Sleeping aids: Nutritional solutions supplement a good night’s rest


21 Dec 2017 --- In stressful times, getting to sleep is sometimes not the simple task that it should be. Luckily, companies in the nutritional space are ready to step in with solutions to improve consumers’ relaxation and ensure long, productive nights of sleep.

Insomnia aids on the rise
The moment certainly seems to be a good one for sleeping aids. In 2016, global Innova Market Insights statistics show that 2.8 percent of all supplement launches tracked had insomnia aid claims. Over the past five years, the number of supplement launches tracked with an insomnia claim has grown steadily and impressively, with the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) increasing by around +51.1 percent annually from 2012 to 2016.

When it comes to sleeping aids, there are several ingredients on the rise. Melatonin is among the fastest-growing ingredients in supplement launches tracked with an insomnia aid claim with high CAGRs from 2012 to 2016.

Magnesium continues to lead the way as an ingredient, boasting a 16.7 percent share of supplement launches tracked with an insomnia claim, though it has fallen a little since 2012. Silica has also seen a large drop-off in share, going from 13.6 percent in 2012 to 6.1 percent in 2016.

Click to EnlargeExtra claims in sleeping aid supplements
It seems like for an increasing number of manufacturers, an insomnia claim isn’t enough. Innova statistics show that two in five products with an insomnia claim also feature a brain-mood health claim, with a CAGR of +115 percent between 2012 and 2016. Launches with a weight management positioning have a CAGR of +98.4 percent, while energy and stamina have a CAGR of +93.4 percent.

Products with a brain health positioning include Bloem Dormafleur Extra Forte, which promotes magnesium’s benefits to the nervous system. Metagenics Menohop Soy Extract Dietary Supplement helps with menopause symptoms and contains a hop extract that it notes helps with mood swings and to promote sleep.

When it comes to weight management, an example is Nutra Rise Pure Forskolin Extract, which claims that it helps to burn belly fat and promotes healthy weight loss along with its help with insomnia. Natures Plus Herbal Actives Valerian Extended Release Standardized Botanical Supplement promises energy that supplements its support for the normal sleep process.

Potential food-based solution
Those who are looking for better sleep may not need to consider supplements; they could consider looking to cherries instead. Montmorency tart cherry juice was recently found to help extend sleep time by 84 minutes among eight study participants, ages 50 and older, who suffer from insomnia, in a pilot study. Montmorency tart cherries are the most common variety of tart cherries grown in the US, and are available year round in dried, frozen, canned, juice and concentrated forms.

“Insomnia is quite common among older adults, and it can lead to a range of health issues if left untreated,” says lead researcher Jack Losso, Professor in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge, who has conducted previous studies on tart cherry juice and sleep. “However, many people are hesitant to resort to medications to help them sleep. That's why natural sleep remedies are increasingly of interest and in demand.”

Procyanidins and anthocyanins – the major compounds, or polyphenols, in Montmorency tart cherries – were found to be key in their sleep-enhancing effects.

Looking at the space as a whole, there are many different options for aiding sleep, both in the supplements industry and in food. As sleeping aids continue to develop in the future on a seemingly upward trend, it will be interesting to see which new ingredients and applications come into play to assist those who need to improve the quality and frequency of their rest.

By Paul Creasy

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