Struggling to get some shut-eye? It’s more common than you think. Not getting enough sleep, or having poor quality sleep, is on the rise, with the CDC stating that one-third of U.S. adults report they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep.

Beyond taking a little longer to get out of bed, having a cranky morning, and needing some extra coffee, not getting enough sleep can take a toll on your health – even manifesting as physical symptoms. And as much as 1-2 hours of nightly sleep loss can lead to noticeable symptoms. Physically, sleep deprivation – chronic sleep loss or chronic poor quality sleep – is associated with increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Sleep deprivation is also linked to decreased production of glycogen – the storage form of glucose used for energy for daily activities and exercise.

Mentally, sleep deprivation is associated with risk-taking behaviors, depression, forgetfulness, emotional coping issues, and the inability to solve problems. Being more irritable and losing your sense of humor is also common.

Not to scare you into being unable to sleep, but insufficient, inconsistent, and poor-quality sleep is also linked to increased risk for chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Also, being tired increases your daily risk for mistakes, injury, and accidents – ranging from errors in work to traffic accidents.

Wait, why do we need sleep in the first place? 

It should be obvious that sleep is important, but what does happen when we sleep each night? You know how you take your car into the shop for a quick tune-up? That’s what happens with sleep each night. While you’re sleeping your brain is cleaning up from today and prepping for tomorrow. Science shows that the space between brain cells increases during sleep, which gives the brain the ability to clear toxins. Your brain forms new pathways for memory and knowledge acquisition and consolidates the learnings you accumulated during the day, which is why, after a good night’s sleep, you have a longer attention span, make quicker decisions, and are more creative.

Physically, your body uses this time for organ repair – your heart, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, etc. While you sleep, your body has the time to produce more white blood cells that are necessary to strengthen and maintain your immune function.

The increase in restless nights and poor sleep has contributed to the rise in popularity of sleep supplements. With so many available sleep-supportive nutrients, botanicals, and other formulas, it can be hard to know what to take and why. We’re here to help – but before we do – it’s important to remember that supplements won’t restore your sleep routine alone. Rather, making sure you’re building a better routine around sleep and making sure you aren’t sabotaging your sleep with unhealthy habits – when paired with sleep-supportive supplements – will go a long way toward supporting healthy and quality sleep. So, let’s take a closer look at our top picks.

1. The best sleep supplement for those looking to get their sleep cycle back in sync 

When it comes to sleep supplements, melatonin is probably the most well-known. It’s a vital hormone that, along with the hormone cortisol, regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle.*

Under ideal conditions, your melatonin level drops in the morning then increases to help put you to sleep at night. However, certain factors, such as working night shifts, jet lag, stress, and simply getting older, can disrupt this process – making it harder to get the sleep you need each night. Taking a high-quality melatonin supplement, such as Thorne’s Melaton-3, supports restful sleep by helping balance your body’s natural circadian rhythm.*

2. The best sleep supplement for athletes and active individuals 

Looking to unwind after a workout? Thorne’s RecoveryPro is the perfect blend of sleep support and muscle repair ingredients.* The unique formula features:

  1. 13 grams of whey protein to promote muscle repair*
  2. Tryptophan and magnesium bisglycinate promote restful sleep and muscle relaxation*
  3. PharmaGABA, a natural source of GABA, which is a calming brain neurotransmitter that acts like a brake during stress*

The best part? The chocolate-flavored powder, which can be mixed hot or cold, makes a delicious pre-bedtime beverage.

3. On-the-go sleep support 

Getting proper sleep is hard in an unfamiliar place. If you often find yourself on the go, sleeping in a hotel room or on your friend’s couch, then Sleep + should be your new best friend. Sleep + has a delicate, lightly sweetened, blueberry flavor in a quick-dissolving disc format, which allows it to be mixed easily into water or a preferred beverage. Each blueberry-flavored disc contains three sleep-supportive nutrients – L-theanine, melatonin, and chamomile – for a perfect bedtime blend that:

  1. Supports the natural hormonal activity that initiates sleep*
  2. Promotes a relaxed state of deep sleep*
  3. Helps you stay asleep throughout the night*

4. The best sleep supplement for a racing mind

PharmaGABA is a perfect solution for someone who lies down in bed, closes their eyes, and then remembers something embarrassing they did way back when or worries about something to do the next day. PharmaGABA features a natural source of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA – gamma-aminobutyric acid. Studies show this natural form of GABA decreases the brain's stress-related beta waves and increases the production of alpha-waves, creating a profound sense of physical relaxation to help calm a racing mind at bedtime.*

5. A sleep supplement for stress eaters 

For those who tend to raid the fridge for a midnight snack, adding the botanicals and vitamins in Thorne’s Relora Plus is the answer you’re looking for. Featuring a blend of six active B vitamins, plus the two well-known botanicals Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense, Relora Plus helps balance stress hormones while minimizing stress eating.*

Still struggling with choosing a sleep supplement? 

Don’t lose sleep trying to find the perfect sleep supplement. Get easy answers with Thorne’s Sleep Quiz. Just answer a few questions about your lifestyle and bedtime routine and in minutes get a sleep-support solution recommended just for you.

If you’re looking for deeper insights into your sleep cycle, then take Thorne’s at-home Sleep Test, which tracks your melatonin and cortisol levels as they fluctuate during the day, and gives you a detailed understanding of what is disrupting your sleep cycle. Results also include actionable steps for diet, exercise, and personalized supplement recommendations to help you get the sleep you’ve always dreamed of.