Natural Sleep Aids can Boost Daytime Brainpower

The key to success isn’t constant stimulation. It's healthy sleep.

This isn’t the most exciting truth to digest in our go-go-go culture of constant stimulation, but it’s true nonetheless: recovery is just as important to success as productivity.

In terms of performance enhancement, this means that, though technically cognitive impairers, sleep aid supplements are just as important to brainpower as daytime cognitive enhancers. 

Unfortunately, this means you can’t just power through the week on caffeine alone.

Attempting this inevitably leads to burnout. A harsh cognitive crash-and-burn that ultimately resets your hard-earned momentum back to zero.

Instead, what may help you maintain high levels of ongoing productivity is a smart sleep-wake strategy that involves stacking the best nootropics with the Best Sleep Supplements for Daytime Brainpower in 2020.

In this guide, we cover all that and more!

The Beginner’s Guide to Sleep Supplements

Many people would like to get better sleep but are reasonably afraid of becoming “addicted” to a sleep aid supplement.

Odds are many of these same people have tried what they thought to be a pretty mild melatonin supplement...only to wake up feeling groggy with a foggy headache disrupting their thoughts.

While, yes, there are cheap, ineffective sleep aids out there, there are also a few awesome, natural, and safe options available to you.

In this guide, we cover the latter.

But before diving into all that, let’s first address why so many of us are having trouble sleeping in the first place.

What’s the deal here??

Waking Up to Our Sleep Problems

Was it the invention of the lightbulb that disrupted our sleep patterns?

In the days of yore, when the sun went down, that was more or less it.

However, with the lightbulb, when the sun goes down, the neon lights turn on—and then the real fun starts!

Was it the industrial 9-to-5 workday that ruined sleep? Or is the iPhone the real culprit?

It’s most likely a complicated network of factors, making it difficult to pin down the exact reasons as to why so many of us are failing to achieve adequate sleep.

But the fact remains:

The increasing prevalence of sleep deprivation has become a legitimate public health issue with broad implications for cognitive performance, mental health, physical health, work productivity, and general safety.1

As a point of reference, consider the results of a 2017 National Social Survey on Australian adults.

This study observed that roughly half of the participants (42%) were considered to have suboptimal sleep,2 as per the National Sleep Foundation’s standard of suboptimal sleep, which for adults is less than 7 hours of sleep per night.3

How Much Sleep Should I Be Getting?

Again, as per the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations, the optimal nightly sleep time recommendations for each age range are:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14 to 17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours
  • School-Aged Children (6-13 years): 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17 years): 8 to 10 hours
  • Young adults (18-25 years): 7 to 9 hours
  • Adults (26-64 years): 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adults (65+ years): 7 to 8 hours

Naturally, throughout key stages of early growth, namely during our young adolescence, sleep is incredibly important to the success of our healthy development.

Up until roughly the age of 25, this growth and development continues, though with increasingly less severity, hence the fewer required hours of sleep per night as we age.

Yet, ironically, even though adults require the less amount of sleep per night, they’re frequently getting suboptimal sleep on a massive scale.

How Sleep Impacts Brain Health and Performance

No one needs to be told that sleep deprivation sucks.

Everyone reading this has likely felt the negative impact of poor sleep, and, unless they’re lying, no one would ever claim that being sleep deprived feels better than being well-rested.

From mental clarity to exercise performance,[4] virtually all aspects of brain and body performance decline with sleep deprivation.

But perhaps because we can see the body and not the brain...

...we tend to worry more over how poor sleep negatively impacts our appearances more so than our cognitive processes.

In turn, this influences the quality of our sleep.

We put little thought into understanding how sleep impacts our thoughts, so to speak.

So, with that in mind (no pun intended), here are a few (but not all) brain processes and cognitive measures that are significantly influenced by sleep.

