Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body that’s released in response to darkness. It helps the body regulate its circadian rhythm (how your body’s natural clock responds over a 24-hour period), and is a contributing factor to getting a full night’s sleep.
In recent years, many people have turned to melatonin supplements, which are synthetically made versions of the hormone, for use as a sleep aid. Melatonin supplements are classified in the United States as a dietary supplement, so they can be bought over the counter, and aren’t as heavily regulated as prescribed medications. As always, it’s best to consult a doctor if you’re suffering from a sleep condition like insomnia. Melatonin supplements come in many forms and dosage levels; these are our top picks in the category.
NOW Supplements 5mg Melatonin Tablets
- The capsule format was easily mixed with water and didn’t require a flavored gummy or liquid, which can be a nice alternative, but the sweet or artificial flavors can get old after a while (not to mention it’s gross eating a fruit punch gummy after you’ve brushed your teeth!).
- At 5mg, these capsules aren’t a large dose of melatonin compared to others on the market, so it covers a larger portion of the population’s body type and tolerance. Reducing doses is also much easier in a capsule format.
- Also with a capsule format there are no additives like sugar or gelatin, which can contain animal products. We appreciate how clean and straightforward this delivery system is.
- While not giant “horse pills”, the capsules can be a rough swallow for people with an aversion to oral medication.
At 5mg, the NOW melatonin supplement was a solid median dosage compared to other products on the market that typically range from three to ten milligrams. We appreciated this supplement’s capsule format as opposed to chewable or liquid delivery systems because we were able to easily divide dosages if we only needed a small amount of melatonin.
Nature Made Melatonin 3mg Tablets
- At its price point, 240 capsules at 3mg is a great deal in the category.
- Because of the tablet format, you can more easily try different dosages to find what works best for your body.
- The tablets are small (roughly the size of an aspirin), making them easy to swallow.
- The tablets contain an additional 65mg of calcium (which is typically used as a binding agent), which may be an issue for someone sensitive to calcium.
Featuring a smaller 3mg melatonin dose, these supplement tablets come in towards the lower end of dosage size on the market. This economical bottle comes with 240 fast-acting tablets, which is great for doubling the dosage should you need. Tablets are also easy to divide if you need a reduced dose.
Best High-Strength Melatonin
Carlyle Fast Dissolve 12mg Melatonin
- The main pro here is the dosage level. The melatonin supplements on the market tend to cap at 10mg, with most between the three and five milligram level, but these are a much heavier dose.
- The fast-dissolve tablets digest faster than standard tablets that need to be fully broken down in your stomach before you feel the effect.
- The tablets are small and easy to swallow, and don’t contain GMOs, gluten, soy, or artificial flavors.
- As with any higher dose supplement, the effects you feel could be a bit more drastic. And because the tablets are small and potent, they’re harder to get reliable segments for reduced dosages.
At 12mg, these fast-dissolve, berry-flavored tablets are a high-strength melatonin option for those who may not be getting the desired results from lower dosages, or for those who are looking for a one-time heavy dose (in the case of jetlag, for example). The non-GMO tablets are also free of gluten, soy and artificial flavors.
Best Melatonin for Kids
Havasu Nutrition Melatonin Chewable
- The .2mg dosage level is some of the lowest on the market. For children, we found the lower starting dose to be preferable to help mitigate risk of adverse effects.
- The addition of valerian root, lemon, and chamomile added a nice natural, floral note to the supplement.
- Kids will enjoy the fruit punch gummy delivery system as opposed to taking a pill.
- The gummies are not listed as GMO free, and the addition of artificial flavors in the fruit punch may be a dealbreaker for some parents.
Delivered in a fruit punch-flavored gummy, these extremely low-dose melatonin supplements are designed for children. At only .2mg per gummy, they’re easy to control dosages. The supplements also include herbs designed for calming and relaxation, including valerian root, lemon balm, and chamomile
Best Liquid Melatonin
Benevolent 3mg Natural Melatonin Liquid
- The liquid-based solution and dropper system makes it easy to control the ideal dose for your needs.
- The liquid is FDA registered organic, made with organically grown herbs.
- Because the dosage can be controlled so closely, it can be a great option for parents or caregivers needing to provide melatonin dosages to children or the elderly.
- The raspberry and vanilla flavoring, even though made with natural flavors, may taste unpleasant or artificial to some.
Taken beneath the tongue, this raspberry and vanilla-flavored liquid melatonin is simple to take and extremely simple to mete out dosages. The gluten, sugar, and alcohol-free solution dissolves quickly.
How We Chose the Best Melatonin
When functioning properly, the desired effects of melatonin should be a feeling of drowsiness a short time (roughly 30 minutes) after taking the supplement, followed by a night’s worth of deep sleep. The next day you shouldn’t feel groggy, or have headaches, if the supplement is working as designed. If you’re suffering from sleep-related issues, it’s important to consult a doctor to get a professional diagnosis. Though there are many that swear by melatonin as a way to enforce your body’s natural sleep processes. In selecting the best supplements, we looked at:
- Dosages: Not only did we look at the dosage levels, but how easy it is to divide dosages. The general range for melatonin supplements is three to ten milligrams, but everyone’s body is different in their response. Being able to control your dosage to find the right amount for you was important in our selection.
- Delivery System: As well as dosage, how you take the supplement is important, if not just for the ability to control how much you take. We looked at tablets, gummies, and liquids in our methodology and found benefits to each.
- Additives and Ratings: As with any supplement, there are a number of other substances that can be included beyond the active melatonin. We tended to favor supplements that excluded chemical additives, gluten, or GMOs.
Some Tips for Choosing Melatonin
As with any supplement, it’s important to know how your body reacts to certain substances before you ingest them. We recommend consulting a physician because not only will they help you diagnose any sleeping disorders you may have, but they’ll be the first to let you know if melatonin is a good option for you. Some things to look for in supplements:
- Additives: The main active ingredient in most melatonin supplements will be melatonin, but many of them include other things like calcium or vitamin D. It’s important to read all labels on supplements so you’re sure what you’re taking.
- Ability to Parse Doses: No matter the dosage level you select, it’s important that you’re able to either take multiple supplements if the original isn’t strong enough, or cut supplements down if they’re too strong. Finding the right type of supplement will help you with that trial and error.
Best Melatonin Supplements, In Conclusion
Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. When you don’t get it, it can impact so many aspects of your everyday life. Melatonin supplements are one way that people have found effective in promoting a healthy sleep schedule. Hopefully these supplements fit the bill for your needs.