When sleep is hard to come by, it might be tempting to take a sleeping pill to snooze, and just deal with the fatigue you might experience the morning after. However, there are some natural sleep supplements that may help you sleep better and deeper that you should be aware of — that won't give the morning hangover associated with common sleep medications.
Though the recommended amount of sleep is 7 to 9 hours a night for adults, a 2016 report from the CDC revealed that one in three adults in the U.S. don't get enough sleep at night on a regular basis. As HuffPost reported, sleep is the prime time for your body and mind to heal and repair itself. So, even a couple of restless nights comes with a host of consequences: Not only does a lack of sleep negatively impact your heart health and immune system, but not snoozing enough can also hurt your mental health — making you more prone to symptoms of anxiety, depression, and forgetfulness.
To put it plainly, a good night's rest is absolutely invaluable to your health. Practicing good sleep hygiene is foundational to promoting a healthy sleep-wake cycle, but supplements can also be incorporated into your nightly routine to make you snooze even more soundly. Though melatonin gets much of the hype when it comes to natural sleep aids, John Hopkins Medicine reported it's not as effective as it's touted to be: Melatonin works best only under certain conditions, such as when you're feeling jet-lagged, or if you're experiencing temporary bout of sleep struggles. Luckily, melatonin isn't the only thing you can use for sleep. Here are seven supplements that you can try to help you catch enough Z's, and how they work.
Gaia Herbs SleepThru
Gaia Herbs' SleepThru supplements boasts a formula made with four herbs meant to help you catch Z's — including ashwagandha, jujube, magnolia, and passionflower. According to Gaia's site, the blend may support "restful sleep and healthy adrenal function."
According to Science Daily, a 2017 study found the an extract of the ashwagandha leaf significantly induces sleep. On the other hand, research shows jujube is not only an antioxidant and possible protectant against neurological disease, but it was shown to extend sleep time in mice. Meaning, this combination is a surefire way to snooze better.
The Vitamin Shoppe Snooze Right
Formulated by The Vitamin Shoppe, Snooze Right is a melatonin-free, once-a-night sleep supplement that contains a number of ingredients meant to promote sleep. In addition to calcium and magnesium, this nighttime supplement contains L-taurine, valerian, hops (yes, like found in IPA beers), skullcap, and chamomile extract. A large review of valerian root extract conducted in 2006 revealed that this natural supplement may be an effective way to improve quality of sleep.
Perricone MD Sleep Booster
Perricone MD is a popular brand known for its specialized skincare products, but their Sleep Booster supplement is a surprising must-have for anyone experiencing sleep issues. The supplement blend includes magnesium, melatonin, and ashwaganda, as well as L-theanine and velvet bean.
As HuffPost reported in 2017, L-theanine can aid with "relaxation, focus, and sleep" by upping the levels of GABA, serotonin, and other feel-good chemicals in your brain. Moreover, velvet bean, a plant native to Africa and parts of Asia, has also proven to be a naturally effective way to boost sleep quality.
The Beauty Chef Sleep Inner Beauty Powder
The Beauty Chef's Sleep Inner Beauty Powder is a drink mix-in that tastes like chai (yum!), utilizes several natural sleep aids, and gives your skin a healthy glow in the morning. Sleep Inner Beauty Powder ingredients lemon balm and passionflower have both been shown to be mild sedatives by multiple studies, making this supplement a great way to relax and unwind at night. The supplement also includes tart cherry extract, a natural source of melatonin that may help you sleep more soundly.
Nested Naturals LUNA Melatonin-Free
Formulated by vitamin brand Nested Naturals, LUNA Melatonin-Free supplements contain a blend of herbs and amino acids that make it easier to hit the hay, and stay asleep throughout the night. Like other sleep aids, LUNA includes the sleep-boosting ingredients valerian, hops, passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile, and L-theanine — making this supplement simple, yet effective.
Like with all supplements, those designed for sleep won't cure your sleep problems — especially if you have a diagnosable sleep disorder, or related health condition. However, if you are looking to improve your sleep-wake cycle without the hangover effects of prescribed sleep medications and melatonin, natural sleep supplements may prove to be a great addition to your nighttime routine.