As a personal fitness coach, I constantly remind my clients that getting a good night's sleep is critical for any workout recovery plan.
But still, I hear people talk about how little attention they pay to quality sleep.
It is also possible to facilitate restful sleep with completely natural ingredients, and, to help readers better understand this, we spent six weeks testing out dozens of products and came up with these best nighttime recovery supplements.
Our dietitian did all the research into the ingredients, and we had a team of 30 clients who helped us with the testing.
Our Top Products (January 2023)
1 - Huge Supplements - HIBERNATE
Top of our list of best nighttime recovery supplements is this Hibernate product from Huge Supplements.
Our testers highlighted that they fell asleep much faster and experienced much deeper and restful sleep.
My dietitian highlighted that this is most likely due to a good dose of the neurotransmitter called GABA, which has been proven to promote sleep .
And with the added amino acid profile, it should also help to boost muscle growth and reduce soreness after training.
- Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) : 3g
- Kanna : 1g
- L-Tyrosine : 1g
- L-Theanine : 500 mg
- Contains proven sleep aid ingredients to help you fall asleep faster
- Also helps to improve muscle soreness with amino acids
- Comes in a tasty powder that mixes easily with water.
- No fillers or artificial additives for a purer product
- Some people prefer taking sleep aid supplements as capsules
2 - Old School Labs - Vintage Bliss
Next on our list of best sleep recovery supplements is this product called Vintage Bliss.
It comes from a well-known sports supplement brand, and our dietitian highlighted that it has a well-designed formula of proven ingredients.
The combination of valerian root and melatonin can work great as a sleep aid and is often recommended by doctors as a natural sleep supplement .
There’s also some Ashwagandha extract that studies have shown to help with muscle repair .
But comparing the results from our test group, it doesn’t seem like it works as fast as Hibernate to make you fall asleep.
- Valerian Root : 400mg
- L-Tryptophan : 250mg
- Ashwagandha Root : 125 mg
- Melatonin : 3mg
- Contains natural ingredients commonly used to treat sleep disorders
- Added Ashwagandha can help with testosterone and muscle protein synthesis
- Comes in easy-to-swallow capsules
- It’s not as fast-acting as other sleep aids
3 - Alpha Lion - Superhuman Sleep
This is another good quality sleep aid, and our testing group highlighted that they fell asleep considerably faster than without taking it.
At the same time, they didn’t feel sluggish and groggy the next day.
It also contains some amino acids like L-Glutamine, which have been tied to increased production of human growth hormone and, therefore, better muscle growth .
There’s quite a long list of ingredients, and the good news is that the company is very transparent about the formula.
And that makes it easier to stack with other products or eliminate supplements that you can cover with Alpha Lion.
- Magnesium : 400mg
- L-Glutamine : 2,000mg
- Chamomile : 75mg
- Melatonin : 2mg
- Works well to make you fall asleep faster
- Includes ingredients to boost growth hormone production
- Open and transparent ingredients formula
- The flavors are a little bit sweet tasting
4 - Redcon1 - Fade Out
Redcon1 has created a sleep aid specifically designed for performance athletes, as it contains a few amino acids that are linked to muscle recovery and growth.
Our dietitian pointed out L-arginine, which has been linked to improved muscle blood volume for better recovery .
It also comes with one of the strongest doses of melatonin that we could find, and our testing group highlighted that it made them fall asleep significantly faster than many other sleep aids.
Just keep in mind that it’s a powder, and you’ll need to mix it well to fully dissolve in water.
- Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) : 1g
- L-arginine : 1g
- Melatonin : 5mg
- Magnesium : 425mg
- Comes with a strong dose of melatonin to help you fall asleep quickly
- A good dose of magnesium to help relax your muscle for better recovery
- Good amino acid profile for building up muscle tissue
- The powder doesn’t seem to mix as easily as other sleep recovery supplements
5 - Universal Nutrition - Animal PM
I have to admit, the name of this sleep supplement (Animal PM) did attract my attention first.
But our testing results were also positive. Our testing team highlighted that they were able to fall asleep quite a bit faster.
It comes as a powdered sleep aid and is recommended to be taken on an empty stomach about 30 minutes before going to bed.
Based on our results, it seems to make you sleepy sooner than that.
What we don’t like about it is that the company hides behind a proprietary formula.
And that can make stacking with other recovery supplements difficult.
- Magnesium : 450mg
- Essential Amino Acids : n/a
- Valerian Root : n/a
- Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) : n/a
- Works well to promote sleep and reduce muscle soreness
- Comes with a good dose of zinc to support testosterone
- It’s an unflavored powder that mixes easily into a drinkable nighttime supplement
- Most of the formula is hidden behind a proprietary formula
6 - Nutrex Research - Anabol PM
The next one of our recommended nighttime supplements comes with some interesting ingredients like Dehydroepiandrosterone.
