best sleep supplements to buy 2023

A Deep Performance Lab Sleep Review

David Tomen
David Tomen
16 minute read

Performance Lab - best nootropics for sleep

Key Takeaways

  1. Performance Lab Sleep is appreciated for its sleep aid effectiveness.
  2. The product is made by a reputable company, ensuring quality.
  3. Contains well-researched ingredients known to aid sleep.
  4. Recommended dosage is provided for achieving desired effects.
  5. The supplement provides good value for the price, making it a recommended choice for those struggling with sleep issues​.

I’ve had Nootropics Expert readers asking me what I use to help me sleep. And what I use every night. This post is a detailed response to that question.

Performance Lab® Sleep is the best sleep and anti-insomnia supplement I’ve found.

Turns out it contains the same basic ingredients I’ve used as individual supplements over the last several years for the perfect night’s sleep.

Performance Lab Sleep - natural sleep supplementI’ve dealt with insomnia all my adult life. But it wasn’t until I wrote a post recently on ‘Best Nootropics for Sleep’ that I understood why.

I was diagnosed with Adult ADD about 10 years ago. Studies show that those of us with ADD and ADHD commonly experience symptoms like daytime fatigue, breathing pauses during sleep, restless legs, and periodic limb movements in sleep.[i]

But even if you are not ADD you may be able to relate to some of these same issues.

Or you must have problems falling asleep. And staying asleep all night.

There’s nothing quite like a full deep sleep. And waking refreshed the next day. We all want that.

In this review I’ll show you how the ingredients in Performance Lab Sleep help you get to sleep, stay asleep all-night long, and wake up feeling refreshed the next day.

get Performance Lab® Sleep

My Sleep Supplements Criteria

If you are desperate for a good night’s sleep like I was, you’ll try just about anything.

In fact, an entire industry has blossomed around sleep. McKinsey & Company reported in 2017 that the ‘sleep-health’ industry is collectively estimated to be worth up to $40 billion.[ii]

Products and services offered simply to get a good night’s sleep include everything from mattresses to sleep consultants to prescription and OTC sleep aids.

Performance Lab - insomnia supplementsPrescription sleep medications alone generate over $1 billion per year just in the USA. With OTC natural and synthetic sleep aids bringing a few hundred million.

But prescription sleep meds come with some serious problems. Especially for the dedicated neurohacker.

Sleeping pills like zolpidem are GABAa receptor agonists that bind to the α-1 subunit, which are believed to be responsible for the drug’s sedative properties.

The problem is this mechanism of action is likely responsible for memory prevention effects as well.[iii]

We know that sleep is essential for memory consolidation at the end of every day. Using prescription sleep meds prevent that memory formation from happening.[iv]

So if you put a priority on memory and learning, sleep meds may not be the best option.

Which leaves us with natural supplements. But to sort through the 15 supplements I’ve researched and have been shown to help sleep, which ones work best?

Here are my three criteria for choosing the best nootropic supplements for sleep:

  1. Fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow
  2. Stay asleep all night
  3. Wake up feeling refreshed

get Performance Lab® Sleep

Discovering Performance Lab® as a Sleep Aid

If you deal with sleep problems one or more times per week and have searched for an effective natural sleep aid …

… you know how challenging it is to find the right combination of supplements that work …

synthetic melatonin in sleep supplements
Many “natural” sleep supplements use synthetic melatonin in their formula. NOT a good idea.

… and are safe to use long-term.

Nearly every stack of sleep supplements on the market feature a long list of herbs on the label. And most include synthetic melatonin.

Now you need melatonin for sleep without question. But melatonin is hormone. And like many people, I’ve had an unpleasant experience using melatonin as a supplement.

Some question the safety of supplementing with this hormone. Which we’ll talk about in a minute.

So I’ve been on the lookout for a sleep supplement stack that could help replace the individual supplements I’ve been taking every evening. A formula that does not include synthetic melatonin.

