The Best Melatonin Supplements in 2019 Reviewed

Bottles of different recommended melatonin brands
What Are the Best Melatonin Brands?

I was interested to find out what are some of the best melatonin supplements to use to help aid better sleep for me to review.

Using a good melatonin supplement can help adjust your body clock (circadian rhythm) and fall asleep when you are struggling to get sleep.

So I went out researching online for what are the highest rated & most recommended melatonin supplement products and brands available to buy online.

Top Rated Melatonin Supplements

Here is a list of recommended melatonin supplements for you to compare.

1. Life Extension Melatonin 6 Hour Time Released Tablets

  • Dose: Optimal dose 300 mcg (equals 0.3 mg)
  • Vegetarian approved: Yes
  • Amount: Contains 100 tablets supply
  • Suggested dose: one tablet each night 30-60 minutes before bedtime

The Life Extension Melatonin 6 Hour Time Released Tablets are made by Life Extension; a company that has been creating supplements & wellness products for more than 35 years.

The company offers their customers free access to health experts who can answer their health-related questions 365 days a year.

They also offer a full one year return policy on their products.

I trust them as I believe they make some of the highest rated vitamins & dietary supplements on the market and they always seem to supply the recommended dosages for different vitamins and minerals mentioned in research.

The Life Extension Melatonin 6 Hour Timed Release Tablets contains 300 mcg of melatonin.

This might sound like a low dose, but it is not, as the original melatonin research findings by Dr Richard Wurtman give a recommended dosage of 300 mcg to help promote restful sleep. This makes them my highest rated brand for following his research. (ref)

What they are designed to do is to help make you gently feel sleepy so you can easily drift-off to sleep faster.

They do this by helping you change your sleep-wake cycle so that your body can help regulate your master 24-hour body clock that tells us when it’s time to sleep at night, and when it’s time to wake up in the morning.

These melatonin tablets are made to be released at gradually over a six hour time period throughout the night to help you stay asleep & get a full night’s rest.

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Small, easy to swallow tablets
  • Great choice for those just starting on melatonin since they are such a low dose
  • The timed-release tablets can help those who may be able to fall asleep, but who find themselves waking up throughout the night
  • Not habit forming
  • Don’t buy these if you are looking for a high dose
  • There are other ingredients listed on the nutritional label, the most out of the options.

2. Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep with Melatonin

  • Dose: Low dose of 1mg
  • Vegetarian approved: Yes
  • Amount: Contains 50 gummies supply
  • Suggested dose: for 3-5 year olds is 1 gummy, 6-12 year olds is 2 gummies & teenagers or adults is 3 gummies eaten 30-60 minutes before bedtime

The Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep with Melatonin are made by Zarbee’s Naturals; a company created by paediatrician Dr. Zak Zarbock.

The brand specialise in making safe, chemical-free products for both children and adults. They state that their product line-up is free from drugs, alcohol, gluten, or artificial flavors, sweeteners, and dyes whenever possible.

The Zarbee’s Naturals Melatonin Gummies contains 1mg of melatonin.

These are marketed mainly to parents looking for a melatonin supplement for children. However, adults who struggle to swallow pills, tablets and capsules should look at chewing gummies instead.

Studies have shown it is safe to give children melatonin to help them sleep, but other sleep hygiene tips should be used as well. (ref)

The good thing is they are drug-free & alcohol-free which is means they are safe for kids to take.

In each melatonin gummy is 2g of carbohydrates. Just mentioning this if you are on a strict keto or low carb diet then just be aware of the minimal sugar found in this product.

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Convenient and perfect for anyone with a phobia for pills
  • Great choice for mums wanting a natural sleep remedy for children
  • Contains no alcohol, drugs, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or flavourings.
  • Not habit forming
  • Don’t buy these if you are looking for a strong dose
  • If you don’t like a mixed berry flavor might not be for you
  • Adults on a strict low carb diet be aware you’ll get 6g of carbs from a serving

3. Swanson Ultra – Dual-Release Melatonin

  • Dose: Medium dose of 3mg
  • Vegetarian approved: Yes
  • Amount: Contains 60 tablets supply
  • Suggested dose: 1 tablet with water 20 minutes before bedtime

The Swanson Ultra Dual-Release Melatonin tablets are from Swanson; a company that has been rated highly in the annual customer satisfaction survey by Consumer Labs.

The brand makes different strength version of their melatonin supplement, but is the dual-release version that makes them unique to the other brand options mentioned.

The Swanson Ultra Dual-Release Melatonin Tablets contains 3mg of melatonin.

The way the say they have it designed these to work is to mimic what our bodies do.

The dual-release tablet first by releases an initial 1.5mg of liquid melatonin. This is meant to help get you into sleep mode.

Then another 1.5mg is gradually released over the next 5-8 hours to help help stay asleep and get a full nights rest of 6-8 hours.

