Best Nootropics for Sleep: Improve your Brain While Sleeping

In this article, we take you through the best nootropics for sleep. These are supplement stacks we believe are the top options for you for improving your natural sleep, falling asleep faster, the overall quality of sleep and generally reducing the amount of time it takes you to sleep.

None of the options that we suggest are artificial, we only recommend natural options as a sleep supplement. These are things you can take once per night to help you stay asleep, improve brain function and generally provide you a better night’s sleep.

In this article we cover the better sleep nootropics out there, along with some of the more commonly asked questions about these stacks (daily dosage, nootropic complex options, etc.)

Can I take nootropics at night For Sleeping?

You absolutely can take nootropics at night. You just have to make sure that you’re making the right stack that you can take at night.

Nootropics at night can help our brains. It does a lot of recovery during this period – making sure you’re giving it a good nutritional supply of what it needs can help a lot. Overnight, your body goes through several processes to help repair and maintain itself.

Your brain does the same thing, as you supply your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself – you can do the same for your brain to ensure it gets what it needs for optimum recovery and function.

As we’ve mentioned though – you need to ensure that you’re making the right choices. For example, avoid stimulant nootropics at all costs – like caffeine, or aniracetam.

Look more toward a sleep nootropics stack that is natural and aimed more at improving mood and reducing anxiety – this can help put you in a better state to drift off to sleep.

Best Nootropic for Sleep Deprivation

Best Nootropics for Sleep Deprivation Supplements

Sleep deprivation and insomnia can be one of the most inconvenient moments of life – especially when it becomes a regular pattern.

These are just natural nootropics and sleep supplements I’ve have success using for improved sleep.

Performance Lab Sleep

Performance Lab Sleep

If you’ve read my Performance Lab Sleep review, you’ll know that after trying many over the counter (otc) sleep aids – I find it to be the most effective.

It contains the best ingredients I’ve seen in a sleep aid – and in combination with an accompanying like Mind Lab Pro, you can really supercharge your brainpower and your sleep.

You can read my review, but here’s the summary, taking Performance Lab Sleep I experience:

  • Faster onset sleep – I fall asleep quicker.
  • Deeper sleep – Once asleep, I usually don’t wake up until my alarm.
  • More refreshed – I feel much better throughout the day and not groggy upon wake up.
  • Better recovery – Recovery from the gym feels faster and less sore with better sleep.

Performance Lab Sleep contains:

  • Magnesium / 100 mg – Relaxes nervous impulses overnight for longer undisturbed sleep.
  • Montmorency Tart Cherry / 500 mg – Contains natural melatonin to speed up onset sleep.
  • L-Tryptophan / 250 mg – Natural precursor for melatonin to ramp up production of melatonin.

It’s something that I’d definitely recommend trying, it currently runs for $39.00 for a month’s supply or cheaper if you go for a multi-box purchase (free bottle and shipping with any 3 box purchase).

Learn more About PLab Sleep

Bonus: Performance Lab Mind

Performance Lab Mind

If you want the full nootropic sleep stack experience Performance Lab also offer Mind – which is their nootropic which stacks well with Sleep.

Where sleep helps relax your nervous impulses, muscles and general mindset, Mind helps to give your brain the nutrients it needs to recharge it and get it firing on all cylinders with improved cognitive function.

Performance Lab Mind contains:

  • Citicoline / 250 mg – Boosts brain energy and membrane formation.
  • Phosphatidylserine / 100 mg – Increases memory, learning, focus and attention.
  • L-Tyrosine / 250 mg – Helps reduce stress and promote multitasking.
  • Maritime Pine Bark Extract / 75 mg – Supports brain protection and circulation.

You can learn more about Mind on the Performance Lab website.

Find out more here

Mind Lab Pro

Mind Lab Pro

This is a not sleep-focused nootropic – however it is one that I use as an all-rounder nootropic. If you’ve read my Mind Lab Pro review, you’ll know that this is my highest recommended nootropic stack.

It does contain some ingredients which could give you a good night sleep – however, I do not recommend that you take it before bed if you want to go in this direction.

Mind Lab Pro contains a good amount of L-Theanine which can promote your levels of serotonin – which is your body’s precursor to melatonin which is made in your pineal gland. Melatonin being your body’s sleep hormone which can affect how fast you fall asleep, sleep quality, rem sleep and generally higher quality sleep.

It’s not on the top of my list for nootropics for sleep, but I thought I would mention it given the benefits I’ve experienced from using it for cognitive function.

Learn more About this nootropic

Brain Chemicals for Good Sleep

When researching sleep nootropics you need to ensure what you’re using is affecting the right brain chemistry to promote better, natural sleep.

Below, we’ll be listing the chemicals in your brain that you should be paying the most attention to for improving your sleep and maximizing your brainpower.


GABA is your brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter of your body’s CNS (Central Nervous System). Low levels of GABA have been linked to sleep problems such as insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns – which can do damage to your circadian rhythm.

