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Performance Lab Sleep Review

Packed with L-tryptophan, magnesium, and melatonin derived from tart cherry, the Performance Lab Sleep Supplement is designed to help restless sleepers catch better shut-eye. But do they actually work?

To find out, I took these capsules for two weeks, taking note of how well they helped me to fall and stay asleep, as well as how they made me feel the next morning. I also dug into the ingredients, drawing from existing research to see how effective (and safe!) they are.

Curious to know my thoughts? Well then read on for my full review of the Performance Lab Sleep Supplement or click here to skip to the summary!

Sleep by Performance Lab
Sleep by Performance Lab

Packed with L-tryptophan, magnesium, and melatonin derived from tart cherry, the Performance Lab Sleep Supplement is designed to help restless sleepers get a great night's sleep

Note: The content on Sleepopolis is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t be taken as medical advice, and it shouldn’t take the place of medical advice and supervision from a trained professional. Please talk to your healthcare professional before beginning any new supplement routine. If you feel you may be suffering from any sleep disorder or medical condition, please see your healthcare provider immediately.

Brand Snapshot

Performance Lab supplements are formulated in the UK and manufactured in the U.S.A. by Opti-Nutra, a company focused on creating all-natural “nutraceuticals,” which are basically supplements or foods that have had ingredients added to them for alleged health benefits.

Performance Lab itself boasts an intriguing line of supplements for many aspects of an individual’s life, from ones for energy enhancement to supplements developed for vision, mental acuity, and even sports performance. All of these supplements are non-GMO, non-irradiated, and 100% free of gluten, caffeine, synthetic additives, artificial colors, preservatives, and allergens.

They’re also built using Opti-Nutra’s patented BioGenesis™ method, a process in which vitamins and minerals are grown in a lab to replicate nutrient genesis in nature. According to the brand, this makes the supplements safer and more eco-friendly as it reduces the need for factory farming and mineral mining.

Performance Lab with Pills
The Perfomance Lab Sleep pills and bottle

Ingredients

The Performance Lab Sleep supplement is an over the counter product sold in a 60-pill bottle for $40. If you take the recommended two capsules nightly, you should only need to replenish your supplies once a month, which makes it a strong value buy, in my opinion.

Ingredients wise, it’s built with three main elements: magnesium, L-tryptophan, and melatonin derived from tart cherry. Below, I’ll discuss why these elements were likely included in the supplement and how exactly they work to improve sleep quality.

Magnesium

Magnesium has long been understood as an important mineral for bone health, but some research has suggested that it could also help folks fall asleep. One double-blind clinical trial from 2012, for example, found that subjects who received a 500 milligrams supplement of magnesium every night for eight weeks fell asleep faster and spent more time in bed than their un-magnesiumed peers. (1)

Impressive, right? Well, kind of. The sample size was only 43 participants and most studies around magnesium have also had really small sample sizes, so it’s hard to put too much credence into the research. However, self-reported evidence does seem high.

L-tryptophan

L-tryptophan is another element that’s been shown to improve sleep quality, and is most popularly known as the amino acid in turkey that makes folks pass out on Thanksgiving. Though this claim is mostly myth (sorry!), tryptophan does produce serotonin, which in turn produces melatonin, the body’s sleepy hormone. (2)

Melatonin

Speaking of melatonin, Performance Lab derives its own from Montmorency Tart Cherry. Tart cherries are rich natural sources of melatonin, which is the hormone in your pineal gland that helps induce slumber. The idea is that when you add an outside source of melatonin to your body’s own supply, you basically increase its overall effectiveness.

While this all sounds great, only very limited clinical research has been conducted into tart cherry’s direct impact on sleep. However, a 2010 study did find that tart cherry juice was associated with statistically significant improvements in self-reported sleep among older adults with insomnia. (3) As with the magnesium study we discussed earlier, the sample size of 15 subjects here is quite small, but it does suggest that further research into the topic may be warranted.

I should also mention that all these ingredients are vegan and soy-free as well as GMP certified, which means they’re produced and controlled to quality standards.

Performance Lab Sleep Pills 1
The Performance Lab Sleep pills contain a mix of quality ingredients

My Experience

So, first things first, I’m a horrible sleeper. I can’t get to sleep, I can’t stay asleep, my life is basically one big groggy haze, which is ironic since I work for a sleep website. But that’s part of the reason why I was so excited to try these supplements. Could they break through the midnight fog and lull this anxious baby to sleep? Only time (approximately two weeks and 32 capsules, to be exact) could tell.

Sleep by Performance Lab
Sleep by Performance Lab

Packed with L-tryptophan, magnesium, and melatonin derived from tart cherry, the Performance Lab Sleep Supplement is designed to help restless sleepers get a great night's sleep

Falling Asleep

Performance Lab suggests taking 2-4 of their tablets about 45 minutes before you want to go to sleep. The pills are kind of big, but I didn’t find them too difficult to swallow, nor did I notice any weird taste. I followed the instructions to the letter and took my supplements about an hour before bed. I generally took two capsules a night, though I did switch between one and four to see if adjusting the dosage would affect my experience.

