Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most vital things you can do for your physical and mental health. And as a personal fitness coach, I’ve been recommending sleep supplements to my clients for many years.
And to find out which nootropics work best to improve sleep quality, we got a team of over 30 clients to help us test some of the most popular products.
I also got the help of a dietitian to do detailed research into how the different ingredients can help with sleep deprivation, REM sleep, and circadian rhythm.
Here are the results.
Our Top Products (September 2023)
1 - Neurohacker Collective - Qualia Night
Top of our list of best nootropics for sleep is this Neurohacker product. Our test group highlighted that they all found it was improving sleep quality.
And some users that tracked their sleep onset with an Oura ring also saw improvements there.
My dietitian highlighted that all the ingredients have scientific backing and that L-Theanine was especially helping our testers achieve slow-wave sleep cycles .
This can then further influence the circadian rhythm for a better balance of deep and REM sleep.
We also heard from our testers that they felt like they had improved cognitive functions the next day due to achieving much better sleep quality.
- Ashwagandha : 150 mg
- Reishi Mushroom : 500 mg
- L-Theanine : 50 mg
- Holy Basil Extract : 250 mg
- Contain ingredients associated with affecting a slow wave sleep cycle
- Aims to improve natural melatonin production for longer sleep duration
- Vegan-certified product with no animal gelatin in capsules
- Transparent label makes it ideal for stacking with other Neurohacker nootropics
- You’ll need to take up to four capsules each day to get the full dose
2 - Performance Lab - Sleep
Performance Lab Sleep is a very close second place on this list. It has a simple formula of just four ingredients, and the one that stood out for me was L-Tryptophan.
This amino acid has been linked to sleepiness, but at the same time, it doesn’t make you feel groggy the next day .
The main reason Performance Lab Sleep is in second place is that we think it could do with a bit more magnesium to help with falling asleep a bit faster.
- Magnesium : 100 mg
- Montmorency Tart Cherry : 500 mg
- L-Tryptophan : 250 mg
- Sea Buckthorn : 100 mg
- Measured improvements in sleep quality and duration
- Simple and transparent formula makes stacking nootropics for cognitive function easy
- The capsules are easy to swallow, and you only need to take two
- A slightly higher dose of magnesium would be helpful for sleep onset
3 - EcoNugenics - HonoPure
This is one of the simplest sleep aids that we found, and the only ingredient is Honokiol extract.
Studies have shown that it can lower the body's stress hormone levels, and the less stressed you are going to bed, the fewer disruptions you might have in the sleep-wake cycle .
The simple formula makes it ideal for stacking with other sleep nootropics, but it would be great to have one or two ingredients to help you fall asleep with ease.
- Honokiol Extract : 25 mg
- Seems to work well for overall stress relief
- Only contains one ingredient that could make it ideal for stacking with other sleep aids
- Only requires one capsule in the evening to help wind down
- A few more ingredients to induce sleep would be good
4 - NeuroScience - Alpha GABA PM
This sleep supplement has a few noteworthy ingredients.
First of all, Valerian extract has been shown to help regulate serotonin levels in the central nervous system and thereby promote a healthy circadian rhythm .
The sleep aid also contains melatonin, and you’ll find this in many sleep nootropics.
Scientists have established that it can help you fall asleep easier, which can be particularly helpful for sleep-deprived people .
The one reason for pushing this down the list is that the company has chosen not to fully publish the dosage of some ingredients.
- L-Theanine : 400 mg
- Melatonin : 3 mg
- Valerian Extract : n/a
- Lemon Balm : n/a
- Helps to regulate circadian rhythm for more restful REM sleep
- Works well to make falling asleep with ease
- Can help regulate stress and overall mood
- Unfortunately, the formula is partially hidden behind a proprietary formula
5 - Nootropics Depot - Magtein
This is another simple sleep aid that provides a high-quality source of magnesium.
And because it comes in multiple capsules per dose, it’s easy to adjust how much you take based on your personal needs.
Our testers found that it helped them stay asleep with fewer disruptions, and some even reported that it helped them overcome sleep problems like restless legs .
Overall, it seems to work well to help you get enough sleep, but it could be improved with some melatonin to help with sleep latency.
- Magnesium : 144 mg
- Delivers a good dose of magnesium, and it’s easy to adjust the amount
- Capsules are small and don’t get stuck while swallowing
- Seems to work well for improving sleep patterns
- I’d like to see added melatonin to make sleep winddown easier
6 - BiOptimizers - Magnesium Breakthrough
Next on our list of best nootropics for sleep is this one from a popular brand called BiOptimizers.
What stands out about this product is that the company has chosen to provide a mix of six different sources of magnesium to maximize absorption and long-lasting effects.
This can help provide healthy sleep, but it also includes a good dose of vitamin B6 to impact cognitive performance in a positive way .
- Magnesium : 500 mg
- Vitamin B6 : 2 mg
- Uses multiple different sources of magnesium to support healthy sleep
- Delivers a large dose of magnesium that can help with muscle recovery and repair
- Includes a good dose of vitamin B6 for improved brain function
- Larger bulk-order bottles would be helpful
7 - Nootropics Depot - Oleamide Powder
This was a new ingredient for me, and my dietitian did some research into a few clinical studies on how it can impact REM sleep .
These studies have revealed improvements in a healthy sleep cycle.
“Oleamide is a derivative of Oleic Acid (major omega-9 fatty acid form Olive Oil) with a nitrogen group, and appears to be naturally associated with sleep.”
