Melatonin is a common over-the-counter (OTC) sleep supplement in the United States. While many sleep drugs are addictive in the strictest sense of the word, melatonin is not.
Melatonin does not induce major withdrawal symptoms, nor does it often encourage the user to seek out larger and higher doses as tolerance builds.
Since melatonin does not produce the euphoria or pleasure usually associated with drugs of abuse, it is less likely to be used in an addictive manner.
On the other hand, psychological reliance may emerge with practically everything and leads to longing and anxiety when the desired interest in not present.
Someone who believes they must have melatonin in order to sleep and has anxiety if they don't have any may be mentally dependent on the hormone.
Benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax, and Restoril, have the highest potential for addiction among sleep aids.
Melatonin is a hormone generated by the pineal gland in the brain in reaction to darkness and is not even technically a medicine.
Its purpose is to signal to the brain that it's time to sleep, which is why sleep experts frequently recommend it to jet lag sufferers and night shift workers.