Sleep inertia is that drowsy feeling you experience just after you wake up.1 It’s a perfectly natural phenomenon, and can last minutes or hours. During that period of time, your cognitive performance is reduced and your reaction times are slower.2
Naturally, the effects of sleep inertia can be a problem for night owls or people who wish to rise early to be more productive. And it can be a serious problem for people who drive in the early morning, as well as night shift workers – the latter typically experience longer periods of sleep inertia than most.3
Fortunately, there are vitamins and supplements available to decrease this grogginess and increase your morning energy. In this article, we cover 5 of the best supplements for sleep inertia – they’ll help you whether you’re looking to inject a bit more energy into your morning routine, or simply want to wake up alert and refreshed.
Magnesium is a mineral that helps the body in a number of ways, assisting over 300 enzymes to maintain blood pressure, build strong bones, make the heart beat steadily, and plenty more.4 Importantly, magnesium is crucial in stimulating energy production within the human body5, so a magnesium supplement can be an easy way to ensure that your own energy levels aren’t being held back by a deficiency in this area.
Additionally, studies suggest that magnesium supplements improve various aspects of insomnia, including reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.6 Considering how sleep inertia is aggravated by not getting enough sleep in the first place, it makes sense to do what you can to sleep well. Check with your doctor if you’re considering magnesium supplements alongside prescription medicines though, as it can interact with certain medications.
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East and Africa.7 It’s considered to have great medicinal value, with studies showing it can have a significant impact in reducing stress and promoting wellness.8 The root extract has also been found to provide great sleep-inducing potential and improved sleep quality, especially in patients with insomnia.9 It’s another great supplement to consider if sleep deprivation or broken sleep is resulting in excessive grogginess.
Some clinical studies have also shown that taking ashwagandha can improve cognitive function when taken over an extended period of time, from reaction times and attention10 to memory and executive functioning.11 So if you’re struggling to feel ‘sharp’ on waking, this natural remedy may help to kick your brain into gear.
While Ashwagandha is considered safe for most people, it’s probably best to take it in moderation. Most adults who take it have up to 1000mg daily across 3 months.12 If you’re not sure what’s right for you, speak to your doctor first.
Melatonin is a popular supplement primarily used to tackle sleep problems. It’s a naturally occurring hormone in the body that plays an important role in controlling sleep patterns13, and studies show that when taken at the right time with the right dosage, melatonin helps healthy adult individuals suffering from insomnia. It also shows promise in reducing symptoms of jet lag, suggesting it may prove useful to shift workers.14
While not specifically designed for sleep inertia itself, melatonin can treat the root cause of sleep inertia by improving sleep quantity and quality, and studies have shown that this subsequently improves morning alertness.15
Melatonin is available over the counter in the US, but requires a prescription in the UK. The dosage is typically one 2mg tablet taken 1 to 2 hours before sleep.16
Caffeine is a stimulant17 considered to be an effective countermeasure to sleep inertia.18 That might explain why so many people brew a cup of coffee first thing in the morning with the aim of helping themselves to wake up. However, caffeine requires 15 to 45 minutes to take effect, making it a reactive countermeasure – which means you still experience sleep inertia and won’t wake up immediately feeling alert. For it to be truly effective, it needs to be taken prior to a short nap, or via a delayed-release mechanism.19
Caffeine pills are available over the counter. Bear in mind the U.S. FDA recommends healthy adults consume no more than 400mg of caffeine daily20 while the UK’s BDA notes an upper limit of 300mg per day21 – roughly 3 cups of coffee. Of course, some people will be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others, and should make sure they don’t risk taking too much.
#1 B・SYNC ON
While the other supplements listed here help you sleep better, and to boost energy after waking when taken over extended periods, B・SYNC ON is the world’s first clinically proven wake-up supplement, and it fights morning grogginess from the very first dose.
B・SYNC ON includes four natural active ingredients :
- Vitamin B5, which fights fatigue and supports mental performance
- Vitamin B12, which reduces fatigue and contributes to an energy-yielding metabolism22
- Zinc, which contributes to healthy cognitive functioning23
- Caffeine, which improves concentration, performance and alertness24
These four active ingredients are stored in a delayed-release capsule. This ensures that if you take B・SYNC ON before sleeping, there’ll be a full 7 hours before the ingredients are released and start to act as an internal alarm clock for your body. The vitamins and caffeine combine to help you wake up feeling refreshed and alert, rather than waking up in a state of sleep inertia and having to take supplements which then kick in a short while later.
Waking up with ease
While sleep inertia is a natural phenomenon, you don’t have to let that feeling of sleepiness dictate what you can or cannot do immediately after waking. The list above are all vitamins and supplements for increased morning energy, and should help improve your sleep-wake cycles. Make sure to read our article on how to beat tiredness in the morning for more practical tips.