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INDIANAPOLIS — Melatonin is well known as a “natural” sleep aid, but does it actually work?

IU Health pulmonologist Dr. Phillp Forys tells WISH-TV that melatonin supplements, whether taken in pill form or inhaled, have never actually been proven to help you get a restful night’s sleep and are not approved by the FDA. But, manufacturers are still allowed to sell them.

“They’re just ‘natural supplements’, which means the manufacturer says ‘we think this helps promote sleep, but we can’t say it will’,” Forys said. “That is a loophole that’s used in the law to sell supplements.”

Forys and other IU Health sleep experts aid Melatonin is already produced naturally in the human brain.

In today’s culture of vaping, some have even taken to inhaling melatonin to get it into their bloodstream quicker. 

“It’s a total land of the unknown,” said Forys of inhaling melatonin. “It may work. It may not work. All I know is, it if you inhale anything other than air and prescription medications, it’s probably a bad idea.”

If you are having trouble sleeping, doctors say your melatonin levels are probably fine, you just need a healthier bedtime routine. That can include avoiding caffeine and staying off your phone or other electronics before you go to bed.