- Kamal Patel, MPH, MBA at Examine.com
And our personal experience with this product has also been positive.
During our testing, we experienced deep sleep cycles more consistently, leading to a refreshed feeling the next day.
Some people might also prefer that it comes in powder form, but you need to plan for measuring the exact amount and mixing it with water.
- Oleamide : 100 mg
- Helps with overall stress reduction and relaxation after work
- Test results show that it can provide quality sleep
- Comes in powder form to easily adjust the dosage to your needs
- Most people prefer capsules as they are ready to take at night
8 - Reforged - Drift
This sleep supplement seems to work great for relaxing your mind before bedtime and also improving your sleep cycle for a more restful sleep, thanks to the included lemon balm .
And with the added L-Glycine amino acid, you should notice the same overall quality of sleep improvements that our testing team reported .
It just seems to get you into a nice relaxed mood before bed.
The reason we put it lower down the list is that other supplements showed better sleep latency, which could be down to this product having quite a low dose of melatonin.
- Magnesium : 150 mg
- L-Glycine : 1,000 mg
- Lemon Balm : 600 mg
- Melatonin : 1 mg
- Contains L-glycine for improved rapid eye movement sleep
- Added lemon balm can have a calming effect for lower stress levels
- Each scoop of powder mixes easily with water
- It could do with a higher dose of melatonin to speed up sleepiness
9 - Awakened Alchemy - Mind:Restore
This nootropic delivers quite a few herbs and minerals that have an overall impact on brain waves and mental stamina.
And it has plenty of positive reviews about better quality sleep.
What our testers mentioned is that it seems to work well for overall sleep improvements but doesn’t work quite as well for the early sleep stages and falling asleep quickly.
And that’s why we pushed it down on the list.
If you’re looking for an overall brain boost, then the added 5-HTP seems to be delivering well for boosting neurotransmitters .
- Vitamin B6 : 5 mg
- Zinc : 15 mg
- L-Theanine : 100 mg
- 5-HTP : 75 mg
- Positive reports that it can promote sleep improvements
- Easy-to-swallow capsules don’t tend to get stuck in your throat
- Seems to work well in improving memory, mood, and mental focus
- Seems to focus more on brain activity than sleep benefits
10 - Nootropics Depot - Melatonin
And the final product on our list of best nootropics for sleep is a simple melatonin supplement.
It’s the one thing all humans need to become sleepy, and if you have a tendency to read from a screen before bedtime, then this could significantly improve how quickly you get into a deep sleep .
Our testers also mentioned that they didn’t feel sleepy in the morning and were able to get into work mode a lot faster.
- Melatonin : 300 mcg
- Promotes better sleep and lower latency before getting into a sound sleep
- With just melatonin on the label, it allows you to easily adjust the dosage
- Doesn’t make you drowsy or groggy in the morning
- A higher dose per capsule would make it easier to get the ideal amount
In this section, I want to highlight a few things that you need to consider when buying a sleep nootropic.
Who Should Take Nootropics For Sleep?
Anyone who has struggled with mild to moderate sleep deprivation or regular disruptions in sleep patterns should consider taking a nootropic for sleep.
The first thing that one of these supplements will do is get you into a deeper sleep faster.
By improving your natural circadian rhythm, you’ll find that you can get much more restorative sleep.
“Circadian rhythms are cycles that regulate almost everything in our bodies, telling us when to sleep, wake, and eat.”
- Hara Estroff Marano, Writer at psychologytoday.com
And good quality sleep will ultimately lead to better mental and physical performance during the day.
Who Shouldn't Take Nootropics For Sleep?
Anyone suffering from chronic sleep disorders or sleep deprivation due to underlying medical conditions shouldn’t take nootropics for sleep.
This is especially the case if you’re taking prescription medication that could interact even with natural ingredients.
You may still be able to take such nootropics, but you would need to discuss this with your doctor first.
While there are dozens of nootropic ingredients that can be effective for sleep, there are some that have more scientific evidence.
And my dietitian has found a pattern in the formulas of the best one.
Here are some of the most important ingredients to look out for:
- Reishi Mushroom
- Holy Basil Extract
Our testing of dozens of products has shown that these ingredients consistently make supplements more effective.
You might think that you always need a higher dosage if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation.
But it’s often more important to look at the combination of ingredients and not automatically assume that the one with the highest dose is going to be the best.
If you look at our top three products above, you’ll see that they focus on multiple highly effective ingredients. It’s precisely those combinations that make them work so well.
Will Nootropics Keep You Awake?
Yes, some nootropics may keep you awake if they are formulated for deep focus and stimulation. But if you choose one specifically designed for sleep, then you shouldn’t have any problems with sleeping.
What Are The Side Effects Of Nootropics?
Some nootropics have side effects that can include high blood pressure, headaches, and even insomnia. This is more common with nootropics for focus as they can contain stimulating ingredients.
Reduce Sleep Deprivation And Feel Refreshed Every Morning
If you have trouble when you try to fall asleep or regularly wake up during the night and feel restless, then I highly recommend that you try Qualia Night from the Neurohacker Collective.
Our testing data shows that it can make you sleepy in less than 30 minutes. And if you measure your sleep pattern with a smartwatch or Oura ring, you will likely see all measurements improve.
I personally take it most nights to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.
And I’ve yet to hear from someone reporting negative side effects.
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