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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.
Top Picks Overview
Sleep Doctor PM Spray
Who it’s best for:
- Those who dislike melatonin lozenges and capsules
- People who enjoy orange flavoring
- Sleepers who are allergic to soy, gluten, or dairy
- Supplement spray combines melatonin, magnolia bark, and valerian extract with a refreshing citrus taste
- One bottle lasts up to 2 months with recommended servings
- Free of gluten, soy, dairy, and artificial sweeteners
The Sleep Doctor PM Spray is easy to use, yet also effective. Owners apply the spray beneath their tongue three to six times each night before bed. The effects should kick in within 15 minutes. Each bottle contains roughly 150 to 180 servings, so one should be adequate for up to 2 months of nightly use – and since the spray is affordably priced, buying a new bottle shouldn’t break the bank.
The spray combines melatonin with magnolia bark and valerian root extract, two sleep-inducing substances widely used in supplements. A refreshing orange flavor masks the melatonin’s taste, making the spray a good option for those who find unflavored supplements bitter or unpleasant. Honey is used to sweeten the flavor, but this accounts for less than 1% of the formulation. Other components include magnesium for stress relief and longer sleep duration, GABA to alleviate tension as you wind down for the evening, and 5-HTP, a plant-based compound thought to increase serotonin levels.
People who are allergic to dairy, soy, or gluten should be able to use the spray, as it does not contain any of these substances – but first-time users should check with their doctor before trying the PM spray for the first time, regardless of their allergies or medical history. The Sleep Doctor also does not recommend the spray for children or pregnant people.
Amazon customers have the option to make a one-time purchase or sign up for a subscription. The latter costs less up front, and subscribers save 10% to 15% on subsequent deliveries. You can customize the delivery frequency anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, and you can cancel anytime without extra fees
Proper Sleep + Restore
Who it’s best for:
- People who struggle falling and/or staying asleep
- Those who would rather not consume animal-based products
- Shoppers who prefer unflavored supplements
- Each capsule includes standard and extended-release melatonin
- Does not contain sugar or GMOs
- Vegan-friendly formulation
The Sleep + Restore supplement from Proper features a unique formulation that incorporates several different sleep aids. Each capsule contains 3 mg of melatonin, including standard melatonin for falling asleep and extended-release melatonin that helps you remain asleep during the night. Other components include tart cherry extract, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and valerian root.
The capsules are not flavored, nor do they contain any sugar, GMOs, or artificial colors. They are also considered vegan-friendly. Proper recommends taking two capsules with water about 30-40 minutes before bedtime, but you should speak to your doctor before trying them for the first time.
Sixty capsules are included in each container. Proper offers a consultation with a sleep coach for all customers who sign up for a subscription.
Best Low Dose Option
Utzy Naturals Micro Melatonin
Who it’s best for:
- Sleepers who prefer lower doses of melatonin
- People seeking flexibility in their dosage
- Shoppers who prioritize generous refund policies
- 250 micrograms of melatonin per capsule
- Cherry flavor
- 90-day return policy
Utzy Natural Micro Melatonin contains a lower dosage of melatonin than you’ll find in the average melatonin supplement. This makes it ideal for sleepers who want a low dosage of melatonin or who want to customize the amount of melatonin they take.
One tablet contains 250 micrograms of melatonin, which is just one-fourth of a milligram. That amount is significantly lower than the 1 to 3 micrograms you’ll find in most other supplements. This gives you the flexibility to fine-tune your dosage to achieve the amount that works best for you. The tablets also contain 100 micrograms of sour cherry powder for flavor.
Each bottle includes 90 tablets. You can make a one-time purchase or sign up for an automated delivery, which comes with a 15% discount. You may return the supplement within 90 days for a full refund, even if any or all of the capsules have been used. Shipping is free for orders over $75. A $7.95 shipping fee applies to orders under $75.
The Kindra Sleep Enhancing Dietary Supplement is a melatonin capsule that includes several additional ingredients aimed at relieving some symptoms of menopause. Each capsule contains 2 milligrams of melatonin as well as two patented plant extracts, Pycnogenol and Sensoril. Kindra directs users to take one capsule 30 minutes before bed.
Future Kind Natural Sleep Aid Supplement
Who it’s best for:
- Those who normally find melatonin supplements bitter or unappetizing
- People who strictly adhere to a vegan diet
- Anyone who foresees ongoing melatonin supplement needs
- Sustainably produced and 100% vegan gummy supplement
- Blueberry flavor masks other ingredients
- Subscribers save 20% at checkout vs. one-time purchasers
Taking melatonin can be a hassle, especially if you dislike sprays, pills, or powders. The Vegan Melatonin Sleep Gummies from Future Kind deliver the melatonin you need in the form of delicious, blueberry-flavored chewables. Each gummy contains 3 mg of melatonin. One serving consists of two gummies with 6 mg total, which Future Kind recommends taking an hour before bedtime each night.
The formula is completely vegan and suited to anyone who follows this dietary lifestyle, and the gummies also do not contain any gluten, yeast, or soy. Future Kind sustainably produces the gummies at an FDA-regulated facility and subjects them to third-party testing to ensure consumer safety. Each batch is shipped in eco-friendly packaging using carbon-neutral means.
The Vegan Melatonin Sleep Gummies are affordably priced, and you’ll receive a 20% discount if you sign up for a subscription with recurring orders. Future Kind offers free ground shipping for purchases of $70 or more.
