Top 10 Most Powerful Sleeping Aids: 2021 Buying Guide With Sleep Supplements and Herbs For Bodybuilding

By Nader Qudimat ·
Updated Jan 25, 2021

BEST OVERALL

BEST WITHOUT MELATONIN

For some people, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult enough at the best of times but post workout it can be almost impossible.

Though your body might need that essential time for recovery and growth you might find that your mind is too pumped to settle down.

There’s good reason for this.

When you exercise, your body produce cortisol and adrenaline.

Both of these hormones are a reaction to stress (specifically that caused by a strenuous workout) and are a major benefit in getting the most of a session in the gym.

Together they increase your heart rate, pump your muscles full of blood and make you more alert.

Whilst this can help your performance, they aren’t the best of ingredients for relaxing.

The amount and quality of the sleep you get will vary from other people and is dependent on many things such as your age, weight, time of year and other factors.

The important point is that each of us requires a certain amount of good quality sleep in order to function well and without it, your body will struggle to repair and grow.

In short, sleep is an important part of maintaining muscle development.

There are plenty of ways to aid quality sleep and you may well have tried some of these already.

From winding down before bed with relaxing oils, a calm atmosphere and a warm drink to changing the timing of your workouts so you don’t exercise too late.

If you’ve tried these and are still reading this article, then the chances are that none of these things have worked.

Join the club…

In this guide, I’ll be looking at the top ten most powerful sleep aids that can also aid post workout recovery.

I’ll also be looking at top ten natural sleep remedies as well as the chemical ingredients that aid sleep.

Don’t forget to share this post and let me have any feedback if you’ve tried any of these supplements and found good results.

Contents

Best Sleep Supplements for 2021

Transparent Labs is a straight, no non-sense company that makes straight formulas without the fluff. 

They've been making completely transparent and dosed formulas for years.

Their sleep supplement, simply named Sleep Aid, you get 8 ingredients packed in 3 capsules. 

  • ZMA (Zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6)
  • Glycine
  • Tart Chery
  • Theanine 
  • Rutaecarpine

This is a sleep supplement made for athletes but even if you don't consider yourself one, you'll probably want to go with this one. 

Typically supplements using these ingredients are going to use the cheapest or common forms, but Sleep Aid uses patented ingredients and only that.

All the ingredients are highly bioavailable, from the zinc to the magnesium and VitaCherry (Tart Cherry). 

And it uses a small dose of melatonin of only 3mg, which is welcomed since anything more than that may just be too much for some people. 

The combination of ZMA, glycine, theanine and rutaecarpine will help reduce anxiety and increase relaxation.

However the strongest ingredient in here is the tart cherry.

This ingredient makes Sleep Aid as great as it is, the list of benefits is endless. 

It enhances recovery, promotes joint health, reduces inflammation and muscle damage, and it even reduces LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). 

Another interesting ingredient is rutacarpine, this ingredient is interesting because it can help reduce the time caffeine takes to leave your system. Typically caffeine takes at least 10 hours to leave your system, but with rutacarpine, this can be reduced all the way down to 4 hours. 

This entire formula will work in synergy to help improve sleep quality and energy levels when you wake up the next day. 

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or have terrible sleep quality, then Sleep Aid is perfect for you.

Use coupon code FITFREK for a discount. 

PROS

CONS

Although Rich Piana left us a few years ago, his legacy lives on through many ways.

One of those ways is through his brand and here we have his Knocked The F* Out. 

This supplement contains mostly herbs, along with amino acids, vitamin B6, 5-HTP and melatonin. 

The entire formula is fueled natural ingredients, and B6 is actually a great form, better than most forms you'll find in vitamin B supplements.

Knocked contains a cocktail of natural herbs that will relax and enhance sleep quality through it's 6.8 gram servings. 

It has over 10 ingredients, and wouldn't be able to fit all of these ingredients into capsules, which is why it's in a powdered drink but thankfully, it's incredibly satisfying to drink. 

Although this contains a bunch of herbs, the taste of the ingredients are well covered, most likely because of the apple cider. 

The melatonin dose is at 8mg, while this is higher than average, some sleep aids contain around 20mg, so this is perfect if you don't want something with that much. 

The herbs in here are great for relaxing and makes for an incredible nights of sleep, but one of the best ingredients in here is lemon balm, it's an underrated ingredient. 

All the ingredients are generously dosed, and will help with recovery and sleep. 

Use coupon code FITFREK.

Alternatively you can get it from NutritionFaktory.

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CONS

Blackstone Labs is known for their borderline legal supplements and have been bringing us the kind of supplements that turn heads when you see them. 

Their hardcore formulas and supplements have brought us to Anesthetized, a phenibut and GABA containing sleep aid. 