Optimizing this neurotransmitter in your body can help improve your natural sleep and potentially increase the amount of time you sleep for, as well as better REM sleep and increasing chances of falling asleep faster.

Nootropics which may improve your levels of GABA include L-Theanine and Magnesium Taurate. These have been included in our nootropics list later in this article.


Melatonin is a natural hormone which is made by your body’s pineal gland, which is located in the upper-middle of your brain.

It is the hormone your brain releases into your body to signal to you that it’s time to go to sleep. You get the most melatonin released into your body when the sun goes down, it’s the blue light in everyday life that inhibits it from being released.

Some believe supplementing melatonin is a good way to promote sleep – however, cheaper options in supplements are often synthetic and can be both difficult to absorb and not that effective.

For the best results, we recommend using options like Montmorency Tart Cherry, which contains a natural source of melatonin which gives your body a natural supply of the hormone. It’s a great option to promote a healthy sleep


Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which has been linked to the start of REM sleep.

REM sleep, also known as Rapid Eye Movement sleep has links to promote learning, memory, mood and other aspects of your brain development.

Supplying your body with nutrients (nootropics) which may optimize your body’s levels of acetylcholine is a good way toward promoting your sleep quality as well as your cognitive function and brain health.

Bacopa Monnieri is a good option for this as it has links to promoting acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin.


Let us clarify, Norepinephrine is not a chemical you want in high amounts in your brain while you’re trying to sleep. If you want better sleep quality, we recommend looking for a nootropics supplement that help to reduce and regulate your production of this neurotransmitter.

The reason you need norepinephrine knocked down a peg is because it is used in your body’s flight or fight response. It’s perfect for boosting your heart rate and blood pressure – exactly what you don’t want when you’re trying to sleep.


Again, this is another hormone that you don’t want in high amounts in your system when you’re trying to promote sleep. Although dopamine is a feel-good hormone, and useful for depression symptoms – it also promotes wakefulness and energy for activity.

If you’re looking for a feel-good hormone for enhancing your brain for optimal healthy sleep, we’ve found serotonin to be a much better choice to get to sleep.


Serotonin is a good sleep neurotransmitter in your body. By using nootropics to promote your levels of this feel-good hormone, you may increase your levels of melatonin – the sleep hormone. This is because serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, your body’s primary sleep hormone.

There are several nootropics out there which can support this, L-Tryptophan and L-Theanine both have links to promoting your levels of serotonin.


Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone and it’s important that you keep it at the optimal level.

High levels of it can cause you to be stressed which can affect your circadian rhythm which can disrupt your sleep stages.

There are several options out there which can support better cortisol levels. Ashwagandha is a good option to support management of cortisol and the general effect of stress.

Nootropics for Anxiety and Sleep

Nootropics for Anxiety and Sleep Supplements

If you’re looking into nootropics as treatment for anxiety and depression, you should speak to your doctor – if it’s a clinical issue you need medical advice.

However, if you’re interested in tweaking your nootropics stack to help improve your sleep and boost your overall brain power.

BEST Sedating Nootropics

Here’s the list of what we think are the best sedating nootropics on the market to improve sleep quality. These are all natural nutrients that when taken at the appropriate dosage are safe to use for most people.

  • L-Theanine
  • Tryptophan
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Magnesium
  • Montmorency Tart Cherry

Runners Up:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Valerian
  • Lemon Balm

Below, we’ll go into more details about what we think the best nootropics for sleep are and what comes close to being the best.

If you have any concerns or are sensitive to nootropics, you should consult your doctor before taking them. The majority of people (myself included) have not experienced side effects using these – but if you are unsure you should always do the additional research.

L-Theanine For Sleep

L-Theanine is an amino acid and great nootropic that can help improve your mood and quality of sleep.

It is an amino acid found in green tea that helps increase your overall levels of GABA and serotonin – which can both contribute to a better night’s sleep.

As you know, serotonin is your body’s precursor to melatonin – your brain’s sleep hormone.

However, we should point out that L-Theanine is not technically a sedative. It helps promote your overall mood which allows for you to fall asleep easier with a more relaxed mindset.

L-Tryptophan For Sleep

Again, this is another effective amino acid / nootropic for sleep.

L-Tryptophan is an amino acid which converts into 5-HTP after being absorbed – which then converts again into serotonin (feel good hormone and sleep neurotransmitter) – which again converts into melatonin.

L-Tryptophan has the cognitive benefits of helping with your mood, stress and promoting general relaxation.

By putting yourself in a better state a mind, L-Tryptophan can help you acheive faster onset sleep. By how it affects you hormonally it can also help promote higher sleep quality.

Bacopa Monnieri For Sleep

Bacopa Monnieri has some benefits which lend itself to promoting a good night’s sleep as a nootropic.

A good supply of Bacopa can help promote the brain chemicals acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin – which can help support your mood to get you into a happier state.

Serotonin is the key one here for promoting faster onset sleep. It converts into melatonin after being absorbed in your body. This can help accelerate overall sleep onset.

