Yes, melatonin isn't as extreme as Ambien, but did you know there are cleaner, just as effective alternatives to the standard melatonin? The fact is, melatonin works well, but it is actually a hormone and isn’t recommended for pregnant or nursing women—plus many report that taking it can give adverse reactions, like nightmares. For those looking for a less intense alternative (but are still tossing and turning), there are sleep inducers effective enough to help you catch those Zs.
“Taking melatonin is good in that it will have a quicker response, however it is essentially just replacing the body’s natural production of melatonin,” says Swisse Wellness product training manager, Dr. David Cannata, PhD. He adds that the body then relies on the additional melatonin and it doesn’t do anything to lower cortisol levels before sleep, therefore, it isn’t restoring the natural sleep cycle. Here, some melatonin stunt doubles, both ingestible and topical, which help you sleep without disrupting your natural rhythms.