Katelyn Sander

Supplements for a Better Quality Sleep

Healthy View

Written by: Dr. Jennifer Tanner, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, Adelaide Health Clinic & Sport Medicine Clinic
If you don’t think sleep is important, try not having it and you’ll begin to realize just how critical sleep is! I have 3 kids, so trust me, I have had my fair share of sleepless nights and not only is the next day a train wreck, but so are the next few days!

For the busy and active person, the demands on your body are even harder. That’s why you NEED to sleep harder and replenish harder!

Obviously, there are many factors that can interrupt one’s sleep, resulting in a variety of treatment options. As part of your comprehensive health assessment, I will help you determine which treatment protocols will best help you hit the hay! Here are my top three supplements to support a good quality sleep.


For myself, it is worry. If I’m going to have a restless night, its because my mind simply won’t shut off. Rhodiola is a plant that can help turn off that endless train of thoughts that come once the sun goes down. Rhodiola is most commonly used for increasing energy, endurance, strength, and mental capacity. Because of its affects on your musculoskeletal system, I often use it to help the performance of runners and active people.

To assess how excessive worry and anxiety might be affecting your sleep, I utilize an Advanced Urinary Hormone Test called The Dutch Test. If the results are high, it may encourage the release of hormones that keep you awake. Rhodiola helps your body adapt to these hormones allowing the anxiety to ease and you to get a restful night’s sleep. Buyers beware – it is advised to discuss any supplement protocol with your healthcare provider. Rhodiola can interfere with many anxiety and depression medications.

Difficulty Falling Asleep

Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in your natural sleep-wake cycle. If you have difficulty falling asleep, melatonin can be used to help ease you to sleep and keep you asleep. Shift workers are at particular risk of having low levels of melatonin which can make it hard to fall asleep because of the disruption in their sleep-wake cycle patterns. High levels of stress can also affect how we are sleeping.  When we are stressed, we release high levels of cortisol that can, in turn, interrupt melatonin production keeping you awake at night.

With my patients, I use functional testing to assess how melatonin and cortisol levels are interacting with your hormones. This can provide us with the underlying causes to your poor-quality sleep and helps to personalize your treatment protocols, getting you the results you need faster. 

Sore Muscles Keeping You Up

If sore muscles are keeping you awake, this may be a sign you need more magnesium. Magnesium is used in 300 different reactions in your body and is a nutrient I find many can benefit from. For example, runners who are suffering from calf cramps!

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that can help your body chill out after a tough day at the office or gym and help you fall asleep faster. There are many different forms of magnesium. To determine which is the best form for you, ask your Naturopathic Doctor.

How much sleep do I really need?

According to many studies, you need a minimum of six hours of sleep to function. Our lives involve more stress than they use to, therefore, I believe you need more sleep for optimal recovery. To maximize your potential, this week’s goal is to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every day. 

How can I help you improve your sleep?

Sleep is an important part of our lifestyle. I am here to help you break down your daily obstacles and make informed decisions to improve your health and wellness. Book your appointment today and start getting some zzzz’s! Contact the Adelaide Health Clinic or Sport Medicine Clinic to get started!

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