Supplements That Can Help You Fall Asleep

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Missing out on adequate sleep can be really tough for the body and mind, as it can lead to fatigue and unbalanced hormone levels. Luckily, there are a couple of great and safe to use natural supplements that make you tired, so you'll have an easier time falling asleep and staying sound throughout the night. When you're too tired to function properly, it definitely shows. Waking up refreshed and energized is awesome, so if there's a way to guarantee that occurrence, I'm all for it.

As a certified health coach, I believe in the power of natural supplements, if taken with care, in proper doses, and without any weird symptoms (supplements can display different effects in various people, so it's worth being cautious or speaking with a physician before pursuing a new medication). If you're having trouble sleeping, and food, exercise, and relaxation techniques simply aren't cutting it, assistance from natural sleeping aids could be just the cure. Here are 9 natural supplements that can make you more sleepy and better rested in the day. Get ready to reap the benefits and get more zzz's at bedtime. You'll instantly perk up each day so you can be your most productive and motivated self.

1. Melatonin

According to Shannon Wright, Registered Dietitian and wellness expert for Natrol over email with Bustle, "As we get older certain factors such as age, diet and stress can affect the natural production of melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin supplements can help re-establish normal sleep patterns to give you a more restful, relaxing sleep and in turn, better overall health." Wright recommends that "customers can start with a low dose, between one mg to three mg, twenty minutes before bed and see how their body reacts."

2. Magnesium

"Though in the third edition of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Popular Dietary Supplements there is no clear indication this is true, I was referred by a holistic practitioner to use a magnesium supplement at 400 mg at night to assist with falling asleep," says Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT over email with Bustle. "As a chronic insomniac, I can attest for the last two months on this regimen I have had a much easier time falling asleep, but not necessarily staying asleep. I do think there is merit in this but it will require more longitudinal research in my professional opinion," Shaw continues.

3. Serotonin (5-HT)

According to Martin Rawls-Meehan, CEO and Co-Founder of sleep technology company, Reverie® over email with Bustle, taking a serotonin supplement can make you tired and relaxed, as it also acts as an anti-depressant. In addition to supplement form, you can also get it through food. "A surprising number of studies have concluded that kiwi fruit helps people go to sleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer. One theory is that kiwi fruit is pretty high in serotonin, which helps to regulate the sleep cycle and improve mood," says Rawls-Meehan.

4. Redmond Bentonite Clay

"Redmond bentonite clay - it absorbs heavy metals and parasites, and is also helpful to drink before bed if you have been drinking alcohol as helps to absorb it while you sleep so you don't wake up with a hangover," explains nutrition expert Liana Werner-Gray over email with Bustle. "It helps to relax the nervous system before bed," adds Werner-Gray.

5. Phresh Greens

According to Werner-Gray, "one teaspoon is equivalent to 4 servings of vegetables and it alkalizes the body." Werner-Gray adds, "When the body is alkaline it helps the body and brain settle and relax for a good night sleep." When the body is too acidic, it can result in abdominal discomfort and difficulties sleeping.

6. Chamomile

Rawls-Meehan recommends taking chamomile, either as a supplement or in tea form, to calm the body and induce sleepiness. "An old standard, chamomile tea has been used since ancient times to beat insomnia, and while its effectiveness as a sleep aid hasn’t been widely researched in humans, animal studies have shown promise for chamomile as a natural relaxant," explains Rawls-Meehan.

7. Ginger

Werner-Gray says that ginger is "a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, and also helps quiet the mind." You can have ginger in capsule form (you can buy at a local foods store or grocery store), or you can enjoy a warm glass of ginger tea. The tea will also promote relaxation before bed.

8. Omega 3 - DHA

"In a recent study on children with sleep disorders, researchers from Oxford University discovered that a 600mg dose of Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA enabled them to sleep an extra hour each night. Lower amounts of DHA in the blood have been linked with lower levels of melatonin, so it makes sense that sleep problems were found to be greater in children with lower levels of DHA in their blood," advises Will Smelko, co-founder of Ora Organic over email with Bustle. "DHA is 100% natural and many of us get it in our diet by eating fish. However, it's not always easy to eat fish on a regular basis. That's part of the reason we created an algae-based Omega-3 DHA supplement like this one, it helps that it doesn't harm the environment and unlike fish - doesn't contain toxins from the ocean," adds Smelko.

Ora Plant Based DHA Omega-3 Spray, $45, Amazon

9. Tryptophan

Sometimes eating the wrong foods can keep you awake. Studies show that tryptophan improves sleep and such foods include dairy, turkey, peanuts, and bananas. Snack wisely before bed, and choose these staples for a sounder sleep. Avoiding large quantities will help, as overwhelming the body with food can create excess stress and interfere with sleeping patterns.

If you notice you're having difficulty sleeping, popping one of these all natural supplements, as well as eating the nutrients in food sources, could help you get to bed faster and have a deeper, more restful sleep.

Images: Pixabay (10)