Natrol Melatonin Sleep Aid Review

photo of the Natrol 10mg melatonin tablets bottle

I’ve been testing the Natrol melatonin sleep aid for the past month, both to review it and also as part of a wider experiment I wanted to do with a stronger dosage of melatonin.

Usually, I only test an over the counter sleep aid for a week or two – especially those that quickly lead to side effects, such as anti-histamines. But this time, I had an ulterior motive for giving it a longer run on the bedside table.

Why I took the high 10mg dosage

In the past, I’ve had good success with melatonin sleep aids, such as Vitafusion SleepWell. They helped me sleep better, and the side effects were minimal and tolerable.

The thing is, there’s a lot of talk (and opinion) about melatonin, especially where the dosage is concerned. Some sleep experts recommend taking the smallest possible dosage – 0.5mg or less, and ideally none at all.

You can easily buy 5mg and 10mg tablets over the counter in the United States though. And I can imagine many despairing insomniacs would give those a whirl. But should they, or is it unnecessary and likely to lead to worse side effects, visible or hidden?

Despite concerns around supplementing the body’s natural melatonin with a synthetic version, researchers haven’t found evidence of serious side effects in adults, even in higher doses.

And evidence seems to suggest that that taking melatonin doesn’t stop your body’s natural production. One caveat, of course, is that the researchers involved in these studies usually say that more research is needed into the long-term effects.

Long story short – I wanted to find out for myself what would happen if I took a higher 10mg dosage for 30 days. And Natrol seemed like a good option, as they are an established brand of supplements in the US and make a 10mg version, as well as 1mg and 5mg.

My experience

A fast-dissolving tablet with a sweet taste

First things first – the taste and type of pill. Natrol tablets are pretty small and fast-dissolving, which is better than swallowing a pill in my experience.

They do have a slightly sugary taste, so I found it’s best to take them before brushing your teeth – something I’ve seen customers write on review sites.

Judging how well it works

The way I judge how well a sleep aid works is admittedly quite subjective. Other than spotting obvious side effects like headaches or grogginess, or having clearly significant changes to my sleep times and pattern, the effects can be subtle and hard to work out if it’s the sleep aid, a placebo or something else entirely.

So I use a written sleep diary to note how I slept and felt the next day, along with a couple of sleep trackers to back up my manual data.

Round one: melatonin versus jet lag

I actually bought the Natrol in the United States and then started taking it after returning to England, as I was interested to see if it would help with the Jet Lag.

I had pretty good results for the first five days. I felt that I managed to realign my sleep pattern to the local time reasonably quickly, even if it took me a while to drop off during the first two nights.

Although it didn’t exactly knock me out, I still got enough sleep to function fine. What I liked was that the mornings weren’t too bad either. I had no noticeable side effects from the melatonin and seemed to get into the swing of things with some help from a strong coffee.

So all in all, the jet lag wasn’t as bad as it has been in past trips, though was definitely still there to a certain extent.

The following weeks

Although I sleep reasonably well on many nights, over the course of a month I will always have at least a few bad nights of insomnia, especially if I can’t do any exercise for whatever reason.

And I have to say that both my manual sleep diary and sleep trackers showed a pretty decent month of sleep. There was only one night when I slept particularly badly, and this could be largely attributed to stress that day I think.

It’s not that I slept for significantly longer than my usual good nights, just that there were more good nights and with less wakings. Even on a couple of nights when I visited family or friends – a time when I usually struggle to sleep well – I was managing to get a reasonable night’s sleep.

No side effects of note

It’s rare that a sleep aid gives me no noticeable side effects, but this was the case with the Natrol.

What’s strange is that even with other melatonin brands I’ve tried – and at a lower dosage – there has been something, such as disorientation when waking in the night or some morning grogginess. But I just didn’t get any of that this time.

My conclusion

I felt that the Natrol helped me overcome jet lag a little easier than normal, which was positive.

And over the next few weeks, I fell asleep on average faster than I often do, had less bad nights’ sleep than my monthly average and woke less in the night.

I didn’t sleep significantly longer overall than usual, which I think is important to note. It’s more the case that I just had less bad nights, and less time lying in bed feeling frustrated that I wasn’t asleep yet.

Would I take it again?

I don’t plan on taking Natrol on an endless basis, as I try to sleep without any sleep aids most nights unless I’m testing a new one or having a bad patch.

