What Natural Supplements Are Good for Sleep?

Natural sleep aids to help sleep are plentiful but scientific evidence is often outdated.

12 Minute ReadEducation by Jessica Lacey

09.08.22 (Updated 18.10.23)

During the night our bodies carry out maintenance checks on all our organs; the priority being to repair, restore and rejuvenate. The importance placed on good sleep behaviour to protect long-term health is why many people turn to sleep supplements in order to optimise or improve their sleep habits.

Stress management, adaptogens, mood improvers, sleep supplements: they're all huge business right now. According to a report published earlier this month by Nutra Ingredients USA, sales of stress and sleep supplements are up 35% year on year, and smart drugs, nootropics and adaptogens such as ashwagandha are leading the way.

Sales of sleep and stress supplements soared to a record $400 million between January and July 2020, which is a huge increase on the $294 million during the same period in 2019. According to the report, sleep supplements make up the vast bulk of this increase.

For people wanting to improve their sleep, reduce stress and feel more in control of their wellbeing, supplements can be a great place to start. But there are so many spurious supplement brands out there, whose only aim is to make a quick buck and who don’t have your health as their number one priority. Shaheen Majeed, President Worldwide of Sabinsa, has cautioned that the high sales growth in ashwaganda could attract some “unsavoury actors to the category.”

Also, intentionally augmenting the body’s sleep pattern using sleep aids or over the counter sleep medication has varying results and can prove problematic.

Are melatonin supplements good for you?

Melatonin is a long-established sleep aid but there are many complications with taking melatonin for sleep. Firstly, much confusion arises from melatonin being the name for our naturally-produced sleep hormone but also the popular sleep supplement. Melatonin supplements for sleep are commonly taken for jet lag and those suffering from insomnia or late night anxiety. High levels of our naturally synthesised melatonin signal to the body that it’s time for sleep but high levels of the synthetic sleep aid by the same name, can induce headaches, nausea and vomiting if taken long-term. The health risks of long-term melatonin use are still unknown due to a lack of high quality studies. Although, so far, melatonin doesn't seem to cause any serious problems, it does cause side effects including headache, sleepiness, dizziness, and nausea and it is recommended to not drive or use machinery for 4-5 hours after taking melatonin. With questions unanswered, individuals are increasingly turning to alternative sleep aids for insomnia.

LYMA is considered by the independent scientific community to be the best sleep supplement without melatonin. LYMA’s formula is wholly evidence-based, has added health benefits and, unlike melatonin supplements, is deemed entirely safe, boasting zero side effects.

LYMA man face asleep closeup

What supplements help with sleep deprivation and insomnia?

Sleep deprivation touches all aspects of life and if left unresolved, can be highly detrimental to long-term health and life expectancy. As top sleep expert, Dr Michael Grandner explains, the entire human body works on a system of clocks linked to circadian rhythms, so when you get too little sleep, the body becomes increasingly out of sync and vital internal systems like the immune and metabolic systems start to fail. The result of lack of sleep is linked to many health complications, beginning with compromised cognitive function and memory loss, then affecting circulatory system, health and if prolonged, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes and cancers. Whilst some foods actively support sleep better than others (warm milk drinks before bed support sleep because milk contains tryptophan - a precursor of melatonin, as do good fats in salmon, chicken and nuts so these are smart elements to include in dinners), a healthy diet alone is generally not sufficient enough to return to a more balanced body and mind supported by a restful sleep. Supplements, provided they're taken at the right time in the right dosage and in the right form, can really help. It is important to only use natural ingredients that have repeatedly been proven in peer-reviewed studies.

An example of a great herbal remedy for insomnia, especially for menopausal women, is ashwagandha, an amazing plant that LYMA has included in its ultimate formula.

Listen to Julian on how LYMA supports his sleep:

What are the best natural sleep aid supplements, according to science?

Natural sleep aids and supplements to help sleep are plentiful but scientific evidence is often outdated, unfounded or requires further exploration. Herbs and natural ingredients have been used to help bring on sleep for thousands of years but it’s now that we are searching for hard evidence that they can be relied upon to work predictably and without risk to health. Individuals experience varying success with natural ingredients for sleep and it’s often hard to deduce what has worked and what has not. However, being knowledgeable in the advantages of natural sleep supplements could well contribute to relaxation and a good night’s sleep.