And recently I’ve become aware of Performance Lab® and their new line of supplements. Including a supplement stack for sleep that consolidates what I’ve been using as separate supplements for years.

Who Makes Performance Lab?

Performance Lab® is a new line of supplements and sister company to Mind Lab Pro®.

I’ve been using Mind Lab Pro for over 6 years and have come to trust the company. And the quality of their supplements.

Performance Lab® is based in the U.K. and manufactures all their supplements in the USA.

Performance Lab® NutriGenesis Multi is the foundation of their new supplement line.

The company’s multivitamin for men and women supplies the essential vitamins and minerals required for overall body health. Nutrients that may be missing from your diet.

Performance Lab Sleep extends the benefits of their NutriGenesis Multi to cover your entire day and night. But you can also use this formula on its own to promote quality sleep.

Performance Lab - best vitamins for sleep

Performance Lab® Sleep Ingredients

It helps to be familiar with the actual stages and mechanism of sleep and know how sleep works. So we can make the best decision when choosing a sleep supplement stack.

For a detailed explanation on the mechanism of sleep, see “How Sleep Works” in my post on Best Nootropics for Sleep.

Performance Lab Sleep - natural Ambien alternativeOne of the most important parts of quality sleep involves the hormone melatonin. It’s naturally secreted by your pineal gland. And plays a critical role in your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle.[v]

But as I touched on earlier, I’ve had problems when using melatonin as a sleep supplement. And the thing is most sleep supplement stacks on the market use synthetic melatonin.

“Natural” melatonin was first extracted from the pineal gland of cows. But has fallen out of favor since the mad cow disease scare.

Synthetic melatonin for supplements is manufactured by reducing 5-methoxyindole-3-acetonitrile with sodium and ethanol. The resulting product is then acetylated by using glacial acetic acid and acetic anhydride. It’s then mixed with an inert carrier or binder for use in supplements.

A 2017 study investigated 31 commercial melatonin supplements. And screened each supplement for the presence of melatonin and serotonin.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the researchers found melatonin content ranged from -83% to + 478% of melatonin content listed on the label.

The team also found serotonin (which is a controlled substance) in 8 of the supplements tested.[vi]

The results of this study on supplements containing melatonin are very troubling.

Because if you are sensitive to melatonin as a supplement in the first place like I am, you may be getting less, or nearly 500% more than what you thought you were getting.

And if you are using SSRI antidepressants, using a melatonin supplement with undeclared serotonin can cause Serotonin Syndrome. Which can be fatal.

Performance Lab Sleep does supply melatonin. But as a tightly controlled natural source of this neurotransmitter from Montmorency Tart Cherry.

Montmorency Tart Cherry 500 mg (CherryPURE® 50:1 concentrate)

Montmorency tart cherry is nature’s richest natural source of melatonin. It’s identical to the hormone secreted by the pineal gland in your brain.

CherryPure tart cherry insomnia supplementYour pineal gland receives signals from your hypothalamus in response to your circadian rhythm and environmental cues like light and temperature.

This natural process can be disrupted by exposure to artificial light (i.e. mobile and tablet screens), medical conditions, medications, stress, food, and drink.

Your circadian rhythm can also get out of whack by flying to a different time zone. Or working the night shift.

Supplementing with tart cherry provides melatonin when your natural melatonin may be suppressed.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial 20 volunteers consumed tart cherry juice concentrate or placebo for 7 days.

Measures of sleep quality were recorded along with urine samples to determine levels of melatonin metabolites.

Total melatonin content was significantly higher in the tart cherry group compared to no change in the placebo group.

And there were significant increases in time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency in the tart cherry volunteers.

The researchers concluded that consumption of tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in melatonin. Which improved sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women.[vii]

The added benefit of tart cherry comes from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Repairing your body while you sleep. Tart cherry contains anthocyanins which block COX-1 and COX-2 proinflammatory enzymes.

Tart cherry has been found in several studies to reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise.[viii] Offering faster relief from minor aches, stiffness and discomfort following muscle exertion.

