Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Olly products
Sleepfoundation.org is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Melatonin supplements have gained popularity over the last several decades as a way to help regulate sleep for shift workers, people with jet lag, or those with other sleep difficulties. There is a wide variety of melatonin supplements, and most of them are available over the counter. It can be overwhelming to try to find the one that’s right for you.
We’ll take a closer look at some of the best melatonin supplements currently on the market. We’ll also discuss what to look for in a melatonin supplement, including the different types, dosage, other active ingredients, and potential safety concerns to consider.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Olly products
Olly Sleep all-natural gummies are made with melatonin as well as L-theanine, chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm. L-theanine is an amino acid that is thought to have stress-reducing properties. Chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm have also traditionally been used to help ease anxiety and promote sleep.
Flavored with natural blackberry and mint, Olly Sleep Gummies are easy to chew and don’t need to be taken with food or water. One suggested serving consists of two gummies, or 3 milligrams of melatonin, and each pack contains 60 gummies.
The gummies are gluten-free and contain no artificial colors or flavors. They are also certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), a third-party organization that verifies product labeling and claims. The Olly Sleep Gummies qualify for a 30-day return policy.
Olly Sleep is a Certified B corporation committed to giving back to the community.
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Onnit products
The Onnit Melatonin Spray is designed to be a convenient and fast-acting formula that can be administered right before sleep. The melatonin spray comes in a choice of two flavors, lavender or mint.
Six sprays deliver a total of 3 milligrams of melatonin, and a 1-ounce bottle contains approximately 30 of these servings. The spray format also allows greater flexibility for people who prefer to take smaller doses.
Customers can elect to buy just one bottle, or subscribe to have the spray delivered bi-weekly, monthly, or every two or three months. Those who subscribe to this service receive a small discount.
Best Subscription Option
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Hims Sleep products
The Hims Sleep Gummy Vitamins contain melatonin, chamomile, and L-theanine to help promote healthy sleep. Each bottle has 60 gummies, with 1 milligram of melatonin per gummy. Hims recommends taking up to three gummies a night, half an hour before bedtime.
The gummies have a unique pomegranate-raspberry flavor and are easy to chew. Although not vegetarian, the gummies are gluten-free and contain no artificial colors or flavors.
For people who feel uncomfortable buying over-the-counter melatonin without consulting a doctor first, Hims provides an online platform for users to access personalized medical advice from qualified local healthcare providers. Subscription orders are shipped to your home every month, two months, or three months. There is also the option for a one-time purchase.
Best Fast Dissolve Tablets
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Natrol products
Natrol is a well-known brand that makes a variety of vitamins and supplements. Natrol Fast Dissolve Tablets are formulated to dissolve quickly on the tongue with no need for water. The tablets are strawberry-flavored and suitable for vegetarians.
Natrol Fast Dissolve Tablets come in 30-count, 60-count, or 100-count bottles. Additionally, customers can choose tablets with 1 milligram, 3 milligrams, 5 milligrams, or 10 milligrams of melatonin.
While 10 milligrams is higher than the amount found in most melatonin supplements, this option may be convenient for people who require a stronger dose. Tablets should be taken 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime and are intended for occasional sleeplessness rather than nightly use.
Best Melatonin Gummies for Kids
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Zarbee's Naturals products
For children who have trouble sleeping, Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Melatonin Supplements may offer a gentle and effective way to nod off. Suitable for children 3 and up, these melatonin supplements are available in soft gummies or chewable tablets.
Each bottle contains 50 gummies or tablets with 1 milligram of melatonin each, making it easier to control dosage. The soft gummies are available in a natural berry flavor, while the chewable tablets are offered in natural grape.
Gummies can be taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
Best Melatonin Lozenges
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Ludens products
Ludens specializes in making lozenges for sore throats. On nights when a sore throat makes it difficult to fall asleep, Ludens Melatonin Soothers are designed to give users some extra relief.
These melatonin soothers have a honey lavender taste and are formulated to dissolve slowly in the mouth and coat the throat.
