Clean Formulations for Maximum Sleep and Recovery
The best sleep supplements continue to evolve. You will find many clean, science-backed formulations which will help you sleep through the night.
Not only that, but they will also help you recover faster from your workouts and improve your overall quality of life.
This guide aims to break down the trends, benefits, and top sleep supplements of 2020.
Quick List: Best Sleep Supplements 2020 Edition
The best sleep supplements combine components into formulations that deliver superior long-term results.
More on these later, but for now here is a quick list of the Best Sleep Supplements this year:
|#1. Performance Lab Sleep – Simple and effective sleep supplement which features three branded ingredients and Plantcaps® pullulan capsules for easy absorption. Performance Lab website|
|#2. EVLUTION SLEEPMODE – An impressive and balanced GABA-boosting formula which will help you sleep through the night EVLNUTRITION website|
|#3. RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE – Combines a total of four vitamins and minerals into a smart and clean formulation for maximum results RSP Nutrition website|
|#4. ERGOGENIX ERGOZZZ – Downright simple sleep formula which helps increase testosterone levels for increased muscle mass and strength ERGOGENIX website|
|#5. MusclePharm Z-PM – This sleep product also doubles as a potent t-booster for more muscle mass and improved sexual function. MusclePharm website|
Or, read on to learn about the ingredients and other pertinent facts about the Best Sleep Supplements of 2020.
Sleep Supplement Developments in 2020
Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep is one of the worst experiences of any bodybuilding and fitness enthusiast. In fact, chronic insomnia may result in certain health issues. More specifically, these pertain to neurological and cardiovascular ones.
“Sleep ranks with air, water, and food as one of the essentials of life, yet 10 to 12 percent of the population doesn’t get enough of it due to insomnia,” per Oxford University sleep medicine professor Colin Espie (via Northwestern.edu).
With that in mind, it’s clear sleep is vital to overall health and fitness. You can exercise regularly and practice sound nutrition, but it will all go for nothing if you’re sleep-deprived.
If your goal is to build serious muscle mass, just bear in mind your body releases human growth hormone during sleep.
Plus, sleep has other crucial cognitive and physiological benefits:
- Improved memory, processing, and mental clarity
- Enhanced mood and focus
- Longer attention span
- Increased testosterone and energy levels
- Improved connective tissue repair
The key takeaway: sleep will help your body recover, build muscle mass, and improve your long-term health. The best sleep supplements on the market will help you achieve these goals.
Sleep Aids vs. Sleep Supplements: What’s the Difference?
When you are on the market for sleep supplements, take extra caution: you may wind up buying sleep aids (synthetic sleeping pills) instead. We don’t recommend you purchase these products. It’s imperative you know the difference between the two.
First off, sleep aids or sleeping pills are synthetic compounds. They contain artificial ingredients. You must also obtain them from a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription. Physicians usually prescribe them for short-term use only. Sleep aids may produce certain side effects:
- Memory lapses
- Daytime drowsiness
- Dry mouth/throat
On the other hand, manufacturers of sleep supplements mainly use natural ingredients. Companies normally intend them for short-term use as well. You don’t need a prescription to buy sleep supplements. They may also produce certain side effects such as nausea, headache, daytime drowsiness, and gastric issues.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep and feel a sleep supplement can help, seek the advice of a reputable physician before buying one. That way, you can reap its full benefits and sleep like a baby night in and night out.
What are the Best Sleep Supplement Ingredients in 2020?
It bears repeating: the best sleep supplements resort to natural (and more importantly, science-backed) ingredients for best results.
The best sleep supplement ingredients use natural components which help you sleep better than ever before. Not only that, but they also help boost your long-term health. These are the kinds of products worth buying.
ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6)
ZMA has gained traction as a sleep supplement ingredient. This component combines zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. This triumvirate helps increase muscle growth, ramp up testosterone levels, and of course, improve sleep quality.
Here’s the crucial benefit of ZMA for bodybuilders and individuals who are into strength training: it helps ward off muscle catabolism during sleep. In other words, it helps you preserve hard-earned muscle mass.
Experts believe the minerals zinc and magnesium help keep the dreaded stress hormone cortisol at bay. They consider high cortisol levels as an impediment to muscle growth.
