Between the round-the-clock news cycle and hours in front of screens, getting a good night's rest is tougher than ever. Sleep solutions ranging from
blue-light-blocking glasses to white noise machines are on the rise, and Dr. Kasey Nichols, N.D., has seen an uptick in people looking for the best melatonin sleep aids. But first, a little background.
"Melatonin is a hormone released by a structure in our brains called the pineal gland,"
Dr. Nichols, a naturopathic doctor at Onyx Integrative Medicine & Aesthetics tells Bustle. "[It] is released due to the absence of light hitting the retina." So basically, when it's dark, melatonin gives your body the go-ahead to get some sleep. But with so many screens and bright lights a part of our daily lives, you may not be making the amount you need at the time you need it to fall and stay asleep. This is where a good melatonin supplement comes in.
The key to finding a great supplement is to consider your personal sleep needs. For example, if you have a hard time falling asleep but can stay asleep throughout the night, Dr. Nichols recommends a "a
chewable melatonin supplement [that] may get into the bloodstream a little quicker." On the other hand, if you tend to wake up a lot, a sustained-release tablet that delivers melatonin all night may be your best bet.
As with all medication, Dr. Nichols also recommends to start at a low dosage at work your way up, and if it isn't effective after awhile, to consider the source of your sleeplessness. He says, "Melatonin supplementation for insomnia caused by anxiety, racing thoughts, or depression is unlikely to be beneficial." In this case, it's important to talk to your doctor to explore out other solutions.
Ready to give it a go? Here are some of
the best melatonin sleep aids out there. Pro-tip: These are sorted from the highest dosage to the lowest dosage per tablet or gummy, but also pay mind to the recommended dosage by the manufacturer. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
A Sustained-Release Tablet For Those Who Can't Stay Asleep
Dosage: 5 milligrams Recommended dosage: 5 milligrams (one tablet) Count: 200 tablets
sustained-release melatonin tablets are a good pick for anyone struggling to sleep through the night, and offer a tremendous value with 200 tablets for just $12. Each tablet has 5 milligrams of melatonin that slowly releases throughout the night so as you sleep, your body receives it bit by bit until it's time to wake. (Adults are recommended one tablet around 20 minutes before bed.) On top of that, these tablets are fast-acting, so they dissolve quickly to help you fall asleep fast, too. Over 1,000 Amazon reviewers rave over this popular melatonin sleep aid. According to one reviewer: "Now this product works!! All of us with early waking issues know that Melatonin works to get asleep but the problem is early waking. Well, the idea of time release makes perfect sense. It does work and I've been able to add 2 hours of good sleep to my nights. There are other time release products out there and I've tried several. Most are in lower doses and that just doesn't work for me."
A Vegan Melatonin Gummy Packed With Sleep-Regulating Ingredients
Dosage per gummy: 3 milligrams Recommended dosage: 6 milligrams (two gummies) Count: 60 gummies
vegan and gluten-free gummies are packed with tons of ingredients that are sure to help you get a good night's rest. Each gummy has 3 milligrams of melatonin, along with a unique blend of amino acids, supplements, and botanicals to help your body make its own melatonin while calming your mind. Something to note: The recommended dosage is two gummies (6 milligrams of melatonin), making this one of the strongest supplements on this list. It also features L-Theanine to help regulate your sleep cycle, magnesium to encourage your muscles to naturally relax, valerian root for deep, serene sleep, and a ton of other vitamins and nutrients so you can get the best sleep you've ever had. According to one reviewer: "I was absolutely shocked when they actually worked so well!!! I am sometimes such a restless sleeper and toss and turn for hours. I took 2 of these before bed and was sound asleep within 45 minutes! I woke up to my alarm in the morning so rested and it felt great to have a full night sleep! Highly recommend!"
A Medium-Dosage Gummy Without A Lot Of Additives
Dosage per gummy: 2.5 milligrams Recommended dosage: 5 milligrams (two gummies) Count: 120 gummies
melatonin gummies are shaped and flavored like blackberries, and infused with 2.5 milligrams of melatonin (adults can take up to two at a time). Even better, these have no gluten, high-fructose corn syrup, dairy, or synthetics dyes, so you can feel better about the choice. One note: Amazon reviewers warn that it's important to get a full night's rest when using these so you won't wake up groggy — they're that effective. According to one reviewer: "These melatonin gummies are soft, sweet and delicious; most importantly, they naturally support your body's internal clock and help you drift to sleep. My sleep schedule is pretty horrendous, particularly after my chronic illness threw everything out of wack. So melatonin is not the only thing I use to sleep, but this definitely helps! This product is gluten free and colored naturally with purple carrot juice concentrate. The ingredients don't contain artificial crap and that's good."
Berry-Flavored Gummies With Nearly 5,000 Amazon Reviews
Dosage per tablet: 1.5 miligrams Recommended dosage: 3 milligrams (two gummies) Count: 50 gummies
berry-flavored gummies help you fall asleep while also supporting a healthy rest cycle in the long run. Each gummy has 1.5 milligrams of melatonin (two gummies is the serving size). On top of that, they're also infused with L-Theanine, an all-natural compound that helps to regulate sleep, and calming botanicals like lemon balm and chamomile to help reset your cycle so that your body will eventually be able to fall asleep on its own. According to one reviewer: "I’ve been taking these for about a month. No, they won’t “knock you out” like some sleeping pills, but my experience is that they take that edge off to calm your mind, let fall asleep and help you stay asleep. An added benefit is that you don’t wake up groggy in the morning, only to spend the next day feeling like a zombie. These are very gentle."
Chocolate-Flavored Supplements You Can Gradually Scale Up
Dosage per tablet: 1 milligram Recommended dosage: 2 milligrams (two tablets) Count: 80 tablets
Not only does this
chocolate melatonin supplement taste like candy, but it's really easy to control the dosage, too. Each piece of fair-trade milk chocolate is infused with soothing chamomile and 1 milligram of melatonin. With just 1 milligram per tablet, this supplement makes it super simple to control the dosage to your preference. Eat two pieces for the recommended starting dose for an adult, and gradually add in more if you need it (four pieces is the maximum dosage for adults). According to one reviewer: "I love these chocolates. They are the only thing that helps me sleep, and I've tried many things over the years that either didn't work, or did only for a short time. These work, and have worked for almost a year now." Experts: Dr. Kasey Nichols, N.D., naturopathic doctor at Onyx Integrative Medicine & Aesthetics