A good night’s sleep is as important for the mind and body as is food and water. Daytime lethargy, lack of concentration, and irritability are effects of being unable to have that good night’s sleep.
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the pineal glands in our brain in response to a lack of light.
Melatonin is derived from serotonin which in itself is produced from the amino acid, tryptophan. This unique molecule plays a big role in regulating our body clock and promoting natural sleep patterns.
Its effect on the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle and the physiological rhythm of our bodies has made it a widely used sleep aid in addition to the innumerable benefits it has.
Melatonin supplements are produced in both natural and synthetic forms, either supplied as pure melatonin, or a blend of ingredients.
They are available in a variety of forms such as pills, liquid, and gummies for consumption.
Here we’re going to list 6 of our favorite picks of melatonin supplements.
Our Best Picks
1. Best Melatonin Herbal Blend – VitaPost Sleep Support Plus Capsules
2. Best Melatonin in Liquid Form – Premier Research Labs Melatonin-ND
3. Best Melatonin Gummies – eVitamins Melatonin Vegetarian Gummies
4. Best Melatonin Organic Blend – Performance Lab® Sleep
5. Best Melatonin Quick Dissolve Tablets – Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets
6. Best Melatonin Capsules – eVitamins Melatonin Non-GMO Capsules
1. Best Melatonin Herbal Blend: VitaPost Sleep Support Plus
VitaPost claims to be a “sleep support supplement”, specially designed to help you relax and calm the mind. Chamomile and goji berry extracts used in herbal medicine are known for their calming properties. Adding that to a blend of ingredients will enhance the effect of melatonin and ultimately bring about an effective product.
About VitaPost Sleep Support Plus
VitaPost Sleep Support Plus boasts a blend of both traditional herbs such as Valerian root and St. John’s Wort and modern extracts such as tryptophan along with melatonin. They come in a capsular form and are made in the U.S. It is produced within an FDA registered facility that follows GMP guidelines.
It is vegan-friendly and gluten-free, which adds to its appeal.
What it Contains:
1 bottle has 60 capsules which are adequate for a month’s supply. The manufacturer recommends taking 2 capsules with food, 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime.
Each capsule contains a blend of:
- Valerian root
- Wolfberry (Goji berry)
- Lemon balm
It also contains calcium, vitamin B6, and magnesium citrate.
Chamomile contains a compound called apigenin which is believed to be responsible for its sedative effects. It also aids in reducing anxiety which can affect sleep (1). Lemon balm has a similar effect as chamomile when it comes to calming the mind and reducing stress (2).
Tryptophan is an amino acid involved in the formation of melatonin (3). L-Tryptophan through the formation of serotonin also has sedative effects and can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep (4).
Goji berry present in these capsules is a natural antioxidant and has a favorable effect on the quality of sleep and mental calmness (5)(6).
- A great herbal blend
- With chamomile and goji berry extracts
- Vegan-friendly and gluten-free
- Manufactured in an FDA registered facility
Summary: VitaPost Sleep Support Plus is a great buy if you are looking for a supplement that encompasses a blend of natural botanical ingredients with some helpful vitamins and minerals to help you sleep better.
2. Best Melatonin in Liquid Form: Premier Research Labs Melatonin-ND™
Those who find it difficult to swallow pills will prefer a liquid form for consumption. Liquid supplements have the advantage of supplying a higher concentration of the extract.
About Premier Research Labs Melatonin-ND
Melatonin-ND™ comes in a convenient dropper system, with each drop dispensing 1mL of fermented, probiotic-cultured melatonin. Melatonin-ND is not animal-derived, so it can be used by vegetarians and vegans alike.
The product is screened for pathogens and is heavy metal tested. Not only that, but it is non-GMO, purely vegan, and is manufactured in an FDA approved cGMP facility. There are no added stearates and they are completely organic.
Premier Research Labs ensures the purity of the product with no adulteration, which guarantees the potency and quality of the product.
What is Contains:
A 2fl oz bottle has:
- Melatonin – 8mg.
With a serving size of 1mL per drop, one container serves 54 drop servings. The melatonin is fermented in a probiotic culture which is then inactivated after fermentation. This is then preserved with organic cane alcohol (non-GMO).
Melatonin-ND™ meets the bioresonance criteria.
