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Melatonin-Rich Foods to Help You Sleep

I have a diverse set of interests and I especially love researching healthy foods.

Disclaimer: Information in this article is research-based. However, the information provided in this article should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. Please consult a physician for medical and dietary advice and treatment. Melatonin supplementation and insomnia related disorders should not be assumed or treated without the supervision by a medical professional.

foods-with-melatonin-to-help-you-sleep-natural-sleep-aids

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the body by the pineal gland that regulates wake and sleep patterns. It can also be found in foods and is available as a supplement. In addition, some foods can trigger its production. There are other factors that can affect its production:

Light: Winter months have shorter days and can affect how and when melatonin is produced. This can induce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and can also lead to winter depression.

Age: We usually produce less melatonin as we age. This can alter sleep duration in older populations. It is not uncommon for the elderly to wake earlier or have irregular sleep patterns. This is usually due to lack of or irregular production of melatonin.

Supplements: Melatonin supplements have been used to control insomnia, reduce the effects of jet lag, and support the non-traditional sleep patterns of those with irregular work shifts. They have also aided in improving sleep patterns for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. However, their use can also alter production and secretion.

foods-with-melatonin-to-help-you-sleep-natural-sleep-aids

Common Side Effects of Melatonin Supplementation

  • Untimely drowsiness
  • Lower body temperature (You may feel cold.)
  • Vivid and profound dreams
  • Groggy upon waking or slow to rise and gain alertness.
  • Possible small change in blood pressure readings—either higher or lower.
foods-with-melatonin-to-help-you-sleep-natural-sleep-aids

28 Foods That Contain Melatonin or Induce Its Production

Research shows remarkably high levels of melatonin in these foods and drinks. You may be surprised to see coffee, tea, wine, and beer on this list. The origin comes from the plants used to produce these products; melatonin is synthesized in the plants that produce coffee, tea, wine, and beer. However, coffee beans and tea leaves also contain caffeine.

  1. Almonds
  2. Apples
  3. Bananas
  4. Barley
  5. Beer
  6. Cherries
  7. Coffee
  8. Tart cherry juice
  9. Fennel seeds
  10. Ginger
  11. Grapes
  12. Grape juice
  13. Kiwi
  14. Milk
  15. Oats
  16. Oranges
  17. Peppers
  18. Pineapple
  19. Radishes
  20. Rice
  21. Spinach
  22. Sunflower seeds
  23. Strawberries
  24. Sweet corn
  25. Tea
  26. Turkey
  27. Tomatoes
  28. Wine

How to Calculate Your Bedtime

How You Can Minimize Jet Lag

Symptoms:

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Lack of alertness
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor coordination (psychomotor)
  • Reduced cognitive skills
  • Depression

Did you know you can reduce the symptoms of jet lag and adjust your circadian rhythm with melatonin-rich foods? Foods high in carbohydrates may also help adjust your biological clock when you travel. How is that for a nice excuse to add spaghetti, whole grain bread, or oatmeal to your diet while traveling? Bon appetit!

Suggested Foods

  • Banana: Have a banana about an hour before your new bedtime to help kickstart the production and circulation tryptophan and melatonin through your system. Mmmm, a small bowl of cottage cheese with a banana and pineapple topping really does sound like a nice evening snack.
  • Protein: A small omelet with cheese can do the trick. Alternatively, a bowl of cottage cheese with a pineapple topping can also help you catch your ZZZs at the right time.
  • Almonds: Not only does a handful of almonds make for a great evening snack, it is great for helping your body regulate serotonin levels and manage anxiety and stress. They are also a rich source of magnesium, which further helps with relaxation!

How to Fall Asleep Faster

Interesting Facts About Foods and Sleep

Brief Overview

  • Tryptophan is an amino acid and a precursor to serotonin.
  • Serotonin is a hormone that relaxes the body and a precursor to melatonin.
  • Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm.

Tryptophan is an amino acid. The body uses it as a building block to make serotonin, a hormone associated with relaxation and good mood—it calms the mind and body. Disrupted production and secretion of serotonin can lead to issues with depression and insomnia. Most antidepressants are created to support the secretion of serotonin.

