Everything to Know About Sleep Gummies

Written by: Tony Schwartz



Time to read 15 min

Sleep is one of the most important physiological processes for humankind because it supports so many critical processes connected to our quality of life. Our body's energy levels are more sustainable, we feel more alert, our moods are better regulated, cognitive functions are more accurate and tuned in, and our physical strength is at its best when we get enough sleep. 

Unfortunately, millions of people do not get enough sleep in the United States due to environmental factors, stress, and all of life's responsibilities contradicting a regular and healthy sleep schedule. Axios reported that $800 million in venture capital funding entered the market in 2021, compared to $400 million just a few years prior. Significant funding sources are entering the market because people are willing to spend their discretionary income on this most critical aspect of our everyday life, and sleep gummies are one of the latest offerings from vitamin, supplement, and health and wellness companies.

The following guide about sleep gummies will cover insights, dosing, ingredients, and some side effects to be mindful of when considering these alternatives to prescription sleep aids. After reading this guide, you will have an in-depth understanding of sleep gummies and whether or not they can support your sleep.

What Are Common Sleep Aids?

Sleep aids without a prescription are widely available on the market. While more information and studies are needed about over-the-counter sleep aids, their availability in the consumer world has enabled many to get better sleep than they may experience without them. Some of the most common types of OTC sleep aids include:

  • Melatonin

  • CBD

  • Valerian root

  • Antihistamines (Benadryl),

  • Chamomile Tea

  • L-Theanine,

  • Lemon Balm

  • CBN

  • Kava

  • Magnesium

  • Reishi

  • GABA

  • Hops

The sleep mentioned above aids and herbal remedies interact with the body in various ways to produce a restful and calm state that leads to sleep. Most of them create a sedative effect that helps calm a racing mind or makes you feel relaxed enough to fall asleep. For example, valerian root is an herbal remedy that produces a sedative effect and is suggested to work by producing GABA in the brain, which helps calm, relax, and reduce anxiety. 

Cannabinol, CBN, works by binding to the brain's receptors and interacting with the endocannabinoid system to produce a calming effect proven in our at home sleep study to improve sleep quality and duration.

With so many over-the-counter sleep aids and sleeping pills available on the market, one might wonder why we need sleep gummies added to the mix. In the following section, we will cover why sleep gummies have risen in popularity, key ingredients to look for in sleep gummies, how they work, dosing, and side effects. 

Let's get into it!

What Are Sleep Gummies?

Most sleep aids come in capsule, softgel, or tablet form, and the obsession with gummies has been spearheaded by the vitamin and supplement industry. Preferences for bioavailable and high-quality supplements that taste good have propelled gummies as a most desirable product format for consumers. Many brands competing for market share in the sleep industry, such as melatonin supplements and CBN gummies , have leveraged the popularity of gummies in their favor, appealing to consumers looking for a more approachable way to get better sleep.

Sleep gummies are an over-the-counter option that utilizes a key ingredient or set of ingredients to help people fall asleep and stay asleep. They come in a wide variety of consistency, flavors, and dosages, so it is important to check the ingredients list to ensure that you're dosing sleep gummies the correct way based on your weight, metabolism, sensitivities, and other factors.

In the following section, we'll explore the list of active ingredients found in sleep gummies that are helping millions of people in the United States get better sleep. Let's explore some of the critical ingredients in sleep gummies!

Key Ingredients in Sleep Gummies and Their Benefits

One of the benefits for consumers interested in sleep gummies is that they can contain many functional ingredients to help you fall asleep and stay asleep for extended periods. While there is a limit to the number of ingredients and concentration of those ingredients that can be included in a gummy, the fact that consumers can enjoy a naturally sweetened gummy with a variety of ingredients to help aid in sleep makes sleep gummies one of the most desirable choices for consumers in the health and wellness and supplements industries. 

Here are some of the key ingredients that can be found in sleep gummies on the market today:

Hormone Additives in Sleep Gummies

  • Melatonin: Explain its role in regulating sleep-wake cycles and standard dosages in sleep gummies.

Herbal Components Found in Gummies for Sleep

  • Valerian Root: an herb traditionally used to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. It is believed to work by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA has a calming effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety, which can help facilitate sleep.

