A Good Snooze Needs A Great Warm-Up: This Supplement Is Like Sleep Pregame*
In sleep conversations, much of the focus zeroes in on a deep, restorative snooze. It is the goal, after all—the main event, if you will. But according to mbg director of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, we need to pay way more attention to the warm-up: Not many of us can immediately fall into that deep slumber; rather, you need to train your brain and body in order to get there.
There are tons of ways to prepare for sleep, and it ultimately has to do with personal preference rooted in individual biological differences (i.e., you may not have the same bedtime ritual as your partner or a friend, and that's OK). But if you need a little nudge for your warm-up, she suggests a calm-promoting supplement, like mbg's calm+.* "This is like your sleep pregame," Ferira says on the mindbodygreen podcast.
A supplement to pregame your sleep.
Allow us to emphasize: You don't necessarily need to take our calm+ supplement around bedtime. "I don't like to silo hemp oil, ashwagandha, and lavender to just nighttime," Ferira says of the supplement's star ingredients. "They can be versatile and relevant throughout the day, depending on the individual's needs." But if you do find yourself struggling to unwind during your nighttime ritual—which is true for a significant slice of the nation1—then it can be helpful for you to take during your evening routine.*
See, our calm+ is a botanical trio to support your wind-down routine, says Ferira.* First, there's 100 milligrams of USDA- and E.U.-certified organic, full-spectrum European hemp oil that's been DNA-tested and delivers 20 mg of CBD per serving—an amount that's been shown to improve stress resilience in clinical trials2.*
Then there's ashwagandha, a potent adaptogen that—as the name suggests—helps you adapt to stressors and stay resilient. Specifically, our 240 milligrams of ashwagandha root and leaf extract contains 35% glycowithanolides, the bioactive phytonutrient compounds that give the plant its stress-relieving effects3.*
Finally, we have 80 milligrams of non-GMO lavender oil: "The clinical trial evidence for lavender oil at 80 milligrams4 is very strong," says Ferira. "At this point, it's interacting with the nervous system in a mood-stabilizing and even a neuroprotective way."*
Sure, this is not a straight-up sleep-support supplement (but we have one of those, too, so don't fret), but ingredients for both tend to overlap lanes in a synergizing way: "Sleep-support ingredients and botanicals can find themselves in calm-promoting supplements and vice versa—they are beneficial and helpful to each other,"* notes Ferira. Think of calm+ as an appetizer, so to speak, for your slumber; then you can rely on other sleep-supporting ingredients for the main course, if you choose.*
Other ways to wind down.
Ferira also stresses the importance of creating a wind-down ritual: Yes, it can include supplements, but she also recommends you find other steps to prepare you for sleep, whatever that looks like for you.
For example, she says you could light a candle, take a long soak in the tub, journal, or stretch while listening to some calming music. Ferira personally finds relaxation in her beauty routine: She's partial to a mini facial massage during her cleansing step. "It's really a buffet of options," she notes. "For each individual, just tailor it to what you look forward to and what is going to relax you the most." (And if you're in need of some more inspiration, feel free to check out our handy sleep guide.)
Calm-promoting supplements don't necessarily have to be taken at bedtime, but they can help you wind down if you need some extra help in the snooze department.* Plus, these botanicals work well with other sleep-supporting ingredients; so when you pair them together? "It's game time,"* Ferira notes. "Time for the zzz's."
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.