One drop just before sleeping is the recommended dosage. Shake gently before you use it. Be sure to consult a health professional if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Pure unadulterated melatonin
- Easy dispensing
- Purely vegan
- FDA monitored cGMP facility
Summary: Melatonin-ND ensures a pure liquid option for melatonin which is produced by fermentation in a probiotic culture, and then inactivated. This allows for superior bioenergetic dynamics and rapid delivery.
3. Best Melatonin Gummies: eVitamins Melatonin Vegetarian Gummies
When we think of children and older adults, the availability of supplements in the form of gummies has made consuming it vastly easier to encourage.
Chewable gummies are also more likely to be accepted by those who don’t like taking pills in general.
About eVitamins Melatonin Gummies
eVitamins Melatonin gummies contain a gluten-free nutrient blend that is suitable for everyone, including vegans. They are strawberry flavored and can be easily tolerated by adults and children alike.
These eVitamins melatonin gummies come in bottles that have lids with a locking system so they can’t be easily opened by children, which keeps the product fresh even after opening.
The product contains tree nuts and is manufactured and packaged in a facility which also deals with allergens like soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, and shellfish, etc.
What it Contains:
A 5mg bottle filled with 90 gummies contain
- Melatonin 5mg
- Sodium 5mg
- Carbohydrates and other sugars 4mg
Melatonin gummies are packaged in 5mg bottles with 90 gummies which is a month’s supply. They recommend taking 2 gummies daily or as directed by a health care professional, but warns not to exceed more than 3 a day.
- Chewable gummies
- Strawberry flavored
- Well tolerated by children and adults
- Lid with a locking system for safety
Summary: eVitamins Melatonin gummies are an excellent choice for children as swallowing a tablet or liquid may not be tolerated easily. The strawberry flavor will enhance the experience.
4. Best Melatonin Organic Blend: Performance Lab® Sleep
If you’re looking for an ultramodern sleep aid that enhances your sleep quality but also keeps the blend as organic and natural as possible, Performance Lab®
Sleep is a keeper. Not only are they vegan-friendly and allergen-free, but they also use prebiotic NutriCaps®, which are 100% plant-based capsules.
About Performance Lab® Sleep
Performance Lab® Sleep contains low dose, organic melatonin from CherryPURE® Montmorency Tart Cherry. They are the best source of natural melatonin. It supplies anthocyanin antioxidants that soothe achy muscles and joints and help you to stay asleep.
Montmorency Tart Cherry also regulates your circadian rhythm and helps you establish a consistent sleep pattern over time.
500 mg of CherryPURE® equates to around 25 g Montmorency Tart Cherries.
Performance Lab® Sleep also contains TryptoPure® L-Tryptophan, which provides the tryptophan needed to produce serotonin. Serotonin is not just a precursor to melatonin, but also has been known to trigger sleep and reduce REM sleep.
In addition to this, Sleep also includes an advanced 3x matrix of magnesium which are Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, NutriGenesis® Magnesium. These help in increasing the absorption of the product and helps in reducing stress and anxiety, which aids in better sleep.
Magnesium is also a cofactor in the conversion of L-tryptophan to serotonin, which again aids sleep.
What it Contains:
The serving size of 2 NutriCaps® capsule has:
- Montmorency TartCherry (as CherryPURE®) (50:1 concentrate ratio): 500mg
- L-Tryptophan (as TryptoPure®): 250mg
- Magnesium+ (as Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, NutriGenesis® Magnesium): 100mg
Along with other smaller ingredients like NutriCaps® Pullulan Capsule and NuFlow® Rice Concentrate. Each container holds 30 capsules.
The recommended dosage is 2-4capsules, 30 minutes before sleep, on an empty stomach.
- All-natural source of melatonin
- Soy-free and vegan friendly
- GMO-free and GMP certified
- Tested for banned substances
Summary: Performance Lab® Sleep combines in its blend, a natural source of melatonin from Montmorency Tart Cherry with L-tryptophan which encourages the pineal gland’s natural melatonin production and release.
5. Best Melatonin Quick Dissolve Tablets: Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets
Fast dissolve tablets have a great advantage over regular tablets and are chewable as they easily dissolve in the mouth and do not require water. The fast dissolution ensures faster absorption and rapid onset of action.
Additionally, they bypass the gastric system, so there is an improved bioavailability, and are more tolerated by the individual.
About Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets
This is the #1 melatonin brand in the USA. It is also ranked #2 in the best sellers list (by Amazon) of Medicinal Sleep Aids. It assists with occasional sleeplessness and since they are quick to dissolve tablets, they can be taken anywhere. They help establish a normal sleep pattern while ensuring a faster, restful sleep.
