Deep, restful sleep is crucial for optimizing mental and physical performance.
While you sleep, your body repairs and replenishes your vital organs so you can be at your best.
New research is shedding light on the importance of high-quality sleep.
Anyone who wants to elevate their game to high performance must focus on getting consistent, restorative sleep.
The following roundup reviews the latest sleep science along with some of the most potent aids for getting a great night of sleep.
Benefits of Nootropics and Supplements For Sleep
Nootropics and supplements have a wide spectrum of health benefits, especially with regard to sleep.1Sheldon Cohen, William J Doyle, Cuneyt M Alper, Denise Janicki-Deverts, Ronald B Turner, Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold Arch Intern Med. 2009
Nootropics are natural and safe alternatives to many contemporary medications and come with minimal side effects.
Most nootropics are non-habit forming in nature, which is a great advantage when compared to many other similar medications or drugs. As an added benefit, nootropics support brain health and help to regulate the circadian rhythm.
Best Nootropics for Sleep in 2022 – Quick Answers
Common Sleep Problem Statistics
The statistics regarding sleep patterns and sleep associated disorders are quite concerning.
For instance, about 35.2% of the adult population in the United States of America are sleep deprived as they tend to sleep for less than seven hours per night on average.2National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, Sleep and Sleep Disorders National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. 20173Nathaniel F. Watson, MD, MSc, Moderator, M. Safwan Badr, MD, Gregory Belenky, MD, Donald L. Bliwise, PhD, Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD, Daniel Buysse, MD, David F. Dinges, PhD, James Gangwisch, PhD, Michael A. Grandner, PhD, MSTR, CBSM, Clete Kushida, MD, PhD, Raman K. Malhotra, MD, Jennifer L. Martin, PhD,Sanjay R. Patel, MD, MSc, Stuart F. Quan, MD, and Esra Tasali, MD, Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion J Clin Sleep Med. 2015
In the U.S., it is estimated that approximately 135,000 to 200,000 people have narcolepsy, which is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by extreme daytime drowsiness.5K Nishiyama , J V Johnson, Karoshi–death from overwork: occupational health consequences of Japanese production management Int J Health Serv. 1997
Sleep for Optimal Mental, and Physiological Function
Sleep is a vital physiological function that is essential in maintaining the homeostasis of our body. Adequate sleep is crucial for the maintenance of optimal cognitive and behavioral functions.7NINDS, Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep NINDS . 20198U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sleep and your health U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2021
Melatonin and Circadian Rhythm
Melatonin acts as a time cue for our circadian rhythm. In other words, melatonin is similar to an internal clock that drives our sleep-wake cycle.9C Cajochen, K Kräuchi, A Wirz-Justice, Role of melatonin in the regulation of human circadian rhythms and sleep J Neuroendocrinol. 2003
The melatonin hormone is secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness or absence of light, which helps to synchronize our circadian rhythm between sleep-wake times.10Sylvie Tordjman, Sylvie Chokron,2 Richard Delorme, Annaëlle Charrier, Eric Bellissant, Nemat Jaafari, and Claire Fougerou, Melatonin: Pharmacology, Functions and Therapeutic Benefits Curr Neuropharmacol. 2017
Neurotransmitters and Sleep
Enhanced serotonin activity has been linked to sleep deprivation. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter of particular interest to sleep researchers because it can induce both wakefulness or sleep depending on the part of the brain and the corresponding receptor which is involved in the response.11Christopher J. Watson, Ph.D., Helen A. Baghdoyan, Ph.D., and Ralph Lydic, Ph.D, Neuropharmacology of Sleep and Wakefulness Sleep Med Clin. 201112Reidun Ursin, Serotonin and sleep Sleep Med Rev. 2002
Norepinephrine is a wake-promoting neurotransmitter, that is, an increase in Norepinephrine promotes wakefulness and reduces sleep.14Christopher J. Watson, Ph.D., Helen A. Baghdoyan, Ph.D., and Ralph Lydic, Ph.D., Neuropharmacology of Sleep and Wakefulness Sleep Med Clin. 2010
REM/Deep Sleep/Light Sleep
There are four stages of sleep, described as follows:16Aakash K. Patel , Vamsi Reddy, John F. Araujo , Physiology, Sleep Stages StatPearls Publishing. 202117Aakash K. Patel; Vamsi Reddy; John F. Araujo., Physiology, Sleep Stages StatPearls Publishing; 2021
- Non-rapid eye movement Stage 1 (NREM-1) is a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. The body unwinds and relaxes in this stage by slowing down the heart rate and the brain also slows down.
