- 1 Introduction to Nootropics for Sleep
- 2 Other Natural Ways to Fall Asleep
- 3 To Wrap it Up
Introduction to Nootropics for Sleep
In this article on nootropics for sleep I have chosen seven nootropics, some natural and a few synthetic. At the end of the article, I have also included a number of ways to naturally improve your sleep.
Not getting the sleep you want and definitely need? Join the club. We now live in such a fast paced world wherestressors are always around the next corner. As a result, Insomnia is on the rise the world over.
Insomnia is now the number one sleep disorder with around 5%-7% of the world suffering from it. That is an astounding number when you think about it.
Problem is, Insomnia affects our cognitive functions and our usual responses to just about any stimuli. We’ve all been through it, the brain fog, lack of concentration, dull senses, and so on.
We need 8 solid hours of sleep per day to have peak function and that 8 hours is not just light napping, but good deep sleep. With insomnia, you simply cannot get your brain to rest enough to get this kind of sleep.
You can go to the store and find many different brands of sleep aids on the shelves or get a prescription sleep aid from your doctor, but most of these have unpleasant side effects. Nootropics for sleep do not.
Here is a good list of very good nootropics that can help you get the sleep you need.
This is a herb from the world of Ayurvedic medicine and taking Bacopa can reduce our stress levels.
Research conducted on both human and animals proves that Bacopa Monierri can help us with this stress because of its anxiolytic properties.
The bacosides in Bacopa Monnieri fix dopamine dysfunction and increases production of Serotonin which is the precursor to Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our sleep patterns and the more melatonin we have, the easier it is to fall asleep.
Though human studies on Bacopa’s anxiolytic potential are limited, those that exist are quite positive. In a six-week study involving 54 healthy, non-demented volunteers over 65, Bacopa supplementation significantly reduced anxiety and depression. 
The compound 5-HTP has effects on both our sleep and mood, that impacts our ability to feel good during the day and sleep restfully at night. Let’s take a closer look at what this mood-boosting, sleep-promoting compound does in our body.
5-Hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP for short, is another naturally-occurring amino acid metabolite that is known mostly for its role in the production of Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a huge role in regulating our moods and our social behaviors. When we have a healthy supply of serotonin in our brain we can be happy and have a feeling of well-being. A lack of Serotonin is believed to play a role in depression or other emotional problems.
Now that we know 5-HTP has a role in producing Serotonin, 5-HTP is indirectly involved in the production of melatonin (hormone needed for sleep).
Research suggests that 5-HTP may help shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep amounts .
Scientists believe that St. John’s Wort works by elevating levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain, helping to boost mood and balance emotions. St. John’s Wort promotes a good night’s sleep.
It may be effective at increasing the duration of deep sleep. Deep sleep being the stage most important for mental and physical recovery. It is also the stage right before REM sleep.
Ashwagandha is another very popular Ayurvedic medicine that has been used for hundreds of years. This “positivity” nootropic has the benefit of being able to Suppress cortisol in our brains. AS you may know, cortisol is a hormone, which is mainly released at times of stress and acts as a sort of alarm system. Cortisol has many benefits, however too much of it can interrupt our sleep.
Ashwagandha is full of chemicals, some that can lower blood pressure and give us that more relaxed less stressed feeling. It is also an adaptogen that stops stress signals.
When you take Ashwagandha, you can expect to feel more calm and relaxed.
If my list was in order of the best downward, L-Theanine would be at the top. This nootropic has got to be the most widely taken in the world. Green tea is why.
We drink green tea to make ourselves calm and content and it works. Green tea is now being consumed around the world for it’s calming effect. Several scientific studies have and are continuing to back up with clear evidence the health benefits of green tea with their focus being on L-theanine. L-theanine is a calming amino acid that promotes alpha-wave brain production .
It can induce sleep if taken before bed and also improve your quality of sleep and extend the periods of time between waking up in the middle of the night.
L-Theanine is also an anxiolytic (anxiety reducer) that has been shown to improve our quality of sleep and improve our mental and physical stress symptoms by producing a feeling of calmness, reduced heart rate and blood pressure .
This increase in alpha- waves promote relaxation without drowsiness or sedation. Alpha brain-wave production also happens during deep meditation, when all sensory inputs are minimized and our mind is generally clear of unwanted thoughts or distractions. Interestingly, stimulating alpha waves has also been shown to boost creativity and alleviate depression.
Phenibut is best taken before you go to bed. Why? This is a fairly powerful nootropic taken for relaxation and tranquility effects.
It is metabolized in the liver and crosses the blood-brain barrier within 2–4 hours of ingestion. Once there, it regulates ABA and dopamine, two powerful neurotransmitters that cause our brain to be less active and reduce our anxiety and stress levels.
Phenibut was created to be an anxiety reducer and is widely used in Russia to treat many anxiety-related disorders, including tension and fear, asthenia, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and as a pre- or post-operative medication. It is also used to treat post-traumatic stress, stuttering, and balance disorders.
Initially when researching nootropics for sleep, I came across this one and said “naw, really”, but yes it’s true. Aniracetam has anxiolytic properties that stimulate the production of serotonin. The increased serotonin rids us of our stress, allows us to relax, which in turn can market easier to sleep
The stage of sleep called REM sleep is the stage where are respiratory rate increases and so does are blood pressure. When people wake up from REM sleep and become sleep deprived, Aniracetam has the ability to normalize sleep patterns and shorten REM sleep.
Other Natural Ways to Fall Asleep
Get Yourself on a Schedule
Setting a sleep schedule is a great idea. We do it for our kids don’t we so they aren’t sleep deprived and cranky.
We have what er call our circadian rhythm (our internal clock). What it does is signals us to be awake in the day and sleepy at night .
If we continue to go to bed at as close to the same time each night as possible, we can help keep our internal clock on a regular schedule. We adjust to this schedule quite easily and then naturally feel sleepy at the same time each nigh.
Lower the Room Temperature
Here’s why. Our core body temperature changes at night, but the temperature in your extremities (hands and feet) increases .
You may find that if you keep your room too warm you may have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep. An ideal temperature for you room is 15-23C or 60-75F. Now, we turn the temp down in our house to 18C at night and the whole family loves it. I think over 21C or 70F would be too much for me.
Your preferences will differ, so find the temperature that works best for you.
Watch What and When You Eat
Food high in carbohydrates at night probably will be detrimental to your sleep. You may get yourself to sleep quickly, but it probably won’t be restful
Foods high in fat content will promote a more restful deeper sleep.
High-fat meals could promote a deeper and more restful sleep .
Listening to Soothing Music
It isn’t rocket science that relaxing soothing music can help us get to sleep. Moms sing to children all the time. It can also improve sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Another study revealed that 25 participants had a more restful and deeper sleep when they were exposed to soothing music for 45 minutes at bedtime, compared to those not listening to music (9).
Turn Your Electronics Off
This is a no brainer. Using electronic devices such as smart phones or tablets late at night is terrible for sleep.
Disconnect them, turn them off, put them away. You know you will fall asleep faster don’t you.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise or physical activity is well-known to promote a good sleep. It can boost the production of serotonin in our brains and decreases the level of cortisol .
Exercise can have the opposite effect as well and that has to do with the time of day. If you want to make sure you have a good sleep, exercising in the morning is far better than later in you day .
To Wrap it Up
I’ve listed seven nootropics for sleep in this article. I was hoping to find a few more, but either it was a stretch to suggest they had these benefits, or they were too hard to get.
I’m happy with this list and that you should be able to find what you want or need for a more restful and complete sleep.
The natural ways to have a better sleep can be used separately or in conjunction with a helpful nootropic.