Carewell’s Best Supplements for Sleep: What To Look For + Product Recommendations

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Thu Dec 21 2023.

Alarm clock.

We all know that sleep is essential to good health. But getting a restful eight hours each night is easier said than done. Especially if you’re a family caregiver or have underlying health problems that keep you up.

Although there are prescription medications that can help, drugs like Ambien and Zolpidem, present various side effects. Luckily, they aren’t the only treatment options. Many people get positive results from all-natural sources, like nutritional supplements. Here, we take a closer look at some of the best supplements for sleep and explain what to consider during your search.

What Are Sleep Supplements?

Sleep supplements contain natural ingredients, like vitamins, minerals, or plant compounds that promote restful, rejuvenating sleep. They come in various forms, including pills, powders, tablets, and liquids, and don’t require a prescription.

What Should I Consider When Shopping For Natural Sleep Aids (Sleep Supplements)?

There are various things to consider if you’re thinking about taking a natural sleep aid, including:

Individual Needs (Goals)

What do you plan on using the sleep supplement for? Sleep problems happen for various reasons, so it’s important to choose a supplement that can help with your specific symptoms. Your doctor can make personalized recommendations based on your sleep challenges and health.

Allergies and Interactions

Supplements for sleep are safe and usually well-tolerated, but they can interact with over-the-counter and prescription medications. Before taking one, “inform your healthcare provider about all the medications or supplements you take,” says Krutika Nanavati, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Ph.D. candidate. “Likewise, be mindful of potential allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients.”

Supplement Quality and Purity

Natural sleep aids and sleep supplements aren’t regulated like other medications, so you need to do your research. Just because a product says it contains a specific ingredient, doesn’t necessarily mean it's true. Nanavati says to “choose sleep supplements from reputable brands with third-party certifications for quality and purity assurance.” 

Carewell’s Best Supplements for Sleep

At Carewell, we carry a variety of natural sleep aids and sleep supplements. Below, we highlight a mix of our best-selling and highest-rated supplements for sleep. When possible, we’ve included real customer feedback under the heading “Hear It From a Caregiver/User.” 

1) Melatonin

Brands to try: Nature’s Bounty, Basic Organics, and Sandland 

“Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the pineal gland in the brain,” explains Chelsey Borson, a certified sleep coach, pediatric sleep trainer, and the founder of LunaLeaps. “It helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and signals to the body that it’s time to sleep.”

Borson says that melatonin levels naturally increase at nighttime when it gets dark. Therefore, “taking a melatonin supplement can help regulate sleep patterns and improve sleep quality.” Research backs this thinking up. One systemic review of melatonin literature, published in the Nutrition Journal, concluded that melatonin proved especially beneficial for people suffering from jetlag and insomnia. The public seems to have gotten the memo. Melatonin use has exploded in popularity over the last 10 years

Hear it from a caregiver

“This [melatonin supplement] seems to work just fine. I was having trouble getting my mother to fall asleep at night after napping sporadically through the daytime hours.”

- Margery H.

2) Magnesium

Brands to try: Nature’s Bounty, Floradix, Geri-Care, NOW Foods

Magnesium is a mineral found in many foods, including leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. It contributes to various bodily functions, including blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation, but up to 50% of Americans are magnesium deficient.

Magnesium may even help you catch more Zs since Borson says it’s crucial for sleep and relaxation. “It helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation,” she explains. “ Magnesium also promotes the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that has calming effects on the brain. Taking a magnesium supplement can help relax the body and mind, promoting better sleep.”

Magnesium supplementation can be especially beneficial for older adults. A study published in the Journal of Research In Medical Sciences found that seniors who took a magnesium supplement experienced improved sleep efficiency, longer sleep times, and reduced early morning awakening

Hear it from a caregiver

“This [magnesium] pill is very easy to swallow. It has a smooth and firm coating so it slides down without any problem. Glad I tried it. Thank you & God Bless.”

- Mary A.

3) Lavender Tea

Lavender is an herb native to Africa and certain areas of the Mediterranean. It smells divine and is found in various products, such as soap and shampoo. However, lavender also has sleep-promoting properties.

“The scent of lavender has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, leading to improved sleep quality,” says Borson. “It can be used as an essential oil or as a supplement. Ingesting a lavender supplement (like tea) or using an essential oil before bedtime can help promote relaxation and enhance sleep.” Nanavati agrees, adding that “lavender’s aroma can activate calming pathways in the brain. This effect can be achieved through inhalation (diffuser) or topical application (oil.) 

We’re proud to stock chamomile lavender tea from Bigelow Benefits. This delicious blend is formulated to promote restful, rejuvenating sleep. It’s caffeine-free and features a mix of full-bodied floral lavender and sweet chamomile. 

4) Chamomile Tea 

Brands to try: Bigelow Benefits, Bigelow, and Celestial Seasonings

Chamomile is a small white flower that’s a member of the daisy family. It makes a beautiful addition to any bouquet, but can also be brewed into a delicious, sleep-promoting tea. Chamomile tea is a golden color and has a mild, sweet flavor that many people compare to honey or apple. 

A warm cup of tea is a wonderful way to wind down in the evening, but chamomile can be especially beneficial. That’s because “chamomile, particularly in tea form, contains apigenin, a flavonoid that binds to GABA receptors in the brain,” Nanavati says. “This prompts relaxation and drowsiness, aiding in sleep onset.” 

Indeed, research has confirmed these benefits. A small study of elderly adults found that participants who drank chamomile tea experienced significantly better sleep quality

5) Hyland’s ‘Calms Forté’ Sleep Tablets

This natural sleep aid contains homeopathically prepared botanicals and minerals that help soothe tense nerves and relax the mind. This sleep supplement has no known side effects and doesn’t interact with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Hear it from a caregiver

“Five stars! [This sleep supplement] works well when [my] mind won’t settle down.”

- Vivian A. 

Questions About Natural Sleep Aids? We Can Help!

A natural sleep aid can be a boon to your health if you’re one of the millions of Americans who don’t get enough sleep each night. Even so, choosing the sleep supplement that will best meet your needs can be challenging. 

Although we can’t provide medical advice, we can answer your questions and make product recommendations. Our friendly Care Specialists are available 24/7 and here to help. Call (800) 696-CARE or send an email to if you’d like to know more about the natural sleep aids we carry.

Best Supplements for Sleep - Commonly Asked Questions

1) Is there anything I can do to make a natural sleep aid more effective?

The easiest way to improve the efficacy of a natural sleep aid is to practice good sleep hygiene. “This includes maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a sleep-friendly environment, establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, and managing stress levels,” Borson says. “Nutritional supplements can be a helpful addition to a sleep-promoting routine, but they should be used in conjunction with other healthy sleep practices.” 

2) What dosage of sleep supplement should I take?

The proper dosage for sleep supplementation depends on various factors, including the supplement you choose, your age, weight, and general health. Since these things are specific to you, it's essential to talk with your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider to get personalized recommendations. Nanavati says you may need to monitor your sleep patterns at first with a journal or digital app. Your doctor can then use that information to adjust your supplement routine accordingly. 

3) Is it safe to take sleep supplements every day?

It depends. Natural sleep supplements present few risks, but that doesn’t mean you should take them indefinitely. In high dosages, certain supplements might even harm your liver. “Consult with your doctor or another qualified health care professional for guidance on using any supplement,” Nanavati says. “Especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions.”

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.