I’ve tried and reviewed dozens of sleep supplements for this site, so I’ve already been through many of the older and more established formulations out there. But I’m constantly on the search for new supplements to try, which often leads me to your friendly neighborhood search engine to see what’s popping up.
One such search brought me to Nootrobox, a venture capital-backed startup specializing in brain-boosters (some of which, like Alpha BRAIN, I’ve found useful for sleep). One of Nootrobox’s first three formulations is called YAWN, and it’s designed as a sleep supplement first and foremost. Read below to see what I thought about this new player on the sleep supplement scene!
The manufacturer provides a lot of in-depth information on their site regarding the ingredients and sleep cycle timing. But YAWN’s most basic instructions are below:
We suggest one capsule with glass of water taken 1 hour before bedtime. YAWN is a nootropic blend with components optimized for each phase of sleep: 1.) getting to sleep, 2.) quality of that sleep, and 3.) being refreshed upon waking up.
- Melatonin (1.5 mg) – This is one of my favorite sleep enhancers. It helps me fall asleep faster and experience more restful sleep. I really like melatonin because its effects don’t diminish with repeated use (and studies back up my experience). I’ve reviewed a few melatonin-only supplements before, with mixed results. However, many of my favorite sleep supplements are stacks that contain melatonin. However, the actual amount of melatonin contained in supplements doesn’t necessarily indicate its effectiveness for me — so more mg’s doesn’t always mean better zzz’s.
- Magnesium Citrate (200 mg) – This is an absorbable form of magnesium found in many popular sleep supplements, including Natural Calm. Magnesium is an important element involved in muscle function and sleep cycles, and many Westerners (especially active Americans) are deficient in it.
- Glycine (450 mg) – I don’t see this ingredient as often as I once thought I would. It’s in Iron Dream by MusclePharm, but not much else. Basically, glycine is an amino acid that also serves as a neurotransmitter. In several studies, subjects given glycine report reduced feelings of fatigue upon waking and better overall sleep quality.
- L-theanine (100 mg) – This calming amino acid has also been connected to inducing a feeling of relaxation and is a common ingredient in sleep supplements.
Other ingredients: Vegetable hydroxypropyl methylcellulose capsule, rice flour, calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide.
I took YAWN according to the Nootrobox instructions, roughly an hour before bed. The very first night I ever took YAWN, it really didn’t help much, but I wasn’t feeling particularly sleepy — basically, I experienced light and occasionally interrupted sleep. HOWEVER, the second time I tried it, I was coming off a busy day at work and a tough workout. I slept like a dream, deeply and basically uninterrupted. I awoke feeling not only refreshed, but even mildly energetic — something unheard of before my morning cup of coffee (or three).
After a few more nights with YAWN, I realized the key for me is to take this supplement on nights when I’m already pretty darn tired. On evenings when I’m not especially beat but looking to relax and slightly improve my sleep quality, I’ll generally reach for New Mood or Natural Calm. YAWN doesn’t have quite enough magnesium to give me a Natural Calm or ZMA-like sense of calm. But on nights when I’m feeling physically as well as mentally exhausted, this has been an effective sleep supplement that proves especially beneficial when I want to wake quickly and with minimal grogginess.
- Easy to time and take (just one pill)
- On nights when I’m exhausted, helps get me to sleep fast
- I awake feeling refreshed after taking this
- Only very useful on some nights; if I’m not feeling above-average fatigue at the end of the day, I prefer other options
- Relatively expensive per dose
The Final Word
Nootrobox may be a new company specializing in nootropics, but with Yawn they’ve formulated a relatively straightforward, easy-to-take sleep supplement that I’ve greatly enjoyed. On nights when I’m extremely beat and just need to get to deep sleep quickly, this will be one of the first options I reach for.