Looking to wake up feeling rested and refreshed in the morning? You should consider trying one of these 10 popular supplements for better sleep.
There are few things worse than waking up feeling exhausted and foggy-headed because you were tossing and turning half the night. And unfortunately, it's a growing problem.
According to the Sleep Foundation, almost half of all Americans report feeling sleepy during the day 3-7 days a week. And 35.2% of adults in the U.S. get an average of fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night (the minimum recommendation for adults).
Not to mention, about 70 million adults in the U.S. are affected by a sleep disorder according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Luckily, there are natural supplements that can help promote better sleep habits. Here are 10 supplements for better sleep that might just help you get the restful night you deserve.
The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep
Before jumping into supplements for better sleep, it's important to understand why a good night's rest is so important.
Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. It gives your body the time it needs to recuperate from the daily stresses of life and allows both your mind and body to reset.
It helps boost your immune system, reduces stress, lowers inflammation, and helps with memory retention. Plus, having a good night’s rest can improve your productivity during the day and have positive effects on your mood.
What are sleep supplements?
Sleep supplements are supplements specifically designed to help promote better sleep. They’re typically a combination of natural ingredients like herbs, vitamins, and minerals.
They work together to promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, improve the quality of your sleep, and increase the amount of restful deep sleep you get each night.
Some supplements are useful for helping your body and mind relax enough to help you fall asleep, while others are great for helping your body stay asleep and get the rest it needs.
Sleep supplements are often taken orally in the form of pills, capsules, or liquids. They help provide a short-term tool to help you improve your sleep habits and get a better night’s rest.
Benefits of taking sleep supplements
There are a variety of ways to help your body rest and plenty that don't include supplements, but making changes to things like your diet and day-to-day life can be challenging and take time
Sleep supplements can offer a natural, safe solution to improve your sleep quality as you work to adapt to new habits. They are also a much better alternative than using medications or over-the-counter drugs that are often loaded with side effects.
Plus, taking supplements for better sleep can help boost your energy levels and performance during the day, while also helping to reduce stress and anxiety. They can even help support cognitive health by improving memory recall and boosting creativity.
Who Might Benefit From Supplements for Better Sleep?
Anyone who struggles to get enough sleep at night could probably benefit from taking supplements for better sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or find yourself feeling exhausted during the day because you're not getting enough restful sleep, supplements may be a good option.
Supplements for better sleep might be useful for you if you:
- have insomnia
- are elderly
- have a sleep disorder
- are a shift worker
- take certain medications
- have jetlag
- have chronic stress
- are going through a major life change
Although this is not an exhaustive list, supplements may be an effective solution for people in these situations.
First on the list is CBD or cannabidiol. CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that has gained popularity in recent years for its potential health benefits, including the ability to improve sleep.
CBD is thought to interact with the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors in the body that help regulate various functions, including sleep. While research on the use of CBD for sleep is still in its early stages, some studies have suggested that it may be helpful for improving sleep quality and duration.
For example, a 2019 study found that CBD may help reduce insomnia and improve sleep in people with anxiety disorders. Another study in 2020 found that CBD may help improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep in individuals with chronic pain.
CBD can be taken in various forms, including oils, capsules, tinctures, and edibles.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Taking supplements with melatonin can help regulate your body’s internal clock and promote better sleep.
Studies have shown that melatonin supplements can help improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. In a 2016 study, researchers found that taking melatonin may help people fall asleep faster and improve sleep patterns in people with insomnia or delayed sleep phase syndrome.
Melatonin supplements are usually taken orally, but they can also be applied topically or through a transdermal patch.
3.) Valerian root
Another good supplement for better sleep is Valerian root. This supplement is a plant with sedative properties that has been used for centuries to help improve sleep.
It is thought to work by increasing the levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that helps regulate nerve activity in the brain and promotes relaxation.
