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Sleep Patches Or Melatonin Patches: What They Are And Do They Work?

Sleep, we know it's important, but the data about the average American having a daily sleep says something else. The studies claim that about 35% of Americans take less than 7 hours of daily sleep. Although seven hours is not that bad, the main problem is having a proper sleep during those hours. If you struggle to get proper sleep, you may have searched for some sleep aid. And what answers did you get from that search? Let us guess... Sleep patches?


Well, don't be surprised since we know how much love sleep patches, a.k.a. melatonin patches have gotten in recent times. You may have heard people online speaking about how these patches have helped them get good sleep. So, if you are not getting proper sleep, melatonin sleep patches are your answer, or it supposed to be? Let's see if this is the perfect sleep aid for you or if you need other options.

What Are Melatonin And Sleep Patches?

Sleep or melatonin patches work as transdermal patches. They have an adhesive backing that makes them easy to apply on the skin. You may be curious about what melatonin is and why it is used in these patches. It is a hormone that your body produces naturally and helps you sleep. Although you can produce it naturally, you can consider taking its supplements, which highly aid in giving you better sleep. Furthermore, it is a better sleep aid compared to pharmaceutical sleep medications.

So, coming to the next question, why is melatonin used in patches? It's mainly because patches help deliver melatonin more effectively to your body. And since melatonin is a popular sleep aid, it is your best option to take it in the form of patches.

How Do Melatonin Sleep Patches Work?

So, knowing what sleep patches are, you might be curious about how they work in general and whether they help you get better sleep. So, after you remove one patch and apply it to your skin, the patch releases melatonin in your body by traveling through your skin or dermis. You can find different supplements of melatonin other than patches, including tablets, sprays, gummies, etc.

However, unlike patches, the other melatonin supplements only help you sleep faster rather than giving you long-term and better sleep. Sleep patches release melatonin in a periodic way by which a person can experience better and longer sleep. The instructions on how to apply these sleep patches and when to can vary from what patches you have picked. However, using the patch one hour before bedtime is generally recommended.

While knowing how melatonin sleep patches work, you should also get familiar with where to apply the patch to your body exactly. Most brands suggest picking a body area that is hair free and smooth, like your calf, forearm, foot top, or shoulder. Yes, you can keep the sleep patch on while you sleep. The adhesive lasts long enough for the patch to work. Want to know how long the sleep patch lasts? Sleep patches stay effective for eight to twelve hours.

So, eight hours is the recommended sleep time for a healthy individual. Therefore, these patches work enough to last for you to get proper and enough sleep hours. After waking up, you can remove this patch and throw it into a bin. You can use soap and water to remove the remaining adhesive on the skin area where you applied the patch. Since these patches come in multiple sets, you don't have to worry about the one-time use of melatonin patches.

Do Sleep Patches Work? What Do Studies Have To Say About That?

Melatonin or sleep patches are actually newer compared to already existing melatonin supplements. So, telling whether they actually work is still a hot topic among individuals. While some say the effects are real, some have different opinions. However, there are some studies done on these patches to see how well or if they actually work.

A study concluded that sleep patches could even work in the daytime and offer the same effectiveness as during the night. So, if you are a person who works in shifts or experiences jet lag, you may find melatonin sleep patches quite effective. These patches are known to increase your time in stage 2 sleep, which is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This sleep cycle is quite important for healthy brain activity, and many shift workers miss out on it.

Another research mentions melatonin patches to be effective for older people as well, as they suffer from lower melatonin levels. A lower level of melatonin in your body can cause you to wake early, which is quite common in the older generation. Unlike sleep patches, there is more research done on oral melatonin for sleep. According to that research, melatonin may even improve sleep quality in people who have sleep disorders like non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder or delayed sleep phase syndrome.

Sleep patches might also be effective for insomnia, making people asleep faster. And also, there are signs of these patches alleviating the jet lag symptoms.

Read Also:- The List Of Adaptogenic Herbs And What Are They Good For

How Long Do Sleep And Melatonin Patches Take To Work Compared To Other Forms Of Melatonin?

You should know that melatonin effects can vary depending on the method of administration and dosage. The bioavailability of the melatonin supplement will depend on the type of supplement you have picked. And it also determines how much of the supplement makes it into your bloodstream. People who consume oral melatonin supplements, for example, experience lower bioavailability. Because oral supplements have to go through your metabolization, a large amount of melatonin will be lost during the process.

Melatonin patches, nasal sprays, and tinctures are known to have the highest bioavailability. In this, the transdermal patches are somewhere in the middle when it comes to bioavailability.


Melatonin, on average, takes around 20 to 40 minutes to take effect and reaches the maximum after one hour of use. It can stay around 4 to 8 hours inside the body based on formulation and dose. It's better to avoid taking melatonin supplements at and after your normal bedtime. You must do this in order to avoid a shift in a sleep-wake cycle, which usually causes daytime sleepiness.

Oral supplements of melatonin are more popular for this short half-life. So, what it means is that although these supplements work quickly and are highly effective for falling asleep, they don't help you much with staying asleep. While this is true for oral supplements, the sleep patches case is quite different. The main purpose of sleep patches is to help your body absorb melatonin through the skin.

Instead of releasing all of its melatonin at once, the patch works by releasing it in continuous cycles for several hours. So, by using them, you are not only falling asleep early but also getting quality and longer sleep.

Are Melatonin Sleep Patches Safe? (Potential Risks And Side Effects)

In most cases, patches and oral melatonin are considered safe for adults and older people. However, some might face minor side effects, including dizziness, stomach cramps, temporary depressive feelings, headaches, and irritability. As melatonin makes you sleepy, it is strongly suggested not to use heavy machinery or drive a vehicle once you are under its effects.

There are also some risks involved with using melatonin supplements for certain people, which include:

  • Children

  • Breastfeeding and pregnant women

  • Depression patients

  • People who have high blood pressure and bleeding disorder

  • Those who have gone through a transplant

  • Individuals who have a seizure disorder

  • People using other forms of medications

You should be aware that sleep patches also have other ingredients that help promote sleep beside