Everything You Need to Know About Melatonin Gummies, According to an Expert

Are melatonin gummies as effective as other forms of melatonin? We asked a registered dietitian.

Getting good sleep is crucial for staying healthy and feeling our best. When we sleep poorly or don’t sleep long enough, we can find it hard to concentrate and remember things. And over time, not getting the sleep we need can lead to serious health problems like depression, heart disease, and even a shorter life.

Something that has a big impact on our ability to have a good sleep is melatonin, a hormone our bodies produce naturally. It’s what helps us feel sleepy at night and awake during the day—when it’s dark outside, the pineal gland in our brain produces melatonin to let us know it’s time for rest. “Its primary job is to make you sleepy and stay asleep,” says Maude Morin, a registered dietitian at JM Nutrition.

But sometimes, external factors can interfere with our melatonin production. Jetlag, stress and the foods we eat can disrupt our sleep—and that’s when a melatonin supplement comes in handy. Available as an over-the-counter natural health product in Canada since 2005, melatonin supplements can help you fall and stay asleep. What’s more, they’re a non-addictive, readily available option for catching those Zzzs without the same risks as sleeping pills.

Lately, we’ve been seeing melatonin in gummy form on store shelves, so we wonder: Could a candy that also helps us sleep be too good to be true?

How do melatonin gummies compare to other forms?

Melatonin comes in many forms, including capsules, liquids, powders and gummies. Every melatonin product, including gummies, has varying melatonin amounts, so checking the supplement instructions for the recommended dose is crucial.

“The form of melatonin you take is a personal preference—it’s more important to pay attention to whether or not it’s a high-quality product,” says Morin. A simple rule of thumb: You shouldn’t need to take five or six melatonin gummies to feel tired enough to fall asleep. Needing to take so many gummies for a single dose of melatonin is a sign that the supplement might not be effective.

Since gummies are typically made with sugar, could a melatonin gummy actually hinder sleep?

Morin states that the low sugar content in melatonin gummies is unlikely to affect your sleep. Sugar also doesn’t affect how your body metabolizes the melatonin.

Are melatonin gummies safe to take?

Research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic shows that melatonin is generally non-addictive. No substantial evidence suggests that long-term use of supplemental melatonin reduces the body’s natural production as long as you stick to the recommended dose.

Melatonin gummies are usually safe for short-term use, even if you won’t sleep eight hours. But if you need to drive or stay alert soon after taking them, it’s important to be careful. Melatonin can make you drowsy, so you have time to rest before doing tasks like driving. Safety should always come first when using melatonin or any sleep aid.

Is it safe to take melatonin gummies every night?

Like all types of melatonin, Morin recommends using melatonin gummies as a valuable tool for better sleep on an as-needed basis. However, “it’s important not to rely solely on them for a good night’s rest,” she says.

According to The National Health Service, melatonin should only be taken for short-term sleep problems. Adults shouldn’t use melatonin supplements for more than 13 weeks unless they’ve consulted with a healthcare provider.

Morin recommends trying different stress reduction techniques instead of depending solely on a melatonin supplement. Some ideas include evening walks, deep breathing exercises and cutting screen time before bed.

What dosage of melatonin should I take?

When you’re taking melatonin, less is more. According to Morin, it’s best to start with the smallest effective dose of melatonin supplements, which is approximately 0.5 mg. If you can’t find this low dose, she suggests taking half the amount first to determine its effectiveness. If melatonin alone isn’t working, try more behaviour changes for better sleep.

What are the side effects of melatonin?

Headache, dizziness, nausea and daytime drowsiness are some of the most common side effects of melatonin. But Morin says that exposure to sunlight within the first hour or two after waking up can stimulate the production of cortisol, the wakefulness hormone, to help balance your sleep-wake cycle.

When’s the best time to take melatonin?

Taking a melatonin gummy 30 minutes to one hour before bed is best, says Morin. This timing aligns with your body’s typical melatonin release and when you would likely start feeling tired naturally. Additional research suggests taking other melatonin supplements, like slow-releasing tablets, is best to take an hour or two before your desired bedtime.

Olly Sleep Melatonin Gummies

OLLY Sleep Blackberry Zen

OLLY Sleep vitamins are formulated with 3 mg of melatonin and 100 mg of L-Theanine, packed into a delicious blueberry gummy that promotes relaxation and better sleep.

OLLY Sleep Blackberry Zen, $24, well.ca

Nature's Bounty Melatonin Gummies

Nature’s Bounty Melatonin Gummies

Nature’s Bounty Melatonin gummies taste like sweet strawberries and contain 2.5 mg of melatonin. They’re gelatin-free, making them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Nature’s Bounty Melatonin Gummies, $13, walmart.ca

Jameison Melatonin Gummies

Jameison Melatonin + C, D3, Zinc & Elderberry

Perfect for cold and flu season, Jamieson’s Melatonin + Vitamin C, D, Zinc and Elderberry gummies contain 5 mg of melatonin and are formulated to improve sleep quality while also strengthening your immune system.

Melatonin + C, D3, Zinc & Elderberry, $11, vitashop.ca

Zzz Quill Melatonin Gummies

Vicks ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs

Vicks ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs gummies contain 2 mg of melatonin and soothing botanicals like lavender and chamomile to help you sleep naturally and wake up feeling refreshed.

Vicks ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs, $11, Amazon Canada

Suku Restful Sleep Melatonin Gummies

SUKU Restful Sleep

SUKU Restful Sleep includes 3mg melatonin, 100mg GABA, and 200mg L-Theanine. Each ingredient serves a specific purpose: Melatonin for improved sleep, L-Theanine for relaxation, and GABA for stress relief.

SUKU Vitamins Restful Sleep Blackberry Hibiscus, $25, well.ca

Next: Does Melatonin Affect Birth Control? What Experts Want You to Know