Recent research suggests that Valerian root may help improve sleep quality by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the total amount of time spent sleeping. It may also help reduce the frequency of nighttime awakenings and improve sleep in people with insomnia.
In addition, valerian root may help reduce anxiety and stress, which can contribute to sleep problems. This makes it a good supplement for people who suffer from stress-related insomnia.
Valerian supplements are usually taken orally in the form of capsules, tablets, or tinctures.
Chamomile is a herb that has been used for centuries to help promote relaxation and improve sleep. It is believed to work by releasing certain chemicals that act on the brain to produce a calming effect.
There is some evidence to suggest that chamomile may be helpful for improving sleep. It's been used for hundreds of years to help with sleep problems and, according to a 2011 study, is "widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer."
Chamomile is available in various forms, including as a tea, capsule, or extract.
Another useful supplement for better sleep is Magnesium. It is involved in numerous bodily functions, including the regulation of muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
Some research suggests that magnesium may also be helpful for improving sleep.
Magnesium is thought to help improve sleep by relaxing the muscles and calming the nervous system. It may also help reduce anxiety and stress, which can contribute to sleep problems.
Some studies have found that magnesium supplements may help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, increase the total amount of time spent sleeping, and improve sleep quality in people with insomnia.
Magnesium is available in various forms, including as a supplement, powder, or oil.
Lavender is a fragrant herb that has long been used for its calming and relaxing properties. It is often used to help improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
Lavender helps you get a restful night by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. The fragrance of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system, which may help you unwind and improve sleep quality.
A 2015 study on the effect of lavender and sleep hygiene showed better quality of sleep for college students with self-reported sleep issues.
Lavender is available in various forms, including as a tea, essential oil, or dried herb.
Another supplement for better sleep worth exploring is passionflower. Similar to other supplements, passionflower helps you sleep by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
The active compounds in passionflower are thought to have a sedative effect on the brain, which can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the total amount of time spent sleeping. Passionflower may also have an antispasmodic effect, which can help relax muscles and improve sleep quality.
A study published in 2017 noted that passionflower significantly increased the total amount of time spent sleeping in rats. This suggests that passionflower supplements may help people log more quality sleep.
Passionflower supplements are usually taken orally in the form of teas, capsules, or extracts.
Glycine is an amino acid that is involved in a variety of bodily functions, including the synthesis of proteins, the regulation of blood sugar, and the transmission of chemical signals in the brain. Some research suggests that glycine may be helpful for improving sleep.
Glycine is thought to work by inhibiting the release of certain chemicals in the brain that can disrupt sleep, such as dopamine and noradrenaline. It may also have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
A 2015 study found that glycine helps you fall into deep sleep faster and improves the overall quality of your sleep by regulating your sleep patterns.
Glycine is available in various forms, including as a supplement, powder, or liquid.
9.) Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is a beverage made from tart cherries, which are a type of cherry with a sour or slightly bitter taste. Tart cherries are a good source of antioxidants and other nutrients, and some research suggests that tart cherry juice may be helpful for improving sleep.
Tart cherry juice is thought to help improve sleep by increasing the levels of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. A small study published in 2018 noted that cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency for the participants.
Tart cherry juice is typically available in liquid form or as supplement capsules. It can also be added to foods or beverages for an extra boost of flavor and health benefits.
Last on our list of supplements for better sleep is 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). This supplement is derived from the amino acid tryptophan.
It is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep, and appetite, in the brain. 5-HTP is thought to help improve sleep by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can help regulate sleep-wake cycles and promote relaxation.
A study in 2021 noted that "In normal subjects treated with 5-HTP, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep increased from 5 to 53%." This suggests that 5-HTP supplements may be effective in improving sleep quality and duration.
5-HTP supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, or powders.
Potential Risks and Considerations
Although these supplements for better sleep are good, safe alternatives to traditional sleep medications, they still have the potential to cause side effects and interact with medications.
