The Best Ingredients for a Better Night’s Sleep
The 5 Best Ingredients for Better Sleep
If you’re one of those people who is tired in the morning and wired before bed, we feel your pain. If you spend hours tossing and turning trying to clock out for the evening, we feel your pain. If you can’t seem to not panic about how many hours of sleep you’re not getting because you’re actively thinking about how many hours of sleep you’re not getting… oh—we feel your pain.
Every now and then we might need a nudge (or for some of us, a shove) when it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep when we’re supposed to.
If you’re looking to give your sleep habits some much needed R&R, here are some of the best ingredients when it comes to getting more restful sleep.
We may as well call this supplement ol' reliable. The keeper of the Zzzs. The jetlag jouster… that last one might be a stretch, but you catch our drift.
Melatonin is a common sleep supporter that works by helping our brain’s internal clock understand that when the sun goes down, it’s time for bed. This natural phenomenon is what’s called our circadian rhythm. It’s our body’s 24-hour sleep-wake pattern that works by adjusting our hormones (like melatonin) at certain times of the day to either help us stay alert or tucker us out for bedtime.
If you find that you’re not tired when you’re supposed to be, your internal clock might be a little off. Supplementing melatonin into your nightly routine can help readjust your circadian rhythm so you feel tired when you’re supposed to, especially if you’re travel-happy and experience jetlag frequently.
Meet one of the most mellow minerals around. Magnesium is a muscle and mind soother that also encourages natural melatonin production for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Magnesium can increase levels of GABA—a neurotransmitter that helps calm brain activity and relax a restless mind.
If stress is one of the reasons you find it hard to wind down, magnesium might be one of the best options to help you recover from a long day and replenish nutrients lost when you were undergoing not-so-ideal situations.
3. Valerian and Hops
Don’t sleep on this herbal remedy. Valerian is a plant that’s been used medicinally since the Greco-Roman era and hops are an ingredient that you find in beer. When combined, you have a calming mashup that can help soothe feelings of anxiousness before bed as well as support restful sleep.
Not a fan of how valerian smells? If you stick to capsules you can enjoy the benefits of this root without the funk.
This amino acid is most found in bay bolete mushrooms as well as green and black tea. L-theanine is best known for its calming properties to help manage feelings of anxiousness by supporting neurotransmitter function. It is also thought to promote more time in deep sleep and can help us feel relaxed without drowsiness.
On the flipside, if you find yourself tired at work or during the day, pairing L-theanine with caffeine can help you wake up while maintaining a sense of calm. Plus, no jitters afterwards—win-win, right?
5. Lavender Aromatherapy
Less of a supplement and more of a “chill vibes enhancement,” aromatherapy can stimulate our central nervous system to help with our mood and energy levels. For example, if you’re hoping to have a productive day cleaning around the house/apartment/etc., peppermint, orange and lemon can help pump you up mentally to get $#@! done… but that’s not what we’re trying to do here.
Lavender essential oil can help promote a sense of calm and lull the mind before bed in many ways. You can combine with a carrier oil like jojoba and add to baths or salves for some seriously soothing self-care, or simply add to a diffuser the create your comfort space.
We hope there’s a supplement or two that speak to you, but if you’re struggling to find the right fit, it might be beneficial to try our quiz and build the routine that’s right for you.
If you’re looking for even more healthy sleep habits be sure to check out our Bedtime Routine for Better Sleep or try our Stress Recovery Routine for a little more peace of mind.