Phenibut is the star of this supplement and it's incredible for reducing anxiety and stress. 

It's similar to GABA and they will both work in synergy since they work in similar ways. 

But the problem with phenibut is that you can't use it without cycling it, and when you go off it, you may experience some withdrawals and it's considered unsafe when taken in large doses. 

As a sleep aid though, it's nice to try for a month and then move on to another sleep aid or nothing at all. 

There's 1.8g of phenibut in here is the middle ground of dosage. When it goes above 2g that's when you'll notice more of the negative side effects of it than the benefits. 

It may be safer to use this sleep aid 2 times per week, rather than everyday as a way to treat yourself to a high quality nights of sleep.

But if you're someone who just wants to increase sleep quality without phenibut then try another one on here. 

Use coupon code FITFREK.

PROS

CONS

Chemix Sleep is made by the colorful company of the Guerilla Chemist. 

It contains a fairly simple formula of 6 ingredients that will help reduce anxiety and help increase sleep quality. 

It has ingredients that work in synergy with GABA to help you feel sedated and relaxed to have proper sleep. 

GABA is a neurotransmitter that works by decreasing beta waves and increasing alpha waves, in result helps winds you down for sleep. 

Chemix here is going with a patented version, GABAicalin, but we can't seem to find much on it. 

The 500mg dose is paired with 5 other ingredients, including a unique extract of chamomile, apigenin. 

Another benefit packed ingredient is MagnaSleep, it helps reduce inflammation, increase relaxation and reduce anxiety. 

This doesn't contain melatonin, making it globally friendly for purchasing and trying. 

Use coupon code FITFREK.

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CONS

If you like Excelsior but prefer the convivence of pill form, then Thermal Spark is the choice for you. 

Thermal Spark is Excelsior in pill form, it has the same exact energy and effects but without the nitric oxide ingredients. 

The price is a little cheaper, and all you need is one pill for plenty of focus and energy. At 2 pills, you'll have long lasting focus all day long easily, but 1 pill should be enough for most people. 

Use coupon code FITFREK (or FITFREK5) 

PROS

CONS

Alpha Lion is a high end brand that formulates supplements with competitive pricing.

The blend of this supplement contains ZMA, herbs and minerals. 

Superhuman Sleep delivers a relaxing sedative to get you into a REM cycle, reduces anxiety levels and decreases sleep interruptions.

If you're not already taking ZMA, then you should go for this as research has shown that using ZMA also increases testosterone levels.

Use coupon code FITFREK.

Alternatively you can get it from Nutrition Faktory.

PROS

CONS

Axe and Sledge is created by a hard working IFBB pro Seth Feroce, who is also a family man and understands the need for formulating supplements that's future-proof. 

This formula was created to be sold worldwide, so melatonin wasn't added.

Formulating Dozer to be without melatonin but still be just as effective was clearly a challenge that Axe and Sledge have overcome. 

The ingredients are some of the best we've seen in sleep aids, from a big dose of GABA (3g) as well as chamomile extract, ashwagandha, passion flower, phenylalanine, theanine and 5-HTP.

The last ingredient is interesting, it's like a time-released version of melatonin. 

But to keep this formula globally compliant, it doesn't include melatonin, and uses this instead. 

Tryptophan is an amino acid that can be converted into melatonin. It also helps mood by increasing the production of serotonin. 

L-Tyrosine is usually used in pre workouts, so you may be wondering why it's in a sleep aid. 

It's because GABA is a neurotransmitter and it's a precursor to dopamine. 

To help you replenish dopamine and get you primed for the next day, tyrosine is included at 750mg. 

Overall, Dozer is a solid choice for a sleep aid and will not only help you fall asleep, but it'll also help with sleep quality, duration and make you feel energized the next day. 

Use coupon code FITFREK.

PROS

CONS

Core Nutritionals is another company that likes to use properly dosed formulas that are completely open and transparent. 

Core ZZZ is their sleep aid and it contains a blend of ZMA, GABA, phenibut and more. 

This is one of the few supplements we've seen with the big dose of GABA. 

Phenibut is also included in here but luckily, it's at a small dose of 1g. The maximum dose for this is 2g, and anything more than that and you'll just be risking yourself for withdrawals and dependency. 

Since it does have phenibut, we recommend taking this no more than 2-4 times a week, or one month on and a month off. 

The longer you use phenibut, the more you'll feel the withdrawals when you cut it out. 

GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps increase alpha waves and decrease beta waves, which is needed for a restful sleep. 

The alpha waves are the relaxation waves that your brain has and beta waves are associated with the awaken state of your mind. 

Something to keep in mind is that there's melatonin in here, which isn't globally compliant, and that goes for phenibut as well. 

