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Americans have turned to melatonin to soothe pandemic-induced stress. Experts worry high demand, little federal oversight, and insufficient data leave the industry ripe for scams.

Americans have turned to melatonin to soothe pandemic-induced stress. Experts worry high demand, little federal oversight, and insufficient data leave the industry ripe for scams.


Hollis Johnson/Insider




American consumers spent $825,559,397 on melatonin supplements in 2020, representing a 42.6% year-over-year increase, according to Nielsen.




Industry analysts expect the melatonin market to continue to grow, but a lack of federal oversight of supplements and sparse research into melatonin's long-term effects may harm consumers.




As more sellers look to cash in on the melatonin hype, doctors ask Americans to use caution when shopping.




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


Alex Goris has been taking melatonin every night for the last six months.Goris, a 22-year-old lab technician in Salt Lake City, said his stress over getting exposed to coronavirus at work was keeping him from getting enough sleep before his 4:30 a.m. shifts. Melatonin has helped ease his late-night anxiety."I have a friend who who said: It's a lot easier to sleep through it than to live through it right now," Goris said.The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the mental health in millions of Americans like Goris. Gallup found emotional wellbeing sunk to an all-time low in 2020, and psychiatrists said trauma from job loss, losing loved ones, and isolation has led to rises in anxiety and depression.
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