Quality sleep is absolutely essential to overall health and feeling your best physically and mentally. However, it's shockingly common for Americans to deal with multiple nights a week of insomnia or disrupted sleep.
You don't need a clinical sleep disorder to have poor sleep. If you work long hours, filled with stress, in front of screens, you'll may have restless thoughts that spiral into worry and bad quality sleep.
A growing number of people may have 'pretty good' sleep, but dream of having the perfect night sleep. Dreamers range from high skill workers, to professional athletes, to regular men and women dedicated to better sleep.
In short, everyone has reason to evaluate the quality of their sleep!
Say no to Melatonin.
Let's address the elephant in the room: Melatonin.
It's by far the most popular supplement for sleep. It's a hormone naturally produced by the body's pineal gland, and plays a crucial role in regulating sleep-wake cycles. It is often used to help support healthy sleep patterns.
If you are a frequent traveler, or constantly alternate between daytime and nightime sleep cycles, Melatonin may be a useful tool. It may help you occasionally 'reset' while adapting to changing schedules.
However, if you want a regular supplement as part of a daily sleep routine, Melatonin may not the best option. It may have unwanted side effects like grogginess and drowsiness while awake. It may also be habit forming and lead to a dependency when used over long periods of time.
The good news is that there are alternatives available that may offer a more tailored and effective solution to your sleep concerns. In this blog we list 4 types of natural sleep aids that may work as alternatives to melatonin.
4 Types of Natural Sleep Aids That Aren't Melatonin
The issue we have with melatonin is that it is very powerful and overly broad. If we are going to identify more targeted sleep solutions, we need to define what we want. Most people would describe this as a near 'perfect sleep':
- Less stress leading up to sleep
- More calm leading up to sleep
- Falling asleep easily and quickly
- Staying asleep with few interruptions
We can match our 4 desired outcomes to 4 different types of natural sleep aids. Each works slightly differently to support restful, restorative sleep.
- Stress Adaptogens: These substances aid stress adaptation by modulating stress hormones and promoting overall physical and mental resilience.
- Calming Nervines: These substances promote relaxation and calmness through various sedative mechanisms.
- GABA Modulators: These substances support healthy GABA levels, a key neurotransmitter involved in signaling sleep.
- Sleep Nutrients: These substances supporting the production of neurotransmitters and hormonal pathways involved in sleep.
The Best Natural Sleep Aids for All 4 Types
It's important to consult with healthcare professionals before starting any supplement. Below are some of the ones we recommend bringing up with them. We think these are the best natural sleep aids to cover all 4 types.
- KSM-66 Ashwagandha: As an adaptogen, it helps the body cope with stress by modulating stress hormones, promoting relaxation, and increasing overall resilience.
- Rhodiola Rosea: Another adaptogenic herb, it assists in stress reduction, relaxation, and increased calmness through modulation of stress hormones and feeling of overall well-being.
- Chamomile: Contains compounds such as flavonoids and essential oils that have calming properties, helping to reduce anxiety and promote sleep.
- Mucuna Pruriens: Through its L-DOPA content, it enhances mood and relaxation, potentially contributing to improved sleep quality.
- GABA: Works as a key neurotransmitter involved in sleep, aiding in relaxation and reducing anxiety to promote restful sleep.
- L-Theanine: Regulates brain waves and stimulates GABA production, leading to relaxation, easing anxiety, and reducing stress.
- Magnolia: Boosts GABA activity, acting as an anxiolytic to lower anxiety, reduce stress, and facilitate sleep.
- Vitamin B6: Helps regulate sleep cycles and improve sleep quality by assisting in the production of neurotransmitters involved in sleep regulation.
- Calcium: Supports the minimization of disturbances in REM deep sleep, contributing to better sleep quality and maintenance of sleep cycles.
Others You May See:
Valerian Root may act as a sedative, promoting relaxation and reducing the time it takes to fall asleep.
Passionflower may have a calming effects on the nervous system that can help promote sleep.
5-HTP may help increase serotonin levels, potentially improving sleep quality through better mood.
- Magnesium may support a healthy nervous system and promote muscle relaxation, contributing to a more restful sleep.
- Lemon Balm, Hops, and Skullcap all may have relaxing, calming, or sedative properties to help promote sleep.
Final Thoughts, 'Best' May Not Be Right For You.
The 4 types of natural sleep aids above: namely stress adaptogens, calming nervines, GABA modulators, and sleep nutrients, offer distinct approaches to addressing relaxation, insomnia, and achieving deeper sleep.
Every individual is different and may respond to natural sleep aids differently. It is crucial to understand the different type of sleep aids in order to understand what works best for you. Finding the right mix is best done with a healthcare professional.
If you are interested, our nbpure power down includes many of the natural sleep aids listed above in one supplement. While we don't include everything, we've carefully chosen to cover all 4 types discussed above.
Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement, as they can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs and ensure compatibility with your overall health.
Discuss with them if nbpure power down works for you.