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For those who struggle with falling and staying asleep, reaching for a melatonin supplement can be an easy solution. From pills to gummies, there are thousands of melatonin supplements out there, but not all of them are created equally. We're here to help inform you on how melatonin works to provide better sleep and guide you toward the best melatonin supplements for you.


What is Melatonin?

Did you know that melatonin is a naturally produced hormone in your body? Your brain produces melatonin throughout the day and the levels of melatonin signal to your brain when it's time to go to sleep. Typically, your body makes more melatonin in the evening when the sun goes down. Your body knows to produce more melatonin when it's dark, and less when it's light outside. The combination of innate melatonin levels and your internal body clock clue you in to when it's time to hit the hay.

You may have lower natural melatonin levels if you are experiencing stress, are a smoker, or if you don't get enough natural light throughout the day. Additionally, as you age, your natural melatonin levels decrease.

If you struggle with sleeping, or your lifestyle prevents you from getting a restful night's sleep, supplementing your natural melatonin levels with a supplement might be right for you.

Our Picks for the Best Melatonin Supplements

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

How We Chose the Best Melatonin Supplements

Here are some of the factors that we considered when making our list of the best melatonin supplement brands.

  • Strength — Each melatonin supplement has a different strength. Measured in milligrams, the bottle will often tell you how much melatonin is in each serving.
  • Ingredients — Does the brand just use pure melatonin, or do they include other sleep-promoting vitamins, minerals, or essential oils within the supplement?
  • Form — Traditionally, people think of melatonin supplements as coming in a pill form. Now, melatonin can come in sprays, gummies, and liquids.
  • Value — How much does a bottle of the supplement cost and how does the amount of melatonin in each supplement compare? Quality — Does the supplement brand utilize third-party testing or is it cGMP certified?

Best Overall: Nested Naturals Luna Sleep Aid

Nested Naturals Luna Sleep Aid

nestednaturals.com

  • Strength — 6 mg per capsule
  • Size — 60 capsules
  • Ingredients — L-Theanine, valerian, chamomile, passion flower, lemon balm, hops, GABA, melatonin

Why buy: Nested Naturals' Luna sleep aid is GMO-free, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and third-party lab tested. We like that in addition to melatonin, Luna utilizes other naturally sourced, relaxation-inducing ingredients like chamomile and lemon balm.

$19

Best for Weight Loss: NutraOne SleepOne

NutraOne SleepOne Supplement

5starnutritionusa.com

  • Strength — 37 mg Magnesium, 2 mg Zinc, 1,519.77 mg Proprietary Sleep Aid with Melatonin
  • Size — 90 capsules
  • Ingredients — Zinc, magnesium, GABA, L-Carnitine, L-Tarrare, valerian, coleus forskohlii, guggul lipid extract, melatonin

Why buy: This sleep aid utilizes a blend of ingredients known to relax the mind and body, in order to get a better night's sleep. In addition to helping you fall asleep faster, and fighting insomnia, NutraOne's SleepOne also helps to boost metabolism and burn fat while you sleep, and may improve your immune system.

$40

Best Spray: Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray

Onnit Melatonin Spray

onnit.com

  • Strength — 3 mg per serving size (6 sprays)
  • Size — 1 FL OZ
  • Ingredients — Melatonin

Why buy: This melatonin spray utilizes pure melatonin, lavender essential oil, and stevia leaf extract. It comes in a lavender or mint scent, a great breath freshener as well. The spray works fast in pray format, helping you to fall asleep faster. Onnit's spray is a great option for those who don't like taking capsules.

$13

Best for Sleep: NOW Extra Strength Melatonin

NOW Extra Strength Melatonin

nowfoods.com

  • Strength — 10 mg per capsule
  • Size — 100 capsules
  • Ingredients — Melatonin

Why buy: For those looking for pure, high-strength melatonin, NOW Extra Strength Melatonin is a great option. The supplement is vegan and free from egg, nut, dairy, corn, soy, and gluten. We like that this supplement comes in a vegetarian capsule and is non-GMO. NOW also adheres to cGMP practices and is UL certified.

