best sleep supplement

Best Sleep Supplements to Buy in 2024

David Tomen
David Tomen
8 minute read

best sleep supplements to buyThere’s nothing quite like a full deep sleep. And waking refreshed the next day.

In fact, we humans covet sleep so much we’ll try just about anything to help us improve sleep in 2024.

A recent study showed that 70 million Americans have problems sleeping.[i] Another study at The University of Warwick Medical School in the UK with nearly 50,000 people revealed that 17% of the population were dealing with sleep problems.[ii]

Insomnia has been deemed an ‘epidemic’ by researchers and medical scholars throughout Europe and the Americas.

And when it feels like you are perpetually exhausted from lack of sleep, it’s tempting to ask your doctor for prescription sleep aids for something like Ambien® (zolpidem) to help your sleep wake cycle.

best sleep supplementBehavioral sleep medicine like zolpidem are GABAA receptor agonists that bind to the α-1 subunit, which is believed to be responsible for the drug’s sedative properties.

Turns out this mechanism of action is very similar to using benzodiazepines (benzos) for sleep. They both cause problems with memory consolidation.[iii]

OTC sleep aids containing the antihistamine diphenhydramine prevent acetylcholine (ACh) action. Low ACh can lead to brain fog, mental confusion, delirium, blurred vision, memory loss and hallucinations.[iv]

And if you try to go ‘natural’, you’ll find most ‘natural’ sleep aids on the market contain synthetic melatonin.

But not only is this form of melatonin not natural, a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine showed something very alarming.

Researchers found that synthetic melatonin content ranged from -83% to + 478%. Contrary to what was claimed on sleep supplement labels.[v]

If you are as sensitive to melatonin supplements like I am, taking a chance on nearly 500% more than what you thought you were getting is a big problem.

But I have good news for you because experienced neurohackers have found other ways to get quality sleep this year.

And all it takes are 3 supplements that are easy and relatively inexpensive to get.

Best Natural Sleep Aid Supplements for 2024

Put together a stack with the following supplements and you’re sure to get the sleep you need. Night after night.

Tart Cherry

Montmorency tart cherry contains the richest natural source of melatonin. Identical to the hormone secreted by the pineal gland in your brain.

top 10 sleeping pills
Tart Cherry

Your pineal gland receives a signal from your hypothalamus in response to your circadian rhythm and environmental clues like light and temperature.[vi]

The problem is this natural process in our modern society can be disrupted by exposure to artificial light from cellphones and tablet screens, medications, medical conditions, stress, food and drink.

And your circadian rhythm can also be disrupted by working the night shift. Or flying to a different time zone.

Supplementing with tart cherry provides melatonin when your natural melatonin is suppressed.

Tart cherry for sleep has been proven in clinical trials as well. For example, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was done with 20 volunteers who consumed tart cherry juice concentrate or a placebo for 7 days.

Sleep quality was recorded along with melatonin metabolites from urine samples.

Melatonin was significantly higher in the tart cherry group compared to no change in the placebo group.

The researchers recorded significant increases in time in bed, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency in the tart cherry volunteers.

And concluded that tart cherry juice does indeed increase natural melatonin. Which in turn improved sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women.[vii]

Tart cherry is also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It contains anthocyanins which block COX-1 and COX-2 proinflammatory enzymes.

Several studies show that tart cherry helped reduce muscle damage and pain after strenuous exercise. Offering faster relief from minor aches, stiffness and discomfort.[viii]

Tart cherry extract may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and help repair your body and brain while you sleep. Feeling refreshed and physically ready to start your day.

Recommended dosage of organic tart cherry juice from concentrate is 4 – 6 ounces (120 – 180 mL), or 500 mg of CherryPURE® which is tart cherry extract in a capsule about 90 minutes before bed.


Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in your body. And a cofactor in more than 600 enzymatic reactions.

best natural sleep supplement

Some of these processes are directly involved in falling asleep and staying asleep. For example, magnesium stimulates GABAA receptors much the same as prescription sleep aid Ambien® (zolpidem).[ix]

This GABA action by magnesium helps block the excitability of NMDA receptors. Calming nerve cell signaling which relaxes muscles and brain activity.