However, I think Natrol is arguably one of the best sleep aids I’ve tried over the years. It might not have a knock-out effect, but does seem to stabilize my sleep and gave me no side effects.

Despite choosing to take 10mg for this review, I would drop down to a 1mg dosage next time though. And I’d also recommend starting with a lower dosage too, unless you have a valid reason to increase it.

Despite my own positive experience with this dosage of melatonin, it’s not to say other people don’t have side effects or that it’s appropriate for everybody. I recommend checking carefully that melatonin is right for you, ideally with the advice of a healthcare professional.

What evidence is there that Natrol melatonin tablets work?

I couldn’t find any specific clinical trials for Natrol sleep aids. However, this isn’t unusual for over the counter sleep aids in the United States. They aren’t required to undergo rigorous testing as they are part of the extensive grey area of supplements rather than medications.

So, assuming the ingredients are accurate, it’s useful to consider the evidence that other melatonin supplements work for insomnia, which was the point of my test.

There has been a lot of research done, and much more will probably be done in the future considering the wide range of possible uses for melatonin supplements that are being explored.

Where sleep is concerned, the bottom line seems to be that melatonin can help some people with certain sleep problems.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in the United States indicates that there is evidence melatonin can help some people with:

  • Jet Lag
  • Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder
  • Shift Work Disorder
  • Insomnia

On the insomnia front, they mention a 2013 review of 19 studies of people with primary sleep disorders. There was evidence that melatonin helps slightly with:

  • Time to fall asleep
  • Total sleep time
  • Overall sleep quality

And a more recent review of 12 studies in 2017 found evidence that melatonin helps reduce the time taken to fall asleep in primary insomnia and delayed sleep phase syndrome. The study author reported:

These findings highlight the potential importance of melatonin in treating certain first degree sleep disorders.

What others say

Whenever I test a new sleep product, I like to research what both customers and other writers have to say.

When I checked on, there was a strange pattern in that the 1mg and 5mg tablets have excellent average reviews from hundreds of verified purchases (4.5 out of 5 stars at the time of writing), but the 10mg only averaged 3.9.

I read through many of them to find out what the problem might be. Was the high dosage causing more side effects? But it turns out that many people just don’t like the taste, with some complaining the ingredients had changed, or that it was different from the version they had bought in stores.

Taste aside, they get many positive reviews from customers, with the majority of people saying Natrol helps them sleep. The main complaints I could find were the taste, vivid dreams and sometimes just not working.

Scanning through other sites with customer reviews, such as Costco and Walmart, there’s also generally positive feedback from people, though mostly for the 5mg version rather than 10mg.

Further information

Who makes it?

Natrol is an American company based in California. They have been manufacturing vitamins, minerals and supplements since the 1980s. You can find out more about the company at (not a sponsored link).


photo of the Natrol bottle label showing the ingredients

The active ingredient listed on the bottle I bought is:

  • Melatonin 10mg (the active ingredient)

The other ingredients are:

  • Dextrose
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Cellulose gum
  • Crospovidone
  • Maltodextrin
  • Glyceryl behenate
  • Sucrose esters of fatty acids
  • Gum arabic
  • Beet root extract
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Artificial flavor
  • Sucralose
  • Menthol

Dosage & directions

The instructions tell you to take 1 tablet 20 minutes before bed. Since it’s fast dissolving, you don’t need to drink water with it.

Interestingly, the Natrol website has some advice about dosage and which dosage to take. Despite making a 10mg version, they advise starting with a lower dosage. Here’s a quote from their site:

While melatonin supplements are typically sold in doses of 1, 3, 5 and 10 mg, the right amount depends on your individual situation and how your body processes the supplement… If you aren’t sure how much melatonin to take, it is recommended to start with a smaller dose like the 1mg or 3mg rather than starting with the max.  Although melatonin is safe in doses up to 10mg per day, more is not necessarily better.

This advice is in line with the many medical sites which recommend starting with a lower dosage if you’re going to take melatonin.

Possible side effects of Natrol melatonin tablets

The bottle I bought doesn’t have any potential side effects listed. Their website lists three circumstances in which you should decrease the dosage though:

  • If you feel groggy in the morning after a full night’s sleep
  • If you experience vivid dreams
  • If you get headaches

Melatonin is thought to be relatively safe for most people, but the above are three of the most common side effects. Medical sites such as WebMD and Healthline list a few others to be aware of, including:

  • Short-term feelings of depression
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability or anxiety

Who should avoid Natrol melatonin tablets?