Tart cherry extract in Performance Lab® Sleep may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and help repair your body and brain. Leaving you feeling refreshed and physically ready to start your day.

Magnesium 100 mg (from Magnesium Bisglycinate, and Magnesium NutriGenesis® )

Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in your body. And a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions.

Some of these processes are directly involved in falling asleep and staying asleep. Magnesium helps calm nerve cell signaling; relaxing and calming muscles and brain activity.

Magnesium helps relax smooth muscle cells. Allowing for easier blood flow and lower blood pressure that precedes sleep.

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

Magnesium is required for ATP (adenosine triphosphate) synthesis. Which is the main energy source for the mitochondria in brain cells.[x] And for the synthesis of DNA and RNA.[xi]

Many are living with a magnesium deficiency and unaware that this lack may be contributing to sleep and memory problems.[xii]

Regular magnesium is not very bioavailable. Performance Lab Sleep solves the bioavailability issue by using 3 forms of magnesium for your body and brain.

Magnesium Bisglycinate is a chelated form of magnesium bound to the amino acid glycine which improves bioavailability.

NutriGenesis® Magnesium is Performance Lab’s proprietary magnesium grown in lab-cultured yeast. Producing a nature-identical form of magnesium which enhances bioavailability.

The combination of three forms of magnesium provides a total of 100 mg of elemental magnesium.

L-Tryptophan 200 mg

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

Tryptophan 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 (in Performance Lab Sleep), and Vitamin B6 because both are required to synthesize serotonin.

Vitamin B6 is available as one of the essential vitamins in Performance Lab’s Multi for men and women.

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.

Sea Buckthorn 100 mg

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.

NutriCaps® capsules

The capsules used in Performance Lab® Sleep are so unique I had to include them the list of ingredients. And here’s why …

The premium ingredients used in Sleep will only provide the benefit promised if your body can use them. How the ingredients get into our body matters a great deal.

Every other pre-formulated sleep supplement on the market use either gelatin capsules, or vegetarian capsules.

Gelatin capsules are made by boiling down animal hoofs, bones, and connective tissue to form a gel-like substance. This material cools and dries. Then is formed into capsules.

Vegetarian capsules are Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose which are made from pine or poplar tree pulp. The end result is a type of plastic.

Performance Lab uses NutriCaps® which are made from pullulan (fermented tapioca). A much costlier way to encapsulate their supplements. But safer, vegan-friendly, and disintegrates right away once you take it.

And Performance Lab infuses each capsule with a prebiotic that helps support your digestion.

I’m not aware of any other quality supplement manufacturer who goes the extra mile by using NutriCaps®.

get Performance Lab® Sleep

BioGenesis vitamins for sleep and anxiety

Performance Lab® Sleep Dosage

The amount of each ingredient listed on the label is for Performance Lab’s recommended 2-capsules per day.

I recommend using 2-capsules about 90 minutes before you’re planning on going to bed. And if you have real problems with insomnia like I do, you can safely boost your dose to 4-capsules.

However, use extreme caution if you are using a prescription SSRI medication. Because Tryptophan increases serotonin. And SSRI’s increase serotonin.

Too much serotonin can produce Serotonin Syndrome which can lead to delirium, involuntary muscle contractions, high fever, and coma. Worse case and a very real scenario is death.[xiii]

It is unlikely that the low doses of L-Tryptophan in Performance Lab Sleep will lead to Serotonin Syndrome if taken with SSRI’s. But you may want to check with your doctor to be safe.

How Performance Lab® Sleep Works in Real Life

Performance Lab - what vitamins help you sleep at night?I’ve been using tart cherry juice concentrate, magnesium, and L-Tryptophan for the last couple of years to help me sleep with remarkable success. Before I found Performance Lab Sleep.

Taking Performance Lab Sleep 90 minutes before you plan on sleeping means you should fall asleep soon after your head hits the pillow.

Anxiety levels should decrease during the day and feelings of happiness increase.

