Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication after severe burns. Melatonin has been reported to protect against multiple organ injuries by increasing the expression of SIRT1, a silent information regulator that regulates stress responses, inflammation, cellular senescence and apoptosis. This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of melatonin on renal tissues of burned rats and the role of SIRT1 involving the effects. Rat severely burned model was established, with or without the administration of melatonin and SIRT1 inhibitor. The renal function and histological manifestations were determined to evaluate the severity of kidney injury. The levels of acetylated-p53 (Ac-p53), acetylated-p65 (Ac-p65), NF-κB, acetylated-forkhead box O1 (Ac-FoxO1), Bcl-2 and Bax were analyzed to study the underlying mechanisms. Our results suggested that severe burns could induce acute kidney injury, which could be partially reversed by melatonin. Melatonin attenuated oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis accompanied by the increased expression of SIRT1. The protective effects of melatonin were abrogated by the inhibition of SIRT1. In conclusion, we demonstrate that melatonin improves severe burn-induced AKI via the activation of SIRT1 signaling.