- Non-rapid eye movement Stage 2 (NREM-2) is the stage of light sleep where the body temperature drops and the brain produces rapid rhythmic waves known as sleep spindles.
- Non-rapid eye movement Stage 3 (NREM-3) is a transitory stage between light sleep and deep sleep where the muscles of the body relax completely and the brain starts producing delta waves.
- Rapid eye movement (REM) is the final stage of the sleep cycle where the body becomes immobilized and the eyes move rapidly. The activity of the brain is similar to awake hours and dreams occur in this stage.
The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is linked to heart attack, stroke, and increased risk of other cardiovascular disorders.18Qiao He, Peng Zhang, Guangxiao Li, Huixu Dai, Jingpu Shi, The association between insomnia symptoms and risk of cardio-cerebral vascular events: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies Sage Journal. 2017
Sleep deprivation is associated with mood swings, gaps in memory, and compromised decision-making skills.19Torbjörn Akerstedt, Göran Kecklund, Jan Selén, Disturbed sleep and fatigue as predictors of return from long-term sickness absence Ind Health. 2010
Chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with increasing age.20Ehsan Shokri-Kojori , Gene-Jack Wang , Corinde E Wiers , Sukru B Demiral , Min Guo , Sung Won Kim , Elsa Lindgren , Veronica Ramirez , Amna Zehra , Clara Freeman , Gregg Miller, Peter Manza , Tansha Srivastava , Susan De Santi , Dardo Tomasi , Helene Benveniste , Nora D Volkow, β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018
Metabolism and Obesity
Deprivation of sleep is linked to a reduction in leptin, which is an appetite-suppressing hormone, and an increase in ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant.21Dieter Riemann , Christoph Nissen , Laura Palagini , Andreas Otte, Michael L Perlis , Kai Spiegelhalder, The neurobiology, investigation, and treatment of chronic insomnia Lancet Neurol. 2015
This imbalance can lead to dysregulation of metabolism and an increased risk of obesity.22 Christopher B Cooper,Eric V Neufeld, Brett A Dolezal,and Jennifer L Martin , Sleep deprivation and obesity in adults: a brief narrative reviewBMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2018
Best Nootropics Supplements for Sleep
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in over 300 metabolic processes in both the mind and body.
These metabolic processes include neurotransmitter synthesis including dopamine.
In today’s hectic society filled with nutrient-depleted food, magnesium deficiency is on the rise.
Subsequently most people with ADHD exhibit low levels of magnesium.1T Kozielec, et al. Assessment of magnesium levels in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Magnes Res. 2006
In clinical studies, supplementation with Magnesium has shown effective in improving ADHD symptoms. 2M Mousain-Bosc, et al. Improvement of neurobehavioral disorders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. I. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, Magnes Res. 2006
Ultimately, magnesium is highly effective at calming the body’s stress response, inducing relaxation, and steadying the mind.
Learn more about how Magnesium works in treating ADHD and other symptoms.
Red Light Therapy from SaunaSpace
Full-spectrum incandescent bulbs for more mitochondrial benefits
Safe and natural red light therapy
100-day money-back guarantee
Sauna Space is my top pick for red light therapy.
Each Sauna Space red light sauna includes hand-crafted, incandescent red light bulbs that deliver full-spectrum red light with additional sauna heating benefits.
These particular bulbs mimic the sun’s natural red-light spectrum, delivering more mitochondrial enhancing benefits than the typical EMF-emitting LED bulb found in most standard red light panels.
You also get the added sauna component for enhanced detox and immunity benefits without the harmful EMFs.
Sauna Space offers something for everyone from a simple spot-therapy photon light, all the way up to an all-inclusive Farady sauna that’s like having a fancy spa right in your living room.
These saunas are American-made and come with a 100-day money-back guarantee.
Use the link above to learn more, and save 5% on your purchase by using the code HOLISTICNOOTROPICS5 at checkout.
Red light therapy, aka photobiomodulation, is a potent promoter of deep, restorative sleep.
The near-infrared light waves associated with red light therapy demonstrate the ability to penetrate cells below the skin and lower inflammation. This translates into increased healing and a sense of calm within the body.
In clinical studies, applying red light has shown the ability to improve all parameters of sleep including sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep latency.
Sauna Space is my #1 choice for red light therapy since they use Low-EMF incandescent bulbs which better mimic the sun’s natural light.
