Nootropics and Sleep, What You Need to Know

Sleep is a major indicator in regard to a person’s well-being and overall health. Did you know that the average person spends up to one-third of their life sleeping?

In fact, a person’s sleep health can have a major impact on how they think, their cognitive functions, and their performance at school or in the workplace.

Many people have turned to nootropics as a natural way to boost brain power, but can nootropics keep you awake? Some can, but there are also nootropics you can choose that promote a healthy sleep pattern, thus naturally improving your brainpower and performance the day before a presentation or final exam.

Can nootropics keep you awake? Yes and no, it all depends on the type of nootropic you take.

There are some nootropics that contain stimulants, which, of course, will keep you up, if they’re taken right before bed.

There are other nootropics that can make you tired, helping to relax your brain, boost melatonin production, and basically allow you to rest easier at night.

Ultimately, if you want to take nootropics to stay awake, you’ll go for a product that contains a stimulant. If you want to rest better at night, then you’ll want to avoid nootropics designed to improve mental alertness.

As you can see, there are different nootropics to choose from, each of which, can provide different results. Stimulant nootropics to stay awake will keep you feeling energized and alert, while other types of nootropics can help to calm and relax the mind, allowing you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of a good night’s rest and how nootropics can help to improve your performance.

The Importance of a Good Night’s Rest

Most people are aware of how important it is to get a good night’s rest, but not many of us actually make an effort to get in those eight hours of sleep that’s needed for a solid performance the next day.

To further complicate matters, some nootropics that are classified as stimulants can interfere with our natural wake and sleep cycle.

But not all nootropics are stimulants. In fact, many can actually help to encourage you to get the rest you so desperately need.

Sleep is crucial for brain power, however, not all nootropics are designed to help you sleep. There are definitely more nootropics on the market designed to keep you awake, alert and focused, compared to supplements or drugs that can help you rest easier at night.

Now that you know that most nootropics are designed to keep you awake, let’s learn more about the sleep and mental performance correlation, what nootropics are a better option if you need to improve the quality of your sleep, and which types of nootropics will keep you up, alert, and ready to take on the day.

Brain Function and Sleep

Circadian rhythm (CR) and sleep drive are two general functions that control sleep. The sleep drive is the mechanism that controls and keeps track of the amount of sleep and the quality of sleep we’ve gotten.[1] It can also tell us when we’re not getting enough sleep and can help us to remain asleep when we need rest the most.

The circadian rhythm is what controls when we sleep.[2] CR tells a person when to feel alert and awake and when to feel sleepy. This is basically in response to the different levels of light that occur throughout the day and into the evening.

Based on circadian rhythm, melatonin is released in order to promote sleep. Melatonin is the main chemical in the brain that’s associated with wakefulness and sleepiness.[3]

The different levels of light throughout the day and night that trigger circadian rhythm will tell the brain when to release melatonin and how much. This release of melatonin is a crucial part of the circadian rhythm.

Melatonin Production and the Circadian Rhythm

Brain Function and Sleep

Melatonin is derived from serotonin and some types of nootropics support serotonin. This type of support can increase melatonin production, which is perfect if you’re looking for a nootropic that can support both an increase in brainpower and a healthy sleep pattern.

The lack of melatonin production in the brain is what is primarily responsible for insomnia and difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.

If you take a nootropic that contains stimulants, this can potentially negatively impact melatonin production, making it difficult to fall asleep, especially if you’ve taken nootropics right before bedtime.

There are some types of nootropics that are designed to both promote relaxation and keep you awake, with no lack in alertness, but often, these stimulants are more focused on boosting mental clarity as opposed to helping you drift off to sleep.

How a Lack Of Sleep Can Affect You

Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can affect us in a number of ways. In fact, sleep deprivation can cause:[4]

  • Increased irritability
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Mood swings
  • A decrease in cognitive function
  • High blood pressure
  • Early-onset dementia
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety
  • Poor mental performance
  • Reduced brain function

At the very least, you should shoot for a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. However, the demand for sleep can increase based on how active you are during the day and even how much stress you handle at work and at home. The brain and body need sleep to recover from the day and to heal.

Nootropics for Sleep

So, can nootropics make you tired? Yes, some types of nootropics are designed to help you fall asleep faster, and stay asleep. These are the nootropics that should be taken right before bed and they work much differently than the nootropics that are designed to boost brain power during the day.

One of the main reasons sleep is so important is because the brain needs quality sleep for both memory consolidation and for learning.

Because of this, it’s important that you not only take nootropics to optimize memory and brain function during the day but that you also take another type of nootropics that can help you fall asleep and allow your brain to recover, during the night.

