Best Sleep Supplements: 2018 Review

Updated 6 years ago

We have all been there. The clock slowly creeps to along each hour as you toss and turn, restless, and desperately hoping to fall asleep. Each hour that passes means the next day will be that much more painful. Sleepless nights are frustrating and leave you exhausted the next day. Sometimes you know the perpetrator of your sleeplessness (hello late night chocolate snack), but sometimes you are totally at a loss as to why you are unable to sleep. There are some great sleep supplements that will let you fall and stay asleep without the negative side effects. We have compiled a list of our recommended sleep supplements and have some tips for you to aid in falling asleep.

The benefits of sleep

You always hear that most of us should get eight hours of sleep each night. But do you know why? Getting enough sleep has many benefits, including increased memory and cognitive functioning and preventing weight gain. Do you ever feel like you are super hungry the day after a night of poor sleep? It’s not just your imagination. That’s because our bodies mistake tiredness for hunger. Plus, the longer we are awake, the more opportunity - and temptation - there is to eat. Getting adequate sleep is also related to reduced stress levels, improved skin, reduced anxiety, and lower chances of depression.

What is a sleeping supplement?

A sleeping supplement is a supplement you take orally - usually in pill form - to help you fall asleep when you can’t seem to get your mind to turn off and your body allow you to sleep. Some over the counter sleep medications such as Nyquil and Tylenol PM are powerful and will knock you out, but can leave you feeling very groggy and out of it in the morning. Those medications are meant for someone who can get at least 12 hours of sleep. Even then, it is best not to plan on having anything important to do the next day, because oftentimes you feel worse off than you did if you weren't able to sleep. Many people want a sleep aid but don’t want that drowsy feeling in the morning. There are natural sleep supplements that are much easier on the body.

Natural ingredients that help promote sleep

Here are some ingredients that help promote a restful night’s sleep.

  • Melatonin - perhaps the best known ingredient that helps promote sleep and control the natural sleep cycle. It is a naturally occurring hormone to promote healthy sleep cycles
  • Hops - yes, it’s used to brew beer. But it has also been used to help promote a good night’s sleep
  • Valerian Root - an herb that has been used for centuries to help promote more restful sleep.
  • Vitamin B-6 - helps regulate sleep patterns
  • Chamomile - ever wonder why chamomile tea is so popular? It’s an herb that is used to calm anxiety, relax muscles, and encourage sleep
  • Lemon balm - an herbal relative to the mint family, this herb was used in Ancient Greece because of its soothing qualities and ability to promote relaxation and a restful sleep
  • Lavender - lavender’s soothing fragrance is thought to help enhance sleep and reduce stress  
  • L-Tryptophan - an essential amino acid that our bodies convert to niacin and 5-HTP and then to serotonin
  • GABA - this is a neuro-inhibitory transmitter that is produced naturally in our brains to help calm our minds
  • L-Theanine - an amino acid that is found in green tea and helps encourage calmness. It may not help put you to sleep, but it will certainly help you stay asleep.
  • Magnesium - a mineral found in our bodies that aids in the natural production of melatonin. Very popular ingredient to help aid in sleep.
  • Passion flower- an herb known for its calming effects and helpful in promoting a deep and restful night’s sleep

Sleeping medications can tend to cause extreme grogginess in the morning. With sleep supplements, side effects are uncommon. You can typically take these sleep supplements at any time without fear of waking up groggy. In rare instances, some people may experience drowsiness, a headache, or dizziness, but it is not common. Some people have reported having strange dreams when taking a sleep supplement.

Our Top Sleep Supplements

LUNA Natural Sleep Aid

This vegan all-natural sleep aid has melatonin, valerian root, chamomile, and magnesium in each pill. These natural ingredients are known sleep aids. Plus, LUNA is so confident that these will work for you that they offer a 100% money back guarantee if the product does not work for you. Because it is an all-herbal supplement, you get all the sleep aid without any of the grogginess or habit-forming side effect of other sleep medications. Reviewers love this product because they do not wake up groggy in the morning after taking this supplement.  

OLLY Restful Sleep Gummy Supplement

OLLY is a somewhat new brand that has taken the vitamin and supplement industry by storm. With its fun and creative packaging and products that work, it is quickly becoming a known and trusted brand. Their Restful Sleep supplements do not disappoint. Each supplement contains a blend of chamomile, passion flower, lemon balm, L-Theanine, and melatonin to help promote a healthy sleep cycle, helping you fall and stay asleep all night long.

Zhou Driftoff Soothing Sleep Formula

Get a better night’s sleep with this sleep supplement. Reviewers found that they felt calmer and more at ease after taking this supplement, and able to fall asleep within 30 minutes of taking the supplement.

Som Sleep The Original Sleep Support Formula

Hate swallowing big vitamins? This beverage-form supplement is perfect for you. You can rest assured that you will get a great night’s sleep with Som Sleep’s supplement full of melatonin, Vitamin B6, L-Theanine, magnesium, and GABA. It is gluten free, dairy free, vegan, non-carbonated, and non-GMO. Reviewers felt calmer and sleepier within just 10 minutes of taking this supplement.

