The Best Melatonin Supplements Approved by a Dietitian

Our top pick is Thorne Research Melaton-3

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Best Melatonin Supplements

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Melatonin is a hormone that helps let our bodies know it's time to go to sleep. Darkness triggers our brains to make melatonin, but it can also be made in supplement form. Because of this, people often reach for melatonin supplements when they have trouble falling—or staying—asleep.

Melatonin supplements are likely safe for most healthy adults when used for a short period of time and purchased from a reputable brand. However, it may not be a good idea to take melatonin if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have certain medical conditions, or are taking certain medications. Less is known about long-term melatonin use, so it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits and consult with a healthcare professional.

While a melatonin supplement may make it easier to fall asleep, it is important to understand and address the underlying cause of your sleep issues. Good sleep hygiene, regular exercise, and managing stress and anxiety can help promote restful sleep. When selecting a melatonin supplement, try starting with a lower dose (between 1-3 milligrams) and consider important factors including third-party testing, form and additional ingredients.

Verywell Health Approved Melatonin Supplements

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

Who May Benefit from a Melatonin Supplement

While a number of groups may benefit from melatonin supplements, keep in mind that melatonin may not be a long-term solution. It treats the symptoms rather than the underlying cause of your sleep issues. “You always want to address the reason you’re not sleeping well,” says Sharon Puello, MA, RDN, CDN, CDEC. With that in mind, the following people may benefit from melatonin supplements:

People with insomnia: While taking melatonin is not a guaranteed ticket to a restful night of sleep, research does suggest that it improves sleep in those with insomnia.

People with some sleep disorders: It may also be helpful for people with some sleep disorders like idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder and delayed sleep-wake phase disorder.

People who experience migraines: Research suggests that melatonin may improve or prevent migraine symptoms, though research is limited. 

Those who take beta-blockers: It’s also been shown to be effective at improving sleep for those who have trouble sleeping because of beta-blocker usage.

Those with Parkinson-related sleep disorders: Melatonin may help improve sleep for individuals with Parkinson's and related sleep disorders.

Those with IBS: It’s been proposed that melatonin can be an effective therapy for a number of other conditions, including IBS. Research is limited in these areas, but some small studies show symptom improvements.

Those experiencing jet lag: A review of the evidence on its use for jet lag suggests that it may provide very minimal benefit for some.

Who May Not Benefit from a Melatonin Supplement

Even though melatonin is a hormone we naturally produce, supplements are a synthetic version. If you have any medical conditions or take any prescription medications, talk to a healthcare provider before starting a melatonin supplement.

People who are pregnant or lactating: There is no research on the safety of melatonin supplements in people who are pregnant or lactating. Therefore, it’s best to avoid melatonin supplements if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

People with diabetes: “Melatonin should be used cautiously in individuals with diabetes as it may increase blood sugar,” says Akhaphong.

People on anticoagulant medications: Melatonin can increase the risk of bleeding and interfere with anticoagulant medications.

People on anticonvulsant medications: Melatonin has also been shown to “interact with anticonvulsant medications that treat epileptic seizures” says Akhaphong.

People with depression: Akhaphong also notes that melatonin may worsen depressive symptoms.

People with dementia: While melatonin may benefit sleep for those with dementia, it may also increase withdrawn and depressive behavior. Bright light therapy may help counter these effects, but it's important to exercise caution.

People at high risk for bone fracture: “People at high risk for bone fracture should think twice about melatonin supplements,” says Puello. Research links melatonin supplement use to increased fracture risk.

People who work night shifts: An analysis of 35 randomized control trials showed no evidence that melatonin supplements can help with the effects of night shift work.

Best Overall: Thorne Research Melaton-3 Melatonin Supplement

Thorne Research Melaton-3 Melatonin Supplement

iHerb

Pros
  • NSF certified for sport

  • Vegan and allergy-friendly

  • Moderate dose

Cons
  • Slightly more expensive

Thorne Melaton-3 checks all of the major boxes when it comes to supplements. Not only is it NSF-certified for sport, but it’s also a good fit for anyone with food allergies or gluten intolerance as it is free from eight major allergens, including gluten. It’s also appropriate for those on a vegan diet. Thorne keeps things simple with only five ingredients, including melatonin, and no unnecessary extras that could increase side effect risks.

