Americans are not getting enough sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-third of the population is not hitting their daily sleep quotas, which can have some serious long-term health risks.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps our bodies know when it's time to fall asleep. It regulates the body's sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is produced by the brain, but it can also come from synthetic melatonin supplements. Because of this, many people reach for melatonin supplements if they have trouble sleeping.
Darkness triggers the body into making more melatonin, which tells the body to go to sleep. Light decreases melatonin levels and signals the body to wake up. People who have trouble sleeping often have low melatonin production levels.
Most people use melatonin for sleep or insomnia, and jetlag. It is also used to treat depression, chronic pain, dementia, and many other diseases, but there is no solid scientific evidence to support most uses.
While there are no substitutes for eight hours of quality rest in a dark room, these tips can help people who struggle with chronic insomnia or just have trouble sleeping. Some people also use melatonin for jet lag, or as an antioxidant, and anxiety before or after surgery.
If you're looking for a good melatonin supplement, check out one of these top options.
Dietician Approved Melatonin Supplements
- Best Overall: Thorne Research Melatonin-3 is an NSF-certified sports supplement that provides 3 milligrams of melatonin and is vegan and allergy-friendly.
- Best Time-Release: Life Extension Melatonin 6 Hour time-release tablets provide 3 mg of time-released melatonin that may be helpful if you have trouble falling asleep at night.
Who May Benefit from a Melatonin Supplement
Melatonin may not be a long-term use solution for sleep issues. It doesn't treat the underlying causes of your sleep issues. You always want to address the reasons why you're not sleeping well. The efficacy of melatonin could be beneficial for these health conditions:
Insomnia: While taking melatonin is not guaranteed to improve sleep in people with insomnia, some studies suggest that it may help.
Sleep problems: It may also help people with some sleep problems like idiopathic REM behavior disorder and delayed sleep-wake phase syndrome.
Migraine: Research suggests that melatonin may be effective for people who suffer from migraines.
Beta-blockers: It has also been shown to improve sleep for people who have trouble sleeping due to beta-blocker use.
Parkinson: Melatonin may help improve sleep quality for people with Parkinson's disease and related sleep disorders.
For people who suffer from IBS, melatonin may help relieve their symptoms.
Jet lag: Research suggests that it may provide minimal benefit for some people.
Who Should Not Take Melatonin Supplement
Melatonin is a hormone we produce naturally, but supplements are a synthetic version of melatonin. Talk to your doctor if you have any health conditions or allergic reactions, and take any prescription medications.
There is no research on the effects of melatonin supplementation during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It’s best to stay away from melatonin supplements if you’re pregnant, nursing, or trying to get pregnant.
People with diabetes: Melatonin should be used cautiously because it may increase blood sugar.
People taking anticoagulant medication: Melatonin can increase the risk for blood clotting and bleeding.
People who take anticonvulsant medication: Melatonin may interact with these drugs.
For people who suffer from depression: Melatonin may worsen depressive symptoms
Melatonin may be beneficial for people with dementia, but it may also increase withdrawn behavior and depression. It may be helpful to use bright light therapy, but it's important not to overexpose yourself to it.
People at high risk of bone fractures should think twice before taking melatonin supplements. Melatonin supplements may increase the risk of fractures.
There was no evidence that taking melatonin supplements could help people who work night shifts.
Thorne Melatonin 3 checks all of the major boxes when it comes to supplements It’s not just NSF certified for sports; it’s also safe for people with food allergies or gluten intolerances because it is free from eight common allergens, including gluten!
It’s appropriate for vegans too. Thorne uses just five ingredients, including melatonin, and no extra ingredients that could increase side effects.
With three milligrams of each ingredient per capsule, this supplement provides a moderate dose that is probably appropriate for most people. Thorne also makes an even higher dosage of the same supplement at 10 milligrams.
Best Melatonin Gummies
The blackberry-flavored gummies melt in your mouth while being tart and delicious. They are one of the best-selling gummies on the market.
Each gummy contains chamomile, lemon balm, and L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes calmness and relaxation. It also has 3 mg of melatonin.
Do you wake up at night and have trouble falling asleep again? We love that LifeExtension's 6 Hour Time Release melatonin tablets provide an option to release a low dose of melatonin over time to help you fall asleep throughout the night.
While Life Extension does not hold a third-party certification by NSF, USA, or Consumer Lab, the company assures consumers they test products for quality and potency and have certificates of analysis to back these claims up They're audited twice per year so that they comply with the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices for dietary supplements.
