ZZZquil range of natural night time sleep aids are close to being good, in that they do contain a host of proven ingredients, they just don't put enough of them in to be effective. This goes for their ZZZquil Pure ZZZs Triple Action as well as their standard range, although the triple action version is closer to being functional.
First up, we've got the melatonin dose and there's nothing wrong with this, the 2mg in the Zzzquil nighttime sleep aid is fine, although on the lower side. It's generally recommended to start low with melatonin to make sure it doesn't cause any day time drowsiness anyway. That said, the 6mg in their higher options is more around the region that will be effective for most people.
Beyond that we have their blend of natural sleep aids and whilst Pure Zzz'a triple action does have some decent ingredients in there, such as Ashwagandha, it requires to be dosed at 600mg to be effective and the entire blend of 6 ingredients is only 230mg. It has a similar issue with Valerian Root, another good ingredient for a sleep aid, but not one that is present in a high enough dosage to be effective. If we're looking at the standard Zzzquil pure zzz's range then the 100mg formula doesn't contain a single ingredient even remotely close to it's effective dosage range so we're not even quite sure what they were intending here other than for it to look impressive on the label.
That all said, Zzzquil nighttime sleep aid will help you sleep, but only really due to the melatonin and a standard melatonin supplement would be a substantially cheaper option. The reality is that we can't recommend Zzzquil when there are other sleep supplements which do contain the same effective ingredients in their correct dosages at only a marginally higher price point. Typically we recommend RestAgain instead as it gets the doses right, although it does cost about $10 more per month for a full supply.
Generally speaking zzzquil reviews are pretty positive, this isn't all too surprising as melatonin is well known to help people fall asleep quickly and zzquil contains melatonin. There's little dispute as to whether or not zzzquil will help you sleep, the catch is that you can get the same effect from cheaper supplements and other supplements go beyond just helping you fall asleep and include more ingredients that can improve sleep quality. Melatonin is actually a prescription only ingredient in some countries which goes further to prove it's efficacy.
Some people do complain about zzzquil side effects, and these line up with known melatonin issues, in that it can lead to some drowsiness during the day.
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All versions of ZZZquil contain melatonin within it's effective dosage range, it's generally considered safe for use up to 10mg per day although this is the higher end and it's not ideal to take it every day for the long term. The various proprietary blends are where ZZZquil falls down, and it's not due to the ingredients themselves, it's due to the doses in the sleep aid simply not adding up.
ZZZquil PURE Zzzs
2mg melatonin - a lower dose ideal for people who haven't tried melatonin supplements before, but it may not be enough for the majority of people.
Proprietary Blend 100mg
Chamomile flower extract - chamomile extract does make it into a lot of sleep supplements due to it's impact on GABA production suggesting it can improve sleep quality, the fact is however, that it's only really been shown to be effective when taken as a tea, there isn't much evidence to support it's use in capsule form and the studies that did show it as effective had it in doses of 200mg, which is more than can possibly fit into ZZZquil pure zzz.
Lemon balm - Lemon balm again is one of the less well backed supplements for sleep and anxiety, but the studies that have shown it's effects have the recommended dosage as 300 - 500mg, once again, far higher than the dose available. Another flop for our Zzzquil pure zzz review.
Valerian root extract - Valerian root is actually pretty good, it can have a few side effects which is worth noting. Although it also has to be dosed at 300mg. It also kicks in pretty quickly so it should be taken 30mins before sleep.
Lavender extract - There's not a lot to really support lavender as an oral sleep aid. Most of the evidence comes from mice studies and it was dosed at 300mg/lb of body weight. Meaning you would need grams for it to be effective in humans if it even does transfer across.
ZZZquil Pure ZZZs Triple Action
6mg melatonin - this is towards the higher end of over the counter meds designed for people with trouble sleeping, it should have an effect for most people, but could be slightly too strong for some cases. We'd recommend starting with a slightly weaker supplement.
Proprietary Blend 230mg
Ashwagandha - Ashwagandha is fantastic as a sleep aid, it's been shown to reduce cortisol build up and improve overall sleep quality as well as reducing stress. It's main function is in helping you stay asleep. The catch is that you need 400mg and up for it to be effective, thus it's not possible that there's nearly enough in ZZZquil Pure ZZZ Triple Action.
Chamomile - As mentioned before chamomile may well be ok, but there isn't enough room in the capsule for the dose to be correct and any of the other ingredients being dosed properly. Giving triple action the benefit of the doubt would suggest that this could be ok if it made up 90% of the blend, although we're expecting it probably isn't.
Lemon balm - There isn't enough room in the capsule for this to be within it's effective dosage range.
Valerian - The same issue as in other ZZZquil products, there isn't enough space in the capsule to correctly does valerian root for it to be effective.
Lavender flower extract - As above, not well backed, and even if it does work grams are needed not milligrams.
All in all ZZZquil is no better than any standard melatonin supplement, it's a well packaged supplement that will work, it just could've been a lot better had they gone with the recommended dose of ingredients like valerian and ashwagandha. The sleeping aid will work when it comes to falling asleep, but there are better options for improving sleep quality and stress.
Ultimately ZZZquil is disappointing as the manufacturers have clearly made a decent effort with including the right ingredients, they just put more effort into keeping costs down than getting the doses correct. Spend the extra $10 on a bottle of RestAgain which is basically the same product with the correct doses.