Top 5 Natural Sleep Aid Supplements of 2021
If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping you’ve probably had a look online for sleep aid supplements. There’s heaps of products out there, but which ones actually work? Here’s 5 awesome natural sleep supplements explained.
Melatonin is the hormone secreted by the pineal gland. It’s produced in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep. Basically, it signals your brain that it’s getting dark and time to get ready to sleep. Your natural melatonin levels begin to rise soon after the onset of darkness, usually about 2 hours before you sleep.
It’s important to note that melatonin doesn’t just knock you out, but rather makes your brain think you’re in a dark environment and reduces dopamine levels, which puts you in a state of quiet wakefulness that helps promote sleep. (Read more about melatonin here)
5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid. Our body uses 5-HTP for the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for things such as mood, anxiety, sleep, appetite, temperature, eating behaviour, sexual behaviour and more. It’s used often for treating depression, but the increase in serotonin levels can also help you sleep .
Serotonin works in harmony with melatonin to help keep your circadian rhythm in balance.
Serotonin levels increase in the morning when you’re exposed to sunlight, it improves your mood and makes you feel more energised all around.
Serotonin’s most important role in sleep is the fact that it’s the precursor to melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it’s time to go to sleep. Without serotonin your body can’t produce any melatonin, low melatonin levels have shown to be associated with insomnia and night time awakenings. 
Have your racing thoughts ever kept you awake at night? GABA might be the thing for you.
GABA, short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter for the central nervous system. By reducing neural activity, GABA reduces mental and physical stress, eases anxiousness, creates a calmness of mood and induces sleep.
Low GABA levels can be a factor in overthinking, anxiousness, tension and associated concerns, like difficulty sleeping. A Harvard Medical School study published in the journal Sleep found that people with chronic sleep problems had 30% lower levels of GABA than normal. 
Research suggests that a mixture of 5-HTP and GABA improves sleep latency, duration and quality more effectively than taking them alone. 
Valerian is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia that has been used in traditional medicine for at least 2000 years.
It contains a number of compounds including valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants. Valerenic acid has been found to inhibit the breakdown of GABA in the brain , resulting in feelings of calmness and anxiety relief. Valerian root also contains the antioxidants hesperidin and linarin, which appear to have sedative and sleep-enhancing properties.
While more research into Valerian needs to be done to further prove its effectiveness as a sleep aid, so far it’s showing to be promising.
L-theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green and black tea and some mushrooms. It’s said to help ease anxiety, stress, and insomnia as well as balance out the stimulating effect of caffeine.
L-theanine is what’s known as an anxiolytic, it works to reduce anxiety. Some anxiolytics, such as valerian and hops, have sedative effects. L-theanine differs in the fact that it promotes relaxation and stress reduction without sedating . It’s also said to increase the body’s natural GABA levels, further promoting relaxation and putting you in a better state for falling asleep.
When looking for sleep remedies online, check for products that include these ingredients. Sleep is vital for cognitive function and long jeverdy, so if you’re not getting enough of it you could be putting yourself at risk for future health problems. You can find our sleeping supplements here.