May 19, 2023

Sleep Vitamins: 15 Supplements to Take for Faster, Deeper Sleep

photo of Adam Felman

Written By

Adam Felman

photo of Alex Antoniou, MD

Medically Reviewed By

Alex Antoniou, MD

Lifeforce Physician

 Sleep Vitamins: 15 Supplements to Take for Faster, Deeper Sleep

When sleep eludes you and your bed is making you feel more stressed than rested, sleep vitamins and supplements might be just what you need. The right supplements may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel more energized throughout your day.

Addressing sleep issues may be more important as you age. A 2022 study found that 43% of 45-65 year-olds had sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless legs syndrome (RLS). 

The search for sleep solutions can be frustrating, full of dead ends and misleading claims. Finding the right vitamins to help you sleep may require trial and error, but your body and brain will thank you for the effort. 

Here are the best vitamins for insomnia, according to the latest scientific research.

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3 Crucial Vitamins to Help You Sleep

Several sleep vitamins can improve your nightly recharge. Most of the benefit comes from correcting imbalances that affect how you sleep. To find the best vitamins for your sleep, start by having a doctor test your levels, then supplement any deficiencies you find.

1. Vitamin D

Studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation can improve sleep quality and duration without side effects. This fits with the discovery of vitamin D receptors and enzymes in the areas of the brain that regulate sleep.

Vitamin D also helps the body make melatonin, a hormone that coordinates your sleep cycle. In addition, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to sleep disorders like restless legs syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. The deep research around this nutrient makes it one of the best sleep vitamins you can take.

2. B Vitamins

Some B vitamins may help you reclaim control of your sleep schedule and reduce interrupted sleep even if you don’t have a deficiency. In studies, vitamin B12 supplements helped people regulate their sleep/wake cycle and manage nighttime leg cramps.

Vitamin B12 isn’t the only B vitamin that may help you sleep better. If you don’t get enough B6, it may elevate your stress levels, which can interfere with your sleep. Supplementing B6 may help prevent insomnia that can come from feeling stressed. 

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports longer sleep with fewer interruptions. It may also reduce the effects of obstructive sleep apnea and improve the symptoms of nighttime movement disorders like restless legs or periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which affects 30% of those over the age of 65. 

Low vitamin C may be more common in people who get only five to six hours of sleep per night. Most people in the U.S. get enough vitamin C from their diet, but for those who don’t, supplementing can help improve sleep quality.

Vitamins for Energy and TirednessMinerals That Support Sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping, the cause might be a mineral deficiency. In that case, testing your levels of iron and magnesium may give you a clue about how you can sleep better.

4. Magnesium

Supplementing your levels of magnesium may improve your sleep quality, reduce anxiety, and combat depression, especially if you have a magnesium deficiency. It may also help you regulate the sleep-related neurotransmitters that are essential in supporting healthy slumber.

Magnesium supplements may also relieve restless legs syndrome by reducing sleep interruptions. To avoid digestive problems, avoid exceeding the recommended dosage and take the supplement about 30 minutes before bedtime.

Magnesium can also improve your metabolism, give you more energy, and improve your cardiovascular health. See our article: Magnesium: The Best Supplement You’re Probably Not Taking.

5. Iron

When you can’t sleep night after night, an iron deficiency could be to blame. Iron is not only crucial for supporting several neurotransmitters that regulate your mood, but it also plays a direct role in your sleep quality.

Iron deficiencies are also linked to anxiety and depression that can disrupt your sleep by reducing levels of serotonin. So, if you're struggling to get some quality shut-eye, it's worth getting your iron levels checked by a doctor.

Pro Tip: As you age, taking sleep vitamins, regular exercise, and getting more sunshine can help you sleep better. See our article: Why Your Sleep Suffers With Age — And What to Do About It. 

Other Supplements that Help You Fall Asleep

When it comes to supporting sleep, vitamins and minerals are mainly helpful if you have deficiencies. But there are other supplements like Valerian root, Peak Rest™, and melatonin that can also support your sleep routine for those in need.

Always consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet or supplement routine.

6. Melatonin

The hormone melatonin plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Our bodies naturally produce it during the evening hours, triggering feelings of sleepiness. But if you're having trouble sleeping or have an irregular sleep cycle, taking melatonin supplements can be a safe short-term solution.

