sleep supplements

Three Science-Backed Sleep Supplements for Sweeter Dreams

These science-backed sleep supplements may help you get a more restful slumber.

By Karen Truhe, MPH

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Getting enough sleep is essential to good health, and there are natural sleep supplements that can help you get a more restful slumber.

According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), about 40 million Americans are plagued by chronic sleep disorders and 20 million others reported occasional sleep issues. There are many conditions that could lead to a sleep disorder—stress, smartphone/device use before bed and sleep apnea to name a few.

Keep reading to discover three natural sleep supplements (backed by science) that could help you rest a little easier.


This hormone, produced naturally by the body, let’s your brain know it is time to sleep making it an ideal natural supplement for sleep. Normally, melatonin levels rise in the evening and fall in the morning, but travel and night-shift work can disrupt this natural cycle.

A review article analyzing 19 studies found that supplementing with melatonin reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased total sleep time and improved overall sleep quality.

While the studies covered a range of doses, experts from Cleveland Clinic recommend doses up to a 5 milligrams to treat insomnia.

Talk to your doctor about a starting dose that is right for you.


The soothing scent of lavender is believed to promote relaxation and sleep, which is one reason the plant is so popular in aromatherapy.

A 2005 study of men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 found that smelling lavender essential oil 30 minutes before bedtime improved the subjects’ sleep quality.

Another study found the calming fragrance effective at improving the sleep quality of postpartum women.


Stress and anxiety top the list of most reported causes of insomnia.  

For sleep issues related to anxiety, the amino acid L-theanine (found in green tea leaves) has been found to be an effective natural relaxant.

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Human Psychopharmacology showed that L-theanine was more effective than a standard benzodiazapene (alprazolam or Xanax) at reducing anxiety.

A 2018 study found that study participants reported more satisfying sleep after taking 450–900 milligrams of sleep supplement L-theanine every day for 8 weeks.


Natrol Melatonin Fast-Dissolve Tablets

Take 1 tablet about 20 minutes before bedtime—no water needed!

Bluebonnet Nutrition Targeted Choice Sleep Support Capsules

With L-theanine and other sleep-supporting herbal ingredients including valerian root, chamomile and passion flower.

NOW Foods 100% Pure and Certified Organic Lavender Essential Oil

Add to a diffuser and breathe in this fragrant essential oil as you sleep.


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