These days, people are starting to have trouble sleeping more than ever, and sleep is a vital part of maintaining good health. Along with an increased public interest in natural supplements for boosting the immune system, and improving health in general, many people are looking for natural ways to help them get a better night’s rest. Two of the most common natural supplements for sleep are chamomile and melatonin, but which one is better? Let’s take a look.
Chamomile is a daisy-like flower that has long been used as a natural medicine for its calming effects. It has an anecdotal reputation for being an effective natural sleep aid, and there is significant research backing it up. One study tested the sleep quality of elderly research participants after being given chamomile extracts and found it to “significantly improve sleep quality among elderly people”. (1)
Chamomile doesn’t just help senior citizens, and it’s not just chamomile extracts that can improve sleep. Another study evaluated how effective chamomile tea was in improving sleep quality for postnatal women. Researchers determined that chamomile tea did improve sleep quality, and suggested it be recommended for postnatal women having trouble sleeping. (2)
Melatonin on the other hand is another natural sleep supplement with a reputation similar to chamomile. Melatonin is a natural hormone the body produces that aids in our body’s natural sleep cycles. Several studies back up the science behind melatonin’s effectiveness as a natural sleep aid. However, one systematic review and analysis of several different research trials measuring the effect melatonin has on sleep, confirmed that “treatment with exogenous melatonin has positive effects on sleep quality as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)”. (3)
So when you want a good night’s sleep, is melatonin better than chamomile, or is chamomile better than melatonin? According to science, it seems they’re both effective at improving overall sleep quality. You might find one will work better for you than the other. Whichever one you do choose, both of them should help you get the sleep you’re looking for.
- Adib-Hajbaghery, M., et al. The effects of chamomile extract on sleep quality among elderly people: A clinical trial. Complimentary Therapies in Medicine. 2017. 35:109-114. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29154054/ Times Cited: 6 Journal Impact Factor: 1.979
- Chang, S., et al. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized control trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2016. 72(2):306-15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26483209/ Times Cited: 13 Journal Impact Factor: 2.561
- Fatemeh, G., et al. Effect of melatonin supplementation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Neurology. 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33417003/ Times Cited: 0? Journal Impact Factor: 3.783