Sleep Affects Cognition by Promoting:
  • Memory Consolidation: during sleep, the hippocampus consolidates the day’s events and learned information into memories, which explains why forgetfulness often comes with poor sleep;[5]
  • Stress Resistance: stress impairs sleep quality, and poor sleep quality promotes stress, lending to a vicious circle of stress-insomnia exacerbation that may require sleep aid intervention to disrupt;[6]
  • Neuroregeneration: animal research suggests that REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is strongly associated with the secretion of neurotrophic factors, such as NGF and BDNF, that co-facilitate neuron growth and development;[7]
  • Appetite and Craving Control: associated with lower metabolic energy expenditure and poor craving control, sleep deprivation strongly correlates with an average increase in BMI (body mass index), making sleep an important factor in sustaining a healthy relationship to food;[8]
  • Attention and Concentration: a key function of sleep is to regulate attentional performance and, likewise, attention-demanding tasks increase the demand for deeper sleep—the two are so important to each other that some researchers theorize that attention and sleep co-evolved to regulate each other;[9]

A bottle of Performance Lab Sleep next to Mind Lab Pro

Tips on How to Achieve Better Sleep

Altogether, both left-brain (logical) and right-brain (creative) types of thinkers suffer with sleep deprivation.

If you’re thinking that maybe you’re a part of that elite class of human mutants who can thrive on only a few hours of sleep per night, odds are you’re wrong.

Most successful professionals will tell you: Sleep is the secret to success.

And so here are a few ways to achieve better sleep at night and, thus, greater success in life:

Wake up at a consistent time every morning

Establishing a consistent circadian rhythm, a patterned 24-hour cycle of our physiological processes, is at root of a stress-free, well-organized lifestyle.

And one of the best ways to “get a rhythm,” as Johnny Cash says, is to wake up at a consistent time every morning.

Falling asleep is much fickler than waking up.

We can set an alarm for waking, that will actually wake us up, but there’s no app on our phone that can guarantee sleep in such a reliable, timely pattern.

So, if you set your alarm for, say, 6 A.M. and you do this every morning, naturally you’ll also feel tired at a consistent time every night. Thereby establishing a solid sleep-wake cycle and way more structure to your life.

Stay active during the day

Better sleep must be earned.

No doubt, with so many options of lazing around available to us, from zoning out to Netflix to scrolling through social media to staring at the ceiling for hours, staying active during the day now requires an exceptional amount of willpower.

But by not staying active—exercising, walking to destinations, working on our feet, etc.—we fail to expend enough energy to feel sleep-ready tired at night.

Likewise, by failing to achieve adequate sleep, we end up in a constantly groggy state of being too tired to be active while being too inactive to fall asleep, which can be a metabolic nightmare for the body.

This cycle may be disrupted by committing to a reasonable amount of physical activity on a daily basis.

Limit your blue light exposure before bedtime

Daytime is measured by exposure to sunlight, the largest source of non-visible UV light and visible blue light.

As part of the visible light spectrum, blue light pierces deep into the eye and signals to the brain to maintain daytime physiological processes. This is very convenient during the daytime. 

However, thanks to the increased prevalence of blue light-emitting screens and electric lights, we remain exposed to blue light well into the evening.

Too much pre-bedtime blue light exposure is a problem.

Even if we manage to fall asleep, exposure to evening blue light disrupts certain sleep-time brain processes from efficiently occurring, impairing the brain and body from completely falling asleep.

Key Point: Limiting your blue light exposure in the hours leading up to bedtime may help you achieve deeper, fuller sleep.

Take a natural sleep supplement

Of course, getting better sleep and abiding by all of the aforementioned tips is easier said than done.

Even with the ambition of getting better sleep, many of us remain stubborn against going to bed at a reasonable time.

This is where a natural sleep supplement comes into play.

If you feel your circadian rhythm, your sleep-wake cycle, is far too inconsistent to begin committing to a healthier sleep ritual, a natural sleep supplement may help by overriding your psychological and physiological stubbornness against falling sleep.

And, unlike synthetic sedatives, a natural sleep supplement may do this without impairing your daytime cognition, your neurochemical balance, or your memory performance.

Quite the opposite...

In fact: the best sleep supplements may actually boost daytime brainpower.

What’s the Difference: Natural Sleep Aids vs. Synthetic Sedatives?

The obvious difference between natural sleep aids vs. synthetic sedatives is that:

  • The former is natural, typically derived as an herbal extract.
  • Whereas the latter is an artificial, lab-synthesized imitation of sleepy time neurochemicals.
Did you know... Even popular OTC sleep aids such as melatonin significantly differ in their effect based on their natural vs. synthetic status.

With exception to serious sleep disorders, most mild sleep issues don’t necessitate the use of powerful, prescription-based sedatives.