My personal view is that it’s a good idea to discuss taking melatonin with your personal doctor first, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any other medication.

There are many different situations, such as pre-existing conditions and drug interactions to be aware of. And they change over time as new research is done. So to be on the safe side, it’s a positive step to check with a medical profesional based on your personal situation.

That said, there are some specific warnings at the time of writing this article. The bottle recommends checking with a healthcare professional first if any of the following apply to you:

  • If you are under medical supervision
  • If you use any tranquilizers or sedatives
  • If you have an autoimmune condition
  • If you have a depressive disorder
  • If you are pregnant or lactating
  • Not for use for children under 12

Medical sites list even more possible warnings and interactions. So my advice is to check a few, such as WebMD, Healthline, and Mayo Clinic as well as consulting your doctor.

Have you tried Natrol melatonin?

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of Natrol’s melatonin products. Did they work for you? Did you have any side effects from them?


  1. My guy was diagnosed with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder recently. The doctor put him on 15 mg of melatonin to suppress outbursts, hitting, and leg jerks. This past week was his third week of taking 3 X 5mg. In the first two weeks, it appeared to be the solution to his REM issues. Then, out of nowhere, in his third week, he woke up (kind of woke up) feeling groggy and disoriented, and went back to bed. His day consisted of naps, and he retired at 8:30 PM, three hours earlier than usual (without taking anything that night). The following day and now four days later, he is still not back to his normal self. He walks with an old man shuffle, exhibits questionable behavior, his speech is scrambled, and he has no appetite. He experienced a headache and stomachache. I searched the web to find an answer as to why all this happened and what the symptoms of an overdose are, but it’s been challenging. He is now on his second night without taking melatonin and will see the doctor in two days. Hopefully, there will be an answer and a new warning disclosing the potential side effects and the need for caution.

    • Hi Linda
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m not a doctor, but it sounds like he is experiencing some concerning symptoms after taking melatonin. It’s important to consult with his doctor as soon as possible to discuss these side effects and the potential risks associated with the medication, so it’s good you’ve done that. Hopefully, they will be able to provide the most appropriate advice and potential alternative solutions for managing his sleep problems.

  2. I’m 79 and have been taking Melatonin for quite a few years, 5 Ml. Also, I take a third of generic Ambien with it. Seems to do the job with no side effects.

  3. Hey! I am a 62 year old woman who has had quite the run in life. I do believe that thyroid and hormones and lifestyle and food and yada-yada-yada….has A LOT to do with our sleep and not to mention those handy dandy devices we sport around and sit at much of the time.
    Otherwise, melatonin can be VERY beneficial to the human body, (I mean, our body makes it). But I do believe just like many other things in life and in the body, it gets depleted over time and with abusing our body’s system in so many ways. :(
    I wanted to say tonight is my first night with Natrol Melatonin. I am excited to have found this review. I was taking Charlotte’s Webb CBD Melatonin gummies (BEST IN THE WORLD EVER!) But they gave me a dirty UA at work. Thank God I go to Church with my boss and all my bosses went to bat for me. Plus, they (the compant) request the detailed testing that includes CBD also. IT DID NOT HAVE psychoactive, but THC traces from the plant nonetheless. Anywho…..I had to stop those (cry cry cry…their products are named after a little girl named “Charlotte” of which literally stopped her seizures. Fast forward…
    I despise over the counter products and prescription meds, so I ALWAYS go the health food store here and they are AWESOME (also where I got the gummies;) I got the Natrol today, as I had found VSHRED Burn PM, (burns fat while you sleep with 10mg melatonin). I take the 10mg of whatever I have tried and this was a good product, but I don’t like what it’s been doing to my blood pressure, so that is it for those. Also, most all that I can remember of any melatonin products except the gummies has given me a headache.
    I really want to detox off of all of it for a while and “reset” my system. There is an article from “The Miracle of Melatonin – Health Beyond Restorative Sleep!” I have handed those out to all I love. SWEET DREAMS and I pray we can all find something that works, even if it’s nothing at all. :)

    • Hi
      Thanks for sharing your story and experience with different products. It will be interesting to hear back from you when you’ve had a chance to try the Natrol.

