Best Melatonin Supplements

Updated January 2021
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best melatonin supplements

Getting enough sleep is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but we all know how difficult it can be to catch those Z’s. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, a melatonin supplement can help you get your sleep schedule back on track.

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland. It helps regulate your body’s sleep patterns by letting you know when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep. The body usually has a higher melatonin level at night, which makes you feel drowsy. If you don’t produce enough melatonin naturally, you may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. A melatonin supplement helps raise your body’s melatonin levels so you feel sleepy and ready for bed.

With so many melatonin supplements on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. You must pick between natural and synthetic formulas, check for third-party certification, figure out your preferred form, and settle on other features. This guide contains the tips and information you need to find the best melatonin supplement for a good night’s sleep.

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A melatonin supplement should only be taken once a day, just before you want to fall asleep.

Key considerations

Natural vs. synthetic

Melatonin supplements are available in natural and synthetic formulas.

Natural melatonin supplements extract melatonin from the pineal glands of animals. They are not vegan and, in some cases, not cruelty-free. There’s also a risk of melatonin derived from animal sources carrying viruses or other toxins from the animals.

Synthetic melatonin supplements are made in a laboratory and don’t contain animal products, making them vegan-friendly formulas. They’re safer to use because you don’t have to worry about possible biological contaminants.

Third-party certification

Choosing a supplement that has received third-party certification may help ensure its purity and safety. Some melatonin supplements feature a seal from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or NSF International, which means they’ve undergone third-party testing to ensure they meet specific health standards. Other supplements also undergo third-party testing to certify that they meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for current good manufacturing processes (cGMPs).

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Did You Know?
As many as 70 million people in the U.S. experience some type of sleep disorder, like insomnia.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Form

Melatonin supplements are available in several forms. They can all be effective, but some may be easier to take than others.

Capsules and tablets: These don’t require mixing or other preparation; you can just swallow them with water. They’re usually the most affordable supplement option. Capsules and tablets typically don’t have any taste and offer a longer shelf life than other supplements. If you have difficulty swallowing pills, note that tablets are usually smaller than capsules.

Gummies: For someone who has trouble swallowing capsules and tablets, gummies are an excellent option. They usually come in fruit flavors with a pleasant taste. It’s important to keep them out of kids’ reach because they look like candy.

Liquids: Another effective option is liquid melatonin. It’s absorbed quickly by the body, so you feel the results faster. The problem with liquid melatonin is that it can have an unpleasant taste.

Sprays: This is a form of liquid melatonin that typically works even faster than the traditional liquid supplement. The flavor usually isn’t as strong, either.

Time-release vs. fast-acting

Most regular melatonin supplements have a time-release formula that slowly releases the melatonin over time. Because it functions more like the body’s own melatonin, the effect is more natural.

Fast-acting melatonin supplements work quickly and are best for situations when you need to sleep for shorter periods.

Dosage

There isn’t an established guideline for melatonin dosage. A variety of factors can determine an individual’s best dosage, including weight, age, and overall health. In most cases, adults are advised to take between 2.5 and 10 mg per day. It’s typically best to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it if you’re still having trouble sleeping.

Keep in mind that doses of 12.5 mg and above should only be taken for brief periods.

Ingredients

Some melatonin supplements feature additional ingredients to help the melatonin work more effectively. You can find formulas that contain a variety of B vitamins, including B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12. B vitamins stimulate the production of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body produce more melatonin.

Caution2 
Caution
Do not use a melatonin supplement if you’re pregnant or nursing or have a seizure disorder, autoimmune condition, or depression. Individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure should speak with their doctors before taking melatonin.
Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

Sleep mask: ASUTRA Premium Lavender Silk Eye Pillow
If the light in your bedroom makes it difficult to sleep, a sleep mask can help keep things nice and dark. We love this one from ASUTRA because it’s made of natural silk and features a comfortable contoured design.

Earplugs for sleeping: Flents Quiet Time Ear Plugs
If noises around the house make it difficult for you to fall asleep, earplugs for sleeping can help block them out. These plugs from Flents are a favorite because they block a wide variety of noises and fit snugly in the ears.

Essential oil diffuser: BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic
Essential oils like lavender and chamomile can help encourage sleep. We like this essential oil diffuser from BriteLeafs because it doesn’t make much noise and has a beautiful design.

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Did You Know?
As you age, your body’s natural melatonin production begins to decrease. For this reason, melatonin supplements may help improve sleep quality in the elderly. 
Staff
BestReviews

Melatonin supplement prices

Melatonin supplements vary in price based on dosage, form, and formula quality. Most cost between $1 and $14 for a month’s supply.

Inexpensive: The most affordable melatonin supplements are usually those with a dosage between 1 and 5 mg. They typically don’t contain ingredients other than melatonin and are slow-release formulas. You’ll generally pay between $1 and $3 for a month’s supply.

Mid-range: Mid-range melatonin supplements usually offer a dosage between 3 and 10 mg. They may contain other ingredients like B vitamins to help the melatonin work more effectively and can be either slow-release or fast-acting formulas. You’ll typically spend between $2.50 and $9.50 for a month’s supply.

Expensive: The priciest melatonin supplements generally offer a dosage of 10mg or more. They often contain other ingredients like B vitamins to make the melatonin more effective and are available in slow-release and fast-acting formulas. You’ll usually pay between $9.50 and $14 for a month’s supply.

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Melatonin supplements can take effect in as little as 30 minutes, so be prepared for a quick onset of drowsiness.

Tips

  • Check with your doctor before starting a melatonin supplement to make sure it’s safe for you.
  • Don’t drive or operate machinery if you’re feeling the effects of melatonin.
  • For most people, melatonin supplements are safe to take for one to two months but should not be used indefinitely.
  • If you wake feeling groggy or with a headache the morning after taking melatonin, you may be taking too much. Try lowering your dosage.
  • If you take melatonin supplements for one to two weeks and don’t see any improvement in your sleep, stop taking it and consult your doctor.
  • Lower the lights in your bedroom a couple of hours before you plan to go to bed to prepare your body and mind for sleep.

FAQ

Q. When should I take a melatonin supplement?

A. Melatonin can take effect pretty quickly, so take it 30 to 60 minutes before you want to go to sleep. If you are trying to ward off jet lag, take it between 10 p.m. and midnight in your travel location.

Q. Do melatonin supplements have side effects?

A. The side effects of melatonin are usually mild, but you may experience headaches, dizziness, and daytime drowsiness. Some people develop indigestion and other stomach issues, short-term depression, and irritability.

Q. Can children take melatonin supplements?

A. There’s some debate about whether children should take melatonin. It’s usually safe, but some experts feel that it can disrupt children’s natural sleep cycles. Speak to your pediatrician to see whether a melatonin supplement is right for your child.

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