Chances are your sleep routine isn’t going to be the exact same every night. In the past, I’ve tried setting an alarm when it’s time to put away the electronics and start winding down for bed (with a book, soothing music, etc.). But that actually created more stress for me, because I found myself trying to beat the clock in a rush to get everything done before the alarm hit. And that had me on edge, mind racing to finalize the day’s must-dos, before my self-mandated shutoff.
Now I take a more flexible approach to bedtime. One issue with the looser schedule, though, is that there’s some ambiguity as to when I should take any particular sleep supplement. (I don’t supplement my sleep every night, but I consistently do it a few times a week and am constantly finding new benefits for various regimes, stacks, and individual supplements; it’s a big reason why I’m resting better than at any point since middle school.) Generally, it’s been helpful to create a set of broad-yet-handy guidelines for myself on sleep supplement timing, and I thought it’d be useful to share them with you.
A solid rule of thumb is to follow the label’s advice. For most supplements, that means taking them about an hour to a half hour before bedtime, normally without heavy food (which I try and avoid before sleep anyway). These include:
However, there are are a few supplements that can actually give a bigger benefit if taken with a primary meal or earlier in the day. These include:
The supplement I’ve had the most experience with that definitely SHOULDN’T be taken right before bed is GABAwave. This is actually one of my current favorite supplements (it’s both a sleep supp and nootropic), but as stated on the packaging, you should take it before noon. It’s also a supplement you shouldn’t take more often than once in 36 hours — trust me, the brain boosting and sleep enhancing effects definitely last that long, if not longer.
I’ll continue to report back as I try new supplements and test the optimal time to take each!