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Top 7 Supplements for Sleep in 2019

Lack of sleep can be attributed to anxiety, stress, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, pain, and inflammation, among others. Unfortunately, this can cause a negative cycle, where not sleeping causes even more stress!

Over-the-counter sleeping pills are notorious for their unwanted adverse effects and hangover effects. Although they get the job done, many people (including ourselves!) still prefer to look out for natural sleep aid alternatives. In this article, we explore the top supplements for sleep in 2019.

The supplements below have been studied extensively and all have a host of scientific evidence pointing to their ability to improve sleep in humans. They are of natural origin and have been shown to improve both the quality of sleep and the length of time that it takes to fall asleep.

We are aware of some other herbs and dietary supplements that people use, but to our knowledge, these are the most extensively researched supplements for sleep available today!

best supplements for sleep 2019

1.    LiftMode’s Sleep Stack

The most powerful natural sleep aid supplement stack available today – LiftMode’s Sleep Stack combines no less than 4 stress-reducing and sleep-promoting supplements into a single capsule. The product of years of first-hand experience and months of research, the Sleep Stack is specially formulated to reduce the amount of time taken to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.

What’s more is that the ingredients of this supplement stack are well-known for their ability to promote a calm and relaxed state of mind. Each Sleep Stack capsule is formulated with:

  • Oleamide – 220mg

A derivative of oleic acid, it is produced by the brain in response to sleep deprivation and has powerful calming effects.

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) - 75mg

An essential vitamin with anti-stress benefits that helps to support a healthy immune system.

  • Melatonin – 1mg

The body’s natural sleep-promoting hormone, responsible for maintaining and regulating the circadian rhythm in response to changes in the light-dark cycle

  • Levo-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP) - 29mg

liftmode-sleep-stack-imageCorydalis ambigua extract, this phytochemical is a well-known calming and stress-reducing supplement.

The Sleep Stack capsules are ideal for anybody who doesn’t want to waste time with powders or measuring scoops, and who are simply looking for an easy-to-use, effective natural sleep aid. The recommended serving size is 1 – 2 capsules, once or twice a day. For the most noticeable benefits, we recommend taking this supplement around 1 hour prior to sleep.

 

 

LiftMode Sleep Stacks efficacy:

 

Positive:

Reducing Time to Sleep ★★★★★
Mood Boost ★★★★☆
Sleep Quality Enhancement ★★★★★


Negative:

Side Effects ☆☆☆☆☆
‘Hangover Effect’ ☆☆☆☆☆

 

2.    Melatonin

melatonin sleep aid

Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the human body. Its primary function is to regulate the sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm).[1]

Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, in the centre of your brain, in response to changes in ambient lighting. Melatonin binds to receptors in the brain called M1 and M2 receptors, which send biochemical signals to a wide variety of areas in the body to get ready for sleep.[2]

When used as a dietary supplement, Melatonin easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is effective as a natural sleep aid. It helps to reduce the time taken to fall asleep and to improve sleep quality. It may also help to reduce feelings of jet-lag and to support a healthy mood.[3]

Melatonin supplements are sold in a number of countries around the world as a safe and natural sleep aid. However, countries like the United Kingdom (UK), European Union, Japan, and Australia do not allow over-the-counter sales of Melatonin without a prescription. It also cannot be used by pilots or flight attendants and its use may be restricted for certain sports.

melatonin sleep hormoneThe recommended serving size for Melatonin supplements typically ranges from typically ranges from around 1 mg – 10 mg daily.

Melatonin supplements are best taken 1 – 2 hours prior to bed. Since it is produced by the human body, Melatonin is typically free from any adverse effects, which makes it one of the most desirable natural sleep aids. Even after long-term daily use, tolerance does not build up and withdrawal is not something to worry about.[4]

Melatonin efficacy for sleep:

Positive:

Reducing Time to Sleep ★★★★☆
Mood Boost ★★★☆☆
Sleep Quality Enhancement ★★★★★


Negative:

Side Effects ★☆☆☆☆
‘Hangover Effect’ ☆☆☆☆☆

 

3.    Oleamide

oleamide sleep aid supplement

Oleamide is a fatty acid compound synthesized in the human brain from Oleic Acid (found in olive oil) and ammonia. Alongside Melatonin, Oleamide is one of the key neurotransmitters involved in promoting healthy sleep and regulating the circadian rhythm.[5]

Compared to Melatonin, it hasn’t received nearly as much attention, despite being effective at improving sleep quality and with better mood improvements than its counterpart.

