An Honest Review of Ritual's New Melatonin Supplement
For me, growing older has come with sleeping struggles. With each passing year, strategies that formerly guaranteed a good night's rest — weighted blankets, sleep teas, night lights — have stopped working quite so well. I'm also increasingly tied to a strict nighttime routine; if I eat dinner even 20 minutes later than usual, my quality of sleep is affected for the next three business days. It's a delicate, vicious cycle — but one that's been made much more manageable with the help of these Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin Supplement ($13, originally $27).
Over the years, I've had a complicated relationship with melatonin. Sometimes I fall asleep almost immediately after taking it, and other times, I'm kept up all night by strange nightmares so vivid they border on hallucinations. But many of my health-obsessed friends have raved about Rituals other supplements — namely the brand's editor-approved Synbiotic vitamins — which was precisely what inspired me to give these melatonin supplements a try.
Ahead, I break down everything to know about Ritual's new Sleep BioSeries Melatonin — including how to take it, what sets melatonin apart from other supplements, and where you can shop it out for the best price.
What to Consider When Buying Melatonin Supplements
While melatonin is known for its sleep-enhancing benefits, there are a couple things to consider when shopping out the best option. For one, melatonin can interact with certain drugs, including blood-pressure, anti-seizure, and diabetes medications, according to Mayo Clinic. So it's best to talk to your healthcare provider before taking melatonin to ensure it's right for you, and to ask about dosing.
It's also a good idea to look for products that have been independently verified for quality and purity by a third-party lab like the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), a nonprofit organization recognized by the FDA, family physician Mark T. Loafman, MD previously told POPSUGAR. "USP performs testing on vitamins and supplements to verify both the contents and the dosages the product contains. USP and other certifying bodies do not evaluate the purported health benefits or the overall safety, but they do provide peace of mind on contents," Dr. Loafman said.
Some supplements have been found to contain much higher or lower doses of active ingredients than what's listed on the label. While taking too small a dose of melatonin may just mean another night of tossing and turning, taking a megadose could have side effects like nightmares or headaches — or worse, if taken regularly over time. Ritual isn't USP certified, but is Clean Label Project Certified, which means a third-party lab has tested it for harmful contaminants like heavy metals.
Also consider avoiding gummy melatonin supplements as the product is often "notorious for contaminants and issues with potency," says Kelin Marquet, wellness expert and co-founder of the top-rated supplement brand, Why Not Natural, referencing research recently published in JAMA.
What I Like About Ritual's Melatonin Supplements
Unlike many other melatonin supplements, Ritual's new offering actually has three capsules per tablet, all of which are designed to work in unison for a more natural sleep cycle. The first tablet is intended to help you fall asleep faster, as it's formulated with 1 milligram of instant release melatonin; the second and third tablets have 3 milligrams and 1 milligram of extended release melatonin, respectively, which is designed to help you stay asleep, without leaving you groggy in the morning. According to the brand, the formula is designed to release for about six hours, so it's recommended that you take it on nights you're planning to be in bed for a full seven to eight hours.
Of course, it's essential to talk to your own physician before starting any new supplement, including melatonin. But I've been taking Ritual's melatonin supplements for a little over two months now and have seen a dramatic difference in the quality of my sleep. I prefer to take one tablet every other night, at least one hour before my normal bedtime — you can take them every night, if you so choose. While melatonin isn't physically addictive, some experts do recommend against long-term use.
By the time I go to sleep each night, my body and mind both feel completely at ease, and I find myself slipping into a gentle sleep, rather than feeling overtaken by fatigue too quickly — which I've experienced with other melatonin supplements I've tried. Aside from occasionally waking up to go to the bathroom or to get a drink of water, I sleep fully throughout the night without interruption from bad dreams or really anything else. I've genuinely experienced some of the deepest, most restful sleep of my life over the last few months, and I credit it entirely to this supplement.
I also appreciate their affordability. Oftentimes when it comes to shopping for health products and supplements, I feel like you have to spend big bucks to get in favor of a more feasible price — but these sleep supplements have proven to be the exception. Not only have they helped me to enjoy a more sound night's rest, but they also fit within my budget.
What's Worth Noting
As with most supplements, it's always important to note that what works for one person might not work as well for someone else. Again, it's best to talk to a doctor familiar with your health before starting any supplement regimen; that may seem like a bit much over a melatonin supplement, but it's better safe than sorry, especially if you take any other medications. (Case in point: some experts have questioned whether melatonin supplements can affect birth control meds.)
Also, Ritual's dose per pill is 5 milligrams. The brand's site notes that this dose is research-backed to be effective, but health agencies like Cleveland Clinic recommend starting with just 1 milligram per night and increasing your dose by 1 milligram as needed, never exceeding 10 milligrams. Since I've taken melatonin before and am familiar with how it generally affects me, I felt safe jumping in with the 5 milligram dose — and it's been working great for me. But if you've never taken melatonin before, or you've always taken much lower doses, that's something to be aware of (and potentially talk to a doctor about).
Who Are These Melatonin Supplements Best For?
If you're looking for more solutions to help improve the quality of your sleep, these melatonin supplements are a worthwhile buy — providing your doctor signs off on adding them to your routine.
- Ritual's Sleep BioSeries Melatonin is gluten-free, vegan, drug-free, third-party tested, and made traceable with a visible supply chain.
- Each bottle comes with 20 tablets.
Where Are These Melatonin Supplements Available to Shop?
These supplements are available at Amazon and Ritual ($15, originally $25).