Sleep Supplements for a Good Night’s Rest
Tricks to help you fall asleep have come a long way since the days of counting sheep. Aside from giving you the feeling of being well-rested, sleep facilitates the detoxification of your brain, consolidates your memory, improves your athletic performance, helps you lose weight, and puts you in a better mood.
These days, people who have trouble falling asleep or who are restless sleepers can enlist the help of a variety of natural sleep supplements for a good night’s rest. We’ve created this natural sleep supplements guide to help you sleep so that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go!
Active ingredients: L-Tryptophan
Did you know? Have you ever heard a dad or uncle blame the tryptophan in turkey for causing the sudden drowsiness that means he only has the energy to watch football for the rest of the day? Well, while that old wives’ tale has some basis in science, the tryptophan in turkey is not the reason for sleepiness after Thanksgiving dinner. The tryptophan levels in turkey are similar to other meats, but studies have shown that eating foods rich in carbohydrates (like potatoes and desserts) can stimulate the release of insulin and the concentration of competing amino acids in the blood, thereby favoring tryptophan, and allowing it into the brain. Once in the brain, tryptophan is ultimately converted into serotonin and melatonin to promote relaxation, and potentially drowsiness. So the reason for sleepiness is really overeating in general at Thanksgiving, as well as the combination of turkey and all the high carbohydrate desserts.
Effects on body and sleep: Tryptophan promotes better sleep by promoting healthy levels of serotonin and melatonin - chemicals that are naturally produced by the body which can promote a positive mood and better regulation of the sleep cycle.*
Active ingredients: 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)
Did you know? 5-HTP is the intermediate metabolite between the amino acid L-tryptophan and serotonin. It’s extracted from the bean of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.
Effect on body and sleep: 5-HTP supports the production of serotonin in the brain and central nervous system; serotonin can impact sleep, mood, appetite, and body temperature. 5-HTP therefore, is typically used as a sleeping supplement because it supports the production of serotonin, which is in turn, converted to melatonin. Melatonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate healthy sleep/wake cycles. Studies have shown that taking a dietary supplement containing 5-HTP can help people feel more rested upon waking up and can give people an increased energy level during the following days.*
Active ingredients: Melatonin
Did you know? Some animals (typically reptiles and amphibians) use melatonin to change the color of their skin.
Effects on body and sleep: Melatonin is naturally produced by the body and is one of the chemicals most directly involved in sleep regulation. Melatonin is also a key regulator of the immune and gastrointestinal systems, and taking a melatonin supplement can further support these systems. The supplemental use of melatonin has been shown in studies to have a positive effect on occasional sleeplessness in some people.*
Active ingredients: Valerian root
Did you know? Valerian root has a long history of use as a supplement to promote sleep. In fact, it was recommended for relief of sleeplessness by Galen, the personal physician to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and an early writer on medicine.
Effects on body and sleep: Valerian has been shown to calm the brain and nervous system, making it useful for some as a supplement for sleep. Valerian is also used for conditions linked to nervousness and typical everyday psychological stress, such as occasional minor breathlessness, headaches, or upset stomachs. Studies have shown that taking a dietary supplement containing valerian root can help users fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night, leading to improved feelings of rest upon waking and an increased energy level during the day following supplement use.*
Active ingredients: Passion flower extract
Did you know? Passion flower was discovered by Europeans in the 16th century, when Spanish Jesuit priests encountered native Peruvians making a tea from the plant and using it to treat occasional sleeplessness and nervousness. It was soon exported to Europe, where it became extremely popular for its calming benefits and its beautiful flowers.
Effects on body and sleep: Passion Flower extracts have been shown to aid in relaxation and reduce tension and restlessness without creating dependency, and it’s typically used to treat occasional sleeplessness and nervous tension. Studies have shown that taking a dietary supplement containing passion flower can help users fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night, leading to improved feelings of rest upon waking and an increased energy level during the day following supplement use.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.