  • Chamomile : herb commonly used for its calming and sedative properties. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to specific receptors in the brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. Chamomile is often consumed as a tea and is widely regarded for its ability to help relax the body and prepare for sleep.

  • L-Theanine : amino acid found primarily in green and black tea. It is known for its ability to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness. L-Theanine helps increase serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels in the brain, enhancing mood and reducing stress. By reducing anxiety and improving relaxation, L-Theanine can help support sleep quality.

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) : a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants that has gained popularity for its potential to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties. It may help improve sleep by reducing stress and pain, common causes of sleep disturbances. CBD is thought to interact with serotonin receptors and may also directly influence the sleep-wake cycle.

  • Cannabinol (CBN): is another cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant, but it is primarily known for its sedative effects. Although research is still early, CBN may help prolong sleep time. CBN appears to work synergistically with CBD and may be more effective in promoting sleep when combined with other cannabinoids.

  • Passion Flower : herb often used in sleep supplements for its calming effects. It is believed to boost levels of GABA in the brain, similar to valerian root, leading to better relaxation and sleep. Passion flower may be particularly effective in reducing anxiety, thereby helping to improve sleep quality for people who struggle with sleep disturbances due to stress.

  • Lemon Balm: part of the mint family, has been used traditionally to improve mood and cognitive function. It also has calming effects. Like several other herbs on this list, it may help increase GABA levels, reduce anxiety, and promote sleep. Lemon balm is often combined with calming herbs like chamomile and valerian to enhance its sleep-promoting effects.

  • Tart Cherry: particularly the Montmorency variety, is rich in melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Consuming tart cherry juice has been shown to improve sleep duration and quality, likely due to its natural melatonin content and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Tart cherry can be an effective natural sleep aid, especially for those who struggle with sleep cycle irregularities.

Vitamins and Minerals

Fungus and Mushrooms

  • Reishi : often used in traditional Eastern medicine, is known for its potential to help decrease anxiety, ease depression, and encourage better sleep. The calming properties of Reishi are due to its ability to regulate the central nervous system. Some studies suggest that Reishi can increase sleep time, decrease sleep latency (time taken to fall asleep), and improve overall sleep quality.

Many sleep gummies available on the market today offer one or a combination of the aforementioned functional ingredients to help induce relaxation and sleep. How these ingredients interact with the brain and body varies, but the outcome is typically a calm state of feeling more relaxed, leading to falling asleep.

How Sleep Gummies Work: Interaction with the Body

Sleep gummies work by delivering active ingredients that interact with the body's physiological systems to promote a calming effect and support the natural sleep cycle. Depending on the ingredient, the body will respond to each ingredient differently. Let's explain how some of the most common ingredients found in sleep gummies interact with the body.


Melatonin is one of the most common ingredients in sleep gummies. It is a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain, primarily in response to darkness. Melatonin helps regulate the body's circadian rhythms, which are the internal clocks that signal when it's time to wake up and when to sleep. Supplementing with melatonin can help adjust the body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep, particularly in people who have disrupted sleep schedules or suffer from jet lag.

Interaction: When ingested via sleep gummies, supplemental melatonin is absorbed through the digestive system and enters the bloodstream, from where it reaches the brain to enhance the natural timing of sleep signals.


L-Theanine is an amino acid commonly found in tea leaves. It is known for promoting relaxation without sedation. L-Theanine increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which has natural calming effects. Additionally, it contributes to levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are other neurotransmitters that play roles in sleep and mood regulation.

Interaction: By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, L-Theanine can make it easier to fall asleep and potentially increase the duration of sleep.


Chamomile is an herb that contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain that initiate sleep.

Interaction: The apigenin in chamomile induces a mild tranquilizing effect, which can help decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the duration of sleep. This mimics the mechanisms of certain prescription sleeping medications but typically with milder effects.


CBD and CBN are extracted from the cannabis plant, and they do not have psychoactive properties. It is thought to work by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system, which regulates a range of functions, including sleep and circadian rhythms.

Interaction: CBD and/or CBN may help alleviate anxiety and pain, which are common culprits behind sleep difficulties. By reducing these discomforts, cannabinoids can help improve overall sleep quality, as shown in various sleep studies. 