Thorne Research 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

Thorne’s 5-HTP supplements help support restful sleep and can help reduce stress. This brand’s supplement has a smaller dosage, so it’s great for those who want just a low dosage sleep-aid.

La Nature Made Melatonin 3mg

Perhaps the most common all natural supplement, melatonin is a very popular sleep aid. If you are looking for a pure and simple ingredient to take, this is a great one. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in our bodies. However, different factors such as caffeine, light, jet lag, and alcohol can lead to our bodies having low levels of melatonin in the evening. If your body isn’t producing enough melatonin to help you sleep, taking this supplement will provide you with what you need to fall asleep.

MidNite Natural Sleep Supplement

Ever struggle for hours to fall asleep and by the time you decide you need to take a sleep supplement, you realize it’s too late if you don’t want to be groggy in the morning? MidNite’s sleep aid is for you. This drug-free sleep supplement guarantees no grogginess in the morning, no matter what time you take it. Reviewers love this supplement because it helped them fall and stay asleep throughout the night, and they were able to take this at any time without worrying that they won’t be able to wake up in the morning.

Integrative Therapeutics Sleep, Stress, and Cortisol Support Supplement

Integrative Therapeutics’ Cortisol Manager supplements helps stabilize cortisol, known as your stress hormone, resulting in a more relaxed and restful night’s sleep and reduce stress levels. It is recommended to take one supplement at bedtime. Reviewers found this this supplement greatly helped reduce anxiety, helping them achieve a more restful sleep.

Rhythm Triple Calm Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most popular sleep aid supplements. This particular supplement boasts three types of magnesium for optimal results. Magnesium taurate, glycinate, and malate, all help your body achieve optimal relaxation and provides stress and anxiety relief, resulting in improved sleep. It is recommended to take two capsules in the evening with a meal and plenty of water.

Bulksupplements Valerian Root Extract

This natural sleep aid promotes calmness, relaxation, and a good night’s sleep, but without any drowsiness in the morning. It is recommended to take this supplement one to two hours before going to sleep. With this product, you can control the strength depending on the amount you take.

Tips to Fall Asleep More Easily

Whether or not you use a supplement, there are certainly ways to help yourself fall and stay asleep. In particular, changing your routine can cause sleeplessness. For instance, if you usually exercise in the morning but exercise in the evening instead one day, you may find that you are unable to fall asleep as quickly as usual. A sleep supplement will help your body adapt to this change and allow you to still get a good night’s sleep.

How to can I fall asleep easier?

Many times we are kept awake at night because our minds are working at 100 miles a minute and we can’t seem to get our brain to turn off. Here are a few tips to help your mind unwind before hitting the hay.

  • Meditate - there are many meditation apps out there that are made specifically to use right before bed. Many people find meditating for even just five minutes helps them fall asleep quickly
  • Drink herbal tea - some teas have herbs that help you fall asleep. You will often find ingredients such as melatonin, chamomile, and lavender in these sleep-aid teas.
  • Ban the phone - the light on your phone disrupts your body’s production of melatonin, meaning your body may not produce enough for you to fall asleep quickly or at all. This applies to computers and other devices, too
  • Try aromatherapy oils - these oils can help create a soothing and relaxed environment before going to sleep. Aromas such as lavender calm your nerves and help lower blood pressure, helping your body relax and fall asleep easier
  • Turn off the lights - darkness signals the brain to make melatonin, which will help you fall asleep. So if you are on your phone in bed, your body is not able to produce as much melatonin, meaning you might not be able to fall asleep as fast.

We have compiled a list of the sleep supplements that are made with natural ingredients that won’t harm your body and will not leave you groggy in the morning. These supplements are less intensive, but still get the job done so you can get a better night’s sleep.

Common causes of sleeplessness

Our bodies love and crave routine. In addition to creating a routine that you can typically follow each night, there are causes besides changing your routine that contribute to sleeplessness. Below are some known causes of sleeplessness that may be the reason you are awake at night.

  • Stress - have a big presentation tomorrow? Your nerves and stress may be keeping you awake. This is by far the most common cause of sleeplessness, and explains why so many sleep supplements are formulated with stress and anxiety-reducing ingredients
  • Exercising at night - if you tend to exercise in the morning, switching up your routine and working out at night might keep you up, despite being tired from a workout.
  • Eating right before bed - carbohydrates and sugar slows your body’s release of melatonin, meaning it may take longer for your body to fall asleep
  • Caffeine - It is recommended to cut off caffeine intake at around 2pm to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your sleep
  • Medications - some medications have caffeine in them. So even if you cut off your caffeine intake by the afternoon, you may still be consuming caffeine if you take a medication in the evening
  • Alcohol - though alcohol can often help you fall asleep, it can disrupt your sleep and cause sleeplessness later in the night or in the early morning hours. For this, and other health reasons, it is best to limit alcohol to one to two glass per evening

Whether you regularly suffer from sleeplessness, or if it is a rare occurrence, a sleep supplement can help you fall and stay asleep throughout the night, without the negative consequences such as morning grogginess. Be sure to always read the directions on the package of your supplement carefully before taking it. Now, go get that great night of sleep you deserve.