Some foods are commonly associated with affecting your sleep:

  • Milk: Can't Sleep? Have a glass of warm milk. It is not uncommon to hear a glass of warm milk may induce sleep. This is because of the tryptophan content. The body converts tryptophan to 5-HTP, then serotonin, and ultimately, melatonin. In addition, the calcium is thought to also help induce sleep. Interestingly, human breast milk is said to already contain melatonin. Breastfeeding also promotes the release of serotonin in the mother. This mutual effect calms and soothes both the mother and breastfeeding child.
  • Turkey: Turkey is well-known for making you sleepy due to its naturally high level of tryptophan.
  • Protein: A high-protein meal can introduce the amino acid tyrosine to the body. Tyrosine is known to keep the mind alert. You may want to consider balancing any late night high-protein meals with carbohydrates if sleeping patterns are an issue.

Research and Other Interesting Findings

There have been positive results in melatonin research, although further studies are still needed. Here are the current findings:

  • Melatonin may strengthen our immune system.
  • Melatonin may help slow the spread of cancer and possibly stop it in some cases.
  • Melatonin therapy may be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and general winter depression.
  • Melatonin may improve sleep patterns in cardiac patients taking beta-blockers. A common side-effect of beta-blockers is insomnia and daytime fatigue.
  • Melatonin may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.
  • Melatonin has been shown to reduce chronic cluster headaches.
  • Laughter raises the levels of melatonin in breast milk. Breastfeeding may promote nocturnal sleep and reduce infantile colic.

References

Mercolini, L., Mandrioli, R., Raggi, M.A. (2011). Content of melatonin and other antioxidants in grape-related foodstuffs: measurement using a MEPS-HPLC-F method. Journal of Pineal Research. 53(1):21-28.

Chern, CM., Liao, JF., Wang, YH., Shen, YC. (2012). Melatonin ameliorates neural function by promoting endogenous neurogenesis through the MT2 melatonin receptor in ischemic-stroke mice. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 52(9):1634-1647.

Tan DX, et al. (2012). Functional roles of melatonin in plants, and perspectives in nutritional and agricultural science. Journal of Experimental Botany. 63(2):577-597

Cohen Engler, A., Hadash, A., Shehadeh, N., Pilar, G. (2012). Breastfeeding may improve nocturnal sleep and reduce infantile colic: Potential role of breast milk melatonin. European Journal of Pediatrics. 171(4):729-732.

Lemoine, P., Wade, A.G., Katz, A., Nir, T., Zisapel, N. (2012). Efficacy and safety of prolonged-release melatonin for insomnia in middle-aged and elderly patients with hypertension: a combined analysis of controlled clinical trials. Integrated Blood Pressure Control. 2012(5):9-17.

Srinivasan, Venkataramanujam, et al. (2013). Jet Lag: Use of Melatonin and Melatonergic Drugs. Melatonin and Melatonergic Drugs in Clinical Practice. pp. 367-378. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-81-322-0825-9_26

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares

Comments

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 22, 2014:

Pamela99, I look forward to hearing how the tart cherry juice worked out for you.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 22, 2014:

I am going to try the cherry juice and I appreciate the information.

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 19, 2014:

Pamela99, hi! I'm sorry to hear about your arthritis keeping you up. You know, you got me thinking. I did a couple of articles on tart cherry juice and it has shown positive results for arthritis patients. Not only that, it is also rich in melatonin. How is that for a coincidence? I believe it is the natural anti-inflammatory properties that aid in arthritis management. Tart cherry juice is also beneficial in reducing muscle pain and even muscle damage.

Here is a clinical study I found (there are several):

Kuehl, Kerry S., et al. "Efficacy of Tart Cherry Juice to Reduce Inflammation Biomarkers among Women with Inflammatory Osteoarthritis (OA)." Journal of Food Studies 1.1 (2012): 14-25.

Be well, thank you very much for reading and commenting, it was a pleasure to know you stopped by.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 19, 2014:

I have trouble staying asleep mostly due to arthritis, but I still think this hub is tremendouslyhelpful. Thank you for giving us so much excellent information.