In addition, ZMA helps increase human growth hormone (HGH) levels. The key here is ZMA’s magnesium component – it helps extend stage 3 and stage 4 slow-wave sleep. This, in turn, helps an individual reach deeper levels of sleep for more human growth hormone. While some studies aren’t convinced, these findings remain promising.
If there’s one mineral you should look for in your sleep supplement this year, it’s zinc.
Zinc plays a key role in the production of melatonin, the hormone which regulates your circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. Ample amounts of melatonin help your mind and body remain accustomed to the usual times you sleep and wake up.
The good news: zinc isn’t just about sleep. It has other vital health benefits:
- Helps the body release more testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 for increased muscle mass
- Increases exercise performance and strength
- Enhances focus
- Boosts reproductive, cardiovascular, neurological, and immune system function
- Wards off free radicals
- Regulates blood sugar levels
Try purchasing a sleep supplement with zinc in 2020 so you’ll not only sleep better, but enjoy a better quality of life.
Magnesium is another mineral crucial for a good night’s sleep. Bear in mind this is the ninth-most abundant element on earth. You can find it in whole foods such as cereal, brown rice, mackerel, spinach, milk, and banana.
Magnesium helps you sleep better in several ways:
- Muscle relaxation: To simplify matters, magnesium helps filter out excess calcium from the muscles. When your muscles have too much calcium, muscle tension may result. When magnesium enters the fray, your muscles will feel more relaxed. This paves the way for a good night’s sleep.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Stress is one of the main culprits of insomnia. In fact, some studies reveal magnesium deficiency induces anxiety. Magnesium helps activate GABA receptors which helps put the body at ease before bedtime.
- Improved sleep quality: Supplementing with magnesium helps increase renin levels. Renin is a protease protein and enzyme which helps regulate arterial blood pressure. Experts say high levels of renin help improve sleep quality.
Just like zinc, magnesium also has other important health benefits:
- Quells anxiety
- Relieves constipation and migraines
- Improves respiratory function
- Strengthens bones
- Increases energy levels
- Boosts heart health and mineral absorption
- Regulates blood sugar levels
Zinc and magnesium are two bona fide sleep and health superstars. Make sure your sleep supplement has these two versatile minerals.
L-theanine is an amino acid and natural ingredient of green tea. Manufacturers derive it from the plant Camellia sinensis. It helps induce relaxation and promote the “calm focus” many people want. The effects of l-theanine kick in around 30 minutes after consumption. At that point, there is an increase in alpha brain waves which results in a more relaxed feeling.
In addition, l-theanine seems to stimulate inhibitory neurotransmitter, particularly, GABA, activity. L-theanine also helps keep excitatory neurotransmitter activity in check. The end result: a calm and relaxed feeling prior to sleeping.
Because of l-theanine’s ability to promote relaxed alertness, many manufacturers include it in many nootropic supplements. L-theanine also helps offset the stimulatory effects of caffeine. No wonder it’s also in many pre-workout supplements such as 4 Gauge.
The valerian plant, Valeriana officinalis, has been a popular herbal remedy since the ancient Roman and Greek eras. It helps improve sleep quality in several ways:
- Increases sleep time: Getting a measly four to five hours of sleep nightly won’t cut it if you’re trying to build muscle mass and boost long-term health. While some people can get by with this much, getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night will go a long way. Valerian contains the flavonoid linarin which helps you sleep better and longer.
- Reduces sleep latency: Some individuals take longer than usual to fall asleep. Valerian supplementation can help keep this in check. Some studies suggest it can reduce sleep latency – you won’t toss and turn at night anymore.
- Quells anxiety: Experts believe valerian also helps quell anxiety. This, in turn, improves your overall sleep quality.
Manufacturers derive hops from the hop plant (Humulus lupus). They have used it as a key ingredient of beer and as a stabilizing agent. Surprising as it may seem, hops can help keep anxiety and restlessness at bay for a better night’s sleep.
