Part of our series on getting better sleep.
Melatonin is the natural sleepy hormone produced by your body in the evening. As sunlight begins to dim and the body’s internal clock feels bedtime approaching, a tiny part of the brain called the pineal gland starts secreting melatonin.
Many people like to supplement melatonin powder to sleep more soundly, and melatonin powder is a very effective option for improving sleep quality.
A lot of factors can contribute to not feeling sleepy at night. If the body’s internal clock is off kilter or if there is a lot of blue light in the environment, the pineal gland may not secrete melatonin as night approaches. Melatonin powder can help remedy these restless situations.
Here’s our guide on melatonin powder—the science, ideal dosage, recommendations, and more. For a thorough guide on melatonin in general, take a look at our complete melatonin supplement guide.
Read on, or skip straight down to our melatonin powder recommendations.
Melatonin Powder Power
The science is clear: melatonin supplementation can absolutely help you fall asleep faster and stay in deeper sleep longer.1Prolonged-release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects.2Evaluation of sleep, puberty and mental health in children with long-term melatonin treatment for chronic idiopathic childhood sleep onset insomnia.3The effect of prolonged-release melatonin on sleep measures and psychomotor performance in elderly patients with
There are several different types of melatonin supplements you can take, including tablets, sprays, and creams, all discussed in our melatonin guide. Melatonin powder is one such option.
As a side note, many sources claim that melatonin powder can’t dissolve in water. However, this isn’t actually true.
Research has demonstrated that melatonin powder does indeed dissolve in water—up to a point.4High melatonin solubility in aqueous medium This myth likely stems from the fact that putting too much melatonin powder in water will prevent some of it from dissolving.
Because of this, you need to make sure to keep the powder-to-water ratio low enough.
Melatonin Powder Dosage
Melatonin powder is structurally similar to melatonin tablets, but without any binders to maintain that tablet shape. Because of this, the recommended melatonin powder dosage is the same as tablets.
Different sources will recommend wildly different dosages for melatonin supplements, typically ranging from 0.5 mg to 20 mg. However, several studies have demonstrated that melatonin seems to have no additional benefit beyond roughly 5 mg.5Comparative Study to Determine the Optimal Melatonin Dosage form for the Alleviation of Jet Lag6Effect of Melatonin Dosage on Sleep Disorder in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex
So based on the research, the ideal range for melatonin supplementation is 2 mg to 5 mg, approximately 20-40 minutes before bed.
It’s best to start with a low dosage and slowly increase by 0.5 mg every few days until you reach an effective dosage. And it’s wise not to exceed 5 mg per day, as taking anything beyond that appears to be a waste.
IMPORTANT: It’s a Tiny Amount!
It’s extremely important to note that 2 mg to 5 mg is an incredibly tiny amount of melatonin visually.
A single grain of uncooked rice weighs more than 20 mg, so 2 mg to 5 mg of melatonin powder weighs only a fraction of a grain of rice. It will look like you’re hardly supplementing anything worth while, but don’t be fooled by size.
The body needs very, very little melatonin to fall asleep. The brain’s pineal gland, your melatonin-secreting structure, is as small as a single pea. Naturally, the body only secretes a very tiny amount of melatonin in the evening, so it’s unwise to exceed the recommended dosage of melatonin powder.
And, as mentioned above, research has shown no benefit to sleep quality past 5 mg of melatonin. If you take much more, you’re wasting your powder.
Measuring Melatonin Powder
Because melatonin powder isn’t pre-measured, it’s very important to use proper measurement tools to ensure you’re getting an accurate dosage. Although being able to measure to the tenth of a milligram would be ideal, most consumer scales will measure with accuracy to the milligram.
When buying a scale for melatonin powder, make sure it’s advertised as being able to measure milligrams, or 0.001 g. Some scales only measure with accuracy to the tenth of a gram, or 0.1 g, which is 100 times too inaccurate for measuring melatonin powder.
Many milligram scales are designed to be portable, which can be very useful for travelling. It’s often more difficult to sleep away from your own bed, so it may be a good idea to take your portable scale and some melatonin powder wherever you travel.
Weighted Cooling Blankets
Dry or Dissolved?
Most people prefer to take melatonin powder dissolved in water. Since melatonin powder is only soluble in water up to a point, you need to make sure you have enough water, otherwise you’ll end up with some floating powder.
Melatonin powder is soluble in water up to roughly 0.1 mg of powder per 1 ml of water. You don’t need to do any math though. If you’re taking up to the maximum recommended dosage of 5 mg of melatonin powder, you only need a very small glass of water.
The reason many people believe melatonin powder can’t dissolve in water is likely the result of taking far too much melatonin at once.
As mentioned above, 2 mg to 5 mg is equivalent to the weight of a small fraction of a single grain of rice. You only need to mix an incredibly tiny amount of melatonin powder into a glass of water to meet the minimum effective dosage.
If you prefer not to mix it into water, you can also take melatonin powder dry. Simply measure out the appropriate amount of powder and place it under your tongue.
Since this will be such a small amount of powder visually, you may prefer to wet your finger with clean water, swab up the powder from your scale onto your finger, and wipe it off under your tongue.
NOTE: No Alcohol Needed
You may stumble across recommendations to dissolve melatonin powder in liquor, such as vodka, before mixing the concoction into water. You absolutely should not do this.
This ill-informed advice likely stems from the fact that melatonin powder won’t dissolve in water past a certain point. If someone put, for example, one teaspoon of pure melatonin powder in water, it wouldn’t fully dissolve. But that would be far too much melatonin—at least 100 times beyond the maximum effective dose!
The recommended dose of melatonin powder, 2 mg to 5 mg, will dissolve just fine in water. The powder will visually be a fraction of a single grain of rice, and will fully dissolve in as little as a double shot glass of water (which is 2 ounces, or roughly 60 milliliters).
Melatonin Powder Recommendations
When it comes to pure melatonin powder, there are really only a few different products we can recommend.
Pure Melatonin Powder
First off, since melatonin is most often taken in tablet form, it can be difficult to find powder.
Secondly, a lot of melatonin powder supplements contain fillers, sweeteners, or other compounds. Those mixture may also help improve sleep quality, but it’s safest to stick with pure melatonin. You know exactly what you’re getting.
A piece of advice: if a melatonin powder supplement has a poor rating, take a look at the reviews themselves. Most people don’t realize how little melatonin the body needs to fall asleep, and are disappointed when they receive a small bag.
Most melatonin powder products come in a 25 gram bag, or a little under an ounce. That may not seem like much, but 25 grams is 5,000 doses at 5 milligrams or 12,500 doses at 2 milligrams. That tiny bag should last a single person over a decade!
Other Forms of Melatonin
If measuring out melatonin powder doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there are plenty of other options. Melatonin tablets, sprays, and creams are very popular as well. Take a look at our full melatonin supplement guide for more information.
Melatonin Tablets, Sprays, and More