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 18, 2014:

Misfit Chick, thank you! I appreciate that.

heidithorne, I know, it made me do a double take when I was researching for this hub. I'm sure we need to keep consumption moderate though. Heaven forbid I have coffee after lunch...I will certainly be up late. Ohhhh, apples and sunflower seeds sound like a great snack. I appreciate the votes and shared, thanks again.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on July 18, 2014:

Interesting that coffee and tea help produce melatonin! Most people are concerned about the caffeine factor keeping them awake.

I'm a fan of most of the foods on this list. Yay! But lately I've been have a snack that includes apples and sunflower seeds at night and it does seem to help.

Thanks for sharing the info. Voted up, useful and interesting!

Catherine Mostly from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD on July 18, 2014:

What a helpful, informative article - worthy of sharing, thanks! :)

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 18, 2014:

Hi Mekenzie, how sweet you are! :)

I'm glad to hear tryptophan and melatonin helped your sleeping patterns. I'm so glad we can easily get it through foods though. The supplements have been said to cause some really loopy and vivid dreams. Thank you very much for the shares and votes, it is greatly appreciated.

Susan Ream from Michigan on July 17, 2014:

Ms. Olive, this was an excellent and very resourceful article. I have taken both tryptophan and melatonin in the past. It really did help my sleep patterns.

I was also surprised at how many foods contain these natural gems. I eat most of them on a regular basis.

Appreciate the research that went into this - it is so very helpful.

Voted up +++ Shared here on on my writers FB page Mekenzie's World.

Mekenzie

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on February 16, 2013:

Pamela99, I agree with you, a well balanced diet does seem to be the key to keeping health issues away. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 13, 2013:

Like so many other, I did not know so many foods aided the production of melatonin. I think the eating the foods is safer than taking the supplement. Dr. Oz recently talked about some people having side effects. This hub has a wealth of great information that is very useful.

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on September 18, 2012:

Mazzy, thank you so much! I am glad to have this additional info. It is a great addition to this comment thread and it helps us to see how things happen across our various regions with laws and use of supplements. As RealHousewife has noted, melatonin supplements are not necessarily a good idea. She has witnessed many negative reactions to it. Supplements were not necessarily the focus of this hub. Fortunately, there are foods that naturally supply us with what we need. Hopefully we can all find a healthy balance in our daily diet and sleep patterns. Thanks again for your valuable input.

Mazzy Bolero from the U.K. on September 18, 2012:

I believe melatonin was banned from open sale in Britain after the Health Minister was approached by a Director of a pharmaceutical company. It was not long after a book was published in the U.S. which hailed melatonin as an almost magical anti-aging, calming, natural substance that promoted healthy sleep, much safer than drugs. The banning was controversial at the time as people felt their freedom - and health- was being jeopardized purely to protect commercial interests. I understand it was also made prescription-only in Canada around the same time.

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on September 18, 2012:

Mazzy Bolero, very interesting and good to know. I'd like to research a bit more about its banning. Thanks for sharing.

adrienne2, thank you! It was interesting to find what foods offered what natural benefits. It is always relieving to know we can reach for a certain food item instead of a jar of pills. Thanks for stopping by.

Fierce Manson from Atlanta on September 17, 2012:

This article is loaded with information! I had no idea that foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and grape juice helps to aide in the production of melatonin. Also beer to bad I am not a beer drinker..lol. I also did not know it helps with ADHD. Thanks for sharing with the HP community.

Mazzy Bolero from the U.K. on September 17, 2012:

Thanks for telling us about the foods that help melatonin production. In the UK melatonin is only sold on prescription and you cannot buy supplements. Before it was banned, it was used commonly to prevent jet-lag.

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on September 04, 2012:

ElleBee, Thank you for telling us about your experience. Melatonin supplements are not necessarily the best choice for most. I do hope you find the food list helpful in finding a natural and steady supply of melatonin.

