Whether to avoid sleepless nights or fall asleep faster, many reach for melatonin as a natural sleep aid. But what if there was a way to up the ante and make melatonin supplements even more effective? That’s what Ritual’s Sleep BioSeries Melatonin aims to do.
I tried out this brand’s new line for a full month to decipher if it truly is an improvement on the traditional melatonin supplement formula, or if we should be applying the age-old philosophy of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
As always, you should chat with your healthcare provider before using any supplements (melatonin included) to see if it is the best fit for your routine. If you’re here in search of a sleep aid, here’s what I found.
Watch My Ritual Sleep Video Review
Sleep Advisor’s Testing Methodology
Sleep Advisor applies a seven-category testing methodology for supplements. We look into the effectiveness of the product, whether it made improvements to our sleep routine, and if there were any side effects encountered as a result of the supplement. We also research the quality and purpose behind the ingredients used, whether it was made at the highest level of manufacturing, price, customer feedback, and of course, brand reputation online. Ultimately, we want to know if the brand is taking the time to make a quality product or if you should leave it on the sidelines.
My Experience With Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin
To thoroughly understand how this product works and see if it’s effective, I decided to put it to the test myself over the course of a month. I incorporated it into my nighttime routine, taking a capsule one hour before I went lights out, as instructed by its packaging. Since blue light is a known disruptor of the circadian rhythm, I had all my alarms set and my phone put away on “do not disturb” right before taking my nightly dose. This way, I could really lean into the full effects of this supplement.
During the first three days, I didn’t sense any sort of change. I drifted off within 30 minutes of crawling into bed, waking up feeling pretty much the same as I usually did. The next five days were a 180-degree change, as I started to experience lucid dreams. Truth be told, dreaming was a bit jarring at first as I have never had one to consistently experience dreams in general, much less lucid dreaming. After looking into it, I found out it’s not sheer coincidence –– one study1 showed melatonin usage increased rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. According to Michelle Drerup, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, REM sleep is when most dreaming takes place2, and melatonin usage encourages more REM sleep.
As the rest of the month pressed on, I began noticing that I was reaching deep sleep rather quickly, only taking a matter of minutes to lose all semblance of consciousness, and I would stay that way until my alarm went off the next morning. I’ve never considered myself a morning person, but I kept waking up feeling more alert and ready to seize the day. To be sure there was a change in my sleep patterns, I also consulted my sleep data on my FitBit and noticed an uptick in REM sleep and deep sleep recorded on the tracker.
Did it stay this way for the whole month? No. This was likely due to things interfering with my sleep schedule, like travel, illness, sleep disruptions, and staying up too late — and melatonin can only help so much with that. For the most part, though, it seemed to have made a difference when I was settled at home and following my usual routine.
Who Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin Might Be Best For:
Who Might Like Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin:
- Brand transparency – If you consider yourself someone who prioritizes third-party tested supplements with traceable ingredients, Ritual checks those boxes. Conversely, many supplement brands give proprietary blends or vague details about their ingredients.
- Science-backed – Combining both instant and extended-release technology — evidently, the first of its kind to combine both — Ritual claims that in a recent study, their Sleep BioSeries Melatonin was able to perform and last for 6 hours amongst testers, whereas the competition lasted 1.5 hours at most.
- Quality ingredients – This is a solid option for people who care about ingredients that are non-GMO, vegan, and don’t contain allergens like gluten
Cons: Who Might Not Like Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin:
- Expensive – This isn’t the ideal product for shoppers trying to stick to a tight budget, especially since it isn’t a full month’s supply.
- Side effects – Unwanted symptoms often do pop up when taking new supplements or medications, and melatonin is no exception. If you don’t want to deal with the possibility of new issues popping up, adding in a supplement may not be for you.
What Is Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin Made Of?
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic3, most supplements out there cap the amount of melatonin per serving at 5 milligrams, and this includes Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin. However, some supplements go all the way up to 10 milligrams per serving while other medical professionals4 recommend less than 1 milligram. This is just another reason why you should consult your doctor before beginning supplement use.
Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin breaks up its 5 milligrams of Italian-sourced melatonin into three beads. The first contains 1 milligram of instant-release melatonin to start, the second has 3 milligrams of extended-release melatonin to carry you through the night, and the third one provides 1 milligram of instant-release melatonin to wrap things up as you start to wake up.
The melatonin itself comes from Chignolo d’ Isola, Italy, and the supplement’s formula is non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and major-allergen-free. Plus, it has a light, airy vanilla flavor thanks to the vanilla essence used.
To learn more about melatonin and how this hormone affects sleep, visit our in-depth melatonin guide.
Sleep Advisor’s Performance Ratings for Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin
I provided the following ratings for each category based on Sleep Advisor’s testing methodology for supplements.
