When it comes to supplements to help me sleep, I usually lean toward choosing something “natural” and simple. While I have some skepticism regarding certain aspects of homeopathy, Solaray’s blend seems to have combined those principles with tried and tested sleep supplements. Solaray has been making what they call “Solar Products Blends,” combining herbs and homeopathic minerals, for over forty years, so I decided to give their Sleep Blend SP-17 a try.
Natural Sleep Support Formula
This is a supplement for people who prefer a gentle and all-natural sleep aid. The two main active ingredients are valerian and hops, and this proprietary blend also includes five other herbs for what Solaray describes as a “more complete sleep formula.”
- Valerian — This fragrant herb has been historically used as a sedative and pain reliever and prescribed by ancient Greek physicians as a treatment for insomnia.
- Hops — In addition to being a flavoring ingredient in beer, hops have also been used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
- Skullcap — Often used to combat inflammation, and insomnia, the chemicals in skullcap are a known mild sedative.
- Chamomile — Often used in tea form, chamomile has frequently been used to calm an upset stomach and could help with insomnia and anxiety.
- Marshmallow Root — Traditionally used for skin ailments, coughs and to support healthy digestion, it is a bit unclear how this herb supports sleep.
- Hawthorne Berry — There is some evidence that this herb improves blood flow, and can be useful in combating both low and high blood pressure issues and can so help lower cholesterol. It is also used as a sedative and to reduce anxiety.
- Dandelion — Like a few of the secondary herbs in this blend, dandelion is often used to treat upset stomach, but also to alleviate muscle and joint pain.
In addition to the above, the supplement contains the minerals iron phosphate, magnesium phosphate, and potassium phosphate, as a part of what Solaray calls homeopathic cell salts.
I started out by following the directions on the bottle and taking one of the capsules with a glass of water before going to bed. The pills smell herbaceous and somewhat medicinal, but whether it was the espresso I had at 4:00 PM or the potency of the pills, I had my usual hard time falling asleep. Once I fell asleep, I did stay asleep, and there wasn’t any grogginess in the morning.
I added an additional pill to the mix for the next couple of days, and three pills seemed to be the magic number for me. I felt relaxed and fell asleep a lot quicker than usual, waking up quite alert after 8 hours of sleep.
- Very gentle
- No grogginess or fogginess in the morning
- Smells delicious (to me, at least!)
- I had to take triple the recommended dose to get the purported benefit
The Final Word
This is one of the mildest sleep supplement I’ve found, and I have experimented stacking it with both tryptophan and melatonin, with great results. I feel like the smell alone has a calming “aromatherapy” effect on me, and I will continue taking it on nights that I just need a little help falling asleep.
If you’re looking for a supplement to help slip into a catnap or improve sleep quality on a short sleep schedule, a single pill of Sleep Blend SP-17 will likely help you get there.