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What Are The Best Supplements For Sleep?

supplements for sleep

Supplements for sleep can be helpful for those who suffer from insomnia or other sleep-related issues, as well as those looking to improve their overall sleep quality. Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough sleep due to sleep problems, creating a lower quality of life. 

About 10-30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia, and women are 40% more likely to suffer from insomnia than men. Children also suffer from sleeping problems, and studies show about 25% of young children have sleeping problems or experience daytime sleepiness. Sleep is an essential part of your health, and a full night’s rest ensures that your body recovers so that you can take on the next day. 

In this article, we’ll explore the best supplements for sleep and look at what research has to say about their effectiveness. Let’s dive in!

What If I Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Besides daytime sleepiness, fatigue and a lack of sleep can lead to chronic diseases and conditions. Some of the most common include:

· Diabetes

· Cardiovascular disease (hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, irregular heartbeats, sleep apnea)

· Obesity

· Mental health issues (depression)

How Much Sleep Should I Get? 

If you want to prevent the conditions listed above, you need to make sure you get enough quality sleep. But just how much sleep do we actually need?

According to the Sleep Foundation, adults ages 18 to 64 need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and adults ages 65+ need 7-8 hours of sleep. On average, about 35% of adults report an average of 7 hours or less of sleep a night. Signs that you may not be getting enough sleep include:

  • Feeling restless even after sleeping for sufficient hours
  • Waking up multiple times during the night
  • Experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders, such as gasping for air

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to identify and address the root cause. This could involve improving your sleep hygiene, using over-the-counter medications or supplements, or even considering prescription medications.

What Is Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is all about creating habits and setting up your bedroom environment to get the best sleep possible regularly. The things you do during the day, like what you eat or drink, can affect how well you sleep at night. Some ways to create healthy sleep habits include:

  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Limit exposure to light in the evenings
  • Reduce long naps during the day
  • Avoid electronics 30 minutes prior to bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or large meals before bedtime
  • Remove electronics from the bedroom
  • Go to bed consistently at the same time each night and wake up at the same time
  • The bedroom should be quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable and cool temperature
  • If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet activity with minimal light exposure (do not get on electronics)
  • Use the bed for only sleep and sex

If you want to improve your sleep quality, tweaking your daily routine could help. If you’re still struggling to sleep or want extra sleep support, consider including these supplements in your pre-bedtime routine.

4 Supplements for Sleep

If changes to your daily routine and sleep hygiene have not improved, consider using one of these supplements for sleep.


Melatonin is a well-known sleep aid. It’s a hormone our bodies naturally produce to tell our brains when it’s time to sleep. Melatonin levels change throughout the day – they drop in the morning and rise in the evening to signal bedtime.

Research shows that melatonin can help you fall asleep quicker and improve your sleep quality. It’s also useful for dealing with jet lag when you’re traveling or adjusting to new time zones. It’s usually best to start with a low dose of 1mg to 5mg about 30 minutes before you go to bed and increase slowly if needed.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is an herbal sleep aid known for its mild sedative effects. It’s often used to help people fall asleep quicker and to enhance sleep quality. Taking 900mg of valerian root can boost sleep improvements compared to a placebo, though it might make you feel a bit drowsy the next morning.

But there’s more! Valerian root could also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and menopause. Quite handy, isn’t it?


Magnesium is a vital mineral your body needs for many biochemical reactions, particularly for brain function and heart health. It has a soothing effect that can help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. How? Well, it helps regulate melatonin production (your sleep hormone), relax muscles, and boosts GABA (an amino acid neurotransmitter known for its calming effects).

But remember, too much of a good thing can be harmful, and magnesium is no exception. So, before you start adding magnesium supplements to your diet, make sure to have a chat with your doctor first.


Glycine is an essential amino acid that your body requires for tissue growth, maintenance, and for making proteins and hormones. While its exact function isn’t entirely understood yet, it’s believed to help signal the body when it’s time to sleep by lowering body temperature.

Research indicates that taking a small dose of glycine (about 3g) can help people fall asleep quicker and enjoy a better quality of sleep when compared to a placebo. Besides glycine, other supplements such as CBD, kava, lavender, chamomile, passionflower, and ginkgo biloba may also help improve sleep.


Adequate sleep is crucial for overall health, and it ties in with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Maintaining a consistent routine and adopting good sleep hygiene practices can enhance sleep quality. If these measures aren’t enough, supplements could be considered to aid sleep.

Over-the-counter medications like diphenhydramine (found in Benadryl, ZzzQuil, Unisom) and doxylamine (in Unisom, Nyquil) can induce drowsiness and help with sleep. However, long-term use isn’t advised as they can decrease sleep quality.

If sleep issues persist, consult your healthcare provider for further guidance or potential prescription medications. And remember, pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, or those planning to become pregnant, should avoid sleep aids.


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