With 3 milligrams per capsule, this supplement contains a moderate dose that is likely appropriate for many individuals. Thorne also makes a slightly higher dose of the same supplement with 5 milligrams for those who might need a little more.

Dose: 3mg | Form: Capsule | Servings Per Bottle: 60

Best Budget: Nature Made Melatonin 3mg Tablets

Nature Made Melatonin 3mg Tablets

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • USP certified

  • Gluten-free

  • Easy to swallow

Cons
  • Not vegan

While melatonin is not an overly expensive supplement, there’s no reason to spend more than necessary. Costing only pennies per serving, Nature Made Melatonin 3 milligrams is perfect if you are looking for a quality supplement at a reasonable price. Nature Made melatonin is USP verified, so you can rest assured that it includes the dose indicated with no hidden ingredients.

These melatonin tablets are small, making them easy to swallow even for those that may not do well with pills. Suitable for vegetarians (not vegans), they are also gluten-free.

Dose: 3mg | Form: Tablets | Servings Per Container: 240

Best Low Dose: Swanson Melatonin 1 mg Capsules

Swanson Melatonin 1 mg Capsules

Walmart

Pros
  • Top pick by ConsumerLab

  • Good starter option

Cons
  • Allergy information not readily available

Swanson Melatonin is a quality supplement that is backed by ConsumerLab. The lower dose is perfect for those new to melatonin or who know they feel best with a lower dose. Remember, more isn’t always better. We recommend picking the lowest dose that is effective to avoid side effects like next-day grogginess.

It’s suitable for vegetarians (not vegans). However, allergen information is not readily available, so if allergies are a concern, it’s best to contact the brand directly to determine safety.

Dose: 1mg | Form: Capsule | Servings Per Container: 120

Best Gummy: Carlson Melatonin Gummies

Carlson Melatonin Gummies

Walmart

Pros
  • Approved by ConsumerLab

  • Gluten-free and soy-free

  • Moderate dose

Cons
  • Contains sugar

Gummies can be a good choice if you have difficulty swallowing capsules or tablets; however, many gummies are not certified by a third party. Carlson melatonin gummies are backed by ConsumerLab, making them a good choice.

They are gluten-free, soy-free, and provide a moderate dose of 2.5 milligrams, which is enough to support a restful night of sleep without overdoing it. Unlike many gummies with sugar, these only contain 1 gram per serving, making them a better choice for those watching sugar or carbohydrate intake.

Dose: 2.5mg | Form: Gummy | Servings Per Container: 60

Best Liquid: Now Foods Liquid Melatonin 2-Pack

Now Foods Liquid Melatonin 2-Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Top pick by ConsumerLab

  • Easy to consume

  • Non-GMO

Cons
  • Requires measuring dose

Now Liquid Melatonin is another good option if you don’t do well with capsules. It’s a top pick by ConsumerLab and is non-GMO, vegan, Kosher, gluten-free, and soy-free.

The 3-milligram dose does require some measurement to get to the 1/4-teaspoon serving size (about 20 drops), which may not be overly convenient for some users, especially when traveling. It may also make it more difficult to ensure you are getting an accurate dose. However, the liquid form makes it easy to consume without water.

Dose: 3mg | Form: Liquid drops | Servings Per Container: 66

Best Time-Release: Life Extension Melatonin Vegetarian Tablets

Life Extension Melatonin Vegetarian Tablets

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Available in three dose options

  • Non-GMO and gluten-free

Cons
  • Not vegan

Do you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back asleep? We love that Life Extension's 6 Hour Time Release Melatonin tablets provide an option that releases a low dose of melatonin over time to help you sleep throughout the night. While Life Extensions does not hold a third party certification by NSF, USP, or ConsumerLab, the company assures consumers that they test products for quality, potency, and purity, and have Certificates of Analysis to back these claims up. Their facility is also audited twice per year to ensure that they comply with the federal regulations for good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements.

Research shows that time-release melatonin may be helpful if you have trouble staying asleep. This pick is the 3-milligram option, but it also comes in two much smaller dose options, including 300 micrograms and 750 micrograms. Lower doses might be helpful if time-release melatonin leaves you feeling groggy the next morning.