Studies have shown that with just a few hours of sleep deprivation, your brain’s Oleamide levels increase by up to four to six fold![6] Oleamide is found in several Traditional Chinese medicine remedies for sleep – especially those remedies that use the Ziziphus jujube (Chinese/Korean date, Jujube) – a plant that is especially high in the neurotransmitter.[7]

Oleamide is associated with an increase in GABAergic signalling (the GABAergic system is known to produce calming and tranquillising effects on the body).

It does not specifically bind to GABA receptors, but rather acts as an effective compound for enhancing GABAergic signalling. For this reason, combining Oleamide with GABA is a great way to boost the relaxation and Oleamide 50 grams from liftmodestress-reducing effects of these natural sleep aids.

The recommended Oleamide serving size is between 50 mg – 200 mg daily. Oleamide has been known to cause dizziness and reduced motor coordination at large serving sizes and it is not recommended to use this supplement if you plan on driving or operating heavy machinery. Oleamide does not affect heart rate, blood pressure, or blood sugar levels.

Oleamide efficacy for sleep:

Positive:

Reducing Time to Sleep ★★★★☆
Mood Boost ★★★★☆
Sleep Quality Enhancement ★★★★☆


Negative:

Side Effects ★★☆☆☆
‘Hangover Effect’ ★☆☆☆☆

 

4.    Magnolia Bark Extract

magnolia bark fresh

Magnolia Bark Extract is an ancient herbal remedy used in Eastern medicine to support a healthy mood and promote sleep. In the past, Magnolia Bark was referred to as Houpu.

The biochemical constituents of Magnolia Bark Extract include biphenols like Magnolol and Honokiol. These compounds have been shown to reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body, to help reduce feelings of stress, and to improve your mood. [8] Additionally, Magnolol and Honokiol have been shown to reduce bad breath! [9]

A key way that Magnolia Bark Extract helps with sleep is by activating GABA-A receptors – similar to many more ‘conventional’ sleep aids. Preliminary studies have shown a significant improvement in sleep, for both non-REM and REM sleep phases. [10]

The recommended serving size for this supplement is 250 mg – 750 mg, once to three times a day. Magnolia Bark Extract is a very safe supplement for use and has very few side effects when used at the recommended serving size.[11] Liftmode Magnolia Bark ExtractHowever, it shouldn’t be taken alongside tranquillizers or alcohol, because it may increase the effects of these other substances.

“I have bought this product several times and have been on it for 5 months... all I can testify is that it works, especially in combination with valerian root and 5-HTP. there's not a day that I don't use it... No side effects in my experience. a good choice for someone looking for a natural source. 9/10 rating effectiveness!” – OMAR

Magnolia Bark Extract efficacy for sleep:

Positive:

Reducing Time to Sleep ★★★☆☆
Mood Boost ★★★★☆
Sleep Quality Enhancement ★★★★☆


Negative:

Side Effects ★☆☆☆☆
‘Hangover Effect’ ☆☆☆☆☆

 

 

5.    Gamma-aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

GABA - natural calming supplement

GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is the primary neurotransmitter in your body that promotes calming and relaxation. It depresses signals from your central nervous system (CNS) to help promote healthy sleep and to reduce feelings of stress.[12] This is why so many people use GABA for sleep. GABA is essential for proper neonatal brain development and it is sometimes said to have a slightly stimulating effect when taken as a supplement.

Heightened signal transmission through the central nervous system may cause irritability, insomnia, headaches, stress and anxiety.[13] These are often symptoms of an overworked/stressed nervous system and can be reduced by using this supplement or by using alternative compounds that increase the activity of GABA in the brain or bind to GABA receptors. That’s why GABA supplements are often used to improve mood and reduce stress.

Apart from its sleep-promoting benefits, GABA has a wide range of secondary functions in your body. These include to supporting a strong, healthy immune system, a good metabolism, and regulating muscle tone.[14] GABA has been found to act in almost all body GABA - gamma-aminobutyric acid supplementstructures and increased GABA concentrations have been found in yoga practitioners after an intensive yoga course.