One bag contains 30 1-milligram drops that are individually wrapped for easier use while traveling. Ludens recommends taking one drop, half an hour before bedtime. This lower dose may help prevent next-day grogginess.
Best Melatonin Supplement with Ashwagandha
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on the Zzzquil products
Made by well-known pharmaceutical company Vicks, ZzzQuil Melatonin Gummies with Ashwagandha contain a bevy of calming ingredients designed to help you get the quality sleep you need. In addition to melatonin, the gummies feature chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, and valerian and ashwagandha roots. Ashwagandha is an herb said to reduce stress, while valerian root is lauded for its sleep-inducing and anti-anxiety properties.
Gummies are sold in packs of 26, 42, or 60 and are packaged in a convenient and easy-to-open bottle. The gummies are sugar-coated and flavored with natural blackberry and vanilla, and they are free of artificial flavors, gluten, lactose, and gelatin.
Each ZzzQuil gummy contains 1 milligram of melatonin. The company recommends taking one or two gummies every night, half an hour before bedtime.
When choosing the best melatonin for sleep, it helps to understand how melatonin works and why some people may choose to take melatonin supplements.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, located deep within the brain. It plays a central role in regulating circadian rhythms, which dictate behavior throughout the day and night. At night, the body increases production of melatonin in preparation for sleep. Melatonin levels stay high until the middle of the night and then start to drop down again in the morning.
Melatonin supplements were introduced as a way to help people who have trouble falling asleep. This external source of melatonin is intended to help bolster the body’s natural supply.
Shift workers, people with jet lag, and other people with irregular schedules or circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders may find melatonin a useful way of adjusting their body clocks to meet the demands of their schedules. It may also help sleepers drift off after a stressful day. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine currently advises against using melatonin supplements for treating chronic insomnia.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers melatonin a dietary supplement instead of a drug. Most melatonin supplements are available for purchase without a prescription, and they are not subjected to the same rigorous testing procedures as other medications. This means consumers should take extra care when purchasing melatonin supplements.
While we recommend choosing melatonin supplements together with your doctor, it may help to have an idea of what you’re looking for. Knowledge about dosage, active ingredients, value, and brand reputation may help guide your decision.
The melatonin content of an individual spray, pill, or gummy usually ranges from 0.1 milligram to 10 milligrams, with the standard dose being between 1 milligram and 3 milligrams. Pills and gummies can usually be split in half for a smaller dose. Some manufacturers also sell slow-release tablets designed to help reduce nighttime awakenings.
Among other factors, proper dosage will depend on your age, your health, the reason you are taking it, and how sensitive you are to melatonin. If this is your first time buying melatonin supplements or if you are switching to a new brand, you may prefer supplements that are packaged in small doses of 1 milligram or less. This way, you can start small and increase the dose if needed.
Other Active Ingredients
Melatonin is often combined with other soothing or sleep-inducing ingredients such as valerian root, L-theanine, lavender, or chamomile. These natural or synthetic supplements may enhance the benefits of the melatonin, but they can also have side effects and may provoke allergies in some people. Always check with your healthcare provider to ensure that none of the ingredients interact negatively with other medications you may be taking.
Most melatonin products are priced similarly, and are often available for less than $20 a bottle. When assessing the value, you should factor in the dose you usually take. If you tend to take a higher dose, you may find better value in supplements that come in 5-milligram or 10-milligram doses. If you don’t need to take that much, you may get your money’s worth by choosing smaller capsules.
As dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it’s wise to do your own research and only buy from trustworthy companies. The best melatonin brands are transparent about their ingredients. Look for supplements that are produced in the U.S., check the ingredient list for banned substances, and be wary of exaggerated or misleading marketing claims. You may prefer to buy from big brands that you know and trust.
Studies have uncovered numerous cases where the stated melatonin content was inaccurate, or the melatonin supplements contained a host of other ingredients that were not listed on the packaging, such as serotonin and magnesium. In some cases, these other ingredients may provoke serious side effects.
Many countries require a prescription for the sale of melatonin supplements. In the U.S., melatonin supplements are available over the counter, but they must include a warning to clarify that any claims made are not backed by the FDA. While not official, third-party certification from organizations like U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) or the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) may provide some assurance about the accuracy of the ingredient list.