Studies have shown that taking melatonin before bedtime can help you fall asleep around 30 minutes faster and improve your daytime function.

7. Peak Rest™

Peak Rest™ can help you recharge, reset, and recover. This powerful supplement combines effective sleep-promoting minerals and compounds formulated to optimize your circadian rhythm and promote whole-body recovery. It includes key ingredients like magnesium, ashwagandha, rosemary extract, and Zylaria™, a plant extract that helps optimize the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), which plays a role in reducing stress and enabling the body and mind to relax.

8. L-Theanine

L-theanine, a compound found in certain teas, may help you sleep better. "The highest concentration is found in green tea (which is the least acidic of all teas), but you can also find L-theanine in white tea, oolong tea, and black tea,” says Lifeforce Physician Alex Antoniou, MD. “Most studies that showed a benefit in reducing stress and improving sleep used a dose between 200 to 400 mg." You can also take L-theanine in capsule form.

While it's not a sedative, it can promote sleep by reducing anxiety, which is often at the root of poor sleep quality. L-theanine works by decreasing levels of anxiety-linked neurotransmitters and increasing GABA, dopamine, and serotonin levels. This can help slow down brain activity and soothe anxiety.

So consider giving L-theanine a try as a natural way to improve your sleep.

Pro Tip: If hormones are behind your poor sleep, hormone optimization may help you more than stocking up on sleep vitamins. See our article: Think You Have a Hormone Imbalance? How to Know if Your Levels Are Off

9. Passionflower

This traditional remedy has been used for centuries to improve sleep quality, and clinical studies have shown that it has real potential to help adults with insomnia.

Passionflower works by increasing the circulation of GABA, a calming brain chemical that can help you relax and drift off to sleep. It also delivers compounds that promote deep sleep, letting you stay asleep longer and wake up feeling more rested. If you've been battling insomnia or anxiety, passionflower may be another option to consider to help you get a better night's sleep.

10. Tryptophan

By now, everyone has heard of tryptophan — the amino acid commonly found in foods like turkey and eggs. When you eat foods or sleep supplements containing tryptophan, your body converts it into a molecule called 5-HTP, used in the production of serotonin and melatonin.

This boost in serotonin can help you sleep better and may also reduce the symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, and depression — all of which can interfere with a good night's sleep.

11. Valerian Root

Valerian root is an herb that has shown promise in improving sleep quality, increasing sleep duration, and promoting deeper sleep. While the evidence of its effects on sleep are inconsistent, it's safe to give valerian a try for up to 28 days.

Valerian root tends to produce fewer side effects compared to prescription sleep medications, making it a natural and gentle option. If you’ve tried some of the sleep vitamins and supplements above without success, valerian root might work for you.

12. Chamomile

This fragrant herb has been used as a natural sleep aid for centuries, and recent research has shown that it may have some real benefits. It’s been found to contain compounds that can bind to brain receptors and promote relaxation, helping to reduce feelings of anxiety and improving sleep. It also has a sedative effect and improves sleep quality in people with insomnia. 

Supplementing chamomile may also improve your daytime function, and was found to reduce insomnia symptoms in postpartum women.
lavender plant13. Lavender

Beyond its soothing smell, lavender may also help you sleep better, too. Studies have shown that the scent of lavender can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety, making it easier for you to drift off.

Inhaling lavender essential oil may improve sleep quality in people with insomnia. Meanwhile, lavender aromatherapy has been shown to reduce the severity of sleep disturbances. While the research on lavender and sleep is inconsistent, lavender aromatherapy is a safe option to try as a way to improve your sleep.

Pro Tip: Boosting your energy levels can help you sleep better. If you’re already taking the best sleep vitamins, see our article on the Best Vitamins to Boost Energy and Beat Fatigue.

14. CBD

CBD oil has been gaining popularity as a natural sleep aid, and for good reason. Research has shown that it can have a positive effect on sleep quality and quantity.

In one study, CBD oil helped improve sleep and reduce anxiety in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another showed that CBD oil improved sleep in people with chronic pain.

This natural oil also has a calming effect on the nervous system, which can reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation.

15. Kava Kava

Kava kava is a popular natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia. Recent studies have shown it may indeed have some sleep-promoting benefits.

