficulties sleeping, you can raise your dosage as needed, but keep in mind that the maximum advised quantity is 10 mg every night. This progressive increase will allow you to see how your body reacts to each new dosage, allowing you to pick the ideal option for you.

When should I start taking melatonin?

You don’t want to inject melatonin into your system too late or even too early in the evening for ideal sleep, since this might alter your natural sleep rhythm.

Because melatonin is easily absorbed by the body, you should take it 30 to 90 minutes before your usual bedtime. However, because supplements impact everyone differently, we recommend experimenting with the optimum time for you and your bedtime routine.

How Long Does It Take Melatonin To Work?

Melatonin takes around twenty to two hours after administration to begin working. That is why melatonin is taken two hours before going to bed. Melatonin’s primary purpose is to communicate to the body information about the biological cycle. If a person has a set sleep hour, the brain begins to signal the body to sleep.

Melatonin’s impact differs from person to person. Melatonin can be released into our bodies instantly or gradually with the use of pills. Melatonin is promptly released into our systems when we take regular pills. People who are up all night may benefit from extended-release melatonin. Melatonin aids in the resumption of sleep.

Caffeine, vegetables, several vitamins, and minerals can all have an impact on melatonin synthesis. All of these variables influence melatonin synthesis by increasing or lowering the availability of tryptophan, a key amino acid.

Melatonin levels in our bodies rise in reaction to darkness, peaking between 11 a.m. and 3 a.m. Melatonin production is reduced throughout the summer, whereas it is increased during the winter. It persists in our bodies for varying lengths of time based on a variety of conditions.

How long does melatonin last?

How long does melatoninDuration
Takes to workbetween 2 minutes and 2 hours
Takes to work in childrenaround 30 minutes to an hour
Reduces to half (Half-life)nearly 40 to 60 minutes
Stays in our systemAbout 5 hours

Why Does Melatonin Take So Long To Take Effect?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone derived from the amino acid tryptophan. It is then released into the circulation and cerebrospinal fluid after being synthesized. Pineal glands convert serotonin into melatonin, and a high melatonin level decreases blood pressure and temperature, resulting in tiredness.

Melatonin functions in tandem with the body’s circadian cycle. The circadian cycle is the body’s internal clock that tells us when we should eat, sleep, and wake up. Melatonin levels are high in the dark, signaling the body to sleep. Sleeplessness is caused by decreased melatonin production caused by dark exposure.

Melatonin attaches to receptors and lowers nerve activity, assisting the body in relaxing. Melatonin decreases the amount of dopamine hormone in the body, which keeps the body alert. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant that aids in the prevention of eye disorders.

Melatonin is consumed by children. Melatonin is commonly used by children with ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Melatonin dosage ranges from 0.5 mg to 6 mg, depending on the condition, age, and doctor’s recommendation. Melatonin use without the guidance of a doctor or professional might be hazardous or dangerous.

Age, caffeine, light exposure, body size, cigarettes, and other drugs are all factors that influence how long melatonin remains in our bodies.

How Long Does Melatonin Remain in Your Body?

Melatonin does not linger in your system for long. It usually lingers in your system for around 5 hours. This, however, is dependent on whether or not you have taken slow-release melatonin. If you have, these deadlines may not be applicable to you.

You may experience sleepiness throughout this time. During this time, avoid driving, making judgments, or operating heavy machinery.

Drugs have varied effects on different persons. It is mostly determined by various variables, including:

  • Age: As you become older, your metabolism slows down. The longer it stays in your body, the longer it will stay in your body.
  • Coffee: According to research, caffeine consumption might reduce the efficiency of melatonin.
  • Tobacco: According to research, nicotine reduces the efficiency of melatonin.
  • Light Exposure: Light and blue light from electronics can have an effect on melatonin levels.
  • Body Dimensions
  • Whether or not you are taking medications
  • Melatonin extended-release vs. normal melatonin

You may not feel drowsy the next day if you take melatonin on time.

How Long Does Melatonin Take to Wear Off?

It is determined by the amount of melatonin consumed. Melatonin generally takes 4 to 8 hours to wear off, so the optimum time to take it is a few hours before bed.

Begin by taking tiny doses of melatonin. It will wear off quickly and will not have any severe adverse effects on you.


Melatonin hormone, which is generated by the pineal glands, is commonly used in the treatment of sleeping disorders. Melatonin hormone production occurs in the dark and decreases in the presence of light.

Melatonin is beneficial in the short term, but it can have a variety of negative effects if used on a daily basis. Aftereffects include headaches, grogginess, anxiety, irritability, disorientation, and realistic nightmares. Melatonin’s effective dosage for jet lag is 0.3 mg to 0.5 mg.

Overdoes have a variety of adverse effects, and it is best to follow the advice of a doctor or an expert. Melatonin is beneficial for short-term usage but not for long-term use. Long-term use produces a variety of negative impacts on the body.


Editorial Staff

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