  4. I absolutely love them. They give you the best sleep and I have had no side affects. Just wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

  5. It’s 2 am and these 10 mg did work to make me go to sleep right away. However, I always get up either between 2 and 3 am then it’s hard for me to get back to bed. That is why I tried this pill to begin with so I am very disappointed it did NOT give me my good night’s sleep all the way through. I just took another one not knowing we are only supposed to take one of these daily. Here I was thinking 10mg is a very low dose as some of my other meds are 50mg & 100 mg etc. somewhere on the labeling it should say Not to exceed more than so many in a 24 hour period or something like that! I happened upon this article that was very informative from Mr. Green, Thank you for giving your time & effort to this monthly trial for all of us to read and give our feedback! Luckily I only spent $4.00 trying this out from Family Dollar for 30 tablets so throwing them away won’t make me feel that bad.

    • Hi Kendra
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I think it’s important to keep in mind that the dosage of different medications can’t be compared in that way. So even though one might have a dosage of 100mg, it doesn’t mean 100mg would be safe of any other medication.
      It’s also good to keep in mind that not all sleep aids work equally for everyone; there are many factors that play a role in determining how effective it will be. As you say though, at least not too much money was wasted.

    • Hi Lorraine
      I’m happy to hear it was useful. I think it’s a good idea to check with a doctor if you have medical conditions or take other meds – especially if you plan on using them for more than a night or two.

  6. Hi Ethan, I take 5 x 10mg tablets before bed but when I wake up in the morning I feel groggy. Maybe I need to take 6 tonight.

    • Hi Tyson
      This is much more than the recommended dosage. Did a doctor recommend you take that many? If not, I’d stick within the dosage recommended by the manufacturer – i.e. just one tablet.

  7. Hi Ethan. I’ve been on Natrol Melatonin 5mg for over a year now. Overall, it’s about the best sleep aid I’ve used although there may be the odd nights that I struggle to sleep even though I’ve taken it. After about 3 consecutive nights of use I may skip a night just not to be too dependent on it. Sometimes I may fall asleep without it but it’s only if I’m very exhausted. If after about an hour going to bed I’m experiencing difficulty in falling asleep, I’d take it. So far, it’s the best I’ve tried.

    • Hi Lynette
      Thanks for sharing your experience; it’s always useful to hear other people’s experiences, positive or negative.

  8. To Cherish: You should not take that many Tylenol at on time .
    Tylenol is very hard on your liver!

  9. Hi Ethan,
    Thank you for this article. I decided to try the 10 mg. of Natrol just a few weeks ago and at first it worked really well. I took it about 9 pm and by 10 pm I could barely make it to the bed – I love that! I thought I’ve FINALLY found something safe that works. But then after about 2 weeks of sleeping well, I now wake at about 3 am every night. It’s like it’s on a timer (like Ambien is for me). I don’t take any other sleep aids. I’ve read that melatonin works in cycles. One night I did take half (so 5 mg.) at 2:30 am, but woke feeling very groggy and had a headache. Now I’m trying 5 mg. at 9 pm and keeping the other half near me if I wake in the night.
    We’ll see. I hope this is helpful to others. Thanks again, Sara Wendt

    • Hi Sara
      Thanks for your comment. I often find that sleep aids have a time limit before they stop working so effectively, though with melatonin it’s not always the case. I don’t think that taking another dosage in the nighttime is usually recommended though, so I’d be careful with doing that.

    • A few things of note: You can take Natrol’s Advanced Time Release formula to get both immediate and sustained melatonin. Also, Natrol just came out with “3AM melatonin” that contains 3 mg and theanine as well. I’d probably go with 1mg and the 5heaine. Theanine is calming without wakefulness.

      Part of the situation is that we sleep in cycles, and there are times we are more likely to awaken. [Especially if the bladder has input on the idea!]

      Good Luck!

  10. It’s the best melatonin ever, even better than prescription sleeping pills. I don’t take my prescription sleeping pill anymore I only take natrol melatonin, through days I found out that it works better than my sleeping pills.

  11. I am taking Natrol 10mg. It’s been 5 hrs since I took it. And it’s not working. It’s my 3rd day of taking it. And I swear, it did not help. It just gave me a headache.

    • Hi Mia
      Thanks for sharing. It looks like it’s not the best option for you then. I’d probably discontinue if I had the same effect.

