We all know how important sleep is for our overall health, but getting to sleep and staying asleep is another story. Sleeping can be a nightly battle for some, and the struggle can be especially frustrating when you’ve tried everything. tips and tricks everyone and their dog gives you. What you may not know, however, is that there is a natural supplement that can help you cool off and fall asleep faster.
Melatonin, a natural hormone in our brain, can be taken at night to help you sleep. By doing this, your brain tells your body that it’s time to sleep. The artificial melatonin in a supplement mimics the naturally occurring melatonin in our brain when it gets dark. It is a natural sleep aid that does not require a prescription.
How much melatonin should adults take?
Common doses of melatonin are between 1 and 5 milligrams, although some products reach as high as 20 mg. Cleveland Clinic experts recommend trying 1 mg of melatonin for a whole week, then increasing the dose by 1 mg every next week. Stop once you reach 10 mg (do not exceed 10 mg) or until the time required for you to fall asleep is reduced. Talk to your doctor about any dosage concerns.
Here are the best melatonin supplements on the market.
dose: 1 tablet, one hour before going to bed
Melatonin per serving: 5 mg
Nature Made is one of the best vitamin supplement brands on the market, if not the best. All of its supplements are USP certified, meaning that the products and facilities are tested for toxins and contaminants and that the labeling is correct. Nature Made Melatonin tablets contain 5 mg of melatonin and 80 mg of calcium (as dibasic calcium phosphate), only about 6% of the daily recommended amount of calcium. If you’re already taking a multivitamin with calcium, it won’t interfere. In addition, one tablet also contains sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate and croscarmellose sodium. Nature Made contains no added colors, preservatives, artificial flavors and gluten.
Take one tablet about an hour before going to bed. One bottle lasts about 90 days.
- Nature Made supplements are always USP certified and affordable
- One bottle is enough for 90 nights
- It may take up to an hour to start
- Not intended for anyone under 18 years of age
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dose: 1 tablet at bedtime
Melatonin per serving: 5 mg
Nature’s Bounty has over 50 years of experience in the supplements industry. The company is known for being affordable and accessible. The tablets in a bottle of Nature’s Bounty’s Melatonin are double-layered, meaning that the first layer of 2.5 mg of melatonin is fast acting. The second layer of an additional 2.5 mg of melatonin is intended for extended-release. In addition to melatonin, one tablet contains dicalcium phosphate, vegetable cellulose and less than 2% of silica, triacetin, vegetable juice color, vegetable magnesium stearate and vegetable stearic acid. Nature Bounty supplements are non-GMO and contain no artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, sugar, starch, milk, soy, sodium, gluten, wheat, yeast or fish.
Take one tablet at bedtime. One bottle lasts about 60 nights.
- A good price for the amount of tablets and melatonin
- Bi-layer tablets for immediate release and extended release later
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dose: 2 gummies, 30 minutes before bed
Melatonin per serving: 3 mg
Olly consistently produces delicious gummy vitamins. If you don’t like swallowing pills with an aftertaste, gummy supplements may be for you. Olly Sleep gummies are unique on this list because they don’t just contain melatonin. Each serving size of two gummies contains 15 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 2 g of added sugar, 1 g of protein, 100 mg of L-Theanine, 3 mg of melatonin, 17 mg of chamomile extract , 17 mg of passionflower extract and 16 mg of lemon balm extract. Other ingredients include glucose syrup, beet sugar, water, gelatin, natural flavors, citric acid, coloring (from blueberry and carrot juices), pectin, vegetable oil and carnauba wax. They are processed in a facility that produces products that may contain soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, fish, shellfish and wheat.
The gummies are blackberry-flavored, gluten-free and contain no artificial flavors. Take two gummies 30 minutes before bed — no water or food required. One bottle is enough for about 25 nights.
- One bottle only has enough for 25 nights
- Low doses of melatonin
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dose: 1 tablet, 20 minutes before going to bed
Melatonin per serving: 10 mg
Natrol is one of the most popular melatonin brands. One bottle of Natrol contains 100 tablets, enough for 100 nights. Fast dissolving tablets do not require any water. One serving contains 10 mg of melatonin and other additional ingredients such as dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose, cellulose gum, crospovidone, maltodextrin, glyceryl behenate, sucrose esters, gum acacia, beetroot powder, silicon dioxide, sucralose and artificial flavor. The tablets are free of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, yeast and preservatives.
This is the exact melatonin supplement that I sometimes use before bed. The only reason why these supplements are not the best overall is that they are not for everyone. The taste is similar to children’s cherry cough syrup, so I make sure to always brush my teeth after taking a tablet. However, Natrol offers another citrus flavor.
- Kick-in only takes about 20 minutes
- No added sugar
- Not everyone likes the taste
- With this high dose of melatonin, you have to be careful
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dose: A capsule at bedtime
Melatonin per serving: 3 mg
Thorne is a well-known personalized supplement subscription brand. Thorne is popular with athletes because some of their supplements are NSF-certified for sports. You know what you’re putting in your body from looking at the label – no surprises. Thorne Melatonin contains 3 mg of melatonin and other ingredients including microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsules, calcium laurate and silicon dioxide. The capsules are free of artificial flavors, gluten, dairy and soy.
This vegan supplement should be taken at bedtime. One bottle lasts about 60 nights.
- One of the more expensive ones on this list
- Just enough for 60 nights
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dose: 1/4 teaspoon (about 20 drops) at bedtime
Melatonin per serving: 3 mg
Liquid supplements are great for anyone who doesn’t like swallowing pills or artificially flavored gummy vitamins. Now Liquid Melatonin comes in a package of two 2.0 fluid ounce bottles and requires about 20 drops in one serving. Each bottle contains about 60 servings. A lower dose of 3 mg may require a second serving before bedtime. In addition to melatonin, the supplement also contains water, vegetable glycerin, fructose, xylitol (which is very harmful to pets — out of reach), organic cane alcohol (6%), natural orange extract (citrus sinensis), natural flavors, potassium sorbate (as a preservative), citric acid, malic acid and natural lemon oil. This liquid supplement does not contain gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish or shellfish ingredients.
At bedtime, take the drops directly, or you can add them to your favorite drink. The taste is citrusy, but reviewers describe the taste as unpleasant. Drinking afterwards is recommended.
- In addition to flavoring, there is only melatonin
- Each serving contains a lower dose of melatonin than others on this list
- Some people have reported that the bottles that arrived were broken or damaged
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How we choose the best melatonin supplements
All supplements on this list are 100% drug free. They were selected through my personal experience of taking melatonin supplements and my expertise in vitamin brands, pricing, ingredients and verification knowledge.
Melatonin supplement FAQs
Melatonin is a natural brain hormone. It helps our circadian rhythm to tell us it’s time to sleep when we’re exposed to darkness.
What are the negative effects of melatonin?
There are some negative potential effects of melatonin to be aware of with these supplements. These include waking up groggy, headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness.
Always talk to your doctor before starting any supplements, such as melatonin. They can help you determine the right dose.
Does melatonin make you sleepy?
Yes, melatonin works by making you sleepy at bedtime. The supplement mimics the natural hormone in our brain that tells our body it’s time to sleep. In addition, melatonin can also cause dizziness or drowsiness.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider about any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goal.