Best for Kids
Natural Vitality Kids CALM Sleep Berry Gummies
Who it’s best for:
- Kids and adults who want a low-dose option
- Shoppers looking for auto-delivery
- People who prefer gummies over capsules
- Kid-friendly melatonin dosage
- Contains L-theanine and magnesium for extra relaxation
- Tasty berry-flavored gummy
The Natural Vitality Kids CALM Sleep Berry Gummies come in a kid-friendly dosage designed for children ages four and up. One berry-flavored gummy contains 1.5 mg of melatonin as well as 25 mg each of magnesium and L-theanine. The L-theanine is meant to promote relaxation, while the magnesium is intended to supplement users’ existing levels.
The manufacturer recommends that kids start with half a gummy before bed and gradually work their way up to a full gummy. The gummies are gluten-free and don’t contain milk, wheat, egg, soy, or artificial flavors. Each gummy has less than 1 g of added sugar.
Shoppers who want the most savings can take advantage of Natural Vitality’s auto-delivery program, which saves up to 25 percent off the sticker price. You can choose between two sizes and four delivery options. Shipping is free for shoppers who choose auto-delivery. Unsatisfied customers have up to 60 days to return their gummies for a full refund.
Best for Women
Kindra Sleep Enhancing Dietary Supplement
Who it’s best for:
- Shoppers looking for a vegan supplement
- Those who prefer a standard-dose option
- Vegan-friendly supplement with no gluten or added sugar
- Contains additional ingredients that target certain symptoms of menopause
- Discounts available for subscription service
Pycnogenol is an extract of French Maritime Pine Bark, a product thought to help combat hot flashes. Sensoril is made from Ashwagandha, a shrub that may help reduce stress. When combined with melatonin, menopausal women could have an easier time sleeping through the night.
The supplement is vegan and non-GMO, and does not contain gluten or added sugar. You can opt for a one-time purchase or schedule recurring deliveries for a monthly discount. Shoppers in the contiguous U.S. qualify for free shipping and 30-day returns. Users should contact their physicians prior to taking the Sleep Enhancing Dietary Supplement.
Best Melatonin Drink
Som Sleep Original
Who it’s best for:
- Those who are allergic to dairy or gluten
- People who prefer non-carbonated beverages
- 12 cans included with purchase
- Does not contain gluten, sugar, dairy, or GMOs
- Fewer than 50 calories per serving
For those who would rather drink their supplements, the Som Sleep Original is a tasty, non-carbonated beverage featuring melatonin, GABA, magnesium, and vitamin B6. The formula does not include gluten or dairy products, sugar, or GMOs. Each 8.1-oz. can contains only 40 calories. For best results, Som Sleep suggests drinking one can about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Your purchase includes a dozen cans. According to Som Sleep, this supplement is not habit-forming. Those who register for a subscription will receive a 20% discount with each renewal. They can also choose to automatically order a new shipment every 30, 45, or 60 days.
Onnit Melatonin Spray
Who it’s best for:
- Those who prefer smaller doses
- Sleepers who would like a choice of flavor
- People who dislike taking pills or chewing gummies
- Spray formulation allows for more customizable doses
- Choice of lavender or mint flavor
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 for Travel
Symphony Natural Health Herbatonin 3mg Travel Pack
Who it’s best for:
- Frequent travelers
- People with gluten allergies
- Made with plant-derived melatonin
- Available in 15-capsule pack
- Each capsule contains 3mg of herbatonin
The Symphony Natural Health Herbatonin 3mg Travel Pack is specially formulated for customers who would like a vegan alternative to traditional melatonin. The supplement is packaged for on-the-go use, making it ideal for frequent travelers who rely on melatonin to overcome jet lag.
The travel pack comes with 15 capsules, each containing 3 milligrams of herbatonin. Herbatonin is a melatonin derived from plants – specifically rice, alfalfa, and chlorella – as opposed to animal and synthetic sourcing you find in many other melatonin supplements. The capsule is also plant-derived to ensure the product is 100% vegan. Symphony Natural Health recommends taking one to two capsules about 30 minutes before sleep. The supplement is gluten-free.
Symphony Natural Health offers free shipping on orders over $75. You may return unopened and unused products within 30 days.
Best Vegan Supplement
HUM Nutrition BEAUTY zzZz
Who it’s best for:
- Practicing vegans and others who would rather not consume animal-based products
- People with peanut allergies
- Value seekers
- Each tablet contains melatonin, calcium, and vitamin B6
- No milk, eggs, or other animal-based components
- Very affordable price-point
Many melatonin supplements are vegan-friendly, but few of them match the low sticker price of the HUM Nutrition BEAUTY zzZz supplements. Your purchase includes 30 tablets, each of which contains 3mg of melatonin.
The tablets also contain vitamin B6, which helps your body store energy from the food and drink you consume, and calcium, which has sleep-inducing properties. Animal products such as milk, eggs, and fish are not used, and the same is true for peanuts, wheat, and soy. As a result, the tablets are both vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
HUM Nutrition suggests taking one tablet approximately 20 minutes before going to sleep, but you should speak with your doctor before taking this supplement for the first time.
Shipping is free for all orders of $50 or more. If you fall below this threshold, the flat-rate delivery fees are still quite manageable. You may return the supplements unopened for a full refund, or opened in exchange for store credit.
How to Choose a Melatonin Supplement
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.
What to Consider When Purchasing Melatonin
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.
Which Type of Melatonin Supplement Should I Choose?
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Melatonin
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.
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