Reading some of the customer feedback and reviews you get a sense that some people respond better taking a timed release supplement vs high potency one that releases all in one go. As with everything in life we are all n=1 experiments; you might need to test this out to see what works best for you.

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Similar to the Life Extension option, but designed to give two stage release of ingredients
  • Great choice for people already trying melatonin supplement and not finding them effective because they are too weak or too strong
  • Not habit forming
  • Don’t buy these if you are looking for a super strong dose
  • Some people might not respond as well to time released feature

4. Driftoff Natural Sleep Aid

  • Dose: Moderate dose of 2mg
  • Vegetarian approved: Yes
  • Amount: Contains 60 capsules supply
  • Suggested dose: two capsules which equals 2 mg, taken with a full glass of water, 20-30 minutes before bedtime

The Driftoff Natural Sleep Aid is made by Zhou Nutrition; who say they believe in reconnecting with the way that nature intended us to live.

Their site proudly announces that they manufacture all of their products in the USA. Their manufacturers all operate FDA registered and inspected facilities, which are all subject to following strict GMP standards. (ref)

The Driftoff Natural Sleep Aid from Zhou Nutrition contains 2mg of melatonin.

The bottle promises to help you – “sleep well, wake refreshed!”

What makes Driftoff formulation unique for me, compared to my other melatonin reviews, is that it also contains herbs that help you relax your mind and drift off into.

This includes valerian extract, GABA, tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy), chamomile extract, passion flower extract, lemon balm extract & hops extract (flower).

In the world of the sleep hormone, melatonin, that means it can help you calm your mind, relieve restlessness, wake up with feeling rested and ready to take on your day.

The Driftoff Sleep Aid capsules are: vegetarian & completely free of gluten, soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, preservatives, animal products or derivatives. It also contains cellulose, rice flour, and vegetable magnesium stearate. So anyone with typical food allergies should be safe.

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Ideal for vegetarians, gluten-free diets, and other common food sensitivities
  • Veggie cellulose capsules are easier to swallow than uncoated tablets
  • Manufactured in the USA under the supervision of FDA regulations
  • Helps you relax without the drugged feeling when you wake up
  • All-natural herbal sleep aid
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains vegetable magnesium stearate, which is not as easily absorbed by the body
  • Those who have trouble swallowing pills may have trouble with the capsule
  • May have limited effectiveness for some users

5. Nature Made Melatonin Tablets

  • Dose: Moderate dose of 3mg
  • Vegetarian approved: Not sure
  • Amount: Contains 240 tablets supply
  • Suggested dose: one tablet per night about 1 hour before bedtime

The Nature Made Melatonin Tablets are made by Nature Made; one of the most recognizable health and wellness brands on the market today.

They’ve been around for over 45 years and have a full line of vitamins and supplements that have been approved and verified by the United States Pharmacopeia.

The Nature Made Melatonin Tablets contain 3 mg of melatonin.

The recommended serving size is one tablet, 30 minutes before bedtime.

This particular option has no artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, yeast or gluten.

Other ingredients listed on the label include dibasic calcium phosphorate, sodium starch glycolate, and magnesium stearate.

Nature Made’s bottle does warn to see your physician if you have any chronic diseases or are taking any medications. Better safe than sorry. Also that this option is not suitable for children.

What is interesting to read in some of the online reviews is how some pet owners use this as a melatonin supplement for their dogs. If you do this then I read that veterinarians recommend giving 3 mg of melatonin twice a day for dogs under 30 lbs and 6 mg of melatonin twice a day for dogs over 30 lbs to help reduce cortisol.

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Each 3 mg tablet is small enough to be swallowed easily
  • Verified by United States Pharmacopeia, so it has higher standards for manufacturing and quality
  • Only one tablet is needed per day
  • For those with allergies and gluten intolerance, Nature Made is free of many ingredients that can trigger reactions
  • Can help promote sleep and relaxation
  • Label indicates amount of melatonin and other ingredients
  • This option contains magnesium stearate, which is not absorbed as easily by the body
  • Since it’s a low dose, those used to taking melatonin may need to take more than one once they get the ok from their doctor

6. Puritan’s Pride Super Strength Melatonin

  • Dose: High dose of 10mg
  • Vegetarian approved: Not sure
  • Amount: Contains 60 capsules supply
  • Suggested dose: one capsule before bedtime

The Puritan’s Pride Super Strength Melatonin is from the company Puritan’s Pride; who has been creating quality wellness products for over 40 years. (ref)

Across all of their US facilities, they produce over 1200 vitamins, minerals, plus other types of supplements. To work with them, suppliers must meet high quality standards, including GMP.

It as also rated as the number 1 melatonin by independent study group, Labdoor.

The Puritan Pride Super Strength Melatonin contains 10 mg of melatonin.

Other ingredients listed are rice flour, gelatin and less than 2% of silica and vegetable magnesium stearate. The recommended daily dose is one rapid release capsule.