The technology used by Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets allows the tablets to dissolve up to 30 times faster than regular tablets. The pleasant strawberry taste makes it a general favorite among children and adults alike.
What it Contains:
Each container has a 100 tablets, and a serving size of 1 tablet which consists of:
- Melatonin 10mg
It also contains small amounts of Xylitol, Cellulose Gum, Natural Flavor System (Strawberry), Soy Polysaccharides, and Beet Root Powder.
The manufacturers recommend taking 1 tablet, placed below your tongue to dissolve, 20 minutes before bedtime.
- Quick dissolving
- Great tasting (strawberry flavor)
- Non-habit forming
- Drug-free and 100% vegetarian
- Free from any preservative
Summary: Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets is fast-dissolving that helps in quicker absorption and its effect is rapid, enabling you to sleep faster, longer, and wake up more refreshed.
6. Best Melatonin Capsules: eVitamins Melatonin Non-GMO Capsules
Taking supplements gets easier when the tablets and capsules are small and easy to swallow and do not cause one to gag. Some of the available tablets are so bulky that for many, it can induce a gag reflex and may, in some cases, cause injury to the wall of the food pipe as it goes down.
Here is where eVitamins Melatonin Non-GMO capsules have an edge over other sleep aids. Their capsules are quite small and weigh a mere 0.46mg.
About eVitamins Melatonin Non-GMO Capsules
eVitamin Melatonin Non-GMO capsules are purely vegetarian capsules made of rice flour and hypromellose. This is a non-GMO dietary supplement. Each of these capsules is made without any gluten, tree nut, or wheat ingredients, so are very safe for those with special dietary requirements.
The melatonin works to scavenge the free radicals in the body and is gentle on the digestive system.
Each container comes with a distinctive freshness packet, ensuring that capsules stay dry and safe to store.
Since they don’t use any additive coloring agents, natural color variation may occur in their product.
What it Contains:
One serving size capsule consists of:
- Melatonin 3mg
Other ingredients are rice flour and hypromellose which is the cellulose capsule content. Each bottle contains 180 capsules. It is advised to take 1 capsule 30 minutes before bedtime with water.
- Small easy to consume capsules
- Vegan friendly
- A safe daily supplement
Summary: eVitamins Melatonin non-GMO capsules come in small comfortable vegetarian capsules that contain all the goodness of natural melatonin without the use of any genetically modified organism to provide a restful, anxiety-free rejuvenating sleep.
The Connection between Melatonin And Sleep
Melatonin is referred to as a “sleep hormone” as it plays an important role in signaling the body to relax and sleep. It is a central part of the body’s sleep-wake cycle. It promotes healthy sleep and regulates our circadian rhythm as its production in the body increases with the evening darkness (7), (8).
Simply put, darkness stimulates the pineal gland to produce melatonin while light stops its production. This facilitates a smooth transition to sleep and promotes consistent rest.
Melatonin in Adults
Studies have shown that a small dose of melatonin before the desired time of sleep, can help patients who suffer from a circadian rhythm disorder called Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWD), improve their sleep cycle (9).
In both young and elderly individuals, it has been noted that the nighttime plasma melatonin levels tend to be lower than healthy individuals.
Jet lag is something every long-distance traveler suffers from. This encompasses a cluster of symptoms which, along with fatigue, include reduced alertness, nighttime insomnia, loss of appetite, depressed mood, poor psychomotor coordination, and reduced cognitive skills. These symptoms are due to the disruption of the sleep/wake cycle of the body.
It has been suggested that there is a dysregulation of melatonin secretion that underlie these symptoms of jet lag. So melatonin resets disturbed circadian rhythms and promotes sleep in jet lag (10).
When it comes to insomnia, there isn’t sufficient scientific data to support its efficacy in treating insomnia, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (11).
Melatonin in Children
The use of melatonin for children with sleeping disorders, although seem helpful, need more research to understand its optimal use, according to experts.
Studies have shown that melatonin helped in short term treatment of sleep-onset insomnia in children and adolescents by increasing their sleep time and helping them fall asleep faster (12).
Several smaller studies have indicated that melatonin may be especially helpful in children with certain conditions like epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (13), (14).
Since most of the data present are small studies that still require more research on the long term effects and dosage of melatonin in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) suggests parents work closely with the child’s doctor and follow their advice regarding its use.