    • Cherish: Tylenol PM is Tylenol with Benadryl. 6 isn’t a safe amount of either drug. You could have liver problems from so much.

      Benadryl can help with sleep onset, but it can mess with some phases of sleep. You might want to see a doc about this.

      A safer way to go is to try sustained-release melatonin and theanine.

      If pain is preventing sleep, take one dose of 8hr Tylenol or one dose of Aleve. NSAIDs aren’t good to take constantly, though.

      Talk to your doctor. There are other prescription drugs out there for sleep and/or sedation. (Ambien, Lunesta…Or even Seroquel.)

  12. Ethan, I take 5 mg time release melatonin and usually sleep well. One thing you might want to share with interested readers is find two effective sleep aids beside melatonin and alternate them. That reduces dependency.



    • Hi Bob
      Thanks for sharing your experience and tip. I understand the concept there, but in an ideal world, the aim would be to come off sleep aids altogether or only use them once in a while when really needed. I think just alternating between two is kind of tricking yourself into thinking it’s ok to keep taking them for longer periods of time.

  13. After three unsatisfactory nights of taking Natrol Melatonin, I am exhausted! I took the 5 mg. The first night I finally felt drowsy after about 1 1/2 hours of taking it. Fell asleep about 11:30 p.m. and awoke at 3:00 a.m. and didn’t fall back asleep. 2nd night – took it and fell asleep about an hour after ingesting at 10 p.m., woke up at 3:00 a.m., took a 2nd Melatonin and fell back asleep around 5:30 p.m. awaking at 8 p.m. 3rd night – took another hour to feel the effects after taking at 10:00 p.m., woke up at 2:30 a.m.. Took another melatonin and fell asleep around 6:30 a.m. to awaken at 8:00 a.m. I look like hell and feel wiped out. Going back to Aleve P.M.

    • Hi there
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry to hear it didn’t help you, and you’re suffering from the lack of sleep. Hopefully the Aleve will be better for you. It’s also worth considering that usually it’s not advised to take more sleep aids in the night if you wake up. This can extend how long the drowsiness continues into the next day. And in the case of melatonin, isn’t thought to be an effective way to use it.

  14. Will NATROL 10mg elevate my sugar numbers in the morning? I average 120 in 7 days checking in the morning. Taking Amyral 1 daily. Says no added sugar on the box, but is there sugar already in there? I have taken it a few times in the last 2 weeks, just can’t seem to stay sleeping all nite. Your site was very helpful. Thank you.

    • Hi Linda
      I’m glad the site was useful! I’m not sure about the sugar levels, you’d need to check that with your doc or a pharmacist. But recently I bought some Natrol to replenish my supplies and haven’t noticed a sweet taste. I’d still check though.

        • Mine too Lee. The point I was making was about needing to check whether such a tiny pill could have a significant impact on blood sugar levels.

  15. Thank you, I was just really concerned for the longterm side effects being that it is not fda approved. Thank you for writing this you’ve probably helped a lot of people who have had questions about this product, thanks again!

      • Hi Ethan . Thanks for all your info , there should be many more people talking about this . With me insomnia runs in my family, my father was on sleeping pills for 40 years and died when he was 93 my mother was on the same for 35 years and died at 89 . I have a brother the same .so information is great thanks . Martin.

  16. Hello
    I was considering trying melatonin which seems to have generally good feedback. I would say I have a chronic sleep disorder for years – it’s a dreadful condition. I started taking cannabis oil which worked well for about a month but now it doesn’t seem to be effective. I don’t know if that would be the case with other products. I do all the recommended things to promote sleep but nothing works. Could you offer any help?
    Many thanks, Dawn Green

    • Hi Dawn
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, it does seem to be the case with sleep aids that as time goes by, they seem less effective. I can’t say for sure whether the same thing will happen if you try melatonin. Interestingly, I’m planning to test cbd oil soon and will be writing about it, and the last sleep aid I tried was melatonin – so I’m doing similar to you, but in reverse.
      Despite being someone who sometimes tests sleep aids, my opinion is still that it’s best to strive towards living without sleep aids – as much as possible at least. When you say you’ve tried all of thing things to help sleep, have you looked through the sleep hygiene section here to see if there’s anything you’re missing? And if nothing seems to help, it might be worth speaking to your primary care doctor to get their opinion and see if there is an underlying cause for your sleep problems.

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