- SaunaSpace is very easy to use. You just need to plug it in and turn it on. There are no complicated controls or settings.
- SaunaSpace is very portable. It is small enough to fit in a suitcase, so you can take it with you when you travel.
- SaunaSpace produces very little heat. This means that you can use it for a longer period of time without feeling uncomfortable.
- Many models and levels to choose from. Single bulb photon light all the way up to Luminati Infrared Sauna
- SaunaSpace is not suitable for large families or groups of friends. It is only meant for one person at a time.
- SaunaSpace may not provide the same health benefits as traditional saunas, yet some experts believe that infrared saunas are more effective than traditional saunas.
- Not sold in stores
Promotes deep, restorative sleep
Supports natural melatonin production
Supports nocturnal stem-cell function
Boosts brain function when awake
Qualia Night is a sleep-specific nootropic blend from Neurohacker, the makers of Qualia Mind.
This formula includes 25 ingredients that are each proven to induce deep, restorative sleep.
Qualia Night’s potent mix of nootropics, vitamins, herbs, amino acids, and minerals support natural melatonin production along with nocturnal stem-cell function and BDNF biogenesis.
For you this means more profound sleep benefits and a sharper brain when awake.
Chemical compound found in the cannabis plant
Shown to improve memory, attention, and vigilance, as well as reduce anxiety and improve mood
Protect the brain from damage caused by toxins and injury
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous relative, THC, CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect. However, it does have a number of potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety and inflammation.
CBD supplements are typically made from hemp extract, which contains a high concentration of CBD. Hemp plants are often bred to contain higher levels of CBD than THC, making them an ideal source for CBD supplements. When taken in supplement form, CBD is thought to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating mood and pain perception.
Some research suggests that CBD may also help to protect the brain from damage caused by neurodegenerative diseases. While more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits, CBD supplements are becoming increasingly popular as a natural way to support overall health and well-being.
CBD can support sleep and be used to help with a variety of sleep disorders, including insomnia.
The mechanism of action of CBD to regulate energy, mood, and sleep, is dependent on the receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the body.
Since there is a huge network of endocannabinoid receptors in our body, CBD can impact sleep homeostasis on my levels. For instance, CBD can improve the quality of sleep and help to improve the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD).
CBD can relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety, which can in turn positively affect sleep patterns.
It’s best used in combination with a racetam, or acetylcholinesterase inhibitor like Huperzine A. Citicoline has also shown benefits for ADHD when used with caffeine. 3Steven E. Bruce, et al. Improvements in Concentration, Working Memory, and Sustained Attention Following Consumption of a Natural Citicoline-Caffeine Beverage, Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014
Since citicoline has shown the ability to increase the release of dopamine, it is a prime candidate as a nootropic for ADHD. It can also improve mood and memory which are both often seen with ADHD.
Some people also find that this nootropic also increases their mood.
- Help to protect the brain from damage caused by neurodegenerative diseases
- Can reduce anxiety and inflammation
- Available in various forms, including oils, capsules, and edibles. Can also be added to lotions and cosmetics
- Generally considered safe
- Known for its effectiveness in treating epilepsy
- Can cause side effects like dry mouth and fatigue
- Can also interact with certain medications
- Can change alertness, which can make driving dangerous
Performance Lab Sleep
Performance Lab Sleep offers natural melatonin derived from tart cherry which effectively accelerates sleep onset.
It also relaxes the mind and body and provides relief from stress and pain.
It encourages the production of natural melatonin and serotonin which prepare the body for sleep.
It also contains some forms of magnesium which promote sleep-supportive muscle relaxation.
First developed as a wakefulness-promoting drug to combat narcolepsy, Adrafinil helps with ADHD according to preliminary research.4Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review, Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 5Milgram NW, et al. Oral administration of adrafinil improves discrimination learning in aged beagle dogs, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2000
This nootropic can help you stay awake and alert over long periods. It seems to modulate the dopamine system, which might help people living with ADHD stay on task.6Lindsay SE, Gudelsky GA, Heaton PC. Use of modafinil for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Ann Pharmacother. 2006
Learn more about adrafinil for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and more.
Circadian Rhythm Blend
This essential oil formula includes sleep-friendly oils such as Balsam of Peru (Myroxylon balsamum), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquinervera ct Cineole), Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), and more. Each of these natural, organic therapeutic oils help induce a state of calm and restfulness to help induce sleep.
Together, this blend is a potent stimulator of melatonin and helps rebalance your natural circadian rhythm..