While, yes, these types of substances do work very well at helping one fall asleep, they have tons of associated side effects.

The associated side effects of synthetic sedatives range anywhere from: 

  • nausea
  • drowsiness
  • impaired memory, attention and judgment
  • as well as a worsening effect on emotional states related to depression and anxiety.

Synthetic sedatives work by overwhelming and, thus, ultimately impairing the brain’s natural sleep-inducing bio-pathways.

Natural sleep aids, on the other hand, promote better sleep by naturally engaging calm-inducing cognitive processes, slowing down overexcited brain activities, and replenishing pro-sleep nutrients and neurochemicals to healthy, natural levels.

The result with natural sleep aids is better, deeper sleep without all the usual next-morning side effects that tend to come with prescription-based sedatives.

Best Sleep Supplements for Daytime Brainpower in 2020

With that in mind, being “natural” isn’t the only criterion for what makes a natural sleep supplement a good sleep supplement, let alone the best.

With that in mind, here are a few of the best sleep supplements for daytime brainpower in 2020 that you may safely use on a daily (er, nightly), long-term basis.

Enjoy!

CherryPURE® Melatonin

As opposed to synthetic melatonin, CherryPURE® supplies a reliable concentrate of natural melatonin sourced from Montmorency tart cherries.

Ever heard that drinking tart cherry juice works as a sleep aid? The reason tart cherries are so great for improving sleep quality is due to their high concentrations of melatonin, a natural hormone produced by the body’s pineal gland that regulates the “sleep” end of the sleep-wake cycle.

Essentially, in the hours preceding bedtime (and in the absence of blue light), the pineal gland secretes melatonin to prepare the brain and body for sleep.[10]

Whether associated with overexposure to blue light or a generally misaligned circadian rhythm, insufficient melatonin activity correlates with insufficient sleep. CherryPURE® melatonin helps on this front.

Montmorency tart cherry extract supplies natural melatonin while encouraging the pineal gland’s secretion of naturally produced melatonin.

Not to mention that Montmorency tart cherry’s anthocyanin antioxidant content may help protect and soothe achy joint and muscle tissues.

L-Tryptophan

This serotonergic amino acid supports both mood and sleep by disrupting the vicious stress-sleep cycle that’s so detrimental to healthy sleep patterns.

While the belief that turkey acts as a sedative due to the presence of L-tryptophan in turkey meat is a myth, that myth is centered on a well-documented truth: L-tryptophan may promote better sleep quality.

As an amino acid involved in the serotonergic neurochemical bio-pathway, L-tryptophan seems to improve mood stability and sleep quality by converting to [11]:

  • 5-HTP, a precursor compound to serotonin, which is best known for facilitating healthy mood, relaxation, and sleep;
  • Melatonin in the gastrointestinal tract while also promoting the natural production of melatonin in the pineal gland.

By promoting the syntheses and activities of mood- and sleep-related neurochemicals, L-tryptophan may augment the sleep-promoting effects of melatonin with this amino’s mood-promoting benefits. The result of this combo is better sleep at night for better mood and motivation in the morning.

ZMA (Zinc + Magnesium + B6)

The famous sports nutrition trio of zinc + magnesium + B6 not only assists with athletic mineral health but also nighttime muscle relaxation and recovery.

Exercise is a great way to expend energy and, thus, achieve faster and deeper sleep onset at night. However, it’s also a great way to sweat and, thus, lose a lot of essential micronutrients to sweat loss.

Addressing the ergogenic problems with vitamin and mineral loss due to athletic activity, ZMA (zinc + magnesium + B6) also seems to improve sleep quality, namely through the relaxing effects of magnesium.

Though healthy zinc levels do seem to play a distinct role in healthy cognition and sleep patterns,[12] magnesium is particularly important to sleep due to this mineral’s ability to [13]:

  • Calm overexcited nerves at the neuromuscular junction;
  • Support muscle relaxation prior to sleep;
  • Relax smooth muscle cells for pre-sleep drop in blood pressure.

Athletes and exercisers, in particular, whose sleep and performance are often disrupted by muscle twitches and cramps may benefit by adding ZMA to their diet. Additionally, there are the cognitive benefits of vitamin B6, which work by promoting mood, circulation, and neurotransmitter synthesis.

