Like a lot of niches in nutrition, the sleep supplement market is (almost) dominated by a few big manufacturers and a few formulations that have been popular for a long time. That’s not to say these are bad products; many of them are tried, tested, and deserving of repeat customers, and some of the best sleep supplements I’ve tried are some of the industry’s longest-established.
Still, it’s always exciting to see a newcomer in the space. Bulletproof, for example, began releasing their own proprietary products a few years ago, at least one of which I believe is truly innovative when it comes to improving sleep. I always get excited when I see a newer or smaller brand entering the sleep supplement market.
Interested in trying Max Sleep? Use code SYS20 to get 20% off your full order at Driven Performance Labs.
That’s why I was so excited when Driven Performance Labs (formerly Dynamic Nutrition) — a quickly growing company that provides nutritional coaching and has recently entered the supplement market — announced their Max Sleep formulation. (The company’s first and only other product to date is Max Adrenal, which I’ll be working to review in the coming weeks.)
Max Sleep’s ingredient list looked familiar, but not the exact same formulation as anything else I’ve tried before. Read below to learn about my experience with this sleep supplement newcomer, and find out whether it’s worth exploring yourself!
Take 1 [3 capsule] serving at bedtime to assist with sleep.
- Vitamin B6 — 12.8 mg — This vitamin is essential for a number of functions, including the conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin (see below).
- Magnesium (as magnesium aspartate) — 120 mg — An element critical in numerous bodily functions, and a main ingredient in popular sleep supplements like Natural Calm and ZMA.
- Zinc (as zinc aspartate) — 30 mg — Another important mineral that many people exhibit deficiency in. It has been tied to sleep quality, though not as heavily as magnesium, its counterpart in ZMA.
- GABA — 750 mg — This amino acid acts in the central nervous system calming nervous brain activity. In a proprietary form it’s the only active ingredient in the powerful GABAwave by Bulletproof.
- Velvet Bean (mucuna pruriens) seed extract — 150 mg — This plant has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat anxiety and arthritis. Studies (like this one) also suggest it this plant may be able to support and in some cases even restore testosterone production.
- 5-HTP (from Griffonia simplicifolia) seed extract — 122.5 mg — A byproduct of tryptophan, this chemical helps increase the production of serotonin and has been used to treat insomnia, mood-disorders, migraines, and even binge eating. Note: 5-HTP may not interact well with some medications. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking this supplement, especially if you also take anti-depressants.
Additional Ingredients: Gelatin, rice flour, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide (color), FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Green #3.
I wasn’t exactly sure when to take Max Sleep; even though the label advised to take at bedtime, I’m very used to taking sleep supplements 30 to 60 minutes before sleep (and I wrote about why here). Every night I tried this supplement, I didn’t fall asleep any faster than normal, even when I took it 30 minutes before bed; in fact, on the first night, it probably took me longer than normal to actually fall asleep (though this could be attributed to a number of factors besides the supplement). Magnesium-based supplements normally speed my transition from awake to asleep, but Max Sleep actually has significantly less magnesium per serving than supplements like Natural Calm or ZMA.
However, once I finally got to sleep, I was out — like the proverbial light. There was no tossing, no turning, just deep and very much uninterrupted sleep (something of a rarity for me). When my alarm went off in the mornings, it was almost as if no time had passed at all; my sleep was so deep that it didn’t feel like eight hours could have possibly elapsed. And I never woke up feeling groggy.
- Helps induce extremely deep, restful sleep.
- Always felt great waking up.
- Easy to take and relatively easy to time.
- Did not speed my transition from awake to asleep.
- Potent combination of ingredients could lead to strange dreams for some users.
- More expensive than many other competing supplements with similar ingredients (but not necessarily the same ingredient combo).
The Final Word
I liked Max Sleep, but it wouldn’t be the first supplement I recommend to those looking to enhance their sleep. It has a powerful combination of several sleep-boosting compounds, but I wonder if that might be overkill for some, especially if supplementing with just one ingredient — for example, magnesium or GABA — does the trick. Max Sleep’s ingredients are also pretty powerful, and while I experienced zero side effects, that might not be the case for everyone. (And it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare professional if you think you have a persistent health issue.)
For deep, DEEP sleep — especially for you athletes out there trying to recover from exhausting workouts — Max Sleep is one of the better formulations I’ve tried recently, even though it didn’t help me fall asleep faster. I won’t be reaching for it every night — it’s too potent for me in that regard — but I’ll keep it on the shelf in case I really need some uninterrupted snoozing. For most users, ZMA is probably a cheaper, equally effective, and more straightforward supplement with a higher dose of magnesium and similar effects.
Use my code SYS20 to get 20% off your full order when you buy Max Sleep or any other Driven Performance Labs products.