12.03.2024

Natural Sleep Aids: The Best Supplements to Improve Sleep

brain sleep

Sleep is as critical to our well-being as eating, drinking, and breathing. It’s the time when the body repairs itself, and our brains consolidate the day’s memories.

Yet, many of us struggle to get the recommended seven to nine hours of slumber per night. In the search for a night of restful sleep, some people turn to natural sleep aids.

Lets explore ten supplements that could potentially help you achieve a better quality of sleep.

 

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep. Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production.

Supplemental melatonin is often used to treat sleep issues such as insomnia or jet lag. It’s synthesised in labs and can be purchased without a prescription in most countries, available in pills, liquids, and chewable forms.

Benefits

  • Regulates sleep-wake cycles
  • Can be helpful in reducing the time it takes to fall asleep
  • May improve sleep quality, particularly for those with sleep disorders

 

Valerian Root

Derived from the Valeriana officinalis plant, Valerian Root has been used for centuries to combat insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness. 

Its use dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was revered as a treatment for a variety of ailments. Modern interest in valerian is focused on its utility as a natural alternative to prescription sleep medications.

Benefits

  • Helps in reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep
  • May improve the quality of sleep
  • Often used to treat anxiety and stress that can interfere with sleep

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral, one of the most prevalent in the human body. It’s involved in over 300 biochemical reactions and can have a significant impact on your sleep quality. 

Magnesium’s role in supporting the sleep process is believed to come from its ability to calm the nervous system, preparing your body and mind for sleep.

Benefits

  • Has a calming effect on the nervous system
  • Can help to regulate the production of melatonin
  • May improve sleep quality by activating the parasympathetic nervous system

 

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is found most prevalently in tea leaves, in both green and black varieties. This amino acid is a unique relaxation agent that has been shown to enhance alpha brain waves, which are associated with a state of “awake relaxation.” 

From a sleep perspective, l-theanine may help with the ability to fall asleep more easily through relaxation.

Benefits

  • Promotes relaxation and reduces stress
  • Can improve sleep quality and efficiency
  • May increase the levels of GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, which regulate sleep

 

Chamomile

Chamomile is an ancient herb that has been used for medicinal purposes, such as soothing a cold or encouraging a good night’s sleep, for millennia.

The plant’s purported sleep-inducing effects may be due to the antioxidant apigenin, which chamomile is rich in, and which is believed to bind to certain receptors in the brain that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep.

Benefits

  • Contains apigenin, an antioxidant that may promote sleepiness
  • May improve overall sleep quality
  • Often used to reduce anxiety

 

Lavender

The Lavender plant, with its purple blooms and sweet fragrance, is widely used in creams, lotions, and gels, as well as in aromatherapy oils for massage, and can also be found in sachets to scent drawers and closets.

A wealth of studies suggest that it has sedative properties and can help with relaxation and sleep.

Benefits

  • Inhalation of lavender scent has been shown to improve sleep quality
  • Can decrease anxiety and provide a calming atmosphere
  • May reduce sleep disturbance and improve overall well-being

 

Glycine

As a simple, non-essential amino acid, Glycine is found in many protein-rich foods and is also produced by the body.

It plays a key role in the central nervous system and can influence your sleep through several mechanisms, including lowering body temperature and quieting the mind.

Benefits

  • May help you fall asleep more quickly
  • Can improve the quality of sleep
  • Might have a cooling effect on the body, which can be beneficial for sleep

 

Passionflower

Passionflower is known for its calming effects. Indigenous cultures have used passionflower to help with a variety of health conditions for centuries. 

In terms of sleep, it’s often combined with other calming herbs and is increasingly being studied for its potential effects on managing anxiety and improving sleep.

Benefits

  • May help to improve sleep quality
  • Can have anxiolytic effects which may facilitate better sleep
  • Often used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety

 

5-HTP

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a compound that the body makes from the amino acid tryptophan. After tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, it can then be turned into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood and sleep regulation.

This supplement has gained popularity for sleep support, partly due to its potential to increase serotonin levels.

Benefits

  • Can increase serotonin levels, which is associated with good sleep quality
  • May help with falling asleep faster
  • Could regulate sleep patterns

 

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba, an ancient plant extract used for various ailments, is often associated with improving brain health and is said to improve cognitive function, blood circulation, and neural health, all of which could play a role in sleep disorders.

It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is now a common dietary supplement around the world.

Benefits

  • May improve sleep quality
  • Can reduce stress and enhance relaxation
  • Often used to improve cognitive function and may aid in the treatment of sleep disorders related to this

 

If your brand is seeking to create a sleep-improvement supplement, or you are looking to refine an existing product, our expertise could be invaluable. 

Contact us to learn how we can assist in crafting a formulation that is both effective and safe, leveraging the latest research and highest-quality ingredients. 

 

Supplement Factory

Written by Supplement Factory

Our team of industry experts not only work towards producing the highest standards of sports and health nutrition products, but also lend their knowledge towards educating the industry on the latest advances in products, ingredients and formulations.

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