There is a great need for more/better/deeper sleep these days. Wouldn’t that be nice? Join us. Gains in muscle mass? I agree. Dietitians recommend these health-promoting and sleep supplements to help you wind down for the day.
Check out these research-backed supplements to take before bed, from melatonin to Ashwagandha. Adding a new supplement to your routine should always be discussed with a trusted healthcare professional.
We’ll start with the most commonly recommended natural sleep supplement. Melatonin is recommended for sleep issues for a reason: it helps promote the body’s sleep-wake cycle by lowering in the morning and increasing at night, says Kylie Ivanir, an RN and MSc who runs Within Nutrition.
This may be true for individuals managing jet lag, insomnia, or wanting to improve sleep effectiveness, considering the role melatonin plays in regulating the circadian rhythm and signaling the body when it is time to sleep,” she explains, citing this scientific overview.
Sleep is a major factor in treating anxiety, so this is another powerful ally to have in your arsenal.
“Magnesium can be formulated in many different ways. Magnesium citrate differs from other chelated forms, such as magnesium bisglycinate and magnesium threonate, which are readily absorbed and work intracellularly,” states Ivanir.
According to this study, magnesium bisglycinate can promote relaxation, sleep, and anxiety reduction. Therefore, this form of magnesium may be helpful to take at night before bedtime. There are many foods that contain magnesium, including bananas, dark leafy greens, nuts, avocados, and beans.
The former states, “[magnesium] is a natural relaxant and helps to improve sleep quality. Magnesium also helps reduce stress, as it can inhibit cortisol production and possibly lower blood pressure.”.
The recommendation for men is 300 mg and for women is 200 mg, although some people may choose to take more. “Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 different enzyme systems in the body, and it helps the body use calcium and oxygen effectively, as well as building strong, healthy bones and teeth,” she says.
Research has shown that passionflower may influence both sleep quantity and quality. Sleep quantity refers to how much time you have spent sleeping, and sleep quality refers to how well you have slept,” says Kim Rose, RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD.
“For a good night’s sleep, it is essential to achieve the right balance between quantity and quality of sleep. According to a 2017 study, passionflower decreased wakefulness and increased sleeping time significantly. In a study involving humans, passionflower tea was shown to help improve sleep quality.
Passionflower may hold promising results for capping off your night, even though these studies are small and more human research is needed before we can make definitive claims,” she says.
If you’re trying to sleep better, this supplement may be a godsend. L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea plants.
A small 2016 study suggests that L-theanine may have anti-stress properties, says Rose. Another study conducted in China confirmed that negative types of stress may cause sleep disruption and disrupt overall sleep quality.
For as much stress as modern-day society gives, L-theanine seems like a smart choice.”
Are you ready to call it a night? It might be a good idea to take a protein supplement before you go to bed if you’re a gym rat.
According to his research, “for active individuals, it may be beneficial to take a slowly digested protein supplement before bed. When used over time in conjunction with strength training, pre-sleep protein can help increase muscle mass and strength, promote recovery, and improve performance.” Possibly, this is due to an overnight spike in growth hormone, which aids in the creation of muscle mass.”
Caloway emphasizes the benefits of casein protein (from eggs): “It is beneficial to consume casein protein before bedtime because of its slow digestion.
Unlike whey, casein is a very thick protein that breaks down slowly in the stomach and provides the body with nutrients (while promoting growth hormone secretion) while you sleep,” says Calloway.
When consumed just before going to bed, this protein helps promote muscle protein synthesis while allowing your muscles to recover from workouts overnight. It is a complete protein with all essential amino acids.
Perhaps it is time to get to know this Ayurvedic herb with a variety of applications.
Ashwagandha is specifically known to produce a calming effect, which may be beneficial for sleep. While most studies on ashwagandha have been conducted on animals, one noteworthy human study suggested that the herb may improve sleep.
Having a sense of calm is essential for good sleep. In this study, ashwagandha did just that and improved sleep quality while decreasing the amount of time it takes to transition from fully awake to asleep.“
Take the CBD train for a good night’s sleep. The main cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, CBD, interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates many processes in the body, says Ivanir.
“Difficulty sleeping can be caused by many factors, but if anxiety is the root cause, CBD may be beneficial. CBD has been shown to have a calming effect, which can help to reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
Furthermore, CBD has also been shown to relieve pain, thereby aiding in sleep in people with chronic pain. She adds that CBD may also interact with brain receptors that regulate sleep-wake cycles, promoting sleep directly.