Summary: Melatonin works in the body by regulating the circadian rhythm and inducing healthy sleep. It can improve the quality of sleep and a smooth transition to sleep.
The Recommended Dosage for Melatonin Supplements
Studies and research done concerning melatonin and its effects on the quality of sleep and regulation of the sleep cycle have revealed that at 0.3 – 5mg, melatonin showed some positive effects. But dosages ranged from 0.1-12mg, depending on age and type of sleeping problem.
Even with patients with sleep disorders, 3mg of melatonin administered caused a significant improvement in their sleep quality and reduction in their motor activity during sleep (15).
For children, it is better to start with smaller doses(0.5-1mg) initially since they respond better than adults, and then if needed slowly bring it up. It must be noted that the child’s healthcare provider must be consulted before any decision is taken to use sleep aids such as melatonin, especially if they are under treatment for any medical condition.
Every manufacturer recommends a certain dosage which would be helpful to follow, again with proper consultation with a treating physician, if any underlying medical condition is present.
The Side Effects and Precautions for Melatonin Supplements
While we know that melatonin is a naturally available hormone present in the body, excessive intake of supplemental melatonin does have its side effects.
Melatonin overdose, however, is not so easily defined since there isn’t a standard dose protocol to follow for everyone.
The evidence available suggests that melatonin is non-toxic, non-addictive, and safe. Short term use of melatonin looks to be safe for most people and is mostly well tolerated.
Yet, a small percentage of people have been known to experience the following (16).
- Daytime sleepiness
In children, there are fewer known side effects, mostly minor like headaches, increased bedwetting, daytime grogginess, etc. all of which will go on discontinuation.
Whether for adults or children, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking melatonin to avoid any adverse drug interaction or possible allergic reactions.
The 2015 guidelines of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommended not to use melatonin on people with dementia (17).
Also, not enough research exists regarding its safety in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Data on the long term effects of melatonin on children and adults are woefully insufficient so one must maintain an ongoing conversation with their doctor. Some concern has been raised saying that sustained use of melatonin may affect the onset of puberty in children, but they are inconclusive (18).
- Women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding
- Patients on blood thinners and antiepileptic drugs
- Those who are already taking other sleeping pills (19)
Summary: Melatonin can cause mild side effects like daytime sleepiness, headaches, and nausea. It is better to be cautious and consult a healthcare provider before taking melatonin supplements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Melatonin be Taken with Alcohol?
It isn’t safe to consume alcohol when taking melatonin. Alcohol has been known to interfere with some medications and supplements, which include melatonin. It may strengthen or weaken the effects of melatonin.
Combining them together may aggravate the sedative actions of both making it quite dangerous. A few of the safety concerns that arise when combining melatonin with alcohol are dizziness, trouble breathing, passing out, and the potential of falling.
People may experience increased anxiety, a spike in heart rate, irritability, and the swelling of hands and feet. It would be safer to avoid alcohol when taking this supplement.
Is Melatonin Addictive?
There has been no scientific data suggesting that melatonin supplementation can develop into an addiction. It doesn’t cause any symptoms of withdrawal or dependence on a short term basis.
Scientists, however, need to carry out more detailed long term research to study its long term effects.
What is The Link Between Tryptophan and Melatonin?
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that isn’t naturally produced in the body. It is the precursor for the formation of serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan first gets converted to serotonin in the pineal gland which then converts to melatonin as the light wanes.
So taking melatonin supplements provides a faster source of melatonin.
Can you Overdose on Melatonin?
Although melatonin is generally considered relatively nontoxic, it is worth noting that some marketed doses, such as 10 mg, can raise plasma concentrations to 60 times their normal values (20).
There haven’t been any reports of people dying due to a melatonin overuse. But it can cause certain symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, stomach cramps, and depression if taken at a high dose. In such cases, it is better to discontinue and seek professional help.
The Final Note
There are so many benefits of melatonin that are still not clearly understood. But its effect on regulating the sleep cycle and ability to relieve depression, are two important factors that make melatonin a great choice as a sleep supplement.
With so many brands of melatonin supplements on the market, it’s hard to choose the right one that will fulfill our needs while ensuring that they are safe for use as well.
Melatonin is as natural and non-addictive as they come. It’s a viable option to look into if you want a restful few hours of sleep to energize for your day!
Consult a health professional regarding your treatment needs to avoid drug interactions if you are taking any other medications.