The secret lies in hops’ sedative effect. “The concentration of two milligrams of hop extract effectively decreased nocturnal activity in the circadian activity rhythm,” per the June 2012 issue of Acta Physiologica Hungarica (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov). The study adds,”Administration of non-alcoholic beer would be recommended due to its hop content and consequent sedative action, which would be an aid to nocturnal sleep.”
If you want to put yourself at ease before bedtime, supplementing with hops should go a long way.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a popular herbal tea ingredient and sleep remedy. It helps induce feelings of relaxation before you go to sleep at night. In other words, it’s an effective sedative, especially if you consume between 300 to 1,600 milligrams (check with your doctor first if you want to dwell on the safe side).
According to the December 2011 issue of the Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov), “For the first time, chronic Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract treatment has been demonstrated to improve mild to moderate anxiety disorders, its associated symptoms and insomnia in humans.”
With that in mind, lemon balm should help relax your mind and body. It should set the stage for a restful night’s sleep.
Chamomile is a daisy-like European plant. It’s another staple sleep supplement ingredient which acts as an effective sedative.
Chamomile contains apigenin, a compound which experts believe has connections to benzodiazepine (a psychoactive drug which helps ward off insomnia, muscle tension, and anxiety). Plus, chamomile helps increase GABA production, which, in turn, increases melatonin levels.
Aside from its sleep-inducing benefits, chamomile also helps keep inflammation, hay fever, ulcers, and gastrointestinal and menstrual issues at bay.
If you’re a big fan of sweet cherries with sleep issues, you may want to consider making the switch to tart cherries (Prunus cerasus). The latter is a more acidic version of the former. Chefs also incorporate tart cherries into many of their cooking, including soups, pork dishes, cakes, pies, tarts, and soups.
Tart cherries have become popular sleep supplement ingredients because of their ability to increase melatonin levels. More specifically, the Montmorency and Balaton varieties are abundant in melatonin. When you consume tart cherries, you will become more accustomed to sleeping and waking at certain times because of the way melatonin regulates your sleep-wake cycles. That bodes well for more consistent sleep patterns.
On the other hand, tart cherries also increase l-tryptophan levels. This is an alpha amino acid precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps regulate sleep patterns and contribute to feelings of well-being. Serotonin also helps reduce sleep latency.
Melatonin is the hormone which regulates an individual’s circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). When it gets dark in the evening, melatonin levels increase. That’s when you start feeling sleepy. On the flip side, melatonin levels diminish in the morning. Melatonin helps you become accustomed to waking up at a certain hour of the day.
Unfortunately, some individuals – particularly elderly people, night shift workers, and those with high stress levels – have low melatonin levels. These people should find melatonin supplementation helpful.
Melatonin also has other vital health benefits:
- Boosts cardiovascular function
- Keeps migraines and osteoporosis at bay
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Increases fat loss
- Wards off free radicals
- Strengthens immunity
- Slows down the aging process
L-tryptophan is an alpha amino acid precursor to serotonin, the so-called “feel good hormone.” The body also converts serotonin into melatonin, which helps normalize sleep patterns.
L-tryptophan has several other benefits for sleep:
- Reduces sleep latency
- Helps one sleep longer
- Improves sleep quality and sleep conditions
L-tryptophan can also help you sleep deeper. “With four grams of l-tryptophan, there was an increase in the duration of stage 3 of daytime sleep compared with placebo,” per the November 1979 issue of Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology (via Europe PMC’s official website).
It’s clear l-tryptophan is a sleep supplement ingredient which covers all of the bases. If you want to conquer your sleep issues for good, make sure your sleep supplement includes l-tryptophan.
- TryptoPure® is one of the best l-tryptophan brands on the market today. It’s a premium ingredient which should give you a fast return on your investment.
How Best 5 Supplements Rates and Ranks the Best Sleep Supplements
For general information on purchasing high-quality supplements, please check out the Best 5 How to Buy a Good Supplement guide.
In terms of the Best Sleep Supplements, here are the criteria we used in our ratings:
- Combinations: Sleep supplements with superior ingredient combinations and stacks produce great results.
- Healthy: The best sleep supplements not only help you sleep better, but also safeguard your long-term health.
- Quality: We give precedence to sleep supplements which prioritize premium and branded ingredients.