More on Mind Lab Pro® Vitamin B6 here.

L-Theanine

Anxiolytic amino acid sourced from green tea that promotes calmed daytime focus and worry-free nighttime sleep enhancement.

Taken during the day, L-theanine promotes calm, free-flow thinking that’s conducive to enhanced, worry-free daytime productivity. And, taken during the night, L-theanine promotes calm, free-flow thinking that’s conducive to enhanced, worry-free nighttime relaxation.

This is truly one of the more unique natural nootropics, as L-theanine’s calming effects aren’t accomplished through sedation but rather through the promotion of alpha brainwaves,[14] an electrical brain frequency state associated with a mental state best described as “wakeful relaxation.”

In other words, this nootropic cognitive enhancer doubles as a natural nighttime sleep aid, depending on when you take it. (And depending on how much you take.)

More on Mind Lab Pro® L-Theanine here.

Best Sleep Supplement to Buy with Mind Lab Pro®

Stack Mind Lab Pro® for daytime performance and Performance Lab® Sleep for nighttime recovery to unlock 24/7 around-the-clock brainpower!

A bottle and box of Performance Lab Sleep

As the most advanced natural nootropic stack, Mind Lab Pro® achieves a synergy of brain boosters not otherwise found in your traditional “brain health” supplement.

Likewise, by mixing a trio of effective sleep aid ingredients at minimally effective dosages, Performance Lab® Sleep delivers a powerful, yet safe sleep booster that may further benefit the nootropic effects of Mind Lab Pro®’s nootropic formula.

To get the best deal, visit:
www.performancelab.com

However, to better understand how Performance Lab® Sleep’s nighttime formula assists Mind Lab Pro®’s comprehensive formula, let’s take a closer look at Sleep’s ingredients.

Who takes Performance Lab® Sleep?

Everyone needs sleep. However, does everyone need better sleep? Given that so many of us are operating at suboptimal sleep levels, having an effective and natural sleep aid supplement on hand isn’t a bad idea.

For anyone seeking safe, natural sleep support, the type that doesn’t also leave you feeling groggy and sluggish in the morning, Performance Lab® Sleep is a solid, sustainable choice.

Likewise, competitive athletes and recreational exercise in particular may benefit by the recovery benefits of this natural (and legal) sleep stack.

How to take Performance Lab® Sleep

The directions for Performance Lab® Sleep suggest that you:

Take 2 to 4 capsules, 45-60 minutes before sleep. For best results use daily and consistently.

Where to buy Performance Lab® Sleep

To buy Performance Lab® Sleep, visit here.

All Performance Lab® products sell exclusively through www.performancelab.com, which acts both as the storefront and info desk of Performance Lab®’s wide variety of health and fitness supplements.

Conclusion

Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® Sleep combine a smart complex of highly bioavailable nootropics with the best sleep supplements for daytime brainpower in 2020.

Two of the best ways to support daytime brainpower include (1) taking a daily nootropic supplement, such as Mind Lab Pro®, for on-the-spot cognition enhancement, and (2) taking a nightly sleep aid supplement, such as Performance Lab® Sleep, for quicker, deeper, and longer nighttime brain recovery.

  • While the first half of boosting performance involves committing to a daily pattern of hard work, practice, and exercise, the other half, the one we typically forget about, involves the complete opposite of hard work: falling asleep.

With Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® Sleep, however, following a fulfilling, productive workday with a solid night’s sleep, the type of sleep that lends to an even more fulfilling, productive tomorrow, is a much easier task. Together, these stacks help free the mind to work hard and relax even harder.

Because, hey, at the end of a long day, you’ve earned it. So, take it!

To get the best deal on Mind Lab Pro®, click here.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Sleep, click here.

BONUS – Ultimate Performance Recovery Stack

Daytime enhancement is an effective strategy for boosting performance. However, nutritional recovery is also an important—and often overlooked—aspect of improving one’s overall fitness. To create the Ultimate Performance Recovery Stack, consider stacking Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® Sleep with:

Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi

Food-identical, probiotic-cultivated vitamins and minerals delivered in prebiotic-infused Plantcaps® in two customized For Men and For Women formulations.

Ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Vitamin K1 + K2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Strontium, Inositol, Vanadium, Boron

  • No doubt, the best way to achieve adequate micronutrient levels is to maintain a healthy, whole-food diet. However, with modern food processing being what it is, as well as the expense of buying and cooking raw, organic foods, the appeal of a nutrient-dense multivitamin, such as Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi, is understandably on the rise. Not to mention that Whole-Food Multi offers sturdy foundational nutrient support for Mind Lab Pro®’s nootropics while optimizing Sleep’s 3X magnesium for even more muscle relaxation and recovery.

2 Bottles of Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi, click here.

Performance Lab® SPORT Post

Restorative sports nutrition powered by creatine, pomegranate extract, and electrolytes for muscle tissue protection, recovery, and healthy gains.

Ingredients: Sodium (from Himalayan Pink Salt), Creatine (as Creapure® pH10), Pomegranate Extract (as P40p™) (Punica granatum) (fruit) (std. for min. 40% punicosides and min. 50% total polyphenols), Himalayan Pink Salt, Organic Coconut Water Crystals (Cocus nucifera) (freeze dried powder)

  • Exercise builds muscle tissue by first breaking down muscle tissue. However, high-intensity training often threatens to break down too much muscle tissue, causing muscle gains and recovery to be a much more inefficient task. Assisting Performance Lab® Sleep on the recovery end of the fitness equation, Performance Lab® SPORT Post helps protect and promote muscle tissue growth by replenishing muscular cell energy (creatine) and protecting against protein-damaging oxidative stress (pomegranate extract), resulting in less post-exercise soreness and greater strength and muscle gains.

A bottle of Performance Lab Post

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® SPORT Post, click here.

Performance Lab® SPORT Protein

The cleanest, most effective bodybuilding protein powder powered by Oryzatein®, a plant-based rice protein comparable to whey protein in terms of anabolic growth.

Ingredients: Protein (from Oryzatein® Certified Organic Brown Rice [Oryza sativa] Protein Concentrate), Himalayan Pink Salt, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese

  • Ever taken a mid-day workout while on break from work only to return to the office feeling totally cognitively drained? The workout was great, but now the workday is ruined. By refueling the body and nourishing muscle tissue for faster-acting anabolic activity, Performance Lab® SPORT Protein may help restore post-workout brainpower while stimulating long-term muscle and strength gains.

A container of Performance Lab Protein

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® SPORT Protein, click here.

References

  1. Barnes CM, Drake CL. Prioritizing Sleep Health: Public Health Policy Recommendations. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2015 Nov; 10(6): 733-7.
  2. Metse AP, Bowman JA. Prevalence of self-reported suboptimal sleep in Australia and receipt of sleep care: results from the 2017 National Social Survey. Sleep Health. 2019 Nov 9.
  3. Hirshkowitz M et al. National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Sleep Health. 2015 Mar; 1(1): 40-43.
  4. VanHelder T, Radomski MW. Sleep deprivation and the effect on exercise performance. Sports Med. 1989 Apr; 7(4): 235-47.
  5. Capellini I et al. Does Sleep Play a Role in Memory Consolidation? A Comparative Test. PLoS One. 2009; 4(2): e4609.
  6. Hirotsu C et al. Interactions between sleep, stress, and metabolism: From physiological to pathological conditions. Sleep Sci. 2015 Nov; 8(3): 143-152.
  7. Sei H et al. Differential effect of short-term REM sleep deprivation on NGF and BDNF protein levels in the rat brain. Brain Res. 2000 Sep 22; 877(2): 387-90.
  8. Prinz P. Sleep, Appetite, and Obesity—What is the Link? PLoS Med. 2004 Dec; 1(3): e61.
  9. Kirszenblat L, van Swinderen B. The yin and yang of sleep and attention. Trends Neurosci. 2015 Dec; 38(12): 776-786.
  10. Zisapel N. New perspectives on the role of melatonin in human sleep, circadian rhythms and their regulation. Br J Pharmacol. 2018 Aug; 175(16): 3190-3199.
  11. Jenkins TA et al. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis. Nutrients. 2016 Jan; 8(1): 56.
  12. Cherasse Y, Urade Y. Dietary Zinc Acts as a Sleep Modulator. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov; 18(11): 2334.
  13. Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics. Clin Kidney J. 2012 Feb; 5(Suppl 1): i3-i14.
  14. Nobre AC et al. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17 Suppl 1: 167-8.