Our founder Jason was struggling with his sleep pattern after changing his sports routine, so he decided to test a natural sleep supplement. Find out how he got on in our NooCube Sleep Upgrade review…
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The importance of a good night’s sleep has been historically undervalued in the world of science. But over the last decade, the wealth of research and understanding of the benefits of sleep have increased exponentially.
Yet, with our daily lives becoming increasingly hectic, many people still struggle with implementing positive sleep habits and establishing effective sleep routines. There are a number of ways to encourage the production of melatonin which can help with sleep – but when that fails, supplementation or even prescribed medicine can help.
Here at SOMA Analytics, we prefer to look to natural supplementation rather than prescription drugs and NooCube Sleep Upgrade is a new addition to the market that uses a natural 5 ingredient blend to elicit sleep.
Although I generally have good sleep routines, I was feeling out of kilter for one reason and another and so took this natural supplement for a 30 day test. Let’s find out how I got on with it in my NooCube Sleep Upgrade review.
Quick Verdict: Sleep Upgrade
NooCube Sleep Upgrade is a cleverly formulated natural supplement that had a significant impact on my sleep routines during my 30 days of testing.
With results from night one and deep restorative sleep tracked every night of the month (using my Oura Ring) when using Sleep Upgrade, the impact was clear. With a formula not reliant on melatonin, there is no risk of dependence on it and every chance of optimal sleep each and every night.
About NooCube Sleep Upgrade
NooCube Sleep Upgrade is a standalone supplement brought to us by the makers of NooCube, one of the leading natural nootropic supplements that falls under the Wolfson Brands umbrella.
It is interesting that they have decided to explore sleep supplements, as they are almost the exact opposite of what a nootropic offers – although there are crossovers and with NooCube being a non-stimulant nootropic it would appear that the two supplements would actually complement each other well.
One thing we do know from their nootropic supplement is that the company behind NooCube Sleep Upgrade are known for creating impactful supplements, made from high quality ingredients, that are well backed by clinical data.
Whilst the depth of research in to sleep is in its infancy (much like nootropics), there is a growing field of research and the ingredients included in Sleep Upgrade are all well backed.
It’s also interesting that Sleep Upgrade does not contain any form of melatonin – which very much bucks the trend, but rather includes ingredients associated with encouraging natural melatonin production – which could very well be a masterstroke to avoid dependence on the ingredients contained within Sleep Upgrade.
I will discuss the ingredients in more detail shortly and I’ll be giving you my personal experience of using it.
How Sleep Upgrade Works
Each bottle of NooCube Sleep Upgrade contains 120 capsules, which gives you a 30 day supply (with each serving being 4 capsules). The instructions tell you to take 4 capsules 30-60 minutes before you go to bed.
The mix of herbs, minerals and vitamins are designed to calm the mind and body and help increase natural melatonin production whilst regulating circadian rhythm – a three pronged approach to help you not only drift off to sleep easier, but also to improve the overall quality of sleep.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has evidence both for and against using melatonin supplementation to help with sleep – but even those studies that do support its use, will offer warnings against an over reliance on it – and any supplement that can avoid it and have a high degree of efficacy in eliciting good quality sleep is likely to be preferred.
Does NooCube Sleep Upgrade work? Read on as I look to assess the ingredients and give you my appraisal after 30 days with it.
NooCube Sleep Upgrade Ingredients
As mentioned, Sleep Upgrade has just 5 ingredients. This is good. In fact, most sleep supplements only contain a handful of ingredients, with many being less than 3.
The ingredients contained in Sleep Upgrade are designed to have an acute effect, but with a compounding impact over time also likely to be felt. This means that you will likely notice a difference from day one of taking the supplement, but after a month or so you will be feeling even more benefits.
Let’s take a look at what it contains…
Each serving of Sleep Upgrade contains 300mg of magnesium citrate. This is both well dosed and an excellent form of magnesium to use for something that you want to be fast acting – this is because it has a fast absorption rate – especially when compared to the inferior magnesium oxide, which is used in many sleep supplements such as Relaxium for example.
This mineral is well known for its calming impact on the body and has been proven to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Anyone who has low levels of magnesium is more likely to suffer from insomnia – but is also more susceptible to anxiety and depression.
300mg is an optimal dose to supplement magnesium at – and this is three times what we see in similar supplements such as Performance Lab Sleep and Relaxium – but still sits comfortably under the maximum recommended amount of 350mg.