$18

Best for the Environment: VitaFive Extra Strength Melatonin Gummies

VitaFive Melatonin Gummies

vitafive.com

  • Strength — 5 mg per gummy
  • Size — 60 Gummies
  • Ingredients — Melatonin, coconut oil, natural pectin

Why buy: VitaFive's gummies are eco-friendly, using 80% less plastic in their resealable pouches than typical pill bottles. These gummies are vegetarian (gelatin-free) and are all-natural. This melatonin product is also gluten and allergen-free, third-party lab tested and doesn't use any artificial colors. The gummies are designed to be rapid-dissolving so you can fall asleep quicker.

$13

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin can help provide relief from abnormal sleep patterns, trouble falling asleep, insomnia and jet lag. Melatonin is made from the pea-sized gland in your brain called the pineal gland.

There are two types of melatonin that can be ingested to help with sleeping: synthetic and natural. Natural melatonin comes from the glands of animals. It's safer to ingest synthetic melatonin, as melatonin from animals can have viruses that can make people sick.

How to Choose the Right Melatonin Supplement

There are many kinds of melatonin supplements, and it's important to consider different product features, ingredients, and relevant health information to find the best one for you.

What to Look For

The price of melatonin supplements across brands can vary greatly. If you're unsure about melatonin, or you just want to try it out before making a big investment, go with a more affordable brand or a smaller amount of melatonin per container.

Melatonin also comes in a variety of forms: from gummy to capsule to liquid to spray. If you're not one for munching on a sweet gummy before bed, opt for a capsule. Some people enjoy gummies because of their candy-like nature and prefer it to the traditional route of swallowing a capsule. Sprays are an interesting choice for those who don't like to swallow pills or capsules but need a supplement that'll help them doze.

How to Read Labels

Another facet to review is the added ingredients and allergen labels of a melatonin supplement. Many supplements are vegan and gluten-free, but it doesn't hurt to check the label for yourself. Some brands will have a sleep supplement that uses melatonin and other natural ingredients to encourage sleepiness.

Referencing a melatonin supplement's dosage will tell you the strength of the product. If you've never taken melatonin, it's wise to start with a lower dose option to see how your body acclimates to the supplement. It's better to take an additional low-dose gummy or capsule, rather than being stuck with an extra-strength supplement that is too strong for you.

How to Use Melatonin Supplements

In terms of taking melatonin to get a good night's sleep, some doctors recommend taking 1 to 3 milligrams of melatonin around 2 hours before you go to bed. If you're looking to prevent the side effects of jet lag, start taking melatonin two hours before bedtime a few days before your trip.

Always make sure to reference the label of the melatonin supplement you're taking to see more specific instructions about taking melatonin.

Melatonin Safety & Side Effects

Melatonin is generally safe for short term use. However, don't take melatonin if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, have an autoimmune disease or struggle with depression. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, check with your doctor before taking a melatonin supplement.

The most common side effects of melatonin include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness

Less common side effects may include:

  • Short-lasting feelings of depression
  • Mild anxiety
  • Mild tremor
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Hypotension

Melatonin can interact with certain medications, including:

  • Anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Contraceptive drugs
  • Diabetes medications
  • Medications that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants)

Talk to your doctor before taking melatonin to make sure it's right, and safe, for you.

Takeaway

Coming in a variety of dosages, forms, and prices, there's a melatonin supplement for everyone so long as you know what to look for.

Melatonin supplements can benefit those who struggle with falling and staying asleep, insomnia, abnormal sleep patterns, and people wanting to avoid the side effects of jet lag. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you take any prescription medications or if you are at risk of the side effects listed above.

Audrey Nakagawa is a writer at EcoWatch. She attends James Madison University, studying Media, Art, and Design, with a concentration in journalism. She's a reporter for The Breeze in the culture section and writes features on Harrisonburg artists, album reviews, and topics related to mental health and the environment. She was also a contributor for Virginia Reports where she reported on the impact that COVID-19 had on college students.

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