Here’s our view of the most common herbal and natural supplements known to support a restful sleep:

Saffron? affron® is Even Better.

Studies show that saffron improves sleep quality by reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, whilst supporting the natural production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. This tandem process puts the body in a more restful state for highly restorative sleep. LYMA uses a patented formula of saffron extract, affron®, dosed at an optimal 28mg; for maximum efficacy. Six medical studies to date have demonstrated the positive benefits of affron® across mood and sleep quality in healthy adults. It causes no substantiated side-effects, nor does it induce drowsiness, making it a preferable alternative to prescription sleep medication and other sedative-based sleep supplements.

Ashwagandha, Withania somnifera or Indian Ginseng

An Ayurvedic adaptogen used over centuries to help relieve a worried mind and create mental clarity, ashwagandha is still considered to be among the best herbal remedies today. Sensoril® ashwagandha has a profound ability to impact and improve the quality of sleep experienced by healthy adults. Another randomised placebo-controlled study considered the safely and efficacy of ashwagandha in the context of insomnia. It concluded that ashwagandha is a compound with potent sleep-inducing potential, that it is well tolerated and improves sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients with insomnia at a dose of 250mg per day (the same amount that appears in the LYMA formula). Furthermore, according to the study, Sensoril® ashwagandha could be useful for improving sleep in patients suffering with insomnia, or with mood disorders such as anxiety that may prevent patients from falling or staying asleep.

However, concentrations, sources and doses of ashwagandha greatly impact its efficacy and more importantly, the leaves of the ashwagandha plant are highly toxic. It is only the root extract of the plant that must be used and extracted in a particular way. Sensoril® ashwagandha in LYMA is said to be a sleep supplement that really works for even the most established cases of insomnia. A guaranteed 250mg daily dose has been peer-reviewed and clinically proven to create an optimal sleep state that results in waking to a clear and positive mindset.

Curcumin? No, But HydroCurc® Yes.

Turmeric extract is well-documented to support a body free from inflammation and the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is commonly included in health supplements. Curcumin is often sought out as an indirect sleep aid due to its capacity to treat various health concerns that might be inhibiting restorative sleep. Curcumin is also thought to support healthy serotonin levels and increases the body’s natural production of dopamine which also creates a positive environment for sleep. The complication with curcumin is that in its organic form, it’s not readily absorbed by the body. Many of the water-soluble turmeric extracts are also ineffective as the majority of the ingredient is made up of the carrier system to make it water soluble, leaving little space for the beneficial curcuminoids. However, HydroCurc® is a uniquely engineered and patented form of turmeric that is 100% water soluble and its carrier system only accounts for 15% of the total ingredient, leaving plenty of room for the curcuminoids. LYMA includes a daily 600mg dose of HydroCurc®, which is proven to be required for physiologically benefits.

CBD Oil? We’d Rather Take Levagen.

It’s the anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving prospects of CBD oil (aka cannabidiol) that have propelled it into mainstream culture as an effective relaxant and natural sleep aid. CBD is a compound of the cannabis plant but is not illegal in most countries, although strict standards and legislation must be adhered to. Still in its infancy as a sleep supplement, further studies on CBD oil for sleep need to be undertaken to provide enough evidence that CBD carries a sufficient calming effect for the central nervous system to help the sleep process. Levagen®+, a patented form of palmitic acid monoethanolamide (otherwise known as palmitoylethanolamide or PEA), a fatty acid the body naturally produces and which can be found in egg yolks and peanuts, helps healthy people fall asleep more easily.

Why Vitamin D3 Is Clinically Proven.

Vitamin D could well be the widest reaching nutrient we all need to optimise our health because it is responsible for regulating so many of our internal systems. It’s also for that reason that a Vitamin D deficiency is the direct reason behind being more predisposed to musculoskeletal injury, calcium deficiency, respiratory tract infections and obesity. Medical papers repeatedly show that too little Vitamin D leads to feelings of fatigue and daytime tiredness which is why Vitamin D supplements maintain a well-rested state and boost energy levels. A good supply of vitamin D however, is proven to alleviate mental anguish, increase bone density and support the immune system. This weight of evidence is why the patented form of Vitamin D; Vita-Algae D3™ is formulated in The LYMA Supplement at an optimised and clinically proven dose of 2,000 i.u.