Studies have shown that it can directly influence muscle growth when taken consistently after resistance training .
Our test group did highlight that they were bulking up faster, but they highlighted one downside.
Compared to other nighttime supplements, it looks like the melatonin dosage is a bit low, and the lemon balm doesn’t quite help enough to make you feel sleepy.
- Sphaeranthus Indicus Flower : 325mg
- Dehydroepiandrosterone : 25mg
- Lemon Balm : 250mg
- Melatonin : 2mg
- Positive results for faster muscle recovery and building
- Comes in convenient capsules to take about an hour before bedtime
- Claims to stimulate growth hormone production
- Not quite as effective at getting you to sleep
7 - Jacked Factory - Build PM
One of the interesting ingredients that my dietitian highlighted is tart cherry powder, and there are studies that have highlighted that it can help you fall asleep easier and reduce sleep deprivation .
What we are missing here is more ingredients to boost protein synthesis, and there’s not enough magnesium to fully cover your daily intake needs.
- Vitamin B6 : 10MG
- Melatonin : 5mg
- Tart Cherry Powder : 500mg
- Magnesium : 150mg
- Works well to increase the amount of quality sleep you get
- Has a higher dose of melatonin compared to most sleep supplements
- The transparent formula makes it easy to stack with other Jacked Factory products
- The dosage of magnesium is quite low, meaning you might still need another supplement
8 - Emil Nutrition - 5-HTP Plus
This is a good nighttime recovery supplement that seems to work well to make you leaner and more bulked up.
My dietitian highlighted that studies have linked 5-HTP to muscle recovery and fat loss, which is a positive thing to see .
However, there doesn’t seem to be enough focus on deep sleep, with the dose of L-tryptophan possibly being a little bit on the low side .
Overall, though, our team still liked this as one of our recommended sleep supplements because of the positive results we saw on muscles.
- Vitamin B6 : 10mg
- 5-HTP : 200mg
- L-tryptophan : 20mg
- SAMe : 20mg
- Seems to work well for stress relief
- Positive results for muscle repair and bulking
- Vegan-certified capsules with no animal gelatin
- Not as effective for improved sleep
9 - JYM Supplement Science - ZMA
This nighttime supplement and sleep aid stood out for me because it has the simplest formula.
Compared to every other recovery supplement on this list, it only has four ingredients, and they have been well chosen.
The high dose of magnesium means you don’t need additional dietary supplements to cover this mineral, and it can really help to fully relax your body at night .
The main reason we didn’t place it higher up the list is that a few amino acids would be helpful, and you have to take three capsules for the full dose, which is a bit inconvenient.
- Vitamin B6 : 10.5mg
- Magnesium : 450mg
- Zinc : 30mg
- Black Pepper : 5mg
- Contains a great dose of magnesium and zinc to cover your daily needs
- Added black pepper should help with a faster absorption rate
- Claims to help with improved immune system function
- You need to take three capsules to get the full recommended dose
10 - Universal Nutrition - ZMA Pro
The final nighttime recovery supplement we’d like to recommend is this Universal Nutrition one.
It’s another leading brand, and this ZMA is a nice and simple product with just B6, zinc, and magnesium.
The dosage is also strong enough to have you covered for your daily intake, which should also boost your immune function.
The downside I would highlight is a lack of amino EAAs, which means you might still need to consider taking a protein powder at the same time.
- Vitamin B6 : 10.5mg
- Magnesium : 450mg
- Zinc : 30mg
- Provides a strong dose of B6 to help with muscle tissue repair
- Seems to work well to help you stay asleep
- Added zinc helps with natural production of hormones like testosterone
- It doesn’t work well enough to trigger body protein synthesis
Now let me show you what to specifically look out for when choosing one of these supplements.
Who Should Take A Sleep Aid Supplement?
Most amateur and performance athletes should take a sleep aid and nighttime recovery supplement.
It’s during the night that the body goes through the majority of regenerative and repair processes to reduce the soreness from exercise .
And the better quality sleep you get, the more effective those repair processes will be.
Not only does that mean getting a full eight hours of sleep, but you need to ensure that your sleep cycles and deep sleep are within an ideal range.
What sleep aids help you do is get to sleep within minutes and then wake up fully refreshed and ready for a busy day at work and another training session.
Who Shouldn't Take A Sleep Aid Supplement?
Pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t take a sleep aid.
And anyone with a chronic sleep disorder or blood pressure issues should always talk to a medical doctor first.