LetitiaPT, good luck with that! Please don't smuggle anything on a plane lol. Many are citing how the supplements are not necessarily a good choice. Maybe carry on a nice roasted turkey leg. (joking of course...then again, anything is possible) Thanks for stopping by for reading and commenting.

LetitiaFT from Paris via California on September 04, 2012:

Now I no why I always feel like a nap after a Thanksgiving meal. Joking aside, I had no idea that any food contained or induced production of melatonin. It's good to know, because I've heard that supplements may cause dependency, and I've always been leery of taking them, even on planes. Maybe now I'll just try to smuggle a bottle of tart cheery juice through security checks!

ElleBee on September 02, 2012:

This is very interesting! I had tried melatonin supplements as a sleep aid, but unfortunately they triggered MAJOR headaches for me, so I stopped taking them. Maybe I'll try some of these foods instead of the supplements and see if they help.

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on August 25, 2012:

rahul324, thank you! I'm thrilled to see you have stopped by. Cheers to your health.

carol777, perhaps you will be able to find a good combination of these foods and not have to take the melatonin. Thank you for the vote.

Super Luv, you are quite welcome.

Senoritaa, glad to hear it. I do hope this helps.

Rinita Sen on August 24, 2012:

Thank you for this. Very useful!

Super Lux from Singapore on August 23, 2012:

i needed this. thank you :)

carol stanley from Arizona on August 23, 2012:

I had no idea that so many foods contain Melatonin. I take it when I get into bad sleep patterns. Great hub and good information for those who have trouble sleeping. Voted UP.

Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on August 23, 2012:

Wow... detailed and useful info here... Great share... I will keep a check on my diet now... :)

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on August 11, 2012:

Gypsy48, I cannot imagine only having only 4 hours of interrupted sleep. I do hope these foods will help bring some balance to your sleep cycle. I do have faith in tart cherry juice. It is pretty high in melatonin and is great for muscles. Good luck to you.

Melovy, I'm right there with you. Natural is better and if we can find what we need in foods we might as well enjoy a healthy meal and snacks. Although I'd still enjoy your chocolate hedgehog cake any day! :) Bananas do the trick for me too. Love em!

Just Ask Susan, lol I imagine your hubby and boys laying all around the house on turkey day. Yes, having a food list does help. I've been printing these food hubs out for my in-laws. Hope they prove to help you out.

Molometer, thanks for sharing that Michael. I'll have to check it out and include the link. Glad melatonin supplements are working out for you - they aren't for everybody.

baber28, I think you are on to something. I did find some research on melatonin and light therapy as a means to help treat SAD and insomnia. That is some interesting testimony on the protein possibly keeping you up at night. Thanks for reading and commenting.

nybride710, caffeine definitely plays a role in how we feel. I do hope you find a regular pattern of rest.

Jackie Lynnley, I think the foods list is really helpful. If anything it will help us be more alert to what has melatonin. Glad I could put the list together for you. Best wishes.

JayeWisdom, thank you so very much. Glad to share my research with you. Hope the foods work out for you.

lindalou963, good for you! Glad to hear it. Thanks for reading.

sgbrown, I hope you have been able to find relief with the foods. If you did try the tablets I'd love to hear about your experience. Thank you for sharing and voting.

mperrottet, yes, they do mention vivid dreams in melatonin research. I agree on giving the foods a try instead. Hope he finds the relief and is able to rest. I'll see about locating your article on melatonin - thanks for sharing.

teaches12345, I did come across some research that shows melatonin should not be a long term substitute. A healthy diet, routine and natural relaxation techniques are best.

anglnwu, thank you so much. I appreciate you reading and commenting. Glad to provide the list of melatonin rich foods.

anglnwu on August 03, 2012:

Very comprehensive hub. Good to know that there are so many foods that contain melatonin. I learned a lot and thanks for the informative read.

Dianna Mendez on August 01, 2012:

I am more informed of this natural remedy for sleep. However, I have heard that it does affect your health if taken long term. Any truth to that? Thanks for the information and I am sure this will help many who need the sleep.

