The 5 Best Sleep Supplements For Women (Because Let's Face It: We Need Help)
The best sleep supplements for women
How's this for a nightmare of a statistic: Women are nearly twice as likely to report sleep issues as men, thanks to a combination of hormonal differences, family obligations, and elevated stress levels. Major cultural pressures must be addressed here, but there are also some habits women can adopt to help close this frustrating gap. In addition to sticking to a healthy nightly routine, some may benefit from taking sleep supplements to get snoozing.
These are the five best sleep supplements for women, as identified by mindbodygreen's vice president of scientific affairs, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN.
Our picks for the best sleep supplements for women of 2023
Best tincture: The Raw Botanics Co. Rest & Refresh
REST & Refresh from The Raw Botanics Co. combines three powerful plant ingredients into one relaxing tincture that can be taken an hour before bed.
Ashwagandha has been shown in clinical trials to improve mood and ease stress1 (though it's worth noting that it was studied in doses over twice as high as the 100 mg per serving in this product), while reishi mushrooms are packed with polyphenols and flavonoids that may reduce feelings of anxiousness2.*
Broad-spectrum hemp-derived CBD and CBN extracts top off the calming blend. Broad-spectrum hemp products are processed to be free of THC. However, in the process of totally removing THC, broad-spectrum products lose out on some of hemp's relaxation benefits. (This is due to a hypothesis called "the entourage effect"—learn more about it here.)
Nevertheless, this is a solid option for women looking to harness the natural power of plants to quiet their minds so they can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.*
Best without melatonin: mindbodygreen sleep support+
If you're up to speed on the latest sleep news, you know that taking melatonin nightly may not be the best idea for hormonal health. There is growing concern that supplementing with it (especially in high doses) will negatively affect your body's natural production of the melatonin hormone. It's also been shown to negatively affect blood sugar levels and gut health in recent research.
The bestselling supplement earns rave reviews, particularly from women who need some help in the sleep department during menopause, new parenthood, or other stressful life transitions. Unlike melatonin, it's totally safe to take nightly, and your body will appreciate the extra magnesium—an essential mineral that many of us don't get enough of through diet alone.
Best with CBD: Cornbread Hemp Distilled USDA Organic CBD Oil
Transparency is essential in the hemp space, and Cornbread's USDA-certified organic CBD is third-party tested for purity and potency. It's a full-spectrum hemp product, meaning it retains all of the hemp plant's hundreds of compounds that work together synergistically to promote a sense of calm—including THC.* This tincture is available in three strengths, with the most powerful containing 50 mg of CBD and 1 mg of THC per serving.
If you prefer to end your day on a sweet note, Cornbread also earned a spot on our list of the best hemp CBD gummies for sleep.
Best for seniors: Pure Encapsulations Daily Pure Pack Healthy Sleep
This three-capsule Daily Pure Pack for Healthy Sleep by Pure Encapsulations contains magnesium bisglycinate to promote relaxation, plus a blend of calming L-theanine5, lemon balm6, and chamomile7 with a 1-mg dose of melatonin.* This is a far safer formulation than sleep supplements containing up to 10 milligrams of the hormone (33 times higher than your body naturally produces).
Strongest: Neurohacker Collective Qualia Night
Qualia Night by Neurohacker Collective contains a laundry list of adaptogens and nootropics designed to improve overall sleep architecture. The formula is designed to help maximize the amount of time you spend in REM sleep and deep sleep, when most mental and physical recovery happens, to allow you to wake up feeling more alert and energized.*
Since this supplement packs in over 20 active ingredients, it comes with a hefty serving size: four capsules, to be taken at dinner or several hours before bed. It's designed to be taken only five nights a week, with two nights off.
Comparing the best sleep supplements for women
|Product||Price||Format||Serving size||Contains melatonin||Subscription available|
|The Raw Botanics Co. REST & Refresh||$85||Tincture||1 dropperful||No||Yes|
|mindbodygreen sleep support+||$60||Capsule||2 capsules||No||Yes|
|Cornbread Hemp Distilled USDA Organic CBD Oil||$35-$90||Tincture||1 dropperful||No||Yes|
|Pure Encapsulations Daily Pure Pack Healthy Sleep||$36||Capsule||3 capsules||Yes||Yes|
|Neurohacker Collective Qualia Night||$79||Capsule||4 capsules||No||Yes|
How we picked
- Sleep-targeted ingredients: We vetted and curated sleep formulas that feature high-quality ingredients scientifically studied to promote key aspects of restful sleep.*
- Efficacious doses: These formulas feature diverse ingredients (e.g., hemp CBD, magnesium, L-theanine, GABA, ashwagandha, etc.) at science-backed doses.
- Quality: We prioritize sleep supplements that leverage quality testing to confirm the potency and purity of their products and avoid cheap additives.
- Sustainability: Our lineup elevates brands that prioritize sustainably sourced ingredients and recyclable or reusable packaging.
How to choose
First and foremost, any sleep supplement you choose should contain ingredients that have been studied in humans and shown to have a positive impact on sleep in clinical trials. The most promising ones for relaxation and sleep include magnesium8, GABA9, L-theanine10, 5-HTP11, and hemp-derived CBD12.* Check out more ingredients that have research behind them here.
Serving size and format are also important to pay attention to: You'll want to choose a supplement that is enjoyable to take nightly (some people prefer capsules to tinctures, for example) and easy to fit into your routine. All supplements you consume should come from a reputable company that does third-party testing.
Finally, it's important to understand what sleep supplements can and can't do. While they are designed to help support your body's natural ability to fall asleep, they can't correct serious or long-term sleep concerns.*
Why sleep matters for your longevity
We all want to live long, healthy lives—and sleep helps us do that in a big way.
Spending enough time asleep each night (especially in later sleep stages like REM sleep and deep sleep) pays off for your immunity15, mental health16, cardiovascular function17, and more. As previously reported on mindbodygreen, over time, neglecting sleep is as harmful as chronically overeating or not exercising18. In fact, research shows that older adults who clock enough (seven to eight and a half) hours of undisturbed sleep each night can live up to three to six years longer19 on average than those who don't.
"If there's any one positive thing we can do in terms of slowing down the aging process, sleep is really up there," Seema Bonney, M.D., the founder and medical director of the Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia, previously told us. "I hear so many people say things like, 'I'll sleep when I'm dead.' And the truth is, you will be dead sooner if you don't sleep."
Of course, supplements alone can't ensure a night of nourishing rest. You need to pair them with healthy sleep habits (that also can pay off for longevity in their own right), such as:
On the flip side, here are some habits to avoid that can get in the way of your sleep and health.
What helps women sleep better?
Women are more likely to report disrupted sleep than men, and researchers suspect that this is due to hormonal differences and stress from family and personal obligations. To get better sleep, women should go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, avoid stimulating activities (alcohol, stressful television, social media, etc.) at night, and establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Women may also benefit from supplements that have a relaxing impact on the mind, such as mindbodygreen sleep support+ and Cornbread Hemp Distilled USDA Organic CBD Oil.*
What is the best sleep supplement to fall asleep and stay asleep?
While melatonin may help you fall asleep faster (due to its impact on the circadian rhythm), it doesn't do much in the way of improving your overall asleep quality. For help in that department, try sleep supplements that contain ingredients that have been shown to support overall sleep architecture, such as magnesium.*
Many women face barriers to sleep that can be hard to break down. But once you have a solid sleep routine in place, adding one of these science-backed supplements can help you get the rest you deserve.
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.