We use cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of these cookies. Click to see our cookie policy.

Melatonin and Metoprolol: Beta blockers and sleep

What’s the link between beta blockers and sleep? Is your medication keeping you up at night? These are common questions for approximately 22 million people in the United States, who need to take a beta blocker regularly. Today we’re going to look into whether betablockers disrupt your sleep pattern and whether Melatonin and Metoprolol together could be the solution for sounder sleep.

Americans aren’t the only people in dire need of blood pressure control, but the number of people with hypertension in the US is on the rise. Around the world, beta blockers are among the most commonly prescribed and most effective medications used for blood pressure management. Unfortunately, like most medications, there are side effects. 

Queries around metoprolol and insomnia are prompting studies into the link between beta blockers and sleep. Many studies suggest taking beta blockers could disrupt the balance of the human sleep cycle, causing problems with getting a good night’s rest.

Beta blockers and sleep: What are beta blockers?

Beta blockers are a common treatment for hypertension, as well as a range of other cardiovascular conditions. Widely regarded as safe, and effective, beta blockers are responsible for regulating the receptors which control your heart rate. In other words, the pills can help to decrease your heart rate, so your blood pressure isn’t as high. 

Beta blockers exist under many names. The content can be metoprolol, carvedilol, propranolol, atenolol, bisoprolol and several others with similar chemical composition. 

Like most medications, beta blockers can have side effects. Common medications like metoprolol (a popular beta blocker) can cause feelings of dizziness, light-headedness and even tiredness. However, these pills could also be responsible for sleep problems, causing insomnia, and even nightmares. 

Unfortunately for people with insomnia, while beta-blockers are an excellent treatment for blood pressure conditions, they can also make it harder to get the rest you need. 

Is insomnia a side effect of metoprolol?

Insomnia is now widely regarded a common side effect of metoprolol and similar beta blockers. There are a couple of reasons why beta-blockers impact sleep. Lets start with looking at fatigue. 

Many beta blockers can also block the biological pathway of something called coenzyme Q10-dependent enzymes in the body. When this happens, your medication interferes with a number of things, including energy production and protection against free radicals. This is what causes people to feel fatigued when taking beta blockers. 

CoQ10 is essential for the production of a substance called “ATP”, which is a must-have for cellular energy processes. Deficiencies in Q10 can therefore play a part in chronic fatigue. 

Crucially, being fatigued isn’t the same as being sleepy. Too much fatigue can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Crucially, the levels of CoQ10 decline naturally with age, so the problem worsens with time.

The other major reason metoprolol and insomnia are linked, has something to do with the production of melatonin in the human body. 

Melatonin and metoprolol: What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural human hormone partly responsible for maintaining the sleep cycle, also called our circadian rhythm. This hormone comes from the pineal gland in the brain, and the release of melatonin is controlled by various factors.

Everything from your stress levels to the amount of authentic light you see each day can have an impact on your levels of melatonin. 

For most people, melatonin levels are naturally low during the day, when they’re awake and exposed to sunlight. However, when the sun begins to set and we get closer to the end of the day, the melatonin levels in your body begin to grow. 

So, what does this have to do with insomnia and beta blockers?

Beta blockers can reduce the production of various hormones and substances in the body, including the CoQ10 enzymes mentioned above. 

Studies also show beta blockers can reduce the production of melatonin via the inhibition of adrenergic receptors. Remember, melatonin is released by the pineal gland in the brain, similar to many other hormones. 

People with hypertension generally already have a lower melatonin production than those with normal blood pressure. Taking beta blockers can reduce your melatonin levels even further.

The majority of beta blockers can decrease the amount of melatonin in your system by up to 80%. Although there are some beta blockers which don’t have this effect, insomnia is a common side effect of taking a beta blocker.

Is it OK to take melatonin with blood pressure medicine?

If you’re struggling with a lack of sleep when taking metoprolol, you might consider taking melatonin to help get your hormones back on track. The question is, is it safe to take melatonin with beta blockers? While melatonin is a natural substance, even natural supplements can interact poorly with other medications at times. 

The good news is clinical data around metoprolol and sleep aids like melatonin is highly positive. Scientific evidence on the last fifteen years has shown taking melatonin can significantly improve the sleep cycle. 

To test the idea of taking melatonin and meta blockers at the same time, researchers assigned 16 adults with hypertension to a set of two groups. One group took a placebo, and another took metoprolol and melatonin at the same time. 

After three weeks of study, the researchers found melatonin had a significantly positive impact on the people taking beta blockers. Time spent awake reduced from 20% to 12%. Time awake during the night was also halved. According to the researchers, there were no reports of differences in energy and mood levels, but melatonin in the body did rise. 

Studies also demonstrate taking melatonin and beta blockers at the same time doesn’t seem to lead to any dangerous side effects. For people using drugs like metoprolol, melatonin may be one of the safest ways to improve the sleep cycle. 

Can you take a sleep aid with metoprolol?

Beta blockers like propranolol and sleep have a close connection. For people using beta blockers to manage blood pressure and other conditions, it’s crucial to continue following the schedule recommended by their doctor. However, many people will find it difficult to continue taking beta blockers, if it means they don’t have a good night’s sleep. 

Lack of sleep can be a seriously detrimental issue. The CDC and many other global health professionals have highlighted the growing severity of sleep deprivation in the world today. 

Going without the right amount of sleep for a significant amount of time can lead to a higher risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, depression, and obesity. Lack of sleep can also increase blood pressure, which negates the purpose of taking the beta blocker. 

If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep after taking beta blockers, the best thing you can do is speak to your doctor about your options. Crucially, there are benefits to taking substances like melatonin with beta blockers – but it’s important to get the right combination of treatments. Some over-the-counter medications and alternatives to melatonin may not be safe.

Counteracting the effects of Metoprolol and sleep

Medication side effects can make it very difficult for people to continue with a regular schedule of taking crucial drugs. This is why it’s so important to speak to a doctor if you’re having trouble with your medications. Side effects impacts your quality of life. 

Lack of sleep isn’t just bad for your mental health, it can also worsen your hypertension. It might lead to other long-term ailments too. If you’re taking beta blockers and having insomnia, your doctor will usually recommend making a few changes to your sleep schedule.

After this, if you still need help getting a good night’s rest, the most common solution will be to take melatonin and metoprolol together. Helping to counteract your side effects.

Siestio. Sleep Matters.

Click here if you want to know about other medications that cause insomnia.

Medical disclaimer
You must not rely on the information provided on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare professionals. For more information read our full disclaimer here.

Medical Expert

Siestio is an evidence-based resource dedicated to sleep and wellbeing. Whether you’re affected directly or indirectly by sleep issues, we’re here to help. Because we believe sleep matters.

For editorial, affiliate and advertising enquiries, please drop us a line…

Email: mail@siestio.com