This process also boosts nitric oxide (NO) which helps relax smooth muscle cells. Allowing for easier blood flow and lower blood pressure that precedes sleep.[x]

Magnesium ions control the ion channels required for brain cell signaling. And is critical for the neuroplasticity required for memory consolidation while you sleep.

Magnesium is required for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis. Which is the main energy source produced by your mitochondria in nearly every cell in your brain and body.[xi] And for the synthesis of DNA and RNA.[xii]

The problem is most people are unaware that they are living with a magnesium deficiency. Which is contributing to sleep and memory problems.[xiii]

Over the last 60 years, the magnesium content in fruit and vegetables has declined by 30%. And a further 80 – 90% of magnesium is lost during food processing.

But the thing is that supplementing with regular magnesium won’t do you much good. Because it’s not very bioavailable. And the high dosage required to elevate your magnesium levels can cause diarrhea.

The best option is to choose the right form of magnesium. Magnesium Bisglycinate is a chelated form of this mineral bound to the amino acid glycine which boosts bioavailability.

Or use Magnesium Taurate which is magnesium bound to the amino acid taurine which inhibits neurotransmission (helping sleep), acts as an antioxidant, assists long-term potentiation, and helps magnesium cross the blood-brain barrier.

And the addition of taurine also aids in the movement of potassium, sodium, and calcium into and out of cells. Which helps alleviate muscle twitches that can keep you awake.

Research suggests the recommended dosage of magnesium is 100 – 400 mg about 90 minutes before bed.

Sea Buckthorn

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a plant native to China and is also found growing in temperate zones throughout the world.

Sea Buckthorn is a natural source of serotonin which goes on the naturally produce the sleep hormone melatonin in your brain. This plant is also rich in flavonoids and other antioxidants, fat- or water-soluble vitamins such as vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and lycopene, phytosterols, amino acids, and minerals.

This natural sleep supplement,  Sea Buckthorn helps your body and brain repair itself during the night, supports natural sleep cycles, and contributes to a more restful night.


Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and precursor to serotoninmelatonin, and Vitamin B3 (niacin) in your body and brain.

Best sleep aid supplementTryptophan is one of the best natural sleep aids available without the unwanted side effects of prescription sleep meds.

You’ll get better results supplementing with Tryptophan as a sleep aid by stacking it with magnesium, and Vitamin B6 because both are required to synthesize serotonin.

Tryptophan converts to 5-HTP, and then with the help of Vitamin B6 (P-5-P) produces serotonin.

The further conversion of serotonin into melatonin requires the presence of SAM-e.

The entire pathway from Tryptophan to 5-HTP to serotonin to melatonin provides a good mood during the day. And a calming influence preparing you for relaxation leading to sleep, and sound sleep all night.

Recommended dosage of L-Tryptophan is 250 mg about 90 minutes before bed.

Best Pre-formulated Stack for Sleep Disorders in 2024

For years, I used the above individual supplements as my sleep stack taken about 90 minutes before bed.

I’d fall asleep in less than a minute, and sleep through the night. Feeling refreshed the next morning.

best sleep aid redditThen in early 2018, Performance Lab® came out with a sleep stack using the same ingredients. It’s what I now use instead of individual supplements which is less expensive but still works like a charm.

Performance Lab® Sleep contains 100 mg of Magnesium (as Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, and NutriGenesis® Magnesium), 500 mg of tart cherry extract (as CherryPURE®), 200 mg of L-Tryptophan, and 100 mg certified organic Sea Buckthorn.

Performance Lab® also uses NutriCaps® vegan-friendly capsules which are made from tapioca. Rather than ‘veggie capsules’ which are actually a type of plastic made from pine or poplar tree pulp.

And there no fillers or additives! Just plain, pure, patented ingredients. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please check in with your personal care provider to make sure this stack is a good fit for your needs.

If you are craving a great night’s sleep, I highly recommend this premium stack.

Get Performance Lab® Sleep or

See my complete Performance Lab® Sleep Review or

See my deeper dive into how sleep works, how much sleep you really need, and health problems associated with not getting enough sleep in my post on “Best Nootropics for Sleep”.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] “The National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR)” USA National Institute of Health (source)

[ii]  “Global ‘sleeplessness epidemic’ affects an estimated 150 million in developing world” Warwick (source)

[iii] Morgan P.T., Kehne J.H., Sprenger K.J., Malison R.T. “Retrograde effects of triazolam and zolpidem on sleep-dependent motor learning in humans.” Journal of Sleep Research. 2010 Mar;19(1 Pt 2):157-64. (source)

[iv] Fox C., Smith T., Maidment I., Chan W.Y., Bua N., Myint P.K., Boustani M., Kwok C.S., Glover M., Koopmans I., Campbell N. “Effect of medications with anti-cholinergic properties on cognitive function, delirium, physical function and mortality: a systematic review.” Age and ageing. 43 (5): 604–15 (source)

[v] Erland L.A.E., Saxena P.K. “Melatonin Natural Health Products and Supplements: Presence of Serotonin and Significant Variability of Melatonin Content” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 2017 Feb 15; 13(2): 275–281. (source)

[vi] Macchi M.M., Bruce J.N. “Human pineal physiology and functional significance of melatonin.” Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. 2004 Sep-Dec;25(3-4):177-95. (source)

[vii] Howatson G., Bell P.G., Tallent J., Middleton B., McHugh M.P., Ellis J. “Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.” European Journal of Nutrition. 2012 Dec;51(8):909-16 (source)

[viii] Kuelh K.S., Perrier E.T., Eliot D.L., Chesnutt J.C. “Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial.” Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010 May 7;7:17. (source)

[ix] Pigeon W.R., Bishop T.M., Marcus J.A. “Advances in the management of insomnia” F1000 Prime Reports 2014; 6: 48. (source)

[x] De Baaij J.H.F., Hoenderop J.G.J., Bindels R.J.M. “Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease” Physiological Reviews Vol. 95, No. 1 (source)

[xi] Garfinkel L., Garfinkel D. “Magnesium regulation of the glycolytic pathway and the enzymes involved.” Magnesium. 1985;4(2-3):60-72. (source)

[xii] Grober U., Schmidt J., Kisters K. “Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy” Nutrients. 2015 Sep; 7(9): 8199–8226. (source)

[xiii] Rude R.K., Singer F.R., Gruber H.E. “Skeletal and hormonal effects of magnesium deficiency.” Journal of American College of Nutrition. 2009 Apr;28(2):131-41. (source)

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Join The Discussion - 57 comments

Keith Worrall
April 12, 2024

G’day David,
on the subject of sleep, I have BPH, and once I wake to use the bathroom, I find it difficult to fall asleep again. Just a couple of nights ago, I woke up at 2.30am to use the bathroom, could not fall asleep again, and so after about 30 mins of tossing and turning I decided to get out of bed , and that was the end of my sleep for that night. Any suggestions on my lack of ability to regain sleep again?,
sincerely with kind regards
Keith Worrall

    David Tomen
    April 17, 2024

    Keith, I used the stack I talked about in the above article but still had a problem waking 2 – 3 times per night. I added 40 mg CBD Oil and it solved the problem for me.

February 9, 2024

Hi David, thank you for all the knowledge that you share. I want to ask you if this product is a valid tart cherry extract to take for sleep. It should be 600 mg per capsule. Thanks 🙂

Amarena Montmorency

    David Tomen
    February 9, 2024

    William, that page is in Italian which I cannot speak. But as far as I tell that is Montmorency Tart Cherry extract which should help with sleep.

November 25, 2023
What can you say to this, not only tart cherries are capable of this.

    David Tomen
    November 26, 2023

    Montmorency tart cherry contains the “richest natural source” of melatonin. You’d need to eat a lot more of those fruits in the study to match that.

December 19, 2022

Just wanted to ask a quick question about your Tart Cherry recommendation….

Do you have to use Montmorency tart cherry to get those benefits that you listed? Or will other types of Tart (or Sour) cherries also produce similar effects; e.g. Morello cherries?

Thanks 🙂

    David Tomen
    December 21, 2022

    James, the highest concentration of melatonin is found in Balaton and Montmorency tart cherries (Prunus cerasus) ( It may be found in lower concentrations in other sour cherry varieties. But those two have the highest concentration.

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