Memory should improve. Music may sound better. And feelings of self-esteem could get a boost.

Many neurohackers even report being able to taper off prescription antidepressant meds. And never again needing to use a prescription sleep med to get to sleep.

Performance Lab® Sleep is Good Value

You may have found like me that nootropic supplements are not cheap. Particularly if you’re putting together your own stack.

Performance Lab SleepBut using Performance Lab’s Sleep formula has reduced my sleep supplement budget.

For example, here in the USA at the time I write this:

Montmorency Tart Cherry (as CherryPURE®) sells for around $15 for 60 capsules.

Magnesium Bisglycinate chelate is about $19 for a 2-month supply. So figure around $9 per month for magnesium.

L-Tryptophan is about $25 for a 3-month supply. So it works out to about $8 per month.

So my total sleep supplement budget using 3 separate supplements before finding Performance Lab Sleep worked out to around $32 per month.

Performance Lab Sleep for a one-month supply is only $44.

And you get one bottle FREE when you order 3-bottles of Performance Lab Sleep plus FREE shipping.

get Performance Lab® Sleep

Pros & Cons of Performance Lab Sleep

Performance Lab® has taken an extra step to include NutriCaps® instead of regular vegetarian capsules in their sleep stack. These vegan caps are made from tapioca. And are infused with Prebiotics for better digestion and bioavailability of the nootropics in this sleep supplement.

All of the other competitors with a quality sleep formula use HPMC vegetarian capsules which are a semi-synthetic polymer made from wood pulp.

Now, let’s look at what I think are the pros and cons of this premium sleep supplement.


  • Full disclosure on the amount of each ingredient
  • Highest quality, nature-identical, eco-friendly NutriGenesis® and patented ingredients
  • No added ingredients
  • No World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned substances
  • Vegan-friendly ingredients including NutriCaps® capsules
  • Tested prior to encapsulation for allergens, GMOs, microbes, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other contaminants
  • Tested again to confirm potency, purity, and activity after encapsulation
  • Ships in recyclable cardboard security boxes filled with biodegradable packing peanuts
  • Competitively priced
  • Empty bottle, money-back guarantee (less shipping)
  • 24/7 customer support


  • Only available on their website

I honestly can’t think of any other cons for this sleep supplement. It works for me and I truly hope it works as well for you.

Nootropics Expert Recommendation

Nootropics Expert Tested and ApprovedI recommend the use of Performance Lab® Sleep as a sleep supplement stack.

Pricing of Performance Lab Sleep is competitive for what you get. Buying these supplements separately can cost up to twice as much depending on where you get them.

But the biggest advantage with this sleep supplement stack is it avoids what every other “natural” sleep formula on the market uses – synthetic melatonin. At doses much higher than most would consider safe.

With Performance Lab Sleep you get a very small but effective dose of natural melatonin from tart cherry.

Performance Lab Sleep pairs well with the company’s NutriGenesis® Multi formula which supplies the B-Vitamins that ensures your body can produce serotonin.

Performance Lab® only offers their Performance Lab supplements including their Sleep formula on their website. You will not find it on Amazon or other online retailers.

Performance Lab® goes the extra mile by using top-notch ingredients in this formula. Including nature-identical NutriGenesis® magnesium, peer reviewed Tart Cherry extract, L-Tryptophan, and Sea Buckthorn. Even their product packaging is second to none.

The company uses vegan NutriCaps® for capsules to ensure quick absorption. And testing before and after encapsulation of each batch of product.

And Performance Lab® also offers a risk-free, “empty bottle”, money-back guarantee if you are not happy with any of their products.

So if you’d like to get off the prescription sleep meds, or simply haven’t had much luck with other natural sleep formulas – I recommended trying Performance Lab Sleep.