Melatonin supplements come in various forms and most customers should be able to find a type that works for them.
Plain Melatonin Capsules or Tablets
Traditional capsules and tablets have a convenient and familiar format. They tend to contain less sugar, but they may need to be taken with a glass of water and they may have an unpleasant taste. Dissolvable tablets are available for people who dislike swallowing pills.
Melatonin gummies often contain flavor enhancers and natural or artificial sweeteners. This makes them an attractive option for adults and kids alike, though it increases the calorie count and may contribute to tooth decay. Some gummies contain gelatin, which may not be appropriate for those who are vegetarian or vegan.
Melatonin spray is a convenient and portable option. Sprays generally offer smaller doses than many pills or gummies. Some manufacturers also offer melatonin in liquid droplets.
Lozenges are traditionally used for sore throats, and some may find them a soothing format for taking melatonin before sleep. As with gummies, it may be necessary to brush your teeth after taking a melatonin lozenge.
Sleep Aid Formulations with Melatonin and Other Ingredients
If you have trouble getting to sleep because of a specific reason such as stress, you may be interested in choosing a melatonin supplement that’s paired with additional substances. These mixed supplements often carry a higher risk of causing side effects, interacting with other medications, or triggering allergies, so always check the label, do additional research, and consult with your doctor before purchasing.
Melatonin has relatively few side effects compared to other sleeping medications, but some people may wake up feeling dizzy, groggy, nauseous, or with a headache. In most cases, these symptoms can be alleviated by taking smaller doses or not taking melatonin at all. In rare cases, some people may experience mood swings, agitation, nightmares, fatigue, palpitations, or skin irritation when taking melatonin.
There are also some concerns about the effects of melatonin on reproductive hormones in both women and men. More research is needed on the effects of long-term melatonin use and the use of melatonin supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding. Always check with your doctor before taking melatonin, especially if you have allergies or are currently taking other medication.
Melatonin is generally referred to as non-habit forming, meaning that people are unlikely to become physically addicted to melatonin supplements. However, there is a lack of evidence on the long-term use of melatonin supplements, and it’s possible that it may trigger some physical changes in the way your body responds to the hormone. If you find yourself relying on melatonin to get to sleep most nights for more than a few weeks, ask your doctor for a sleep exam to rule out a sleep disorder, or to work together to find other ways to improve your sleep.
Though certain melatonin supplements are currently marketed to children in the U.S., further research is needed to determine its long-term effects. The FDA has neither approved nor prohibited its use in children, and some experts raise concerns that melatonin may delay puberty. Possible side effects of melatonin in children include morning sleepiness and bedwetting.
Melatonin supplements appear to help calm anxious children in preparation for bedtime. Though a consistent bedtime routine should be the first-line treatment for insomnia in children, it may be appropriate to use the occasional small dose of melatonin. It may also help regulate sleep cycles for teens, who tend to have trouble adjusting to early school start times. Promising research indicates melatonin may be successfully used for insomnia in children with ADHD and autism.
Older adults should exercise caution when taking melatonin, as they may be more vulnerable to side effects such as drowsiness. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine advises against the use of melatonin supplements for older adults with dementia.
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in our bodies, but melatonin supplements can either be from animal origin or synthetic. Most melatonin supplements on the market today are made with synthetic melatonin. Smaller quantities of melatonin are also present in certain foods, such as milk and sour cherries.
Melatonin may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There is also promising research into the benefits of melatonin for treating cancer, though this research is still in the early stages.
Most melatonin supplements are designed to be taken about half an hour to an hour before bedtime. Unlike some types of sleeping pills, the effects of melatonin are gradual. Melatonin works best when paired with healthy sleep hygiene behaviors.
You can improve sleep by keeping your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet, and switching off cell phones and other screens an hour before bedtime. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and exposure to sunlight in the morning may also help regulate your natural melatonin levels. Tell your healthcare provider if you suspect you may have a sleep disorder, as this may require additional treatment.