Sleep is essential for the health and wellbeing of humans. It’s not fun being tired. In fact, it makes doing just about anything far more difficult. We are more likely to get frustrated, take shortcuts, lash out at others, overeat, stress, and more when we are exhausted. Even when you know the importance of sleep, it can still be difficult to prioritize it into a busy lifestyle or ease a restless mind.
Updated research is continuously finding new detrimental effects sleep deprivation has on people, and the results are enlightening. For those of us who feel like we’ve tried everything, improving our sleep quality and quantity may seem like a distant dream. But did you know some supplements that can help with improving sleep?
What Are Sleep Supplements?
So, you’ve tried everything to improve your sleep to no avail and are now looking for alternative routes, such as a sleep supplement. But what exactly is a sleep supplement?
Sleep supplements, also known as sleep aids, are often a blend of different compounds found to help improve sleep through various research studies. Sleep supplements can be a helpful tool to help you fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer. They can also be used to help improve the overall quality of your sleep.
Not all sleep supplements provide adequate research to back up their claims so it’s important to do your research before purchasing a sleep supplement. Always be sure to discuss adding any supplements to your routine with your health care provider to make sure they do not interact with any medications you are currently taking.
Benefits of Sleep Supplements
Fall Asleep Faster
Some sleep supplements have shown promise in helping consumers fall asleep faster or increase relaxation to allow those to better prepare for sleep after a long day. Supplements such as Melatonin, for example, help to support your natural sleep-wake cycle and are believed to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep in the evenings.
Stay Asleep Longer
Some of us don’t struggle with falling asleep, but with staying asleep. Sleep supplements can help with this as well. These supplements can be an effective way to improve the average amount of hours you are getting in sleep per night, next to lifestyle changes. Be sure to choose a sleep supplement that specifically targets your sleep challenges.
Improved Sleep Quality
Another helpful benefit of some sleep aids is improving the overall quality of your sleep. Just because you are getting in 7-8 hours of rest each night, doesn’t mean it is high-quality rest. Some sleep supplements are believed to help improve your sleep quality by helping to ensure you are sleeping through the night and activating deep sleep.
Key Ingredients in Sleep Supplements
There are tons of different varieties of sleep supplements on the market, and many different compounds believed to help improve sleep. Let’s look at some of the more popular key ingredients in sleep supplements, including melatonin, magnesium, lavender, and valerian root.
If you’ve been struggling with your sleep, you’ve likely heard of Melatonin. This hormone, often released at night, is associated with our sleep-wake cycle. Taking supplemental melatonin is believed to help with many sleep challenges, including jet lag, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, such as those who struggle with falling asleep at night, anxiety, and has even been found to help treat some sleep disorders in children.
Many don’t realize how much this essential mineral plays a role in our sleep patterns. Magnesium is believed to help your body, and your brain, relax in preparation for sleep. It also plays an important role in regulating melatonin in the body. Those who are magnesium deficient are at risk for sleep challenges, including insomnia.
Lavender is another compound in many sleep supplements believed to help our brain relax and wind down. Although some studies have shown promise with the oral administration of lavender, further research is still needed to evaluate its effects. Lavender oil has gained a lot of popularity in helping with sleep over the years with aromatherapy, which may be a safer option until more research can be obtained.
Valerian root is a common sleep supplement additive, almost as common as melatonin. Some older studies have suggested valerian root can help improve sleep quality, however like lavender, more research is needed.
What to Look for in Sleep Supplements
When choosing a sleep supplement, always first discuss it with your doctor or healthcare provider. Next, be sure to read the supplement label before purchasing. Supplements are not regulated like medications by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means their claims do not need to be proven by research to be placed on their labels.
Be sure to do your research and avoid supplements that contain many different herbal concoctions as research for these is often limited. Lastly, pay attention to the dosage of ingredients on the label. If you have never taken a sleep supplement before, you want to make sure you ease yourself into it to avoid any potential side effects.
Who Should Take a Sleep Supplement?
Sleep supplements are not for everyone. If the idea of taking a sleep aid makes you feel uncomfortable, many research-backed diet and lifestyle changes can be just as effective. Those who feel they have tried everything to improve their sleep and have received the green light from their healthcare provider to try a supplement are the best candidate for this approach.
Sleep supplements work best for those who have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting restful sleep throughout the night to which no other remedies have helped. Sleep supplements are not a quick fix or a long-term solution to sleep challenges. If you feel you may have a sleep disorder, always discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider.
Sleep Supplement Reviews
There are tons of different sleep supplements on the market, how can you know which one is right for you? Unfortunately, not all sleep supplements are created equal. Some have more research to back them up than others. Some also include unnecessary ingredients or additives that drive up cost without increasing effectiveness. If you need help choosing the right sleep supplement for you, browse some of our popular sleep supplement reviews below to get started.
- Salt Lake Supplements Natural Sleep Aid Review
- Schessler Tissue Salts Insomnia Review
- Sedaplex Review
- Serenite Jr Review
- SerenitePlus Review
- SerotoninFX Review
- Sleep 'N Restore Review
- Sleep & Relax Tea Review
- Sleep Complete Review
- Sleep Fast Nighttime Spray Review
- Sleep Formula with Valerian Plus Review
- Sleep Nice Review
- Sleep RX Natural Sleep Aid Review
- Sleep Well Being Control Review
- Sleep-Tite Review
- Sleep’n Restore Review
- Snore Control Review
- Somadrol Review
- Sublingual Melatonin Review
- Sleep aids: Understand over-the-counter options
- Melatonin: What You Need To Know
- [Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake]
- Biorhythms and possible central regulation of magnesium status, phototherapy, darkness therapy and chronopathological forms of magnesium depletion
- The magic of magnesium
- Lavender and the Nervous System
- Valerian for Sleep: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Effectiveness of Valerian on insomnia: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials