You've successfully subscribed to Kick Health Blog
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Kick Health Blog
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.
Trazodone vs. Melatonin—Which One Can Help With Sleeplessness?

Trazodone vs. Melatonin—Which One Can Help With Sleeplessness?

If you’re struggling with sleep problems, the best course of action is to visit a sleep medicine specialist. Depending on your health status and specific type of insomnia, your doctor may recommend various sleep aids, including trazodone or melatonin.

This helpful trazodone vs. melatonin comparison will explain how these substances work, what side effects they might entail, and what the best ways to use them are.

What Is Trazodone?

Trazodone is an FDA-approved antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and sleeplessness. Its active substance is trazodone hydrochloride, a serotonin receptor antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI).

The medication works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Optimum serotonin levels bring about the following benefits:

The drug isn’t a controlled substance and carries no risk of addiction. Still, misuse can cause psychological dependence, so you should stick to your healthcare provider’s instructions while on trazodone.

Trazodone is only available with your doctor’s prescription. It comes in three forms:

  1. Tablet
  2. Capsule
  3. Liquid

Check the available doses for each form in the table below:


Available Doses


  1. 50 mg

  2. 100 mg

  3. 150 mg

  4. 300 mg


  1. 50 mg

  2. 100 mg


  1. 10 mg

  2. 20 mg

The typical dose for patients with insomnia is 25 mg in tablet form, but your doctor may recommend taking up to 100 mg if you have severe sleep issues.

What Are the Side Effects of Trazodone?

Trazodone carries the risk of unwanted reactions, but most of them are manageable and hardly occur when patients stick to the prescribed dosage. Common side effects of trazodone include:

  • Blurred vision—Avoid activities that require sharp focus, such as driving
  • Confusion—Common among elderly patients. Contact your doctor if confusion persists
  • Dizziness—Lie down and close your eyes until the dizziness subsides
  • Dry mouth—Drink plenty of water to alleviate this issue

If you experience the following rare but concerning side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately:

  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the face, throat, or tongue

Source: cottonbro studio

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain. This hormone regulates your body’s circadian rhythm, so its levels in the body rise in response to darkness and reduce as dawn approaches, signaling that it’s time to sleep or wake up.

The hormone interacts with specific receptors in the brain responsible for regulating your sleep-wake cycle. It reduces the time your body needs to fall asleep and improves sleep quality, especially when you have sleep issues due to jet lag or shift work. Melatonin is also involved in several processes that affect sleep, including:

  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Enhancing immune function
  • Managing cortisol levels

Melatonin is available over-the-counter as a dietary supplement. It’s not a controlled substance and carries no risk of physical addiction. You won’t experience withdrawal symptoms after treatment discontinuation. Still, misuse can lead to discomfort after stopping melatonin treatment.  

The supplement comes in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms and is available in four doses:

  1. 1 mg
  2. 3 mg
  3. 5 mg
  4. 10 mg

The average starting dose is 2 mg in the form of slow-release tablets, but your doctor will assess your health status before recommending the most effective dosage for you.

What Are the Side Effects of Melatonin?

Even though melatonin is generally safe for short-term use, it has a few side effects, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Daytime drowsiness

These effects are typically mild and subside on their own, but you should avoid activities that require intense focus until they wear off naturally.

Rare side effects of melatonin include:

  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • Depression
  • Stomach upset
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 
  • Mood swings
  • Fainting
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Reduced alertness

The lists above aren’t exhaustive. You should monitor potential body changes and contact your doctor immediately if you experience persistent or concerning side effects.

Trazodone and Melatonin—How Do You Take Them for Sleeplessness?

You should take trazodone or melatonin strictly as instructed by your healthcare provider. Doctors typically recommend taking these substances 60 minutes before bed. While on trazodone or melatonin, you should set aside seven hours for sleep to give these substances enough time to kick in and wear off naturally.

Melatonin vs. Trazodone for Sleep—Which Is More Effective?

Both trazodone and melatonin can be effective for sleep, but the results depend on your health status and specific insomnia type. Melatonin is more effective for primary insomnia, while trazodone is more appropriate for patients with insomnia caused by depression or anxiety disorders.

While these substances can help with insomnia, sleep problems are complex and typically stem from numerous factors, so you should see a sleep expert to reach a lasting solution. Still, with less than 1% of doctors specializing in sleep medicine and 50–70 million adults in the U.S. grappling with sleep issues, getting an appointment with a specialist is easier said than done.

Fortunately, telemedicine platforms let you skip the long waiting lines and consult sleep experts almost instantly. Kick, an online performance medicine clinic, has a groundbreaking sleep program that enables you to get the best treatment from the comfort of your home.