Melatonin is a natural antioxidant that will help regulate and control your natural sleep cycle. But don’t worry, it’s not a sleeping pill, and it won’t make you wake up with that feeling that you slept too long.

Researchers think we lose melatonin as we get older. With this in mind, it could be helpful to start supplementing melatonin levels in the elderly in order to help improve sleep quality. (ref)

Let’s compare some of the other features:

  • Only one capsule needed before bedtime
  • Rapid release technology theoretically helps you to feel the effects of the supplement faster than traditional supplements
  • For those already used to melatonin, the higher does may work better for them
  • No artificial color, flavor, sweetener, preservatives, sugar, starch, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast, fish or sodium.
  • May also help with blood pressure to support restful sleep
  • Made in the USA in facilities following strict GMP standards
  • Contains silica and vegetable magnesium stearate
  • The higher dose of melatonin may disrupt your circadian rhythm instead of regulating it
  • Capsules made of gelatin, which may contain animal byproducts
  • Too much melatonin may also cause headaches, short-term depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland found in the brains of humans. Melatonin is the master hormone that helps regulates the circadian rhythm of our sleep-wake cycle and is involved in many biological and physiologic regulation responses. (ref)

Drawing of the chemical compound of melatonin

Its molecular formula is C13H16N2O2 (ref)

What are Normal Melatonin Levels

Our bodies usually produce less than 0.3 mg natural melatonin hormone per day over a 24 hour period.

Concentrations of melatonin levels are normally low during daylight hours, and increase as it gets darker with a peak release late at night. (ref)

What Controls Melatonin Production

The natural 24 hour rhythm of melatonin production is controlled by neuronal activity originating in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus. (ref)

How Does Light Affect Melatonin Levels

day night cycle hormone production
Sunlight and Darkness Help Fix Lack of Melatonin Production

Artifical or natural light enters our eyes and activates the melanopsin receptors on the retina. Melanopsin receptor activation will influence the timing of melatonin secretion from the pineal gland.

Why Take a Melatonin Supplement

People may take a melatonin supplement to help them induce sleep, shift the timing of their circadian rhythm, or, for maintenance of normal sleep quantity.

Melatonin deficiency, or dysfunction of melatonin signalling, leads to a plethora of consequences, which go far beyond sleep difficulties. (ref)

Benefits of Taking Melatonin

  1. Natural sleep aid for shift workers (nurses, drivers, factory workers…)
  2. Help raise declining levels in older people who suffer poor sleep quality (ref)
  3. Help jet lag (see below timing tip)
  4. Reduce insomnia (5mg dose taken at 10pm)
  5. Manage narcolepsy (needed high dose at 50mg!)
  6. Help Autism in children (ref)
  7. Help strengthen the immune system (ref)
  8. Adjuvant treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms (ref)
  9. Assists in cardiovascular disease with cardioprotective properties (ref)
  10. Improvement in mood and reduction in depression in perimenopausal & menopausal women (ref)

Who Can Take Melatonin Supplements

Best Time to Take Melatonin

Take a melatonin supplement 30 minutes before going to sleep, or, when you want your bedtime to be. For preventing jet lag it is best taken at your travel destinations local time of between 10 pm and midnight.

For optimal effect it has been suggested to take it when your body isn’t making any. (ref)

How Often Should You Take Melantonin

You’ll be taking a melatonin supplemnt only once per day.

How Much Melatonin Is Safe to Take?

Our bodies usually naturally produce <0.3 mg per day, so it’s recommended to keep your dose low and work with a medical doctor to find what dosage works best for you.

Recommended Dosage

As of yet, there’s no set recommended dose for melatonin supplementation.

That means, it is not clear exactly how much melatonin you can safely use daily.

However, very high doses of melatonin per day are not recommended. This is because it can burn out your natural production within your pineal gland if you take it daily for a long-time (chronic dosage).

Possible Side-Effects

Reported adverse side-effects from taking too much Melatonin include:

None reported

Studies have shown that short-term use even at extreme dosages show no serious side-effect.

Long-term usage looks like maybe only mild side-effects are experienced by some.

However, there is no strong scientific data on using exogenous melatonin in children and adolescents. This is good to know for parents trying to help kids to fall asleep at night. (ref)

How to Make Melatonin Naturally

  1. We need to use exposure to natural sunlight in the morning and during the day to help reset our body clock.
  2. Wearing blue blocking glasses at night when the lights are on in our houses help plus sleeping in a bedroom that is pitch black using blackout curtains.
  3. We can also try reset our natural circadian rhythm by eating protein for breakfast.

Foods High in Melatonin

Foods that contain melatonin:

  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Walnuts

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Some foods contain tryptophan which can help stimulate serotonin, which is needed to make melatonin. Real food is always number one choice for getting all your vitamins and minerals.

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Last updated: November 24, 2019

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