- Research: Sleep supplements with science-backed ingredients usually exceed high expectations.
- Service: We love manufacturers which provide excellent customer service, fast shipping, and an efficient returns and exchange policy.
- Value: Sleep supplements which give you a fast return on your investment set themselves apart from the rest of the field.
- Cleanliness: We prefer supplements without any artificial food colorings and sweeteners, fillers, and harsh “other ingredients.”
We also consider companies which have a strong online presence and good reputation. These manufacturers are more likely going to stand behind their products.
Best Sleep Supplements 2020 Edition
#1: Performance Lab Sleep
Our top-ranked sleep supplement is a streamlined and all-natural three-ingredient stack. It harnesses the powers of magnesium, Montmorency tart cherry, and l-tryptophan to help you fall sleep faster and sleep longer. Not only that, but the manufacturer relies on premium quality ingredients (CherryPURE®, TryptoPure®, and BioGenesis®) – a huge plus for customers. The company also uses Plantcaps® pullulan capsules for easy absorption.
In addition, Performance Lab Sleep helps soothe muscles and ward off muscular discomfort. If you want a product which helps you sleep better and recover faster from your workouts, Performance Lab Sleep is the way to go.
Performance Lab Sleep Summary
|Ingredients: Magnesium (three forms, inc. BioGenesis™) 100 mg, Montmorency Tart Cherry (as CherryPURE®) 500 mg, L-Tryptophan (as TryptoPure®) 250 mg|
|Clean Label: Yes. Performance Lab Sleep is a clean sleep supplement from top to bottom.|
|Advanced Delivery: Yes. The manufacturer uses Plantcaps® Capsules and NuFlow® Rice Concentrate.|
|Price: $40 for one box (one-month supply)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Buy two boxes for $76 (five percent savings) and three boxes for $108 (10 percent savings) plus free worldwide shipping on orders over $200.|
|Service: Online customer service webform (get a response within 30 minutes), 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee|
|Official Website: https://www.performancelab.com|
|Read our in-depth Performance Lab Sleep review|
#2: EVLUTION SLEEPMODE
EVLUTION SLEEPMODE is the so-called “Natural Sleep Support” which supports “natural, restful sleep so you can wake up refreshed,” per the manufacturer’s official website. This product stacks nine time-tested sleep ingredients. Its l-theanine and valerian powder help increase GABA levels for increased relaxation, lower stress levels, and more restful sleep.
EVLUTION SLEEPMODE is a top-notch sleep supplement which helps you sleep deeper and longer. It also helps you wake up feeling more refreshed. That’s music to any sleep-deprived individual’s ears. Get ready to get the best sleep of your life and recover faster from your workouts at the gym. EVLUTION SLEEPMODE is the real deal.
EVLUTION SLEEPMODE Summary
|Ingredients: L-Theanine 200 mg, Valerian 150 mg, chamomile 150 mg, L-tryptophan 100 mg, passionflower extract 100 mg, lemon balm extract 100 mg, hop extract 100 mg, GABA 100 mg, melatonin powder 5.5 mg|
|Clean Label: No. Includes magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide|
|Advanced Delivery: No. The company uses regular gelatin capsules.|
|Price: $19.99 for a 30-capsule bottle (one-month supply)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Free two-day shipping on orders of at least $49. The company is also offering a bundle discount when you purchase EVLUTION SLEEPMODE with EVLUTION BCAA ENERGY and EVLUTION VITAMODE MEN’S MULTIVITAMINS ($50.97 or $9 off the retail price of $59.97).|
|Service: Customer service e-mail, return policy, and refunds|
|Official Website: https://www.evlnutrition.com|
|Read our in-depth EVLNUTRITION SLEEPMODE review|
#3: RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE
Make way for RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE, a product the manufacturer hails as the “Nighttime Sleep Aid Capsules for Muscle Growth and Recovery.” It’s also “an all-natural blend of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate, vitamin B6, and melatonin,” per its official website.
This is one unique sleep supplement which relies on vitamins and minerals to produce the best possible results. With its combined 460 milligrams of zinc and magnesium, RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE also doubles as a testosterone booster for increased muscle mass and strength. Clearly, this product suits bodybuilders who want to sleep better and maximize their recovery time.
RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE Summary
|Ingredients: Vitamin D3 (as Cholecalciferol) 200 IU, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 12 mg, Magnesium (as Magnesium Aspartate) 425 mg, Zinc (as Zinc Monomethionine and Zinc Aspartate) 35 mg|
|Clean Label: No. Contains magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide|
|Advanced Delivery: No. Regular gelatin capsules|
|Price: $17.97 for a 180-capsule bottle (two-month supply)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Free U.S. shipping on orders which are at least $75. Customers can also earn discounts via the company’s RSP Rewards Program.|
|Service: Customer service email and returns policy|
|Official Website: https://rspnutrition.com|
|Read our in-depth RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE review|
#4: ERGOGENIX ERGOZZZ
ERGOGENIX ERGOZZZ “is a scientifically-engineered formula designed to aid in optimizing your rest periods and promoting faster recovery in athletes and recreational bodybuilders,” per the company’s official website.
This product keeps it simple: its zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, and melatonin content should help you sleep better night in and night out. Plus, just like EVLUTION SLEEPMODE and RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE, ERGOGENIX ERGOZZZ helps shorten recovery time. It also helps increase testosterone levels like RSP Nutrition Z-ELITE, thanks to its zinc and magnesium components. As the proverbial cherry on top, it also helps elevate positive mood.
The key takeaway: ERGOGENIX ERGOZZZ is one well-rounded sleep supplement.
ERGOGENIX ERGOZZZ Summary
|Ingredients: Zinc (as Zinc Monomethionine and Zinc Aspartate) 30 mg, Magnesium (as Magnesium Aspartate) 450 mg, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 10.5 mg, Melatonin 3 mg|
|Clean Label: No. Contains magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide|
|Advanced Delivery: No. The manufacturer uses regular gelatin capsules.|
|Price: $13.25 for one 90-capsule bottle (30-day supply)|
|Any Deals? Yes. Free shipping on U.S. orders over $75|
|Service: Customer service email|
|Official Website: https://www.ergogenix.com|
|Read our in-depth ERGOGENIX ERGOZZZ review|
#5: MusclePharm Z-PM
MusclePharm Z-PM “promotes deeper and more efficient sleep to maximize healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production, testosterone levels, and muscle growth,” per its official website.
While it has the usual sleep supplement components in vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, and melatonin, this product also has fenugreek and copper. The former helps increase testosterone levels (for increased muscle mass and strength) while the latter helps facilitate the recovery and repair process of bones. MusclePharm Z-PM’s copper component should help you recover faster from the most intense workouts.
MusclePharm Z-PM is another comprehensive sleep supplement which helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed.
MusclePharm Z-PM Summary
|Ingredients: Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 3 mg, Magnesium (as Magnesium Aspartate) 113 mg, Zinc (as Zinc Aspartate) 7.5 mg, Copper (as Copper Glycinate) 10 mcg, Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graceum) Seed Extract 50 mg, Melatonin 3 mg|
|Clean Label: No. Contains magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide|
|Advanced Delivery: No. Regular gelatin capsules only|
|Price: $14.99 for a 60-capsule bottle (one- to two-month supply)|
|Any Deals? Yes. The company offers free standard shipping for orders over $49.97 to the continental U.S.|
|Service: Customer service e-mail, returns and refunds policy|
|Official Website: https://musclepharm.com|
|Read our in-depth MusclePharm Z-PM review|
Best Sleep Supplements 2020 Edition Conclusion
Just like most supplements, sleep products are becoming more diverse. Expect a bigger selection of sleep supplements in 2020. One thing’s for sure: today’s sleep supplements go the extra mile. Not only will they help improve your sleep quality, they will also help you recover faster from your workout sessions and increase your testosterone levels. It’s clear modern sleep supplements help you achieve your long-term fitness goals.
The Best Sleep Supplements 2020 Edition presents five of the best formulations on the market. While they can help you sleep soundly at night, you can also check out our other comprehensive sleep supplement reviews. We’re sure you will stumble upon another potential sleep supplement superstar in the making.