According to WebMD, here are some potential side effects of each supplement:
- CBD: dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue.
- Melatonin: headache, dizziness, and nausea.
- Valerian root: headache, dizziness, stomach problems, and sleeplessness.
- Chamomile: nausea, dizziness, and allergic reactions.
- Magnesium: nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
- Lavender: constipation, diarrhea, and headache.
- Passionflower: drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
- Glycine: stomach upset.
- Tart Cherry Juice:
- 5-HTP: heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems.
Side effects are often rare and typically occur when taking high doses.
It's important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you are currently taking any medications. They can advise you of potential drug interactions or other safety concerns.
What to Look for in Supplements for Better Sleep
Now that you know some of the most popular supplements for better sleep, you might be ready to hit the store. Before you do though, you want to keep a few things in mind.
Currently, the FDA does not regulate supplements and they aren't subject to the same testing as medications. This means it is important to do your research and look for supplements that have been tested by third-party labs.
Third-party testing ensures that supplements don't contain any contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides. It also ensures that supplements contain accurate doses of the ingredients listed on the label.
Additionally, it is important to look for supplements made with high-quality ingredients. This will ensure you get the most benefit from them and reduce your risk of side effects.
Look for supplements with clear labels that list all of the ingredients, doses, and any potential allergens. Also, check the company's website for more information about its manufacturing process.
Finally, consider what form the supplement is in. Some supplements like CBD and melatonin are available in oil, chewable or gummy form. Others like magnesium can be found as capsules, powders, or liquids.
By doing your research beforehand, you can ensure that you get supplements for better sleep that are safe and effective.
Other Ways to Promote Better Sleep
Finding a quality supplement to help you sleep can go a long way toward making you feel more rested, but as we mentioned, it's only part of the puzzle. You also need to address the habits and lifestyle choices that can affect your sleep quality.
Here are some other tips to help you get better rest:
- Avoid consuming caffeine later in the day.
- Remove screens from your bedroom and limit exposure to blue light before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid eating late at night or close to bedtime.
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
- Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortable.
By following some of these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of your supplements and get the rest you need. With improved sleep quality, you can enjoy more energy and concentration during the day and be your best self.
FAQs About Popular Supplements for Better Sleep
Here are some common questions people have about supplements for better sleep:
Are natural sleep aids effective?
Yes, the supplements on this list can be effective in helping you get better sleep. However, as with any supplement or medication, results can vary from person to person.
Your metabolism, medical history, and lifestyle can affect how supplements work for you.
How can I naturally improve my sleep?
In addition to supplements, there are some lifestyle habits and changes you can make to improve your sleep. These include avoiding caffeine later in the day, exercising regularly, limiting exposure to blue light before bedtime, and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule.
Are natural sleep aids safer than prescription sleep aids?
Natural supplements for sleep are generally considered to be safer than prescription sleep aids because they have fewer and less serious side effects.
Are OTC sleep aids safe?
OTC (over-the-counter) supplements for better sleep are generally safe when taken as directed. It is important to read the label and look for supplements tested by third-party labs to ensure they contain accurate doses and no contaminants.
It's also important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition or are taking other medications. This can help reduce the risk of potential side effects.
Are there any good foods that are natural sleep aids?
Certain foods can help promote better sleep. These include kiwi, fatty fish, and almonds. Adding these foods to your diet can help you get a better night's rest.
Should you talk to a doctor before using a sleep aid?
Yes! We've mentioned this plenty of times throughout this article, but it's worth mentioning again. It's always a good idea to consult a doctor before taking any new supplement to make sure it is a safe choice for you.
Conclusion to 10 Popular Supplements for Better Sleep You Should Know About
Getting enough restful sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being. For many, supplements are an easy and natural way to help improve their sleep quality.
Use them alongside other lifestyle changes to help improve your sleep quality. Also be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, even if they are natural or available over the counter. This is the best way to ensure they are safe and effective for you.