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You have heard about melatonin supplements but are not sure if they are right for you? You have problems with your sleep rhythm but are not sure what to do? Then you have found the perfect article for you.

In this melatonin test 2021 we have compiled the most important information about melatonin so that you have all the information you need to make a good, individual decision.




The most important facts

  • Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Individuals can also take it as a natural or synthetic supplement to promote restful sleep.
  • Melatonin is recognised by most doctors, health care providers and other experts as safe, non-toxic and non-addictive.
  • In addition to promoting sleep, melatonin may have other beneficial effects, such as aiding in cancer treatments and relieving headaches.

The Best Melatonin: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for melatonin

When buying melatonin, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.

Dosage

Dosage is important to consider when buying tablets or other forms of melatonin medication. Capsules in particular vary in dosage, so you should read exactly how to take the tablets.

Most melatonin capsules are available in a 500mg dosage and should only be taken once a day, before bedtime.

Additives

Unwanted additives are never particularly beneficial. Especially for sensitive people, it is recommended to buy capsules or powder without additives. Vegan medicines are recommended for this purpose.

Vegan capsules are made without chemical additives and additives such as preservatives, flavourings, colourings, sweeteners, gelatine, gluten and lactose are generally avoided.

Package size

Melatonin can be stored in a dry place for a very long time, which is why it is a good idea to buy larger packs of the medicine so that you don't have to keep buying more.

Since only one tablet of melatonin capsules should be taken daily, you do not need to buy too large a pack, as these will last for a while.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about melatonin answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of melatonin and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information for you in the following sections.

What is melatonin and how does it work?

Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your internal clock and sleep. Melatonin supplements are usually made synthetically, but can also be made from animals or microorganisms.(8)

Some studies suggest that melatonin supplements may be useful in treating sleep disorders such as delayed sleep and providing some relief from insomnia and time lags. (1)

Effects on sleep disorders

Melatonin can help people fall asleep better at night. People whose sleep patterns are upset because they have trouble falling asleep at night could use melatonin to help with this.

Melatonin can be safe and effective for both primary sleep disorders and sleep disorders associated with various neurological conditions. (2)

This is usually done by taking one tablet of melatonin before bed, which should make it easier for you to fall asleep.

Effect on cancer

Studies have found that melatonin may reduce the toxic effects of cancer drugs while increasing their effectiveness.(3)

Although the only beneficial effect of melatonin in cancer patients is to reduce the acute and long-term toxicity of the drug, melatonin should be used to improve the physical well-being of patients. (4)

Effect on jet lag

Melatonin has been shown to be highly effective in treating symptoms associated with transmeridian air travel. For people who travel frequently and fly from one time zone to the next, melatonin could help maintain your sleep rhythm. (5)

In addition, it has been shown to be useful in treating mood disorders such as seasonal affective disorder. (5)

Do melatonin medications have hub effects?

In general, studies have shown that short-term use of melatonin is safe, even in extreme doses. There are no studies that have indicated that melatonin should cause serious side effects. (6)

There have only been mild side effects (6) such as:

  • Dizziness,
  • Headaches,
  • nausea and
  • Drowsiness have been reported.

Recent studies show that melatonin is safe, non-toxic and non-addictive. However, it can interact with medications such as blood thinners, blood pressure medications and antidepressants. (7)

When and for whom is it useful to take melatonin?

Melatonin is recommended for anyone who has trouble falling asleep in the evening, whether due to jet lag or other sleep disorders.

There are no age restrictions for the medication. However, you will need a prescription from your doctor to buy the medicine.

What are the different types of melatonin?

Melatonin is available as different types. Some are easier than others to take on a daily basis.

We have put together a table for you with the types of melatonin and a brief description of what each is.

Type Description
Melatonin as capsules Melatonin as capsules are easy to take, with a little water. They have no off-taste and are perfectly dosed.
Melatonin as a powder Can be mixed with water and drunk. Must be measured out for perfect dosage.

The capsules and tablets are the most convenient to take. With the powder, you have the problem of measuring out how much you need each time and then mixing it with water. The capsules are easy to take with a sip of water.

How should melatonin be dosed?

Melatonin is usually sold as 500mg tablets. Take one tablet every night before you go to bed.

However, read the instructions in the package leaflet or ask your doctor or pharmacist for more specific information.

What are the alternatives to melatonin?

Alternatives to melatonin include natural products. The following remedies can help you sleep:

  • Valerian root (9)
  • Magnesium (10)
  • Lavender (11)
  • Passionflower (12)
  • Glycine (13)
  • Tryptophan (14)
  • Ginkgo Biloba (15)
  • L-Theanine (16)

These natural sleep aids are available in a variety of forms, such as pills, powders and teas.

Image source: Anytka / 123rf

References (16)

1. Claustrat B, Leston J. Melatonin: Physiological effects in humans. Neurochirurgie. 2015 Apr-Jun;61(2-3):77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2015.03.002. Epub 2015 Apr 20. PMID: 25908646.
Source

2. Esposito S, Laino D, D'Alonzo R, Mencarelli A, Di Genova L, Fattorusso A, Argentiero A, Mencaroni E. Pediatric sleep disturbances and treatment with melatonin. J Transl Med. 2019 Mar 12;17(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s12967-019-1835-1. PMID: 30871585; PMCID: PMC6419450.
Source

3. PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. Topics in Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies (PDQ®): Health Professional Version. 2018 Nov 2. In: PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US); 2002-
Source

4. Reiter, R.J.; Rosales-Corral, S.A.; Tan, D.-X.; Acuna-Castroviejo, D.; Qin, L.; Yang, S.-F.; Xu, K. Melatonin, a Full Service Anti-Cancer Agent: Inhibition of Initiation, Progression and Metastasis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 843.
Source