If you’d like to try the Performance Lab® Sleep supplement, or learn more about this exceptional line of supplements, please go to their website and take a look around. And while you’re there, get Performance Lab® 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] Bjorvatn B., Brevik E.J., Lundervold A.J., Halmøy A., Posserud M.B., Instanes J.T., Haavik J. “Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Report High Symptom Levels of Troubled Sleep, Restless Legs, and Cataplexy” Frontiers in Psychology. 2017 Sep 20; 8: 1621 (source)

[ii] “Investing in the growing sleep-health economy” McKinsey & Company August 2017 (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] Rasch B., Born J. “About Sleep’s Role in Memory” Physiological Reviews 2013 Apr; 93(2): 681–766 (source)

[v] 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)

[vi] 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)

[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] Palacios-Prado N., Chapuis S., Panjkovich A., Fregeac J., Nagy J.I., Bukauskas F.F. “Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36.” Nature Communications. 2014 Aug 19;5:4667. (source)

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

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

[xii] 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)

[xiii] Fernstrom J.D. “Effects and side effects associated with the non-nutritional use of tryptophan by humans.” Journal of Nutrition. 2012 Dec;142(12):2236S-2244S (source)

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Join The Discussion - 48 comments

January 11, 2022

Hi David – I realize the melatonin in this pill comes from the tart cherry concentrate, but why don’t they put the dose amount of melatonin you are getting per pill? Do you know what the amount of melatonin is per pill here? Thanks, Eric

    David Tomen
    January 12, 2022

    Eric, they can’t declare the amount of melatonin because it depends on your system and how it converts serotonin into 5-HTP and then melatonin. Tart Cherry contains both Tryptophan and melatonin. So how much melatonin will vary depending on the Tart Cherry used and the person.

      January 23, 2022

      Thanks for the reply. I took a couple of the pills and then reduced to 1. I actually spent the next day feeling quite groggy. Do you know which of the 3 ingredients is most likely to cause grogginess? I am wondering if I should just buy the ingredients separately and experiment with not taking all 3. Thanks again. Eric

        David Tomen
        January 24, 2022

        Eric, it’s hard to say but it is probably the Tart Cherry. Because the magnesium dosage is low enough and L-Tryptophan is only 250 mg. So Tryptophan combined with Tart Cherry both contribute to the production of melatonin.

        February 10, 2022

        Hi David

        I know that you do not like 5 htp but please note that for people with autism (ASD, Asperger) this kind of tart cherry supplements is useless. I bought everything you have here and it didn’t help because: 1. people with autism do not have one of the enzime needed to 5 htp -> melatonin (they HAVE to take real melatonin every day) 2. taking l-tryptofan was also pointless because thanks to inflamation and other autism issue (or even stress) it was not used to create 5 ht (serotonin pathway) but kynurenin pathway instead in summary for autistic people the only sleep stack we actually works is 5 htp + melatonin as a basic plus then valeriana or magnolia Regards

        David Tomen
        February 11, 2022

        Radek, thank you for your input. I consult with people with autism or their kids are autistic. And your input it very helpful. Much appreciated.

Chicken Little
December 19, 2021

Great website, very informative, well written, well researched, etc.

I have not tried this supplement, but it looks like an excellent combo for sleep, as I have used–and still use–all the listed ingredients (except passiflora, which I have not tried) to sleep better.

For anyone who has had problems with tryptophan or 5HTP, I will share my experience with it. I have long suffered from episodic migraines, and any time I have taken tryptophan or 5HTP at bedtime, it has triggered a brutal headache.

But after reading a study using rats, I stumbled on an interesting workaround. When I take tryptophan in the early afternoon, I don’t get a headache, and it seems to improve my ability stay asleep at night.

So for anyone who gets headaches from bedtime tryptophan, maybe this is worth a try.

December 16, 2021

Hi David

I just tried the performance sleep and it works wonders . The surprise find is that I do not suffer any aching and soreness on my neck . Do you have a standalone tart cherry cherrypure@ to recommend.

    David Tomen
    December 16, 2021

    Wong. thanks for the report on Performance Lab-Sleep. It is a great sleep supplement.

    You can buy a standalone CherryPURE® supplement here:

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