GABA is usually taken at a serving size of 1000 mg, once daily. At excessively large serving sizes, some users have reported negative effects including dizziness, headaches, sweating, increased heart rate, and anxiousness.[15]

GABA efficacy for sleep:

Positive:

Reducing Time to Sleep ★★★☆☆
Mood Boost ★★★★☆
Sleep Quality Enhancement ★★★☆☆


Negative:

Side Effects ★★☆☆☆
‘Hangover Effect’ ★☆☆☆☆

 

 

6.    Baicalin (Skullcap Extract)

Baicalin plant flowering

Baicalin is an active component of the Blue Skullcap (sometimes referred to as Scutellaria baicalensis, Huang qin, or Scutellariae radix). It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for many centuries as a tonic for promoting vitality and relaxation. It is best known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.[16] However, recent research points towards powerful relaxing and sleep-enhancing effects.[17]

Nowadays, Baicalin supplements are well-known for their stress-reducing and mood-lifting effects. Baicalin mildly improves GABA signalling, but apart from this, the biochemical mechanisms behind its benefits are not yet fully understood.

In an animal study, scientists were able to demonstrate that Baicalin helps regulate sleeping cycles. It promotes enhanced functioning of the ‘light period’, and allows deeper REM sleep in the ‘dark period’ (also known as the ‘biphasic’ effects of Baicalin).[18]

The recommended serving size is between 250 – 750 mg, taken once to three times per day. Baicalin powder - 50 grams unitAdverse effects are said to be very mild and rare, at larger servings.

I usually just place one scoop under my tongue and in a matter of minutes I feel more relaxed and calm.” – Alex, customer review on LiftMode.com.

I take this product 2 times a day on my work days, I feel like it smooths out my coffee jitters and keeps the stress from working in customer service from even manifesting. Highly recommend it…” – David, customer review on LiftMode.com.

Baicalin efficacy for sleep:

Positive:

Reducing Time to Sleep ★★★☆☆
Mood Boost ★★★★☆
Sleep Quality Enhancement ★★★☆☆


Negative:

Side Effects ★☆☆☆☆
‘Hangover Effect’ ☆☆☆☆☆

 

 

7.     L-Theanine

l-theanine for stress-relief

L-Theanine is a calming and focusing amino acid supplement and is used for its remarkable ability to reduce stress and improve mood.[19] Studies have shown that L-Theanine has powerful benefits on mental focus, mood, sleep quality, relaxation, and wellness. It is known as a natural sleep aid supplement to promote relaxation and calm and to improve sleep quality.

L-Theanine works through its effects on biochemical receptors and neurotransmitters. Studies have shown that L-Theanine effectively increases the activity of your brain’s serotonin, dopamine, and GABA neurotransmitters.[20] Studies on children with attention disorders indicated that the supplement was effective at improving sleep latency time (time to fall asleep) and sleep quality.[21]

L-Theanine may also have a protective effect on your brain while supporting a healthy circulatory system.[22] The recommended dosage for L-Theanine is around 100-200mg, twice daily.[23] L-Theanine Capsules from LiftModeAs a natural sleep aid, L-Theanine is known for its distinct lack of adverse effects. At larger serving sizes, it may cause some stomach cramps and nausea.

Liftmode's L-Theanine is the most effective supplement that I have ever taken. There is no question of placebo effect...The thing I love most about this product is that if taken before bed, I fall asleep faster, and always spring out of bed the next morning feeling extremely well rested...” - L-Theanine review on LiftMode by Paul

L-Theanine efficacy for sleep:

Positive:

Reducing Time to Sleep ★★★☆☆
Mood Boost ★★★☆☆
Sleep Quality Enhancement ★★★★☆


Negative:

Side Effects ★★☆☆☆
‘Hangover Effect’ ☆☆☆☆☆

 

 

Conclusion: Top Dietary Supplements for Sleep (2019)

In 2019, there’s really no need to be lying awake at night struggling to sleep. With increasing information being published on the efficacy of natural sleep aids, you may also be able to avoid the side effects of conventional sleep tablets by trying these alternatives.

To recap, the top supplements for sleep this year are:

LiftMode’s Sleep Stack ★★★★★
Melatonin ★★★★
Oleamide ★★★★
Magnolia Bark Extract ★★★★
GABA Supplement ★★★★
Skullcap Extract (Baicalin) ★★★
L-Theanine ★★★

 
 

"I've taken the Sleep Stack capsules twice so far to help with sleep (1 capsule) and each time it brings on sleep quickly and lasts through the night. My wife loves it too - it works so well for her she wants me to reorder before she runs out."

sleeping cat concept of relaxation 
 

Medical Disclaimer


Not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Please read and fully understand potential adverse effects before using this product. These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not written by a medical professional. Please consult your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.