5. Venkataramanujan Srinivasan, D. Warren Spence, Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, Ilya Trakht, Daniel P. Cardinali, Jet lag: Therapeutic use of melatonin and possible application of melatonin analogs, Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, Volume 6, Issues 1–2, 2008, Pages 17-28, ISSN 1477-8939,
Source

6. Andersen LP, Gögenur I, Rosenberg J, Reiter RJ. The Safety of Melatonin in Humans. Clin Drug Investig. 2016 Mar;36(3):169-75. doi: 10.1007/s40261-015-0368-5. PMID: 26692007.
Source

7. Foley HM, Steel AE. Adverse events associated with oral administration of melatonin: A critical systematic review of clinical evidence. Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:65-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.11.003. Epub 2018 Nov 3. PMID: 30670284.
Source

8. Pévet P. Melatonin. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2002 Mar;4(1):57-72. PMID: 22034091; PMCID: PMC3181670.
Source

9. Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2006 Dec;119(12):1005-12. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.02.026. PMID: 17145239; PMCID: PMC4394901.
Source

10. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9. PMID: 23853635; PMCID: PMC3703169.
Source

11. Lillehei AS, Halcón LL, Savik K, Reis R. Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jul;21(7):430-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0327. Epub 2015 Jun 2. PMID: 26133206; PMCID: PMC4505755.
Source

12. Ngan A, Conduit R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1153-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3400. Epub 2011 Feb 3. PMID: 21294203.
Source

13. Kawai N, Sakai N, Okuro M, Karakawa S, Tsuneyoshi Y, Kawasaki N, Takeda T, Bannai M, Nishino S. The sleep-promoting and hypothermic effects of glycine are mediated by NMDA receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 May;40(6):1405-16. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.326. Epub 2014 Dec 23. PMID: 25533534; PMCID: PMC4397399.
Source

14. Silber BY, Schmitt JA. Effects of tryptophan loading on human cognition, mood, and sleep. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010 Mar;34(3):387-407. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 26. PMID: 19715722.
Source

15. Murray BJ, Cowen PJ, Sharpley AL. The effect of Li 1370, extract of Ginkgo biloba, on REM sleep in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2001 Jul;34(4):155-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-15876. PMID: 11518478.
Source

16. Lyon MR, Kapoor MP, Juneja LR. The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Dec;16(4):348-54. PMID: 22214254.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftlicher Review
Claustrat B, Leston J. Melatonin: Physiological effects in humans. Neurochirurgie. 2015 Apr-Jun;61(2-3):77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2015.03.002. Epub 2015 Apr 20. PMID: 25908646.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Esposito S, Laino D, D'Alonzo R, Mencarelli A, Di Genova L, Fattorusso A, Argentiero A, Mencaroni E. Pediatric sleep disturbances and treatment with melatonin. J Transl Med. 2019 Mar 12;17(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s12967-019-1835-1. PMID: 30871585; PMCID: PMC6419450.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. Topics in Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies (PDQ®): Health Professional Version. 2018 Nov 2. In: PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Cancer Institute (US); 2002-
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Reiter, R.J.; Rosales-Corral, S.A.; Tan, D.-X.; Acuna-Castroviejo, D.; Qin, L.; Yang, S.-F.; Xu, K. Melatonin, a Full Service Anti-Cancer Agent: Inhibition of Initiation, Progression and Metastasis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 843.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Venkataramanujan Srinivasan, D. Warren Spence, Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, Ilya Trakht, Daniel P. Cardinali, Jet lag: Therapeutic use of melatonin and possible application of melatonin analogs, Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, Volume 6, Issues 1–2, 2008, Pages 17-28, ISSN 1477-8939,
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Andersen LP, Gögenur I, Rosenberg J, Reiter RJ. The Safety of Melatonin in Humans. Clin Drug Investig. 2016 Mar;36(3):169-75. doi: 10.1007/s40261-015-0368-5. PMID: 26692007.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Foley HM, Steel AE. Adverse events associated with oral administration of melatonin: A critical systematic review of clinical evidence. Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:65-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.11.003. Epub 2018 Nov 3. PMID: 30670284.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Pévet P. Melatonin. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2002 Mar;4(1):57-72. PMID: 22034091; PMCID: PMC3181670.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2006 Dec;119(12):1005-12. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.02.026. PMID: 17145239; PMCID: PMC4394901.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9. PMID: 23853635; PMCID: PMC3703169.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Lillehei AS, Halcón LL, Savik K, Reis R. Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jul;21(7):430-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0327. Epub 2015 Jun 2. PMID: 26133206; PMCID: PMC4505755.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Ngan A, Conduit R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1153-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3400. Epub 2011 Feb 3. PMID: 21294203.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Kawai N, Sakai N, Okuro M, Karakawa S, Tsuneyoshi Y, Kawasaki N, Takeda T, Bannai M, Nishino S. The sleep-promoting and hypothermic effects of glycine are mediated by NMDA receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 May;40(6):1405-16. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.326. Epub 2014 Dec 23. PMID: 25533534; PMCID: PMC4397399.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Silber BY, Schmitt JA. Effects of tryptophan loading on human cognition, mood, and sleep. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010 Mar;34(3):387-407. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.08.005. Epub 2009 Aug 26. PMID: 19715722.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Murray BJ, Cowen PJ, Sharpley AL. The effect of Li 1370, extract of Ginkgo biloba, on REM sleep in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2001 Jul;34(4):155-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-15876. PMID: 11518478.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Lyon MR, Kapoor MP, Juneja LR. The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Dec;16(4):348-54. PMID: 22214254.
Go to source
Reviews