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on August 01, 2012:

Interesting hub - It's good that you listed the foods that contain melatonin. My husband has trouble sleeping, and perhaps this could help him. I prefer that he doesn't take a supplement because of the side effects. I also wrote a hub about melatonin and adenosine, and while doing research for it read that too much melatonin can make you have overly vivid dreams, and nightmares. Anyhow, great hub - voted up!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on July 31, 2012:

I really enjoyed this hub. I have been having trouble sleeping for some time now. My daughter-in-law just gave me some melatonin tablets. I haven't tried them yet, but feel better about it now. I wouldn't need them very often but am glad to know more about them for when I do have to take one. Very good information! Voted up and useful!

Linda from Texas on July 31, 2012:

Fortunately, I have no problem sleeping! This was very interesting! Thank you for sharing.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 31, 2012:

Very well researched and written....I'm glad to see you listed foods containing melatonin (or that cause the body to produce it), as I prefer not to take the supplement.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 31, 2012:

Thank you for that food list, great to have! I tried the pills and they didn't do so well, possibly a side effect with meds I am on maybe so I will concentrate on these foods.

Lisa Kroulik from Minnesota on July 31, 2012:

Timely article. I spent all night awake last night due to insomnia and am paying the price today. I gave up caffeine almost two weeks ago and noticed an immediate improvement in sleep other than last night. This gives me new suggestions to try in my battle with insomnia.

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on July 31, 2012:

It makes me wonder, if lower levels of melatonin are key ingredients to SAD and winter depression because there are less hours of sunlight, those who suffer from insomnia and/or sleep late in the day would probably be more susceptible to forms of depression, just because they don't get the melatonin they need because they sleep when the sun is out? Just curious if that might be the case.

Great job on the hub. I have been really craving a lot of high protein meals lately and what I have been finding is that I have been having difficulty sleepy lately. Now you have me thinking!

Micheal is from United Kingdom on July 31, 2012:

Great information Marisa,

I have been using Melatonin for about 3 months now.

I can honestly say it has made a great difference to me.

It totally changed my sleep pattern. I now sleep at a more socially sensible time.

I detailed my journey to Melatonin on my hub on delayed sleep phase syndrome DSPS. We could exchange links.

Michael

Voted up and sharing.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 31, 2012:

Wow I never realized how many foods contain melatonin. Turkey makes perfect sense as after Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner you can always find the guys in my house passed out on the living room furniture.

I think I'll print off your list for all the foods and drinks and post it on the fridge as my youngest always has a problem with his sleep.

Yvonne Spence from UK on July 31, 2012:

I really like that you’ve included a list of foods to stimulate melatonin production. I so much prefer to do things the natural way. Funnily enough I often eat a banana near bedtime so maybe my body knows what to do if I listen.

Great hub. Voted up!

Gypsy48 on July 31, 2012:

Informative hub, I rarely sleep more than fours hours a night and it is interrupted sleep. I will have to try the tart cherry juice, I love cherries so maybe this will help. Thanks for sharing:)

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 31, 2012:

Marcy Goodfleisch, nature has given us all the nutrients we need for a well balanced life. It is easy for me to get rushed and get lost in all the unhealthy manmade varieties of food. MMMMmmmm your late snack sounds delicious and perfect for keeping melatonin in your system - naturally. I appreciate the votes and I am very glad to see you have stopped by to read. Thank you.

Dale Hyde, I absolutely agree with you. Balance in all the things that make up our daily, weekly and monthly routines certainly adds up. This includes eating, resting and the exercise of not only our body, but our minds as well. I'm thrilled you came by to read and comment. Thank you

RealHousewife, this is a subject area you know quite a bit about. I appreciate you having genuine concern for the readers of this Hub. I do hope I have provided ample information for the general public to make an educated decision together with their doctor. Thanks for stopping by again.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 30, 2012:

Oh I am sorry Mo - I saw that Ad for the Melatonin and was really hoping no one tried to order it and use it to help them fall asleep:)

Dale Hyde from Tropical Paradise on Planet X on July 30, 2012:

Most informative. There are safe ways to use most of what if referenced in this hub. The main lesson I have learned over decades is that the key factor is moderation. Now that could include "balance", however, not necessarily. But, overall, simple moderation of many things in our life will make us more healthy. :)

Voted up, interesting and useful.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on July 30, 2012:

This is so interesting! I knew there were melatonin supplements, but I had not stopped to think of where it was found in food! Well, after a late-nite snack of fresh cherries, strawberries and some almonds, I should sleep okay tonight, right? Great hub! Thanks! Voted up and up!

