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.
The Best Nootropics for Sleep
- Best Overall Nootropic for Sleep: Neurohacker Collective - Qualia Night
- Cheapest Nootropic for Sleep: Nootropics Depot - Melatonin
- Best Sleep Nootropic for Cognitive Function: Performance Lab - Sleep
- Best Sleep Nootropic for Stress Relief: EcoNugenics - HonoPure
- Best Nootropic for Nighttime Muscle Recovery: BiOptimizers
- Best Vegan Nootropic for Sleep: Neurohacker Collective - Qualia Night
Our Top Products (December 2023)
1 - Neurohacker Collective - Qualia Night (Best Overall & Vegan-Friendly)
Our test group highlighted that they all found this Neurohacker product was improving sleep quality.
My dietitian highlighted that all the ingredients have scientific backing and that according to a study published on the Frontiers website, L-Theanine was especially helpful in achieving 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 (Best for Cognitive Function)
From our tests, Performance Lab Sleep was a strong contender, yet in my personal experience, a touch more magnesium could have nudged it to first place, as it took me a tad longer to drift off than I would have liked.
This amino acid has been linked to sleepiness, but according to a PubMed study, it doesn’t make you feel groggy the next day .
- 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 (Best for Stress Relief)
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 .
During our testing, HonoPure stood out for its stress relief, which I personally found quite soothing. However, I believe adding a couple more sleep-inducing ingredients could enhance its effectiveness for those nights when you just can't seem to wind down.
- 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 .
In my personal experience with Alpha GABA PM, the inclusion of melatonin was a significant plus, helping me establish a more regular sleep pattern.
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.
In our tests, we found it was effective in reducing sleep disruptions. My clients 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 (Best for Muscle Recovery)
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.
My personal experience with Magnesium Breakthrough was notable for not just the sleep benefits but also the cognitive boost from vitamin B6 .
- 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
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 .
From my personal use of Reforged Drift, I can vouch for its relaxing effects. It's like easing into a calm before the sleep storm, a sentiment that was shared across our test group.
- 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.
In my experience, Mind:Restore has been effective for enhancing sleep quality. However, I noticed it didn't quite help with the initial stages of falling asleep, a point that was also raised by several of my clients.
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 (Cheapest Option)
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
How We Tested These Sleep Nootropics
Here's how we chose the best nootropics for sleep:
We meticulously vetted each product, prioritizing those formulated with ingredients backed by clinical research. The reputation of the brands was also a critical factor, as we sought out companies with a solid track record of consumer trust and satisfaction.
Additionally, we scoured through countless consumer reviews, seeking to understand the experiences and outcomes of those who've walked this path before us.
Diverse Testing Panel
We assembled a panel of testers reflective of a broad spectrum of sleep challenges, encompassing various ages, genders, and backgrounds. Prior to participation, each tester underwent a thorough health screening to ensure their well-being throughout the testing phase.
We sought to identify products that offer the best value for money—not just the lowest price. We compared the cost per serving, the presence of high-quality ingredients, and the dosage strength to determine whether the price of each product was justified by its potential benefits.
Our goal was to ensure that our recommended nootropics are accessible to a wide audience, providing cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality or efficacy.
We meticulously examined the ingredient lists of each product, giving preference to those with transparent labeling and high-quality, scientifically-backed components.
We looked for nootropics that contained proven sleep aids such as melatonin, L-theanine, and various adaptogens known for their stress-reducing and sleep-enhancing properties.
The presence of fillers, artificial additives, or any potentially harmful substances was a significant red flag.
Our selected nootropics boast clean, potent formulations that stand up to scrutiny, ensuring that you're not only investing in a product that claims to aid sleep but one that has a composition aligned with the latest in sleep science.
We measured how well each product delivered on its promise to improve sleep. We analyzed sleep patterns, duration, and quality using both objective data from sleep trackers and subjective feedback from our testing panel.
The effectiveness was gauged not just by the immediate impact on sleep but also by the long-term benefits observed over the testing period.
We prioritized products that consistently showed a positive effect on the overall sleep experience, helping users to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed.
Nootropic Buyer’s Guide
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.
Related Nootropic Posts:
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.
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.
Nootropics and Sleep in Different Age Groups
Our sleep patterns and needs change as we grow older. Nootropics may offer age-specific benefits that can enhance sleep quality for:
- Young adults: Nootropics can improve cognitive function and potentially help in managing the stress that disrupts sleep. Furthermore, nootropics that support the production of serotonin and melatonin can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle, which is often erratic in younger individuals.
- Middle age: Nootropics that have a calming effect, such as L-theanine, can be particularly beneficial in promoting a restful night's sleep by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the duration of deep sleep.
- Seniors: Certain nootropics, such as Ginkgo Biloba, have shown potential for enhancing sleep quality in the elderly by improving REM sleep. Additionally, nootropics with antioxidant properties may combat oxidative stress, which can disrupt sleep patterns in older adults.
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.
Our Verdict on the Best Nootropic for Sleep
After extensive testing and personal trials with over 30 clients, my top recommendation for improving sleep quality is Qualia Night from the Neurohacker Collective.
This nootropic stands out not only for its scientifically backed ingredients but also for the tangible improvements it made to my sleep patterns.
I've personally experienced deeper, more restful sleep and have observed similar benefits in my clients, with many reporting enhanced cognitive function the next day.
While no product is a one-size-fits-all solution, the consistent positive feedback and lack of negative side effects make Qualia Night a standout choice for those seeking a vegan-friendly, effective sleep aid.
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