Supplements such as ashwagandha can reduce the stress hormone known as cortisol and can thereby help to minimize feelings of depression and anxiety, allowing you to shut off your brain and stop overstressing about your life.[5]

Another popular nootropic, L-theanine, which is a type of amino acid found in green tea, can boost dopamine and serotonin production in the brain, working to regularize melatonin production.[6]

Other types of nootropics are designed to help calm the mind and allow you to relax, so while they may not exactly knock you out, they work well to prepare your mind for sleep.

If you have trouble shutting your brain off at night and tend to focus on every single fear and worry you have, then a nootropic that’s designed to boost melatonin production and one that can help you feel calm and relaxed before bedtime is a great option and should definitely become part of your nootropic stack.

Can Nootropics Keep You Up?

There are definitely nootropics on the market that can keep you awake, fuel your brain, and leave you feeling powerful, alert, and energized. Obviously, these are the nootropics you don’t want to take right before bedtime.

These nootropics usually contain some type of stimulant, such as caffeine, and can provide you with the type of brain fuel you need during the day, but overuse or incorrect use of these types of nootropics can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle and can even prevent you from falling asleep at night.

This can definitely defeat the purpose of taking nootropics in the first place or can even increase your need to take them during the day.

Remember, it’s all about balance. If you’re resting well at night, you’re giving your brain the break it needs to recover. But if you’re getting just a few hours of sleep, then you’re going to have to heavily rely on a nootropic to keep you awake and alert during the day.

If you normally have trouble sleeping, make sure you don’t take a stimulant nootropic five hours before bedtime. If you typically have trouble sleeping, then a nootropic that can enhance relaxation and boost melatonin production can be a huge help in allowing you to achieve the right balance for a solid performance the next day.

Brain Exercises to Help You Sleep

If you’re doing everything right, taking a nootropic during the day, well before bedtime, and a nootropic at night, one that promotes sleep, and you’re still wide awake, there are certain brain exercises you can try that can have you drifting off to sleep in no time.

Mental To-Do List

Make a mental list of what you need to do the following day. Most of us lie awake at night stressing about what we have to get done, what can go wrong, but when you make a precise, focused mental to-do list, you’ll find this mental exercise pretty relaxing. It can also prevent your mind from wandering off and thinking of problems with your love life, unpaid bills, and other stressors.

Visualize A Calming Environment

Visualize A Calming Environment

Have trouble letting the day’s worries go? Relax your mind by envisioning your own personal paradise.

The key here is to visualize a place where you can be totally calm and relaxed.

It can be as simple as sitting in a beautiful park, relaxing on the beach, or any other ideal location you can think of.

This type of visualization can be very calming to the brain and allows you to focus solely on creating your own personal paradise instead of thinking about tomorrow’s presentation at work.

Peaceful Sleep At Last

These and other types of calming mental exercises can distract you from your worries long enough to help you fall asleep. Mental exercises can be as simple as choosing a noun for each letter in the alphabet, counting backward by fives, or simply thinking of a precise to-do list that’s filled with important daily goals.

Related Questions

What Nootropic Won’t Make Me Feel Jittery?

Primal Herb Neuro Shroom Support is an all-natural nootropic stack that contains well-researched ingredients. It’s a great choice for anyone who’s very sensitive to stimulants and looking for a natural nootropic that can provide them with the type of natural energy they need to get through the day.

Are Nootropics Effective?

Yes. Many of the leading nootropics do have a reputation for improving mental focus and providing a source of natural energy.

However, there are also natural nootropic supplements that tend to promote improved brain function but may not give you the energy boost you need.

Before you buy, make sure you read the product’s label in order to identify the active ingredient. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect in regard to how the product will affect you and whether or not it can give you an extra boost in energy.  Learn more on which nootropics actually work.

What is a Nootropic Stack?

A stack basically consists of two or more different types of nootropics in one supplement. These supplements, together, are designed to boost mental performance, creativity, and energy.

A stack can also refer to taking a variety of nootropics together, meaning they do not come in a single capsule or pill.

This type of nootropic stack is more about experimenting with different nootropics in order to get the type of results you’ve been looking for, such as improved focus and a reduction in brain fog.

Final Thoughts

Can nootropics keep you awake? Yes, if you’re taking a stimulant nootropic close to bedtime.

If your goal is to sleep better at night, then check out nootropics that are designed to help boost melatonin production and help to calm the brain, promoting relaxation when you need it the most.

Basically, there’s a perfect nootropic out there for you, depending on whether you need a boost in brainpower or you want a nootropic that can help you feel calm and relaxed, all night long.

Taylor Bates

Taylor is a neurohacking expert who has been in the world of nootropics since it gained popularity almost 10 years ago. He overcame his ADD, procrastination and lack of focus with nootropics. Now, he is sharing his knowledge and experience here at to help others navigate the world of cognitive enhancement.
Nootropics and Sleep, What You Need to Know
Article Name
Nootropics and Sleep, What You Need to Know
Find out which nootropics can keep you awake, which nootropics promote sleep, and how to use each type to your advantage for a more powerful performance.