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 30, 2012:

Teresa Coppens, thank you. I think you are right on the teens having more melatonin. I'll have to check that out. I'm a milk drinker myself. I prefer mine ice cold though...unless it is winter. Calcium is another important one we need to keep in our system. Thank you so much for stopping by to read and comment.

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on July 30, 2012:

Interesting hub. I believe that teenagers produce more melatonin which is why they are more sleepy than the average bear! Interesting article with a lot to think about. I like the warm glass of milk when I'm having trouble sleeping which also gives me the extra calcium my aging body needs!

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 30, 2012:

Sparkle Chi, Thank you. I agree with you %100. Finding a balanced life with healthy and nutritious food is the way to go. Not always an easy task though. Glad you found this information useful. Thank you for your votes and sharing.

Cate from Chandler, AZ on July 30, 2012:

What great information! Thank you so much for sharing it! I am thrilled to see the food sources listed, as I consider that the best way to get any nutrition!

Voted up and sharing!

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on July 30, 2012:

billybuc, are you keeping Bev up at night? Shame on you! :) Well, I'm glad to hear you sleep well and that it is not an issue for you. Maybe your lovely wife can enjoy some of the listed foods as a snack. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. I appreciate all the shares too.

Deborah Brooks, how sweet of you! Thanks so much. For reading and voting.

mollymeadows, glad to hear it is working for you. We are all unique in our respective needs. Thank you.

RealHousewife, Hi Kelly. Duly noted. This is why I opted to list the foods that naturally contain or promote the release of melatonin. I also wanted to make it a point to list any side effects, which I did. Plus, my disclaimer encourages readers to seek medical attention as opposed to diagnosing and treating themselves. Thank you for sharing your experience Kelly. I'm sure you've heard and witnessed some interesting things in the sleep labs.

Victoria Lynn, Thank you very much Vicki. I'm very glad you liked it. I would personally rather take care of myself through a healthy diet. Pills is the last resort in my book.

Ruchira, you are so sweet! Thank you! It is easy to forget who follows who with the various networks we use. I'm glad you have found this hub and others resourceful. Honored to have you as a follower. Cheers to you too!

Ruchira from United States on July 30, 2012:

interesting hub, missolive.

your hubs sure are a resourceful guide. love them. dunno how I was not following you. But, now that I am...will be an interesting ride :) Cheers!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 30, 2012:

Wow, RealH, I didn't know there were such side effects. I know people who take it for a sleep aid. I guess MissO's natural way with foods would be a much better route as far as a sleep aid.

Beautiful hub, MO! Very well put together!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 30, 2012:

Nice article on Melatonin but I caution anyone that tries to use it as a sleep aid.

Melatonin is not regulated by the FDA - because it is sold in the United States as a "Dietary Supplement"....many people in the sleep community do not like to see it used as a sleep aid. Melatonin is a drug that actually helps you change your circadian rhythm...your whole entire sleep cycle...not just for one night.

I know many people will disagree but I have worked with the top sleep doctors in the world...and I know what they say behind closed doors!

I took it once - and had a terrible reaction to it!! So yeah it can be good for some things but not for sleep unless you plan to use it for two years or less. After you get your sleep cycle to a normal rhythm you are not supposed to take it any more.

Mary Strain from The Shire on July 30, 2012:

Interesting. I take melatonin occasionally and it works well for me. I didn't know it had any side benefits. Thanks for the information.

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on July 30, 2012:

Ms olive this is a great hub my friend...what great research...voting way up..debbie

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 30, 2012:

I guess I'm abnormal as a writer; I sleep like a baby every night....a big baby! I'll pass this along to my wife, who has trouble sleeping, probably because she is married to a writer. LOL Great information!