Magnesium helps maintain healthy levels of GABA, facilitating deeper, more restorative sleep by enabling the brain to switch off for the night properly.

Interaction: As a natural muscle relaxant, magnesium helps calm the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep. This interaction benefits those struggling with restless legs syndrome or frequent waking during the night.

Guidelines for Dosing Sleep Gummies

Proper dosing and disciplined consistency with ingesting sleep gummies can mean the difference between a positive and negative experience. While many people take sleep aids, sleeping pills, and sleep gummies on an as-needed basis, some products work better with regular and consistent ingestion, such as CBN gummies for sleep. Other primary factors to consider include:

  • Age
  • Body weight
  • Tolerance
  • Existing sleep patterns

Let's talk more about the factors which affect dosages of sleep gummies so that you have a better understanding of how to make the best use of gummies for sleep.

Factors Affecting Dosages of Sleep Gummies

First, it is necessary to note that your primary care physician will be the best and most reliable source of information for determining the best dosages of any medications. This guide is meant to provide directional support for dosing sleep gummies based on various factors that are important to consider. Let's dive into the most critical factors affecting dosages of sleep gummies so that you can find your best dosage and set yourself up for a great night's sleep.

Ingredient Concentration

Each sleep gummy contains a specific amount of active ingredients, such as melatonin, L-theanine, or CBN. Knowing the concentration of these ingredients in each gummy is crucial to avoid underdosing or overdosing. Always follow the manufacturer's recommended dosage, and consider starting with a lower dose to assess your body's response. If you're not feeling the desired effects from a lower dose, move to the manufacturer's recommended dosage.

Body Weight and Age

Body weight and age can significantly influence how a person metabolizes and responds to supplements. Generally, larger and heavier individuals may require a higher dose compared to smaller individuals, and adults of different ages could require varying dosages. For the purposes of this article, we're focused on sleep gummies for adults. Especially for products with legal age requirements, it is absolutely critical to avoid providing these products to children. We highly encourage everyone to find age-relevant solutions for sleep.

Individual Tolerance and Sensitivity

Individual tolerance to the ingredients in sleep gummies can vary. Some people might be more sensitive to components like melatonin or herbal extracts and may experience effects with a lower dose. It's essential to consider personal sensitivity and any past experiences with sleep supplements when determining the proper dosage. If this is your first time experimenting with a sleep gummy that has ingredients you've not experienced before, it's best to start with a lower dose to see how your body responds. In that case, you could try the sleep gummy about an hour before your regular bedtime to see how you react. If, after 30 minutes, you're not feeling sleepy, you could increase the dosage to match the recommendation of your chosen brand.

Sleep Issues Being Addressed

The type and severity of sleep issues being targeted can influence the appropriate dose. For example, someone with occasional sleeplessness might need a lower dose compared to someone with chronic insomnia. Consider the specific sleep challenges you are facing when deciding how many gummies to take. Consult with your doctor for sleep aid solutions that are meant for chronic insomnia or more extreme cases of sleeplessness, as sleep gummies may not be strong enough to support your journey.

Interaction with Other Medications

Sleep gummies can interact with other medications, potentially altering their effects. For instance, sedatives, anti-anxiety medications, or other sleep aids can have additive effects when taken with sleep gummies. Consult with a healthcare provider to ensure that there are no potential interactions that could affect your health.

Timing of Consumption

The timing of when you take sleep gummies can affect their efficacy. Most sleep gummies are best taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime to allow the ingredients time to start working. Taking them too early or too late could affect their effectiveness and impact your sleep cycle. We recommend keeping a journal or log of when you're taking sleep gummies and how much, and then logging the experience the following day to gauge how well you slept and what you felt like when you woke up. Keeping a journal is one of the most underrated ways to find the best products for you!

Regular Use vs. Occasional Use

Consider whether the sleep gummies are intended for regular use or if they are meant to be taken only occasionally. Some ingredients, like melatonin, might be better suited for short-term or situational use (e.g., jet lag), whereas others, like herbal extracts, may be more suitable for longer-term use. CBD gummies for sleep tend to work better with more regular use. However, some products that require more regular use for maximum efficacy could end up building your tolerance levels, meaning that you may need to take more of the reactive ingredient over time to produce the same effect. Again, keeping a journal is a fantastic way to monitor these things.