Simply apply a few drops to the skin before bed for best results.
Delta 8 THC
Potent, psychoactive cannabinoid that is derived from the hemp plant
Legal in most states and does not produce the “high” associated with marijuana
Known to improve focus and cognitive function
Popular choice for those seeking an all-natural way to enhance their mental performance
Delta 8 THC is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more well-known cousin, Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC is much less psychoactive, making it an attractive option for those looking to experience the benefits of cannabis without the high.
Delta 8 THC supplements are made by extracting and isolating this cannabinoid from the plant. These supplements are then typically taken in pill or tincture form.
So what exactly are the benefits of taking a Delta 8 THC supplement? Some users report feeling more clear-headed and focused when taking these supplements, as well as experiencing increased energy levels and improved mood. Some studies have also shown that Delta 8 THC can help to reduce anxiety and nausea. So whether you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity or simply want to relax and destress, Delta 8 THC could be worth trying out.
Delta 8 THC interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and can provide you the relaxation that induces sleep.
Regular use of Delta 8 THC can help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer hours throughout the night.
Some scientific studies have concluded that delta-8 might potentially have clinically useful sedative and hypnotic properties which may be beneficial for patients diagnosed with sleeping disorders.
Delta-8 also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects which further contribute to the improvement of quality of sleep.
- Doesn’t make you high
- Available in supplements, which can be taken orally or added to food and beverages
- Legal in the United States
- Known to prevent vomiting during cancer treatments
- Products are available over the counter at gas stations, convenience stores, weed, and vape shops, and online
- There are some potential risks associated including dizziness, dry mouth, and paranoia
- Not regulated by the FDA
Best All around Nootropic Blend
Provides many benefits beyond ADHD
Supports healthy neurotransmitters for focus and concentration
Uses high-potency ingredients to avoid overstimulation
3rd Party tested, guaranteed free of harmful or addictive substances
If you’ve spent any time clicking around this site, you may notice a common theme. Mind Lab Pro is typically my #1 recommended nootropic supplement for enhancing cognitive function, and for a good reason!
Its efficacy is backed by robust scientific research and endless positive testimonials from thousands of users, making it one of the most effective products on the market today for those looking to upgrade their brain function.
It’s a comprehensive nootropic supplement that meets the brain’s complex needs with 11 nootropics working in 6 brain pathways to optimize a wide array of cognitive functions.
Who Should Take Mind Lab Pro?
What makes Mind Lab Pro my #1 recommended nootropic product is its ability to benefit such a wide array of adults seeking extra support.
Look at other nootropic products and smart drugs and you find a blitzkrieg of chemicals designed to stimulate your central nervous system.
While some people prefer a buzz-like approach to nootropics, this does little to promote better brain health.
If you’re new to nootropics, Mind Lab Pro is an optimal product to start with.
I call it a “gateway” nootropic because it will let you feel the differences in mental performance that nootropics can deliver without feeling overstimulated.
Mind Lab Pro is my top stack choice for combatting ADHD.
It’s 11 high-potency ingredients can improve your ability to focus and concentrate without overstimulating your nervous system.
The nootropics in this formula boost focus and concentration by enhancing acetylcholine, dopamine, and GABA.
Adaptogens like Rhodiola and Bacopa increase mental energy while lowering your stress response.
Compared to ADHD drugs, this stack isn’t addictive and won’t leave you feeling overstimulated.
The supplements themselves are 3rd party tested and free of excess fillers and toxic ingredients.
I love this stack for nootropic newbies and experienced nootropic users alike.
- Proven to boost overall cognitive performance including memory, focus, mood, creativity, motivation, and overall well-being.
- Potent blend of all-natural nootropics, herbs, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- Good for Experienced Biohackers and those new to nootropics.
- Caffeine Free
- No artificial fillers or toxic preservatives
- Affordable Price
- Ingredients are lower dosed.
- Fewer ingredients than other leading nootropic stacks
L-ornithine helps in promoting restful sleep and enhancing the quality of sleep.
L-ornithine modulates the GABA system and lowers stress hormones in the body, which induces a state of relaxation.
In addition to reducing mental stress levels, L-ornithine also buffers the levels of ammonia toxicity by disposing of excess nitrogen which reduces the levels of metabolic stress.
It is an all-natural supplement and has a wide variety of benefits which are mostly associated with stress relief, sleep improvement, and mood enhancement.
Do you have a favorite nootropic for sleep? We’d love to hear about it. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!