Dose: 3mg | Form: Tablets | Servings Per Container: 60

Best Vegan: Solgar Melatonin 3 mg Nuggets

Solgar Melatonin 3 mg Nuggets

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to swallow

  • Allergy-friendly

  • Available in several dosage options

Cons
  • Bitter taste to some

We like Solgar's melatonin nuggets because they check so many of our boxes that ensure high-quality supplements. Solgar has a long history of making dietary supplements, and their melatonin 3-milligram nuggets are a top pick by ConsumerLab. Solgar’s melatonin is suitable for those on a plant-based diet and those who look for gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, Kosher, and Halal.

This melatonin is what Solgar refers to as a “nugget,” which is a very small tablet that is easy to swallow. While 3 milligrams is likely suitable for most people, Solgar also makes higher dose options at 5 milligrams and 10 milligrams. Check with a healthcare provider to verify the best dose for you.

Dose: 3mg | Form: Nugget | Servings Per Container: 120

Final Verdict

For a quality melatonin supplement from a reputable brand, reach for Thorne Melaton-3 (view at Amazon). It provides a moderate, well-studied dose appropriate for common food allergies and dietary restrictions.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent, third party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab. 

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

What to Look for in Melatonin Supplements

Third-Party Testing

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:

  1. Third party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
  2. Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. 
  3. The third party certifications we can trust are: ConsumerLab, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. 
  4. Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  5. Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies, it does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer, and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.

Form

Melatonin comes in many forms, including capsules, gummies, liquid, and sprays. If choosing a gummy or liquid, pay attention to added sugars or alternative sweeteners; be sure to brush your teeth after consuming any products with added sugars before going to bed to reduce the risk of dental cavities.

Ingredients & Potential Interactions

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included, relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

Some melatonin supplements contain additional sleep-promoting or stress-reducing aids such as:

Magnesium and vitamin B-6 are safe for most people; however, upper limits should be considered in the context of any other vitamin or mineral supplements you’re currently taking. The research on whether or not L-theanine and GABA provide benefits is limited, so it’s likely best to choose a supplement that only contains melatonin.

Melatonin Dosage

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and to understand which dosage to take.

Melatonin is available in a range of doses. Most research is conducted on lower doses, typically 1 to 3 milligrams, though there has been some research on higher doses up to 10 milligrams.

“When choosing a melatonin supplement you'll want to pay attention to the dose. High-dose supplements can be more effective for some but leave you feeling groggy in the morning (and aren’t always necessary),” says Puello.

“It’s best to start at the lowest possible dose to see if it works,” says Lisa Young PhD RDN. Always discuss dosage with your healthcare provider, but Young recommends most people start with one to three milligrams to see how they respond.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is melatonin safe for kids?

    The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends taking caution with melatonin use in children.

    Emerging research suggests that melatonin can be beneficial for kids with chronic insomnia and those with neurological disorders. However, there are no specific guidelines on dosage, duration, and when it’s truly safe to use. Studies show no adverse effects of daily melatonin on growth and development in children with autism spectrum disorder, though it is unclear if melatonin is effective for treating insomnia in these children.

    “There isn’t sufficient evidence to know if melatonin is safe for children to take or for long-term use,” says Young. Melatonin is a hormone, so there is concern that it could affect growth, development, and puberty. Since there haven’t been any long-term studies (beyond two years follow up), melatonin should be used with a good deal of caution in children—and always discuss use and dosage with a healthcare provider before use.

  • How long does it take melatonin to work?

    Most supplements take 30 minutes to an hour to start to take effect, but this will vary by brand. Each individual may respond differently to oral melatonin.

  • How long does melatonin last?

    The duration of effectiveness will vary by dose, brand, and whether or not it’s a time-release supplement. It will also vary by person and how sensitive they are to oral melatonin. Higher doses are more likely to leave lasting effects for some people into the next day.

    Time-release supplements are designed to mimic the body’s natural release of melatonin by slowly releasing it over the night. These may help you stay asleep longer, especially for those with chronic insomnia.

  • How much melatonin is too much?

    The majority of research on the safety and efficacy of melatonin supplements has been done in doses between one to three milligrams. However, lower doses below one milligram (especially in children), as well as higher doses up to 10 milligrams have been shown to be safe and effective. In general it is recommended to take the lowest effective dose possible and not exceed 10 milligrams.

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