10 Forms of Natural Sleep Products Every Pharmacist Should Know About

May 23, 2019By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Resources focused on Independent Pharmacy, Step into Natural

By Jen Johnston, CHHC, senior marketing services account manager, for the Step into Natural blog series

Alongside diphenhydramine capsules and melatonin supplements, a new set of sleep products is vying for consumer attention, especially from your natural shoppers. Syndicated data provider, SPINS, names “better sleep” as one of the top macrotrends for 2019, as reported by Nutra Ingredients.

Far beyond homeopathic sleep tablets and single-herb supplements such as valerian root, natural sleep products are exploring new functional ingredients and unique forms to deliver the sleep experience whenever and wherever the consumer desires.

Here are ten forms of natural sleep products every pharmacist should be aware of.

  1. Sleep Shots

A sleep shot it just what it sounds like – a drug-free beverage in “shot glass” style that delivers specific functional ingredients designed to get into the blood stream quickly via the stomach. Each sleep shot brand has different ingredients and may appeal to different food tribes. For example Vital Proteins® Sleep Collagen Shot contains melatonin, magnesium, and GABA along with collagen and is designed to appeal to those following the Paleo lifestyle.

Dream Water® also contains melatonin and GABA with the addition of 5-HTP. And Berry Sleepy® is a natural sleep shot that contains passion fruit, goji berries, tart cherries, and valerian root, with safe, naturally occurring mild sedatives melatonin and serotonin, plus magnesium and thiamin. They are not solely the domain of natural retailers. These shelf stable shots are sold at retailers such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Menards. I’ve even seen them at the airport.

  1. Beverages

Snoooze® is a mid-size beverage that contains sleep promoting herbs such as passionflower, lemon balm, linden flower extract, and valerian. At 4.6oz, it is larger than a sleep shot but smaller than other drink brands such as Dirty Lemon which makes 16oz functional drinks including one for sleep that contains valerian.

  1. Mouth Sprays

You’ve probably heard of sleep-inducing pillow or room sprays in scents such as lavender, but have you heard of sleep mouth sprays? These are a twist on the traditional melatonin or herbal pills that work faster and may be more appropriate for people who can’t swallow capsules. Source Naturals® offers one called Sleep Science® Melatonin NutraSpray. And Garden of Life® has just released MyKind Organics® Sleep Well R&R Spray containing lemon balm, hibiscus, chamomile, and passionflower.

  1. Body Sprays

Aura Cacia® makes a room spray that doubles as a body mist, as it is scented with pure essential oils. It works by calming the senses so sleep can come more easily. Ancient Minerals® Magnesium Oil spray works differently in that it puts magnesium, a mineral known for promoting sleep, directly on the skin for fast absorption.

  1. Clarified Butter

One of the more unusual forms for a sleep product is clarified butter. Pure Indian Foods® Brahmi Ghee is an Ayurvedic product that says it enhances memory and promotes a restful sleep. It also appeals to many food tribes as it is suitable for Whole30®, Paleo, and Keto. It is also gluten-free, USDA organic, and non-GMO, and is batch tested for casein and lactose.woman sleeping

  1. Powder

Powders are a convenient form that can be kept on the counter or be portable during travel. Natural Calm® offers magnesium powders that can be mixed with a liquid to induce sleep. Youtheory® Sleep is a nighttime powder that promotes a rapid onset of deep sleep with L-Glycine, L-Tryptophan, Magnesium, L-Theanine, 5-HTP, and Melatonin.

  1. Essential Oil

Essential oils have been around for a long time, but now they can be picked up at the local drugstore. Most shoppers do not know what the specific oils should be used for, so blends can be very helpful. Nature’s Truth®, NOW®, and Plant Therapy® all make sleep or rest blends. These can be diffused or blended with a carrier oil to make a massage product or lotion.

  1. Lotion

Lavender body lotions often position themselves as promoting sleep. Little Moon Essentials® Sleep Comes Easy and Lush® Sleepy are two examples. Little Moon Essentials claims to be paraben-, preservative-, chemical-, and cruelty-free. And Lush products are vegetarian and handmade.

  1. Tea

Even tea is in on the sleep game. The Republic of Tea® Beauty Sleep is an herbal infusion that contains chamomile along with “beautifying” ingredients such as bamboo and rose hip. Celestial Seasonings also offers a Sleepytime® tea.

  1. Balm

I only found one balm stating it is good for sleep – Badger® Sleep Balm. It claims to be among the top-rated products on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and is USDA organic, cruelty-free, gluten free, and non GMO. It contains lavender, ginger, rosemary, balsam, and bergamot. Appropriate for lips, chest, temples, or hands, the balm states it will “ease you into a relaxed state of mind so sleep can come naturally.”

Carrying all of these product types may not be appropriate for your store. However, consider asking your customers what kind of innovative sleep products they would like to see on your shelves. Then think about an endcap or small display that highlights all of your new sleep offerings.