Source: Polina Kovaleva

Kick—Sleep Solutions at Your Fingertips

Designed by Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a Stanford sleep expert, Kick’s sleep program uses a personalized approach to treat insomnia. Here’s what to expect once you join the program:

  • Your doctor will assess your medical history, sleep habits, and lifestyle and prescribe two trial medications
  • You’ll rotate the medicines to reduce the risk of psychological dependence
  • Our specialist will adjust the treatment if you don’t achieve the desired results in the first two weeks
  • Kick’s expert will give you valuable tips on cultivating healthy sleep practices

If our team decides that Kick isn’t the best solution for your specific condition, you won’t pay for the initial consultation, according to our Doctor Guarantee.

How Kick Works

To join Kick, follow three straightforward steps:

  1. Visit our signup page to start your 15-minute consultation
  2. Enter your medical details and explain your specific sleep problems
  3. Add your payment and delivery information

Kick lets you choose between local pharmacy pickup and home delivery, enhancing the privacy and convenience of the process. Kick’s sleep program has fantastic reviews on Trustpilot, demonstrating its effectiveness in helping people overcome sleeplessness.

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

Melatonin Versus Trazodone for Sleep—Who Should and Shouldn’t Use Them?

Even though trazodone and melatonin can be beneficial to most individuals with sleep problems, patients with specific conditions or on particular treatments should avoid these medications. Check out the table below for more details on who can and can’t take trazodone or melatonin:


Who Can Take It?

Who Shouldn’t Take It?


  • Adults (18+)

  • Individuals with major depressive disorders

  • Patients with anxiety disorders

  • People with sleep problems

  • People allergic to trazodone or its components

  • Patients who used a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the past 14 days

  • Individuals with a history of harming or attempting to harm themselves

  • People who recently had a heart attack

  • Individuals with epilepsy or on electroconvulsive treatment

  • People with long QT syndrome

  • Patients with liver disease

  • Individuals with kidney disease

  • People with low sodium levels

  • Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant


  • Patients over five years old

  • Individuals with sleep issues

  • People allergic to melatonin 

  • Individuals with a history of kidney or liver problems

  • Individuals with autoimmune diseases

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

The lists above aren’t exhaustive—inform your doctor if you have a concerning condition or have recently undergone a major procedure before taking trazodone or melatonin.

Trazodone and Melatonin—Can You Take Them Together?

Unless instructed by your healthcare provider, you should avoid mixing trazodone with melatonin. The substances have moderate interaction, so combining them raises the risk of unwanted effects like dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating.

Your healthcare provider may recommend combining them only if the benefits outweigh the risks. In that case, you may need to take lower doses of each substance, and your doctor may recommend taking them at different times.

Trazodone and Melatonin—Potential Interactions With Food and Other Substances

Source: Kampus Production

Check out the potential interactions between trazodone and melatonin with other substances in the table below:


Interaction With Trazodone

Interaction With Melatonin

Anti-seizure medication

Can enhance the risk of seizures

Can reduce the potency of anticonvulsants

Anti-HIV medication

Can increase the risk of trazodone overdose

The potential for interaction is low, but risks can’t be disregarded


Can contribute to dizziness and drowsiness

Can raise the risk of dizziness

Blood pressure medication

Can increase the risk of low blood pressure

Can raise the risk of high blood pressure

Herbal supplements (e.g., St. John’s wort)

Can add to drowsiness

Can enhance drowsiness

Heart medications

Can enhance the risk of irregular heartbeat

Can raise the risk of irregular heart rhythm

Infection medications

Consult your doctor for personalized advice

The potential for interaction is low, but risks can’t be ruled out

Muscle relaxants (e.g., baclofen)

Can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome

Can increase the risk of sedation

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen)

Can reduce the coagulation of blood, increasing the risk of bruising and bleeding from minor impacts, such as bumping into furniture

You can take melatonin with ibuprofen, but you should consult your doctor if you use other NSAIDs

Opioids and CNS depressants

Can raise the risk of sedation

Can contribute to severe drowsiness

Sleep or anxiety medications

Can contribute to sedation

Can enhance the risk of sedation

Grapefruit juice

Can increase the risk of an overdose

The potential for interaction is low, but risks can’t be disregarded


Can reduce trazodone’s effectiveness for sleep

Can reduce melatonin’s sedative effects


Can enhance drowsiness

Can contribute to drowsiness and confusion

You should inform your doctor about the substances you use so they can evaluate the potential for interaction and recommend the safest and most effective trazodone or melatonin dosage.

Trazodone and Melatonin Alternatives

Based on your potential reaction to trazodone or melatonin, your doctor may recommend other sleep medications and aids, including:

These drugs and aids can help with sleep, but you should combine them with healthy sleep habits and meaningful lifestyle changes to reach a long-term solution.

Featured image source: Mikael Blomkvist