Research shows that three milligrams of time-release melatonin might help you fall asleep, but it also comes in two smaller doses, including 300 micrograms and 750 micrograms. A lower dose may help if you feel groggy after taking time-release melatonin.
The Ultra Strength
Each blackberry gummy contains 5 milligrams of melatonin per dose, or two gummies. L-theanine, chamomile, and lemon balm, which helps people sleep better, are also included in the formula.
With Melatonin, less is more for some. Always check with your health care provider about any possible drug interactions and dosage before taking melatonin.
This supplement has gotten hundreds of ecstatic reviews. It's made by Carlyle, one of the United States' most well-known vitamin and supplement companies.
It's a highly regarded product that has favorable reviews from consumers. It works quickly and does not leave you feeling groggy, according to reviewers. Each tablet contains 12 mg of melatonin.
Chewable, cherry-flavored tablets are a great option for kids who dislike capsules or gummies. Each tablet also contains sleep-friendly components such as lemon balm, chamomile, and lavender in addition to 1.5 mg of melatonin.
Customers report that the solution does not make them feel groggy in the morning. Others mention using it to combat jet lag and shift work.
This supplement is available in 5 mg or 3 mg tablets. It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The bottle includes 240 tablets at 3 mg each for less than $10 - a fantastic budget buy.
The makers of this supplement claim that it helps users fall asleep within 30 minutes. On certain nights, some people use a pill splitter to take a less amount of medication.
What to Look for in Melatonin Supplements
It‘s important to note that…
- Third-party testing doesn't guarantee whether a supplement is effective or safe for every person. It doesn't ensure that the supplement won't interact with other medicines.
- Some third-party testing isn't created equal.
- Most companies don't bother to get their products certified by any organizations because they're difficult to obtain and/ or expensive.
- Sometimes products tested are more expensive to try and offset the costs they pay for certification.
- Even if a supplement isn't tested doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad product. Before purchasing a product, research its reputation and contact the manufacturer to learn about its protocols and determine if you feel comfortable consuming it.
Melatonin supplementation comes in various forms, including capsules, tablets, liquids, chewable, and gummies. If choosing a gummy or liquid, pay attention to added sugar or alternative sweeteners. Be sure to brush your teeth right after consuming any products with added sugar to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Ingredients & Possible Interactions
It is important to carefully read the active ingredient list of any supplement to know melatonin content is included, relative to the suggested daily values for that ingredient.
If you're going to take a dietary supplement, ask a healthcare provider for review. Melatonin supplements often include additional sleep-promoting and stress-reducing ingredients such as:
- Vitamin B-6
Most magnesium and vitamin B-6 supplements are safe for most people. However, if you take other supplements, you may want to consider choosing one that only contains melatonin.
Speak with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements. Make sure they're right for you and understand the role of melatonin in your situation.
There are different doses of melatonin available. Most research is conducted at lower doses, typically 1-3 milligrams, but there has been some research at higher doses up to 10 mg.
When choosing melatonin supplements, you’ll want to pay attention to their dose. Some high-dose supplements can be effective, but they may leave you feeling groggy when you wake up. Discussing dosages with your doctor is important, starting with 1 to 3 milligrams to see how you react.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of melatonin supplement is best?
In a nutshell, it all depends on what you're searching for. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.
A capsule or tablet has a longer shelf life than other forms. Liquid and powder formulations, on the other hand, have quicker absorption rates, allowing the body to absorb the important components more quickly.
When should I take melatonin?
Although it takes around 30 minutes for maximum effects to occur. The usual recommendation is to take melatonin 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
The length of time it stays in your system is determined by factors including your age and other health issues (5 hours is the average).
If you take it late or in the middle of the night, you may feel drowsy because the melatonin hasn't had enough time to clear your system.
Who shouldn’t take melatonin?
The NCCIH warns that there is a lack of research on the impact of melatonin during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so pregnant women should avoid taking melatonin supplements.
It's also not advised for people who have dementia or are allergic to melatonin.
You should also talk about the potential for interactions with your doctor if you have epilepsy or are on blood thinners.
Melatonin is a sleep-inducing substance secreted by the brain when it is dark outside. Melatonin supplements can help you get a better night's sleep.
There are hundreds of melatonin supplements available, including capsules, tablets, gummies, liquids, and sprays. When purchasing a supplement, it's critical to think about the manufacturer's claims skeptically.
Always check with a physician or pharmacist before using a product. Before you start taking any new supplement, talk to your doctor.