This Popular Nightly Sleep Aid Actually Gets An F Grade From Experts


As registered nurse and Noom Coach, Christina Graham, R.N., tells mbg, as of 2017, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine updated its clinical practice guidelines, and recommended against the use of melatonin as a nightly sleep aid, because the overall evidence available for its effectiveness was weak.

The professional organization notes that while melatonin may be temporarily helpful for things like promoting sleep in a new time zone, it is not effective for long-term use.

“While it’s one of the most popular supplemental sleep aids,” Graham says, “there is little evidence to support using melatonin unless you have some specific health issues or circumstances.” She adds that some reasons melatonin may not be that effective for sleep include the lack of standardization and quality control over melatonin supplements.

As board-certified sleep expert Michael Breus, Ph.D., previously explained to mbg, “melatonin is a sleep regulator, not a sleep initiator. Melatonin does not make you feel sleepy; it tells your body it’s bedtime. Those are two completely different processes in the brain.”


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