Sleep + Soothe: 8 Hero Ingredients For A Better Night's Sleep

Sleep + Soothe: 8 Hero Ingredients For A Better Night's Sleep


Long gone are the days when ‘sleep was for the weak’. 2024 is the year of the 9pm bedtime. 

Gen Z in particular are opting for more shut-eye according to the Wall Street Journal, with 9 pm emerging as the trendy new bedtime. Understanding the importance of a good night's sleep could be the reason some are reclaiming control over their sleep schedules. A recent analysis conducted in 2022 revealed that Americans in their 20s are now averaging an impressive 9 hours and 28 minutes of sleep per night, a significant increase compared to a report from 2010.

However in the hustle and bustle of modern life, sleep often takes a backseat to the hectic schedules of the other Gens. Yet, the importance of a good night's rest cannot be overstated. It serves as the foundation of our overall health and well-being, influencing everything from cognitive function to immune response to health span as we age. Despite its significance, why are so many of us finding ourselves tossing and turning, unable to achieve the restorative sleep our bodies crave? 


Image of a woman in a yellow knit jumper sat on a window seat looking outside. Holding a mug of Cacao + Collagen.

The Sleep Conundrum

Whilst the Gen-Zzz are on to something, ensuring they prioritise self care over FOMO, poor sleep quality has become a widespread issue, affecting millions of others worldwide. And let’s face it, when our working day is packed and we finally sit down for some ‘me-time’ in the evening, it can be hard to tell ourselves to go to bed. A myriad of factors further contributes to this dilemma, ranging from stress to excessive screen time and disrupted circadian rhythms. Our modern lifestyle, characterised by constant connectivity, pressure to be productive and round-the-clock stimulation, often leaves little room for the restorative rest our bodies desperately need. 

The Role of Nutrition in Sleep Quality

Many factors influence the quality of our sleep. Within the realm of nutrition, key nutrients and natural compounds can play a role as part of your dream toolkit. Let's delve into our hero ingredients that support a better night's rest.

  1. L-Glycine

L-Glycine, an amino acid and neurotransmitter, is renowned for its calming effects on the central nervous system (CNS). While the body can produce glycine on its own, incorporating it into our diet can yield numerous benefits. Research indicates that glycine reduces body temperature, an important step in preparing the body for sleep (and the same as affect a hot bath has on our core temperature) Glycine also enhances the production of serotonin, a precursor to melatonin—the hormone responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles. A study published in the Journal of Sleep and Biological Rhythms found that glycine supplementation improved subjective sleep quality, sleep efficacy, and daytime alertness (1). 

  1. Magnesium:

Another key player in the sleep equation is magnesium, an essential mineral involved in hundreds of physiological processes. Despite its importance, many individuals are deficient in magnesium, which can have profound implications for sleep quality. Magnesium acts as a natural relaxant, exerting a calming effect on the muscles and nervous system by enhancing GABA (our chill and relax neurotransmitter) activity and regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis involved in our stress response. Furthermore, magnesium also plays a crucial role in melatonin synthesis, making it important for maintaining healthy sleep-wake cycles. By incorporating magnesium-rich foods or supplements into your diet, especially before bed, you can optimise your magnesium levels and promote more restful sleep.


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  1. Myo-inositol:

Myo-inositol, a lesser-known nutrient, plays a crucial role in neurotransmitter balance and blood sugar regulation. Myo-inositol helps increase levels of GABA and serotonin, neurotransmitters that promote relaxation and mood stability. Myo-inositol may also help stabilise blood sugar levels, preventing the spikes and crashes that can disrupt sleep patterns.

  1. Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in brain health and neurotransmitter synthesis. As a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in the sleep-wake cycle, choline helps regulate REM sleep and promote restorative rest. Studies have shown that choline deficiency is associated with reduced REM sleep. Choline can be tricker to obtain on a plant-based diet and therefore supplementation can be supportive here. 

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C, well known for its immune-boosting properties, also plays a crucial role in sleep regulation. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy adrenal glands—the organs responsible for producing stress hormones like cortisol. By supporting adrenal health, vitamin C helps mitigate the impact of stress and anxiety on sleep quality. A study found that people who ate two kiwis a day (supplying over 142% of the daily intake of vitamin C)- an hour before bed slept 13% longer and fell asleep faster than those in the control group. (2)  


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  1. Zinc:

Zinc is a vital nutrient that supports numerous bodily functions, including hormone production and immune response. Zinc also plays a crucial role in sleep regulation by interacting with proteins and enzymes involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and circadian rhythm regulation. Interestingly zinc interacts with the pineal gland in the brain, the organ which produces melatonin. Additionally, zinc possesses antioxidant properties that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can interfere with sleep quality. Research has shown that zinc deficiency is associated with insomnia and other sleep disorders.  

  1. Reishi Mushroom

One additional powerhouse ingredient worth highlighting is Reishi mushroom, a revered adaptogen in traditional Chinese medicine known for its calming and stress-relieving properties. Reishi contains bioactive compounds like triterpenes and polysaccharides that support the body's response to stress and promote relaxation. By modulating the activity of neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA, Reishi may help soothe the nervous system conducive to sleep. Furthermore, Reishi possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate discomfort and promote physical relaxation. Incorporating Reishi mushroom into your nightly ritual, provides an extra layer of support for achieving deep and restful sleep.

  1. Hops

Another natural ingredient renowned for its sleep-inducing properties is hops, the same plant used in brewing beer. Beyond its aromatic and flavor-enhancing qualities, hops contain compounds that exert sedative effects on the central nervous system. Traditionally used as a remedy for insomnia and anxiety, hops promote relaxation and facilitate the onset of sleep. Research suggests that hops may increase the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation. Additionally, hops have been found to inhibit the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that can interfere with sleep. 

Whether through lifestyle and dietary changes or targeted supplementation, taking steps to support your sleep health is a worthwhile investment in your overall well-being. So tonight, as your duvet beckons, perhaps listen to that pull for an early bedtime routine and prepare for rest, incorporating some of these sleep-supportive ingredients into your evening ritual before you drift off into a deep and restorative slumber.

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True Nightcap contains a dream combination of Magnesium, ZInc, Vitamin C, L-Glycine, Myo-inositol and Choline 

Cacao + Reishi combines raw cacao, rich in magnesium, with Reishi mushroom, ashwagandha and hops in a delicious chocolatey blend, perfect for your wind down Rest Ritual 


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