Health Conditions

Existing health conditions can affect how you should dose sleep gummies. Conditions such as liver or kidney disease may impair your ability to process certain ingredients effectively. Additionally, if you have autoimmune disorders, hormonal imbalances, or other chronic health issues, it's essential to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Safety and Side Effects of Sleep Gummies

This article is not intended to be medical advice for anyone. Still, it is meant to be a helpful guide for anyone considering sleep gummies to solve their sleeplessness. Therefore, we must discuss safety and side effects. In the following paragraphs, we will go over some of the common side effects experienced when taking sleep gummies, symptoms, ways to mitigate those symptoms, and other tips for addressing the side effects of sleep gummies.

Drowsiness and Over-Sedation

  • Symptoms: Excessive drowsiness the next day, feeling groggy or "hungover."

  • Mitigation: Start with the lowest possible dose to gauge sensitivity. Consider taking the gummies earlier in the evening to allow the effects to wear off by morning. If persistent, reduce the dosage or frequency.

Gastrointestinal Issues

  • Symptoms: Nausea, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.

  • Mitigation: Taking sleep gummies with food may help reduce stomach upset. Ensure adequate hydration and consider alternative brands or ingredients if symptoms persist. Please check the label of any sleep gummy to determine whether it is suitable to have food in your stomach when taking the product.


  • Symptoms: Mild to moderate headaches after taking sleep gummies.

  • Mitigation: This could be a sign of overuse or sensitivity to specific ingredients. Reducing the dosage or discontinuing use can help determine if the sleep gummies are the cause. Staying hydrated and maintaining a regular sleep schedule also helps. Drink plenty of water!

Allergic Reactions

  • Symptoms: Rash, itching, or more severe reactions like swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

  • Mitigation: Stop using the product immediately and consult a healthcare provider. Always check ingredients beforehand for known allergies.

Interaction with Medications

  • Symptoms: Varied, depending on the medication. Potential for increased sedation or altered effectiveness of other drugs.

  • Mitigation: Consult with a healthcare professional before starting sleep gummies if you are taking other medications, especially sedatives, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications.

Dependency and Tolerance

  • Symptoms: Needing to increase the dose to achieve the same effect, relying on gummies to sleep.

  • Mitigation: Use sleep gummies judiciously and intermittently. Focus on establishing a bedtime routine and improving sleep hygiene to prevent dependency. Consult with a healthcare provider if dependency is developing. You might even try a period of 'cold turkey' without taking any sleep gummies to help your body reset.

Hormonal Imbalance

  • Symptoms: Disruption in menstrual cycles, mood changes, or changes in weight.

  • Mitigation: This is rare but can occur with substances like melatonin if taken excessively. Monitor any changes and discuss them with a healthcare provider. Reducing the dose or discontinuing use may be necessary.

Vivid Dreams or Nightmares

  • Symptoms: Unusually vivid dreams or nightmares that disrupt sleep.

  • Mitigation: This can occur due to an increase in melatonin levels. Reducing the dosage or discontinuing use can help. Maintaining a relaxing bedtime routine and avoiding stimulating activities before bed is also helpful.

General Tips to Combat Side Effects

  • Start with the lowest dose: To see how your body reacts to the sleep gummies, begin with a minimal dose and gradually increase if necessary.

  • Monitor your body's response: Pay attention to how your body reacts the day after taking sleep gummies. Adjust the timing or dosage based on your observations.

  • Consult a healthcare professional: It's essential to consult a professional before beginning any new supplement regimen, especially if you have existing health conditions or are taking other medications.


Sleep is so important for so many reasons. Many of us struggle to get regular, consistent, and deep sleep to help our bodies perform their normal processes and enable us to be our best selves every day. Sleep gummies are a standard and viable option for anyone seeking better sleep. Many options on the market contain many ingredients that may best support your individual needs.

It's important to be mindful of proper dosing and any side effects you're experiencing. While this guide is meant to equip you with more information and resources about your sleep journey, we highly encourage you to consult your doctor for questions and comments and to corroborate any experience you may have. Above all else, we hope you get the best sleep imaginable. And if you need extra support, Slumber is here to help.

Tony Schwartz