Almost Perfect: Reviewing Power To Sleep PM By Irwin Naturals

What drew me to this product was the BioPerine complex. Known to enhance the bioavailability and absorption rate of  nutrients, I wanted to see how it worked with a gentler sleep supplement than the Endocrine PM I reviewed a few weeks ago. The ingredients in Power to Sleep are all things that I have used individually to supplement my sleep, and I wanted to see what happened when you put them together.

Stated Use

A unique formula is designed to help you relax before bed, sleep soundly through the night, and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.

Active Ingredients

20150720_175657This supplement has 2 mg of melatonin in addition to minerals and herbal extracts. I often take melatonin on its own, at the same dosage, with good results. The pills also included:

  • Calcium Citrate — An essential mineral, calcium is directly responsible for the health of our sleep cycles.
  • Magnesium Citrate — Another mineral responsible for sleep cycles. As I mentioned in this article, magnesium is an effective sleep aid, especially when taken in conjunction with calcium.
  • Valerian Extract — This fragrant herb has been historically used as a sedative and pain reliever and prescribed by ancient Greek physicians as a treatment for insomnia.
  • Ashwagandha Extract — The extract of this plant’s roots have been used in Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu medicine philosophy, as a mood stabilizer, and to combat stress and anxiety. The extract is said to work as a nervous system depressant, bringing about tranquility and relaxation, and making it easier to fall asleep.
  • Hops Extract — In addition to being a flavoring ingredient in beer, hops have also been used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
  • GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) — This amino acid acts in the central nervous system calming nervous brain activity.
  • Passionflower Extract — This plant extract helps boost your GABA, (as evidenced in this study), helping mitigate both nervousness and insomnia.
  • Lemon Balm Extract — An herb from the mint family.
  • L-Theanine — Shown to reduce heart rate and the body’s immune response to stress, this amino acid has also been connected to inducing a feeling of relaxation.
  • Melatonin — This is one of my go-to sleep enhancers. It helps me fall asleep faster and experience more restful sleep. I especially like melatonin because its effects don’t diminish with repeated use (and studies back up my experience).
  • BioPerine Complex (Black Pepper and Ginger Extract) — Helps the body absorb nutrients through the digestive system.

Additional Ingredients: Soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, purified water, soy lecithin, beeswax, titanium dioxide, caramel color, and red cabbage powder.

My Experience

Following the bottle’s directions, I took 2 of the largish beige-and-brown liquid soft-gels 30 minutes before bedtime. I had no real trouble falling asleep,  and I stayed asleep for 7.5 uninterrupted hours. I did wake up a little foggy, but I was already in a sleep deficit, and figured I just needed a full 8+ hours to avoid the grogginess. I tried it again the following night, and after 8.25 hours of sleep, I woke up alert and clear-headed — a co-worker even asked me if I had done anything to my skin, because I looked so refreshed.

Pros

  • Reduced time to fall asleep
  • Induced mostly uninterrupted sleep for 8+ hours
  • No added preservatives
  • Easy to use and time

Cons

  • Contains soy
  • Large pills

The Final Word

As much as I liked this supplement, I will have a hard time adding it to my rotation of sleep supplements. What turns me off to this supplement is the (unnecessary) addition of soy and soy lecithin to the pills. I cut soy out of my diet a few years ago, mainly because of the negative effects it can have on thyroid function, reproductive health, and breast cancer risk (more research is needed on these subjects and soy’s influence, but this study was enough for me to take pause).

Add to that the fact that the soy in these pills is likely GMO, a genetically modified organism, (most non-GMO products make a point of advertising that fact), and that the BioPerine may make the isoflavones in soy more easily absorbable, and Power to Sleep is just not a supplement I would want to take on a regular basis. If Irwin Naturals decides to remove the soy for the formulation, I will be the first in line to buy a new bottle — it was that effective. For those who aren’t worried about soy and GMO (both topics which I believe need more research to show long-term effects), this could be a solid choice.

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