I was impressed with the efficacy of this supplement, but I will say that it will be most effective when you are settled into your normal routine and sleep schedule. Given that I was on the go a lot, my sleep cycle faced a lot of disruptions or got cut short, which can inhibit the full performance of the melatonin. I thought Ritual did a good job of helping me fall asleep and stay asleep. It did this rather quickly too, as I noticed better sleep around five days in of usage.
Of the most notable side effects I experienced, vivid dreaming and nightmares were the biggest downside. Melatonin has other side effects5 that some users report, like mild anxiety and low blood pressure, but it is hard to know for certain if that was caused by my melatonin usage or other preexisting health conditions I have.
One of the biggest factors that sets Ritual apart from other supplement companies is the fact that consumers can see how the product was put together, start to finish. I appreciate the visibility into seeing the ingredients used, like the synthesized melatonin from Italy and its supplier, plus the vegan capsule.
Traceability doesn’t just fall on ingredients used in Ritual’s Sleep BioSeries Melatonin –– or any of their products for that matter. On their website, Ritual states that all products come with a Certificate of Traceability, which gives you insight into suppliers and ingredients used, where ingredients and the product itself were made, and other third-party testing on the product.
When supplement shopping, look for National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and/or Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) certifications that ensure third-party regulation of supplement manufacturing facilities. The good news here is that Ritual has both.
Overall, Ritual has one of the most detailed approaches to supplement production that I’ve ever seen.
25 dollars per bottle is a lot, but I think it could be worth it for the quality of the product. Based on the ingredients and production alone, Ritual has worked to make this supplement worth your while. Coupled with a sleep study and unique design, it’s altogether a winning combination. The biggest downside is that a bottle only has 20 capsules in it, which is not enough for a full month’s use.
I’ve never had much luck with instant-release melatonin, and without a doubt, I will be purchasing this again for continued use.
After doing some research on what customers had to say about Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin, some of the feedback was to be expected. The biggest complaints were the price point, as well as some of the side effects people experienced. On the upside, there was a lot of intrigue around the supplement’s extended-release design and an appreciation for the brand’s customer service and attention to detail.
Additionally, you have to buy Ritual via subscription instead of a one-time purchase, but you can reach out to customer service to cancel whenever you need.
Overall, Ritual seems to be in good standing with customers, and the brand has in-house experts who work for the company’s Scientific Advisory Board and Leadership Team. That said, it’s important to remember that in-house experts can have a bias in favor of the brand, which is why I advise looking at customer reviews, third-party certifications, and any independent studies not contracted by the brand (if they’re available).
Additionally, Ritual is woman-owned, a B-certified corporation, and Better Business Bureau accredited.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you experience side effects with melatonin?
Like many supplements and medications, melatonin usage can lead to some side effects. This can include symptoms like headaches, nausea, and more serious effects like depression or mood swings.5
In my case, I experienced lucid dreaming, so that could also be a potential side effect.
Can elderly people use melatonin?
Some medical professionals may encourage melatonin usage the older we get, as one study showed that the body produces less melatonin6 as we age.
Can I break open the capsules?
You can, but you need to ingest all three beads (tablets) on the inside together.
Does Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin contain allergens?
No, Ritual doesn’t contain allergens because it is formulated without animal products, sugar, soy, GMO products, gluten, or any other drugs.
My Final Thoughts on Ritual Sleep BioSeries Melatonin
So, what did I think of my experience with Ritual’s Sleep BioSeries Melatonin? I liked it a lot, so much so that I’ll be purchasing it again. The final testing score of this product is 4 out of 5, which is solid for everything Ritual provides its shoppers. After this experience, I can consider myself a fan of both the melatonin and the brand –– especially the ingredient transparency and high standards for production.
The supplement industry in the United States can often feel like the Wild West, but there’s a new sheriff here in town with Ritual. If you’ve just about had it with sleeplessness and old-school melatonin, it may be worth giving this product a go.
Lead Product Tester
Julia is the Lead Reviewer at Sleep Advisor, specializing in testing out mattresses and sleep accessories – she’s in the right line of work, because she loves to sleep.
- 1. Kuntz, Dieter., et al. “Melatonin in patients with reduced REM sleep duration: two randomized controlled trials”. National Library of Medicine. 2004. –
- 2. “Can Melatonin Cause Bad Dreams? What Experts Say”. Cleveland Clinic. 2021. –
- 3. Stiepan, DeeDee. “Mayo Clinic Minute: What to consider before using melatonin supplements for sleep”. Mayo Clinic. 2022. –
- 4. Gunther, Anna. “Is Melatonin Safe?”. Yale New Haven Health. 2022. –
- 5. Bauer MD, Brent A. “Is melatonin a helpful sleep aid — and what should I know about melatonin side effects?. Mayo Clinic. 2022. –
- 6. “Should Melatonin Be Used as a Sleeping Aid for Elderly People?”. The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy. 2019. –