I’ve tried a lot of different sleep supplements, and there’s always a clear “moment” when you feel them start to kick in. Sometimes it’s subtle and feels like a cozy hug. Other times, it can feel like a wallop to the side of the head that’s dizzying and disorienting.

With the Performance Lab supplement, the “kick in” moment was really nice. It was strong enough to notice yet gentle enough to feel natural. If I were to describe it in more poetic terms, I’d say it felt like a slow-moving wave of relaxation rolling across my body. As the instructions noted, it took about 35-40 minutes to hit and, once it did, I was pretty much soundly asleep.

Again, this was with two capsules. When I adjusted to one, I still noticed the wave, but it was definitely smaller in size. When I adjusted to four, the wave was huge and knocked me out very quickly, though this came with some cons we’ll discuss a little later.

Performance Lab Cody Sleep
The Performance Lab Sleep pills helped me fall asleep fast

Staying Asleep

Over the course of my two week trial, I woke up in the middle of the night approximately 30% of the time. While this might seem like a big number, I usually wake up in the middle of the night every night, so I’d actually consider this a HUGE victory for me.

However, I will say that this percentage fluctuated a lot depending on my dosage. When I took one capsule, I woke up in the middle of the night every night. When I switched to four, I slept all the way through the evening. Therefore, if staying asleep is your biggest problem, I’d definitely recommend thinking about adjusting to a higher dosage (after consulting with a medical professional, of course).

The Morning After

Though I wish I could say I woke up feeling fresh as a well-rested daisy, that wasn’t necessarily the case. I wasn’t sleeping through my alarm or anything like that, but I definitely felt hazy and sluggish after taking the Performance Lab supplements. If you’re the kind of person who needs to get up and go immediately, this may not be the sleep aid for you.

That being said, when I adjusted to one capsule, the grogginess wasn’t nearly as powerful. However, my sleep wasn’t as good, so this may be a trade-off you’ll need to consider. When I switched to four, the haziness the next day was incredibly strong, so much so that I felt as though it slowed my productivity at work. I only mention this as something to keep in mind when adjusting your own dosage.

Performance Lab Compare
Performance Lab Sleep pill size compared to a quarter

Should you buy the Performance Lab Sleep Supplement?

So, we’ve chatted about the ingredients, gone into the brand history, and summed up my experience with the supplements, but you’re probably still wondering: Should I buy them? Honestly, I can’t say for sure, but I can leave you with a few final thoughts to help you make the decision for yourself.

Sleep by Performance Lab
Sleep by Performance Lab

Packed with L-tryptophan, magnesium, and melatonin derived from tart cherry, the Performance Lab Sleep Supplement is designed to help restless sleepers get a great night's sleep

Pros

  • I’m a big fan of the fact that these supplements are built with all-natural, GMP-certified ingredients. I also like that they’re vegan and allergen-free!
  • I’d also say that I loved how quickly these supplements helped me fall asleep. No matter the dosage, I was able to drift off to dreamland with ease.
  • The Performance Lab supplement is also a solid value buy at $40 for a 60-pill bottle.

Cons

  • One of my biggest complaints is the morning after grogginess. Though a bit of post-sleep haze is typical of sleep supplements, I thought the sluggishness with these was particularly problematic.
  • And I’d also note that if you’re not into the idea of taking large capsules, you may want to try another supplement!

Well, that about does it for this review! If you have any other questions about this product, feel free to DM me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. And make sure to subscribe to the Sleepopolis YouTube channel so you can get all our latest sleep-related content.

References

  1. Abbasi, B, et al. “The Effect of Magnesium Supplementation on Primary Insomnia in Elderly: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : the Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2012.
  2. Hartmann, E. “Effects of L-Tryptophan on Sleepiness and on Sleep.” Journal of Psychiatric Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1982.
  3. Pigeon, Wilfred R, et al. “Effects of a Tart Cherry Juice Beverage on the Sleep of Older Adults with Insomnia: a Pilot Study.” Journal of Medicinal Food, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., June 2010.
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Cody’s our staff editor here at Sleepopolis, so manages our fantastic editorial team and brings an expert eye to the written content across our social media, news vertical, and blog. A typical day could include editing an extensive piece on sleep paralysis, popping off a quick Instagram post about the benefits of daytime napping, drafting an informative guide to nightmares, or creating a fun round-up of the best cooling mattresses on the market. TL;DR there’s no such thing as a typical day at Sleepopolis and that’s exactly how Cody likes it. His work has appeared online for Esquire, Next, LOGO TV, Fandom, Citylife, The Manual, and more.