Do melatonin supplements work for sleep? Here's what an expert says

Melatonin can definitely help you get a good night’s sleep when you use them properly.
Melatonin can definitely help you get a good night’s sleep when you use them properly.

You may have come across melatonin supplements at some point and wondered what, exactly, they were all about. Fans of the supplements claim they can help you sleep better at night but…is this legit?

While melatonin supplements won’t magically cure all insomnia, they can definitely help you get a good night’s sleep when you use them properly, board-certified sleep medicine researcher and neurologist W. Christopher Winter, M.D., of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of the book, The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

“Your body naturally produces melatonin when the sun goes down, and that helps signal to your body to get ready for sleep,” Winter explains. “You can use a melatonin supplement to trick your body into thinking there’s a sunset when there isn’t or that it’s time for sleep.”

While some people use these supplements as a nightly sleep aid, Winter says that’s not really what it’s designed to do. “Using a melatonin supplement every night can actually cause your body to back down on its own production of melatonin,” he says. “We don’t want that to happen.”

Instead, it’s better to use them on an as-needed basis, like if you’re in a new time zone, doing shift work, or know you’ll need a little extra help falling asleep on a given night. It may also be helpful if you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, Winter says. But again, you don’t want to take the supplement at this time every night. “Otherwise, you can be setting yourself up for a very confused circadian rhythm,” he says.

Interested in trying out a melatonin supplement? Here are a few options people are raving about online.

The editors at Yahoo Lifestyle are committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. At times, we may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets

<a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets</a> (Photo: Natrol)

These fast-dissolving tablets are a hit with Amazon shoppers, who love how well it works. “Tastes good and it works,” one wrote. “I take one and a half every work night. Puts me down (6’1 200-pound male) and I don’t wake up groggy the next day. Definitely recommend,” another said.

Shop it: Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets, 150-count, $8,

Carlyle Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets

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Carlyle’s supplements are gluten-free, and contain 12 milligrams of melatonin (a heftier dose than many other types). “If I go to bed as soon as these hit, I get more hours of sleep than I have for a while,” one reviewer said. “I am deployed and my sleep hours are always screwed up. These help me fall asleep regardless of how crazy my hours get,” another said.

Shop it: Carlyle Melatonin Fast Dissolve Tablets, $12,

Sundance Melatonin Tablets

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If you’re looking for a potent melatonin supplement for a low price, this is definitely worth checking out. And they work fast, according to reviewers. “I am able to fall asleep easily about 20-30 minutes after taking one of these tablets,” one person wrote.

Shop it: Sundance Melatonin Tablets, $5,

Puritan’s Pride Super Strength Melatonin

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This two-month supply of quick release capsules promises to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. “Once I fall asleep, I wake up rested and ready to go,” one reviewer said. “This stuff is a miracle,” another said.

Shop it: Puritan’s Pride Super Strength Melatonin, $3,

Spring Valley Fast Dissolve Melatonin Tablets

<a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Spring Valley Fast Dissolve Melatonin Tablets" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Spring Valley Fast Dissolve Melatonin Tablets</a> (Photo: Spring Valley)

Spring Valley’s supplements are free of milk, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and gluten, making them ideal for people with food allergies. The strawberry flavor also gets a thumbs up in the reviews. “The taste is great and they dissolve very quickly. Best sleep ever!!” one person said.

Shop it: Spring Valley Fast Dissolve Melatonin Tablets, $9,

Nature’s Truth Melatonin

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People can’t stop raving about these tablets in the reviews, with one noting that they were “out cold” as soon as they laid down after taking the supplement. “Works amazing,” one reviewer wrote. “I never wake up groggy,” another said.

Shop it: Nature’s Truth Melatonin, $11,

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