- Does it work? Melatonin supplements can help you fall asleep when taken before bedtime (30 to 60 minutes before for regular pills; 20 minutes before for fast-dissolve pills, chewables, and liquids and chewables). Melatonin may also alleviate certain types of stomach pain and reduce anxiety associated with medical procedures (see What It Does).
- How much to take? Melatonin is a hormone; use it only as needed, not every night. Try the lowest dose that will work for you, starting with about 1 mg or less. If that doesn't work, try 3 mg. Some products contain greater amounts, such as 5 or 10 mg, which may be more than you need and can leave you groggy and have other negative effects. Timed release products may help you not just fall asleep but also stay asleep, but they won't help you stay asleep as well as a prescription sleep medication (see ConsumerTips: What to Consider When Using).
- What did CL's tests show? In laboratory testing, one melatonin supplement was Not Approved, as it contained nearly twice its listed amount of melatonin. Our cost comparisons showed you could spend as little as 1 cent to over $5 per milligram of melatonin -- and the product that failed was among the more expensive products. (see What CL Found).
- Best choice? Among 22 CL Approved products, CL selected Top Picks for low, moderate, high-dose and timed release melatonin, as well as a product for pets. These products represent superior quality and value.
- Cautions: Short-term use of melatonin supplements appears to be generally safe for adults. However, melatonin can potentially affect blood pressure as well as testosterone and estrogen levels. Melatonin can also interact with certain foods and medications. Long-term use is associated with an increased risk of bone fracture. It is probably best to use melatonin "as needed" rather than on a regular basis (see Concerns and Cautions).
Melatonin Supplements Review
Find the Best Melatonin Supplements. Trouble Sleeping? See CL's Tests of Melatonin Supplements and Top Picks
Melatonin supplement brands compared in this review
Carlson Melatonin Gummies 2.5 mg - Natural Strawberry Flavor
CVS Health Melatonin 5 mg
GNC Melatonin 3 mg
GNC Melatonin 5 mg
K9 Choice Melatonin - Peanut Butter Flavored Tabs
Life Extension Melatonin 3 mg
Mac + Maya Calming Aid With Melatonin
Natrol Melatonin 5 mg
Nature Made Melatonin Gummies 2.5 mg - Dreamy Strawberry
Nature's Bounty Melatonin 10 mg
NOW Liquid Melatonin
Puritan's Pride Melatonin 2.5 mg - Natural Strawberry Flavor
Puritan's Pride Melatonin Liquid - Natural Black Cherry Flavor
REMfresh Advanced Ion-Powered Melatonin
Solgar Melatonin 3 mg
Source Naturals Melatonin
Spring Valley Melatonin 5 mg - Artificial Strawberry Flavor
Sundown Melatonin 300 mcg
Trader Joe's Chewable Melatonin 3 mg - Peppermint Flavor
USANA Pure Rest
Zarbee's Naturals Children's Sleep With Melatonin - Natural Berry Flavor
- Which melatonin supplements passed or failed testing, and which are ConsumerLab.com's Top Picks
- How melatonin supplements compare on quality, ingredients, and cost
- How you can potentially save hundreds of dollars per year on a supplement while getting the same amount of melatonin
- What melatonin can and cannot do for your health
- The differences between regular and timed release melatonin supplements
- How natural, synthetic, and plant-based melatonin differ
- Melatonin dosage for different sleep issues and conditions
- Concerns, drug interactions, and potential side-effects of melatonin
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