Beyond the sleep aids is the mucuna pruriens extract also known as L-Dopa, an ingredient often used in testosterone boosters to help optimize test levels and growth hormones. 

All in all, this is the kind of sleep aid you'll want to take if you want to experience deep sleep with the aid of phenibut. 

Use coupon code FITFREK. 

PROS

CONS

MTS Nutrition is another popular company for supplements.

This sleep supplement is formulated with herbs, amino acids as well as ashwagandha. 

These are potent ingredients work to promote and maintain a natural sleep cycle.

Hops and valerian have been show in various studies to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep whilst the hormone melatonin controls our biological clock.

Though this supplement won’t deliver any side-benefits like increased fat loss or enhanced recovery it is an all-natural product.

It won’t leave you feeling tired the next day and significantly enhances the quality of the sleep that you get.

Machine Sleep Aid uses 9 high quality sleep aids. 

Forget being using a mini sleep aid. 

This formula utilizes 6 fully dosed ingredients (with the exception of melatonin). ​

With Machine Sleep Aid, we're getting a herbal combination of both hops and valerian.

And to get you sleepy, it has GABA and chamomile to put you to sleep quicker.

And finally we also see it has lemon balm, a super underused and underrated sleep aid that we need to see more of.

And it uses 3mg and that may sleep minimal but that is more than enough to induce a good nights sleep.

Use coupon code FITFREK.

PROS

CONS

Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals is a professional looking supplement company that often is targetted by the FDA for their DMAA and exotic stimulants.

If it wasn't for Hi-Tech, we may not have the choice to try these hardcore stimulants.

Somatomax is designed to maximize the production of HGH during the first few hours of sleep with the help of L-Dopa and the other sleep aids in here. 

Not only does it increase muscle gain and aid deep sleep but it can also help decrease fat tissue.

This is one of the only sleep supplements that has 14g of active ingredients. 

In fact, this is easily one of the strongest sleep aids we've had so far. 

However, the only issue is that the ingredients are in a prop blend.

The extra benefits that this supplement provides on top of the extra sleep and greater results in lean muscle is an increased libido and pain relief.

Not a bad combination if you can stay awake long enough to make the most of it!

PROS

CONS

Universal Nutrition has been in the supplement business for years now and they are best known for their multivitamin, Animal Pak.

Animal PM is a powerhouse of herbs as well as a combination of natural sedatives and amino acids.

The blend of chamomile and valerian is proven to boost the quality of sleep as well as improving the speed of falling asleep.

A complex formula of anabolic boosting ingredients boosts recovery and limits the level of soreness the following day.

The issue here is that Universal is still using proprietary blends here, you don't know how much of each ingredient you're getting. 

For that, we'd recommend this if you're willing to compromise that for a decent blend of sleep aids. 

Use coupon code FITFREK.

PROS

CONS

Herbal Sleep Ingredients Guide

These all natural ingredients can be taken as standalone supplements to aid sleep so you can concentrate on the post workout recovery element as part of a different regime. Widely available, these sleep aids can be quite potent when used correctly and have very few, if any, side effects.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm works to help stimulate the GABA receptors, in order to create a sedative effect. This helps not only with sleep disorders but also anxiety too.​

Valerian

You can get the benefits of using Valerian root before bed in under a week. All you have to do is pour boiling water over the dried root, then drink the infused water.​

Lavender Oil

The effects of lavender oil are said to be brought by its calming fragrance. There are two ways you can use lavender oil: either apply it topically, or inhale it as a steam vapor.​

Hops Extract

Hops extract works very well with Valerian extract to provide a deep and nourishing sleep.​

Chamomile

Chamomile has a naturally sedative effect but can also reduce inflammation which can help recovery post workout. You can use chamomile tea or as an oil infusion. They both have the same effects.​

Magnolia Bark

Chinese medicines have used magnolia bark for thousands of years to help with alleviating anxiety. Western scientists believe this is because of the honokiol that is inside it.​

Passion Flower

The passion flower is used in a lot of commercial sleep medicines today. This is because it increases the amount of GABA in the body.​

Bacopi Monierir

Bacopi monierir, or Bacopa, is an Adaptogen. This means it blocks stress messages to the brain at a chemical level.​

Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens is used as a neurotransmitter for the testosterone L-Dope.​

Cannabis

Even though it’s illegal in some countries, cannabis can be used to relax the mind and body. It does this by reducing pain and muscle spasms, using ‘cannaboids’, which are produced by the drug.

No More Sleepless Night

So there you have it, ten complex supplements and ten herbal remedies, each packed with the powerful benefits of better sleep.

Depending on what kind of other stacks you are taking and what works well in your current regimen there is something for everyone here to try.

Whichever product you choose, there is no excuse for poor sleep undermining the gains you are trying to make and leaving you feel sore and tired the following day.

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