Kava kava extract improved sleep quality and reduced symptoms of anxiety in people with anxiety disorders. In another, kava kava supplementation reduced the effects of sleep disturbances.

However, research on this plant is limited, and some studies have raised concerns about potential liver toxicity. While kava kava may offer some sleep-promoting benefits, it's important to talk to a healthcare professional before using it as a sleep aid.

Man sleeping on white bedHow to Build Good Sleep Hygiene

Just taking sleep vitamins and supplements won't guarantee a good night's rest if you're not practicing good sleep hygiene. This includes maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and late-night eating, and investing in a good mattress.

According to Sujay Kansagra, MD, Director of the Duke Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, a 20 to 30-minute sleep routine involving the same nightly activities promotes healthy sleep hygiene. 

Getting high-quality sleep is also about how you wind down. “Aim for three or four relaxing activities,” recommends Dr. Kansagra. Try taking a warm bath, stretching, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music before you hit the sheets. Mindfulness can also be a useful part of this routine. “You can try mindfulness techniques as the last part of your pre-sleep routine while you are lying quietly in bed. It helps relax your mind and can allow for a peaceful transition into the sleep state.”

And don't forget about your sleep environment. Maintain a cool room and avoid blue light from phones and tablets before bedtime to improve the quality of your sleep. 

Most importantly, be patient, and give your routine time to become your new normal. “Sleep takes work,” says Dr. Kansagra. “There is often no easy solution for those who struggle with sleep. Similar to getting into shape or eating healthier, it takes a long-term commitment to change. A change in mindset is necessary to achieve sustained results.”

Dr. Kansagra recommends that people look at sleep as non-negotiable. “Instead of planning sleep around the day, plan the day around sleep. If the work isn't done by bedtime, put it away for the day and get the sleep you need. It will help make you more productive, focused, and happier the next day. Over time, you will find that the sleep routine becomes a normal, automatic part of your life.”

When to Speak to a Doctor

Sleep vitamins, minerals, and supplements might help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, but they won’t address the underlying causes. Reach out to a doctor if your sleep issues continue for three months or longer and severely disrupt your school, work, or personal life.

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns can interfere with your sleep. Mental health professionals will be best equipped to help you manage these conditions. Dr. Kansagra adds that insomnia can mean that the bed has become “a place of worry and excessive thinking rather than relaxation and sleep.” 

He suggests the following: “If you feel a rising sense of anxiety as bedtime approaches, or you find yourself constantly worrying about sleep, you likely have a form of insomnia. The goal is identifying this as insomnia and seeking help, which typically comes in the form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is often performed with a sleep specialist, such as a sleep psychologist.”

Chronic pain can also seriously impact your sleep quality. Talk to your doctor about your solutions for managing pain to help you get the rest you need.

Lastly, some medications can interfere with your sleep, so it's important to ask your doctor about how your prescriptions may be impacting your sleep routine. They may be able to recommend other options that may be less disruptive.


When you can’t sleep and your bed is a place of anxiety, sleep vitamins and supplements might be just what you need. The best vitamins for sleep are the ones your body doesn't get enough of in your diet. Supplementing iron and magnesium deficiencies can also help you get a better night's rest.

Some herbal supplements, like valerian root and chamomile, have been found to be effective sleep boosters, though more research is needed to determine optimal dosages and long-term safety.

Remember, taking supplements or vitamins shouldn't replace good sleep hygiene, and if sleep disturbances persist, it's important to talk to your doctor to identify and treat any underlying conditions that could be impacting your sleep cycle.

tony robbins energyLIVE BETTER, LONGER

85% of Lifeforce members report improved quality of life within their first three months.

Optimize your health and longevity with the Lifeforce Diagnostic blood test plus Membership, based on research in the Tony Robbins bestseller, Life Force. We’ll measure 40+ biomarkers that drive your mental and physical health, then get you on the path to optimized health.

  • Quarterly biomarker testing

  • Expert clinical support

  • 1-on-1 health coaching

  • Members-only hormone optimization

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult a physician prior to use if pregnant/nursing, taking any medication, have any medical conditions, or are being treated for depression, anxiety, or sleep disorder. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in any activity that requires alertness while using these products.

This article was medically reviewed by: 

Alex Antoniou, MD, ABNM Board Certified in Nuclear Medicine

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