While natural sleep recovery supplements don’t tend to have significant side effects, it’s not a good idea to risk an interaction with other medicines that you might be taking.
It doesn’t mean that you have to completely rule out sleep aids. But you may need to adjust the dosage and avoid certain ingredients.
Ingredients To Help With Deep Sleep
Here are the main ingredients that my dietitian highlighted that you should always prioritize in your search for a good sleep aid.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA): There is one study in particular that stood out during my research, and it showed in a double-blind study that GABA has a significant impact on sleep .
Not only can it help you fall asleep easier, but measured sleep cycles can significantly improve as well.
Kanna: This herbal extract has been shown to reduce stress and even anxiety .
And the more you can reduce stress and calm your mind, the easier it will be to get and stay asleep.
“Kanna is a plant that has traditionally been chewed by people in the areas it grows (Southern African regions) for its mood-enhancing properties, typically used in cognitively stressing situations such as hunting or coping.”
- Kamal Patel, MPH, MBA at Examine.com
Melatonin: Melatonin is a vital component when it comes to regulating your sleep, and studies have shown that it also has neuroprotective benefits on the central nervous system .
Chamomile: You’ll often find nighttime teas that contain chamomile extract, and it’s long been used for its calming effect on the body and mind. It can work as a mild sedative as well as improve sleep cycles and overall quality .
Tryptophan: This is one of the essential amino acids and getting a boost before bedtime has been tied to improvements in sleep quality and duration .
It’s less common in sleep aids but generally a good indication that you’ve found a product with a good formula.
Ingredients To Help Muscle Recovery
Along with sleep quality, muscle growth and recovery are other important features to look at for scientific evidence. And our dietitian highlighted the most important ingredients to look out for.
L-Theanine: This amino acid can help to avoid muscle breakdown and plays a key role in regenerating damaged muscle fibers. Studies have also shown that it can help with improving cardiovascular health .
Dehydroepiandrosterone: There was an interesting meta-study a few years ago that was able to link this ingredient to an improvement in body composition and muscle function . It’s less common these days as amino acids tend to be more important, but it’s not a bad ingredient to find on sleep aids.
Magnesium: This is an essential mineral for athletes because scientists have found that it can help muscles relax. And the more relaxed your muscles are, the better quality sleep you will be able to achieve. It can even help you avoid muscle cramps during the night .
“Magnesium deficiency is common in developed countries and is associated with diabetes and other conditions. A prolonged lack of magnesium in the diet can lead to muscle cramps, raised blood pressure, and reduced insulin sensitivity.”
- Mike Murray, RDN at Examine.com
Vitamin B6: And finally, you should always check for B6 on the label. This is an important vitamin for many different body functions, and studies have shown that it can influence physical performance and lean muscle mass .
When comparing sleep aid products, you also need to look at the dosage of each ingredient.
But more doesn’t always mean that it’s better.
Here’s what I mean.
Some of the best sleep recovery supplements we found didn’t necessarily have the highest dose.
What they focused on was delivering a scientifically proven amount of multiple ingredients.
And that combination can then help to boost the overall effectiveness.
So, if you find a supplement that has 5 mg of melatonin and a second one with 3 mg, then the second one could still be better if it has a high dose of GABA, for example.
Hibernate is a great example of this approach to a formula, as the company has carefully chosen the most effective ingredients in a dosage backed by studies.
But it doesn’t go overboard with extremely high doses that might not make them overly effective.
What Helps Sore Muscles When Sleeping?
Magnesium helps sore muscles when sleeping, and it’s one of the top minerals for better recovery and overall muscle function. Taking this mineral just before bedtime can also help relax the body and mind.
What Vitamins Help With Body Recovery?
B vitamins help with body recovery. These vitamins play a key role in delivering energy to muscle cells, which is required for effective repair processes . They can also help with maintaining healthy red blood cell levels.
How Do Muscles Repair At Night?
Muscles repair at night by relaxing and increasing blood flow. With that increased blood flow comes an increase in vital nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals to ensure that muscle protein synthesis can function at optimum levels.
Does B12 Help With Recovery?
Vitamin B12 can indirectly help with recovery. It plays a key role in creating red blood cells, which are responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to muscle fibers. This can then boost the recovery processes and reduce soreness.
Improve Your Post-Workout Recovery
Out of all the best nighttime recovery supplements that we tested, our entire team confirms that the test results for Hibernate are the most convincing.
Not only does it work great to get you to sleep quickly, but it can also ensure that you get a good night's sleep with fewer disruptions and less waking up.
The result is much better muscle recovery, and our test group that has continued taking it has reported noticeably faster bulking phases.
Order your first supply today and find out how much of a difference it will make for your recovery.
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