It’s a solid ingredient to any sleep nootropics stack.

Magnesium For Sleeping

Magnesium is a great mineral for improving your overall sleep.

The main way that it can help is by signalling to your body to relax your nervous system and muscles. It also helps supports a mild drop in blood pressure which can make it easier to fall asleep.

A word warning: most cheap magnesium supplements are harder for your body to absorb. If you want good results, you need to make sure you’re getting premium quality.

Good forms of this mineral include Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate (GABA supportive) and nature identical magnesium (for example the Biogenesis Magnesium in Performance Lab Sleep).

Montmorency Tart Cherry

This is an important option for your brain and sleep. Montmorency Tart Cherry is a nutrient which contains a natural source of melatonin.

This can help with faster onset sleep, as well as improve sleep quality and even support for your circadian rhythm which can promote better sleep patterns.

It also contains anthocyanin antioxidants which can support muscle and joint soothing to make falling asleep more comfortable.

Montmorency Tart Cherry is all natural, and in some cases better than off the shelf melatonin, as this can be synthetic and harder for your body to absorb.

Runner Up Supplements: Ashwagandha, Valerian Root and Lemon Balm

Ashwagandha Root Extracts: Stress Supplements

Ashwagandha root is often thought to be a good compound for improving sleep quality as well as promoting sleep-inducing speed and faster sleep onset.

However, there may be more to the story.

One of the main ways it may achieve this is by how this nutrient can handle your levels of stress – in particular, cortisol – your body’s stress hormone. This can promote feelings of well-being and reduce anxiety.

There are some studies which show that it could help with sleep deprivation, but more research needs to be done to confirm this.

It looks like a promising option, but can’t commit to putting it in our top choices as a sleep nootropic.

Valerian Root: Helps Relaxation & Good Sleep

Valerian root is an ancient and traditional herbal remedy which is thought to promote sleep and relaxation.

It’s estimated that it’s been used for these benefits for approximately 2000 years, as well as being used in perfumes for its distinct smell.

There may be some evidence for it helping to promote sleep. Valerian has been seen in some cases to promote calmness as well as restricting the breakdown of the GABA in your brain.

Valerian root also may help promote mood. Combining this with the preservation of GABA in your body – you may be in a better state for higher sleep quality.

Lemon Balm: Calming Sleep Complex

Lemon Balm is often referenced as the calming herb. It has some benefits which may give higher quality sleep and even from a cognitive standpoint.

It has been seen in some cases to help ease negative mood effects and reduce anxiety which can put you in a better state of mind to improve overall sleep.

In some cases it has even been seen to fight insomnia when coupled with valerian root – however, there’s only one study which shows this. More research would need to be done to make this more plausible.

From a nootropics perspective Lemon Balm has been seen in a 2014 study to help with cognitive mathematical tasks. The lemon balm group fared better than the placebo group.

However, as we say, this is an isolated study and more research is needed.

Nootropics for Sleep: FAQ – Brain Supplements Questions

Disclaimer: I’m simply answering questions I’ve been asked about nootropics and sleep. I only recommend using natural nootropics in your stack.

This article should be taken as medical advice to treat, cure or prevent insomnia. I repeat: this is not medical advice to intended to diagnose, treat cure insomnia. It is not evaluated by the Food and Drug administration. If you are having problems with your sleep and have exhausted every possible option to prevent any disease symptoms of insomnia, you should speak to your doctor.

This is purely for informational purposes and should not be used as medical advice, we are not doctors.

Does Aniracetam Keep You Awake?

Yes, it could. Aniracetam acts as both a stimulant and mental enhancer. It’s said to help make you more alert and awake. This is similar to caffeine. It may also help improve your concentration and memory.

Reported side effects of Aniracetam vary widely, but the most commonly noted are:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

With insomnia being the top of that list – it’s not the kind of nootropic you want to use in your stack if you’re looking to improve your sleep.

Note: If you are going to take Aniracetam, you should speak to your doctor first. It is a potent smart drug. This drug is also fat soluble, you should think about taking it with food or just after a meal.

Does Huperzine Make You Sleep?

Maybe, although this has not been studied. Huperzine A has a reputation in some nootropic circles for increasing REM sleep (dreaming and deeper stage of sleep) and lucid dreaming (ability to control your own dreams).

As we’ve mentioned, there are no studies to confirm this but we believe this assumption comes from how it may affect the acetylcholine in your brain.

Picamilon Insomnia – Does it help?

Picamilon may help with insomnia, and there are reasons to support this.

It may promote GABA in your brain which has links to improving how quickly it takes for you to fall asleep – and sleep for longer.

Another benefit that it has is that it can help reduce anxiety – which could make falling asleep easier if you suffer from this. Research shows that it may promote relaxation, and even improve mood.

However, we do not recommend using Picamilon as it is a prodrug which has reports of sending people into a ‘manic state’.

It’s not a natural nootropic, if you decide to use it, use caution.