When you look at the average rating value of REMfresh on Amazon it looks very positive, as it holds an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. However, when you read reviews, rather than just look at how many stars it has, you will start to see a very different picture.
While some did say that they were able to drift off to sleep a bit quicker while using it, which is to be expected when taking any sort of melatonin, they also mentioned that it had no effect on the quality or length of sleep they enjoyed, and they felt no more refreshed in the morning.
Meanwhile, others said that it had absolutely no effect, while some even mentioned having adverse reactions occur. One doctor recommended it also shouldn't be used by pregnant or nursing women, or people who operate machinery.
The sole active ingredient in REMfresh is melatonin, a sleep hormone that is produced by all humans in the pineal gland in their brain and is essential for allowing us to maintain a healthy sleep wake cycle.
Having optimal levels of melatonin in your body make it easier to fall asleep faster at night, enjoy quality sleep, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed each morning. However, there are a number of factors that cause the body's natural release of melatonin to be impaired.
These can be as simple as something like trying to fall asleep in a place that is too bright, which is why a melatonin deficiency is one of the most frequent issues discovered in people suffering from insomnia or similar sleep disorders (1).
This is why high quality melatonin supplements have become one of the most popular ways for people to try and achieve a quality night's sleep or combat occasional sleeplessness.
The issue is, for a melatonin supplement to work, it has to have at least 5 mg of melatonin. As REMfresh contains less than half of this at just 2 mg per serving, it simply isn't strong enough to provide any real sleep support and it certainly won't treat, cure or prevent sleep disorders.
Despite being sold on the fact that it only contains a single active ingredient, melatonin, REMfresh also includes a whopping 18 "other ingredients" hidden in the small print.
Unfortunately, none of these will improve sleep quality or make it any easier to fall asleep faster. They are included for a variety of other reasons but many are actually capable of causing side effects or adverse reactions as well.
Cellulose, Cellulose Gum, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose & Microcrystalline Cellulose
Cellulose is a molecule and fibre made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen that is found in some green fruits and vegetables. It is often added to supplements to improve their texture and stability, with microcrystalline cellulose being the most common kind used.
However, it can also cause gut issues for some people, including bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, gas, and stomach pains (2).
Citric acid is used to increase the water solubility of the other ingredients in a supplement but it can also cause problems like chest pains, confusion, fatigue, light-headedness, numbness or tingling in the extremities, pain, and an elevated heartrate (3).
Modified cornstarch is used to enhance the structure and texture of a supplement, but it can also cause allergies, bloating, diarrhoea, digestive issues, fatigue, and headaches (4).
Talc is added to supplements as an anti-clumping agent but it has also been known to cause significant lung, ovary, and stomach problems (5).
Magnesium Stearate, Glycerine, Silicon Dioxide,
Magnesium stearate, glycerine, and silicon dioxide are all used to boost the bulk, stability, and texture of the supplement but do not offer any benefits.
They have, however, been seen to cause side effects in some people, such as gas, gut pain, bloating, depression, diarrhoea, forgetfulness, headaches, and low energy levels (6).
Titanium Dioxide & Mica based pearlescent pigment
Titanium dioxide and mica based pearlescent pigment, one of its salts, are used to whiten a powder and make it more visually appealing. However, there is evidence to suggest that it can also cause issues with the eyes, lungs, nose, and throat if used continuously for too long (7).
Dextrose (From Wheat)
Dextrose is a natural sugar made from wheat. It is used to sweeten a supplement, but it can also cause rapid blood sugar spikes and should be avoided by anyone with diabetes or insulin sensitivity issues (8).
Polyvinyl Alcohol & Polyethylene glycol
Polyvinyl alcohol and polyethylene glycol are used to give the caplet a smooth coating, but in rare cases have also been linked to issues with the eyes, as well as stomach problems like abdominal cramping, gas, and nausea (9)(10).
Blue 1 Lake & Yellow 5 Lake
Blue 1 lake and yellow 5 lake are both food colourings also known as e-numbers. They provide no benefit to the product but can cause allergies, digestive issues, headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, and skin problems (11).
Polysorbate 80 is a synthetic ingredient designed to increase the solubility, stability, and emulsification of a product. Unfortunately, it has also been linked to a number of chronic health conditions and is highly advisable to avoid at all costs (12).