When selecting a sleep-enhancing supplement make sure you know what you’re buying. Unless an ingredient is patented, it is not guaranteed to deliver results. Patented ingredients tend to have proven special qualities that are worth protecting. Such qualities include protecting a unique technology, purity of material, superior bioavailability and proven stability. Generic ingredients, on the other hand, are unproven in their efficacy and therefore not guaranteed to work. LYMA will never include an ingredient in its formula unless it is patented.


What are the best over the counter sleep aids?

Pharmacy prescribed sleep aids are not always safe or advisable for long-term use. Sleep medication and sedatives force the body into deep sleep for long periods of time which does not include the body’s other natural sleep phases such as REM when the body carries out vital reparative functions. This deep sleep state often also results in daytime drowsiness and poor waking habits. Over the counter sleep aids can be relied upon to induce sleep but treat only the symptom of poor sleep, not the cause. Anxiety, depression or health issues that create poor sleep still need to be addressed. An all-round health supplement is likely to carry more profound sleep benefits than over the counter medication alone.

So how can you know for sure that the sleep or stress supplement you’re buying will actually help to tackle the problem and restore your health? And that it will do so efficiently and without any unwanted side effects?

The supplement industry is plagued with low quality, unproven, synthetic ingredients that are often unregulated and fall short of any recognised industry standards. You might think that if you spend a relatively large sum of money on a supplement, you’ll be guaranteeing yourself a superior product. This, however, is not always the case. If an ingredient has not been clinically trialled or peer reviewed there is a chance that you’ll be forking out and spending a fortune on what is, fundamentally, no better than a placebo. You’ll find no such ingredients in LYMA, however.

The best all-in-one sleep supplement

An all-in-one health supplement containing proven and powerful natural ingredients to improve all aspects of health, could well be a better sleep solution than targeted sedative ingredients. This is because good sleep is an indicator of our general health, so a body that is well-nourished, has balanced hormones and low cortisol levels, will naturally help sleep. LYMA is the gold-standard of evidence-based nutraceuticals. The ingredients in LYMA have all been clinically trialled and peer reviewed, with scientifically proven efficacy at the levels that are formulated in our award-winning Supplement. The LYMA formula is revolutionary, bringing together a blend of fully-backed, patented ingredients to support your holistic health and wellbeing with a specific focus on stress reduction and sleep improvement. Anti-inflammatory, immune supporting, performance enhancing, cognitive boosting are all proven to be strongly linked to a restful sleep. By delivering nutrient concentrations that the human body is unable to self-synthesise, nor obtain through diet, LYMA makes the body resilient to attack and reduce inflammation in every organ of the body.

As each of our ingredients has been carefully and specifically selected based on our guiding principles of outstanding technology, bioavailability, stability and clinical research, LYMA supports a body in optimal health and therefore, a premium state for relaxation and vital recovery. A body that operates at its best can repair and rejuvenate at maximum capacity.


Your Questions On Sleep And Supplements Answered.

How does the LYMA Supplement work for sleep?

The first benefit many LYMA members report from taking The LYMA Supplement is significantly improved sleep. The blend of patented ingredients simultaneously reduce inflammation, optimise cognitive function and induce an optimal sleep state to improve the process of getting off to sleep, reduced night-time waking and feeling refreshed and well rested upon waking.

For example, LYMA contains a patented form of potent and powerful adaptogen Sensoril® ashwagandha, which has been specially formulated with sleep and stress support in mind. Sensoril® ashwagandha is highly bioavailable, non-toxic, full spectrum and extracted directly from the ashwagandha plant, retaining all the natural constituents of the herb in the original balance. It is without a doubt the world’s number one adaptogen and is backed by the most extensive research studies and clinical trials ever conducted on a supplement of this kind.

Can you take LYMA before sleep?

LYMA is entirely safe to take at any time of day and because it contains no elements of stimulants, it's completely suitable to take before bed.

How to buy sleep supplements that actually work.

Look for peer-reviewed supplements containing patented ingredients and dosed at the clinically proven level. Sleep experts recommend LYMA because it contains an expert blend of body balancing ingredients, headed up by Sensoril® ashwagandha - a gold standard, trusted sleep enhancing ingredient.

What to eat to stop feeling tired all the time?

Drinking more water can stop you feeling tired and so can eating the right foods to increase energy. Avocados and almonds are well documented to energise and reduce fatigue, as are eggs and leafy greens.

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