Melatonin: What You Need To Know

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Sleep is one of the main health concerns in the UK, so we look into one of the most popular sleep aids: Melatonin

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that is found naturally in the body and plays an important role in regulating sleep-wake cycles. During the hours of darkness, the body will naturally release melatonin to induce sleep. In the past few decades, it has become a very popular manmade supplement/medication for short-term sleep disturbances, alleviate insomnia, and relieve the symptoms of jet lag

Is melatonin effective?

Naturally, melatonin is released to tell the body that it is nighttime, so at higher doses, it is said to reduce sleep onset time. Melatonin won’t necessarily get you to sleep by itself but could help you relax and fall asleep easier. In a study from 2017, melatonin supplements were found to reduce the time it took to fall asleep but didn’t increase overall time asleep.

Is melatonin legal?

In the UK melatonin is not illegal but is regarded as a medicine and only available by prescription. In other countries such as the US, melatonin can be bought without a prescription and in various health food stores. Generally speaking, melatonin is only prescribed to people aged 55 experiencing short-term sleep problems.

Does melatonin have side effects?

When taken in smaller doses the side effects of melatonin are minimal. That said some people will experience side effects daytime fatigue, headaches, irritated bowel, and dizziness. It has also been suggested that long-term use of “external” melatonin could affect the body’s own production of melatonin, but this has not been proven.  

What are the best melatonin alternatives?

Melatonin is not available to everyone and also has certain side effects, so what are the alternatives? Sleep is central to our health and wellbeing, so when struggling with sleep it is important to look at your lifestyle and general sleep hygiene. Once you have assured that you follow the best practices for your sleep hygiene, you can have look at some of the best sleep supplements. 

  • Cannabidiol (CBD)

Over the recent years, CBD oil has continuously been praised for its relaxing and stress-relieving properties. This makes it a great alternative to melatonin and you won’t need a prescription.

TheDrug.Store has a great selection of CBD Oils, including their own brand, which comes in 3 strengths so you can choose which is right for you!


TheDrug.Store CBD

  • Valerian root

Valerian root extract has been used for thousands of years as a sleep and relaxation aid. Valerian root contains a number of actives, together acting as a natural sedative.

The Nue Co sleep drops is a water-based formulation containing a healthy dose of valerian root, as well as passionflower, chamomile, and catnip.

The absorption of the tincture is very good, meaning it’s fast-acting and high performing. It’s certainly one of the best sleep supplements available from our research.



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  • Magnesium

Another supplement that’s been recognised to support sleep is magnesium. Magnesium plays an important role in many bodily functions and has been found to stimulate the release of natural melatonin.

In the Form Nutrition Zzzs, you’ll find a high concentration of magnesium as well as a calming combination of 5-HTP and L-Theanine.

Form Nutrition ZZZZs


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  • L-Theanine

L-theanine is the last supplement we would like to highlight. In a recent study L-theanine was found to reduce stress and in a similar study, it was found to increase relaxation.

Bulk’s l-theanine powder is a great option to increase your L-theanine intake. Unflavored and 100% pure makes it a great addition to your favourite shake or smoothie blend.


Bulk’s L-Theanine