Sleep Supplements



Melatonin is produced naturally in the body by the pineal gland.1.2 It is a primary hormone involved in regulating the body's circadian rhythms and female menstrual cycle.1,3,4 It also plays important roles in blood pressure regulation, seasonal reproduction, immune system health, and bone and tooth health.1,5.6 Melatonin levels are higher at night, suppressed by bright light, and decline as we age. Low levels of melatonin can cause sleep disturbances, as it is a primary component in the sleep-wake cycle.1,7 Melatonin is derived from tryptophan, an essential amino acid. When tryptophan is consumed through the foods we eat, it is converted into serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and then broken down further into melatonin at night.1


  • Has powerful antioxidant effects.1,8-11
  • Promotes brain health even under challenging conditions.1,12-17
  • Potentially beneficial in preventing abnormal cellular development.1,17-24
  • Has immune-enhancing properties.1,25-32
  • Beneficial when used peri-operatively (surrounding surgeries).1,33-41
  • Promotes better sleep.1,42-46
  • Helps avoid jet lag.1,47-50
  • Aids in the biologic regulation of circadian rhythms.1,3,51
  • Supports reproductive and follicular health in women desiring to get pregnant.4,9,52-57
  • Has adaptogenic properties.58-60
  • Promotes a healthy inflammatory response.61-66

Side effects

Adverse reactions associated with melatonin include morning grogginess and daytime hangover. Aspirin, NSAIDS, and beta-blockers may lead to decreased melatonin levels. Use of melatonin with benzodiazepenes, sedating antihistamines, sedating antidepressants, and other sedating drugs may cause additive sedation and increase incidence of adverse effects.


Those who use melatonin supplements to help with sleep disturbances or jet lag usually take about 3 mg at bed time. Morning drowsiness indicates a dose is too high. Dose can be increased under physician supervision to obtain a good night's sleep.


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  9. Tamura H, et al. Melatonin as a free radical scavenger in the ovarian follicle. Endocr J. 2013 Jan 31;60(1):1-13.
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  18. Brzozowski T, et al. The role of melatonin and L-tryptophan in prevention of acute gastric lesions induced by stress, ethanol, ischemia, and aspirin. J Pineal Res.1997 Sep;23(2):79-89.
  19. Di Bella G, et al. Melatonin anticancer effects: review. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Jan 24;14(2):2410-30.
  20. Wang J, et al. Melatonin potentiates the antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of  ursolic acid in colon cancer cells by modulating multiple signaling pathways. J Pineal Res. 2012 Dec 8. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12035. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23330808.
  21. Wang J, et al. Melatonin suppresses migration and invasion via inhibition of oxidative stress pathway in glioma cells. J Pineal Res. 2012 Sep;53(2):180-7.
  22. Cui P, et al. Melatonin prevents human pancreatic carcinoma cell PANC-1-induced human umbilical vein endothelial cell proliferation and migration by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor expression. J Pineal Res. 2012 Mar;52(2):236-43.
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  31. Carrillo-Vico A, et al. Melatonin: buffering the immune system. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Apr 22;14(4):8638-83.
  32. Sokolovic D, et al. Melatonin protects rat thymus against oxidative stress caused by exposure to microwaves and modulates proliferation/apoptosis of thymocytes. Gen Physiol Biophys. 2013 Mar;32(1):79-90.
  33. Jarratt J. Perioperative melatonin use. Anaesth Intensive Care. 2011 Mar;39(2):171-81.
  34. Maitra S, et al. Melatonin in perioperative medicine: Current perspective. Saudi J Anaesth. 2013 Jul;7(3):315-321.
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  39. Ismail SA, Mowafi HA. Melatonin provides anxiolysis, enhances analgesia, decreases intraocular pressure, and promotes better operating conditions during cataract surgery under topical anesthesia. Anesth Analg. 2009 Apr;108(4):1146-51.
  40. Caumo W, et al. Preoperative anxiolytic effect of melatonin and clonidine on postoperative pain and morphine consumption in patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. J Pain. 2009 Jan;10(1):100-8. doi: 0.1016/j.jpain.2008.08.007.
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  46. Lemoine P, Nir T, et al. Prolonged-release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects. J Sleep Res. 2007 Dec;16(4):372-380.
  47. Zee PC, Goldstein CA. Treatment of shift work disorder and jet lag. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2010 Sep;12(5):396-411.
  48. Srinivasan V, et al. Jet lag, circadian rhythm sleep disturbances, and depression: the role of melatonin and its analogs. Adv Ther. 2010 Nov;27(11):796-813.
  49. Paul MA, et al. Phase advance with separate and combined melatonin and light treatment. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2011 Mar;214(2):515-23.
  50. Paul MA, et al. Melatonin treatment for eastward and westward travel preparation. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Feb;208(3):377-86.
  51. Gitto E, et al. Update on the use of melatonin in pediatrics. J Pineal Res. 2011 Jan;50(1):21-8.
  52. Tamura H, et al. The role of melatonin as an antioxidant in the follicle. J Ovarian Res. 2012 Jan 26;5:5. doi: 10.1186/1757-2215-5-5.
  53. Reiter RJ, et al. Peripheral reproductive organ health and melatonin: ready for prime time. Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Apr 2;14(4):7231-72.
  54. Rizzo P, et al. Effect of the treatment with myo-inositol plus folic acid plus melatonin in comparison with a treatment with myo-inositol plus folic acid on oocyte quality and pregnancy outcome in IVF cycles. A prospective, clinical trial. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2010 Jun;14(6):555-61.
  55. Batıoğlu AS, et al. The efficacy of melatonin administration on oocyte quality. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Feb;28(2):91-3.
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  58. Arushanian EB, Beĭer EV. Pineal hormone melatonin is an universal adaptogenic agent. Usp Fiziol Nauk. 2012 Jul-Sep;43(3):82-100. Russian.
  59. Arushanian EB, Naumov SS. Comparative experimental study of the psychotropic and chronotropic activity of adaptogenic phytopreparations and melaxen. EkspKlin Farmakol. 2010 Jan;73(1):7-9.
  60. Smirnova AV, Naumcheva NN. Solar activity and cardiovascular diseases. Klin Med (Mosk). 2008;86(1):10-7.
  61. Mauriz JL, et al J. A review of the molecular aspects of melatonin's anti-inflammatory actions: recent insights and new perspectives. J Pineal Res. 2012 May 31. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2012.01014.x. [Epub ahead of print]
  62. Jaworek J, et al. Protective effect of melatonin on acute pancreatitis. Int J Inflam. 2012;2012:173675. doi: 10.1155/2012/173675.
  63. Ochoa JJ, et al. Melatonin supplementation ameliorates oxidative stress and inflammatory signaling induced by strenuous exercise in adult human males. J Pineal Res. 2011 Nov;51(4):373-80.
  64. Esposito E, Cuzzocrea S. Antiinflammatory activity of melatonin in central nervous system. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2010 Sep;8(3):228-42.
  65. Hardeland R, et al. Melatonin--a pleiotropic, orchestrating regulator molecule. Prog Neurobiol. 2011 Mar;93(3):350-84.
  66. Alamili M, et al. Melatonin suppresses markers of inflammation and oxidative damage in a human daytime endotoxemia model. J Crit Care. 2013 Oct 16. pii: S0883-9441(13)00326-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2013.09.006. [Epub ahead of print]

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