 

References: 

[1] Masters, A., Pandi-Perumal, S. R., Seixas, A., Girardin, J. L., & McFarlane, S. I. (2014). Melatonin, the Hormone of Darkness: From Sleep Promotion to Ebola TreatmentBrain disorders & therapy4(1), 1000151.

[2] Kostoglou-Athanassiou, I. (2013). Therapeutic applications of melatoninTherapeutic advances in endocrinology and metabolism4(1), 13-24.

[3] Tordjman, S., Chokron, S., Delorme, R., Charrier, A., Bellissant, E., Jaafari, N., & Fougerou, C. (2017). Melatonin: Pharmacology, Functions and Therapeutic BenefitsCurrent Neuropharmacology15(3), 434-443.

[4] Lemoine, P., Nir, T., Laudon, M., Zisapel, N. (2007). Prolonged-release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effectsJ Sleep Res, 16(4):372-80.

[5] Boger, D.L., Henriksen, S.J., Cravatt, B.F. (1998). Oleamide: an endogenous sleep-inducing lipid and prototypical member of a new class of biological signaling moleculesCurr Pharm Des, 4(4):303-14. Review.

[6] Mendelson, W.B., Basile, A.S. (2005). The hypnotic actions of the fatty acid amide, oleamideNeuropsychopharmacology, 25(5 Suppl):S36-9.

[7] Patel, K. (2018). OleamideExamine.com [online] Available at https://examine.com/supplements/oleamide/

[8] Talbott, S.M., et al., Effect of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense (Relora®) on cortisol and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 37.

[9] Porciani, P.F., Grandini, S. (2012). The effect of zinc acetate and magnolia bark extract  added to chewing gum on volatile sulfur-containing compounds in the oral cavityJ Clin Dent, 23(3):76-9.

[10] Chen, C.R., et al. (2012). Magnolol, a major bioactive constituent of the bark of Magnolia officinalis, induces sleep via the benzodiazepine site of GABA(A) receptor in miceNeuropharmacology, 63(6):1191-9

[11] Patel, K. (2018). Magnolia officinalis. Examine.com [online] Available at https://examine.com/supplements/magnolia-officinalis/

[12] Patel, K. (2018). GABA. Examine.com [online] Available at https://examine.com/supplements/gaba/

[13] Martin, E. I., Ressler, K. J., Binder, E., & Nemeroff, C. B. (2009). The neurobiology of anxiety disorders: brain imaging, genetics, and psychoneuroendocrinologyThe Psychiatric clinics of North America32(3), 549-75.

[14] Boonstra, E., de Kleijn, R., Colzato, L. S., Alkemade, A., Forstmann, B. U., & Nieuwenhuis, S. (2015). Neurotransmitters as food supplements: the effects of GABA on brain and behaviorFrontiers in psychology, 6, 1520.

[15] GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). (2017). WebMD.com [online] Available at https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/gaba-uses-and-risks

[16] Patel, K. (2018). Scutellaria Baicalensis. Examine.com [online] Available at https://examine.com/supplements/scutellaria-baicalensis/

[17] Shi, Y., Dong, J. W., Zhao, J. H., Tang, L. N., & Zhang, J. J. (2014). Herbal Insomnia Medications that Target GABAergic Systems: A Review of the Psychopharmacological EvidenceCurrent Neuropharmacology12(3), 289-302.

[18] Chang, H.H. et al. (2011). Biphasic effects of baicalin, an active constituent of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, in the spontaneous sleep-wake regulationJ Ethnopharmacol, 17;135(2):359-68.

[19] Nobre, A.C., et al. (2008). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental stateAsia Pac J Clin Nutr, 17 Suppl 1:167-8.

[20] Nathan, P.J., et al. (2006). The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agentJ Herb Pharmacother, 6(2):21-30.

[21] Lyon, M.R., et al. (2011). The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trialAltern Med Rev, 16(4):348-54

[22] Kakuda, T. (2011). Neuroprotective effects of theanine and its preventive effects on cognitive dysfunctionPharmacol Res, 64(2):162-8

[23] Patel, K. (2018). Theanine, Examine.com [online] Available at https://examine.com/supplements/theanine/