Calcium is an interesting addition and whilst the research is less conclusive on its use as a sleep aid, there is one study in particular (of over 4,500 users) that found a positive correlation between higher calcium intake and time taken to fall asleep.
The reasoning behind calcium enhancing the time taken to fall asleep is less clear, but at 300mg per serving in Sleep Upgrade, it is well under the recommended daily intake, but could be enough to do its job. It’s also worth pointing out that anything over 600mg in one sitting is less likely to be absorbed optimally by the body and so 300mg seems a well considered dose.
Vitamin D3 (Vita-Algae)
Anyone who is deficient in Vitamin D3 is likely to have a range of negative side effects – one of them being poor sleep regulation. There is also a growing bank of evidence that links higher levels of vitamin D to higher levels of melatonin production.
There are 10mcg of vitamin D3 in each serving of Sleep Upgrade – and this is thought to be an optimal amount for daily supplementation.
The Vitamin D3 in Sleep Upgrade is also from a vegan source (Vital-Algae) which makes this supplement suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
We then come on to the two herbal ingredients, starting with lemon balm. 600mg of lemon balm is included per serving and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support its inclusion for its relaxing and calming effects.
This ingredient may not help all users of Sleep Upgrade, but for anyone who suffers with calming their mind at bed time then there is a good chance it will help.
Lavender is another herb that is very well known for its calming properties. We have it at a 4:1 extract here which means the 125mg dose becomes a 500mg effective dose.
This is a high dose compared to many standalone lavender supplements and could have a significant impact (similar to that of a sedative) on sleep but without the negative side effects.
30 Days Using Sleep Upgrade
When I started out with Sleep Upgrade I was struggling both with getting to sleep and staying asleep. This was unusual for me as I usually have pretty good sleep routines.
To give some context, I had started playing sports twice per week in the evening – usually I work out in the morning. These nights in particular I was finding it harder to get to sleep and shut down my mind.
I had the opportunity to test NooCube Sleep Upgrade and so I took it. The natural ingredients and lack of melatonin within the supplement itself were both appealing to me. I was looking for something to help me fall asleep and wake up feeling fully rested. I didn’t want to take something I felt I could become dependent on and so Sleep Upgrade felt like a good fit.
I’ve also taken and continue to take NooCube (the nootropic) on a regular basis, so I had a good degree of faith in their offering right from the start.
The website and literature suggests that even on the first night of taking the supplement you should drift off to sleep much easier than usual. So I decided to give it the ultimate test and started my first night on a night when I was playing sport – with my mind racing, my blood pumping and me not feeling fully wound down before hitting the pillow.
I usually go to bed at 10pm during the week and around 11pm at the weekends. This was a weeknight and I finished the match at 8.15pm. I was home by 8.30pm and showered and sat on the sofa by 9pm. I took 4 capsules just after 9pm (around 1 hour prior to going to bed) and then followed my usual bedtime routine.
The previous two weeks, I had still been lying awake at 11.15pm. However, this week I fell asleep after just 14 minutes.
I know this because I track my sleep with an Oura ring.
What it also told me was that I had 1 hour 35 minutes of deep sleep, 2 hours 25 minutes of REM sleep and had minimal disruptions through the night, with a total of 7 hours 54 minutes of total sleep.
Placebo effect? Maybe… but I continued taking it to find out.
After one week of testing it I had slept well every night. Not falling asleep too quickly (a sign of exhaustion) or taking longer than 15 minutes. Not once in that week did I take longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep!
After 30 days of testing, the story was the same. My ‘readiness’ (an Oura ring rating) each day was above 88% daily through the testing – and most importantly I felt like I had been having good quality, restorative sleep every night.
As someone that wants to fully optimize every aspect of my life, I decided to order another two month’s worth of Sleep Upgrade – something I should have done from the beginning as there are good savings to be made on the two bottle and three bottle packages.
So far, everything stacks up and I feel the compound effect of the magnesium, vitamin D3 and (maybe) the calcium are yet to reach a peak. If I can get that readiness score in to the 90’s consistently then this could well become a supplement I take on a regular basis.
If so, I’ll likely go for 3 months on, 1 month off, 3 months on and so on. I don’t feel like with these ingredients the body will become reliant on the ingredients in any way – but I always like to give the body a chance to reset and then go again.
Either way, NooCube Sleep Upgrade was a success for me.
The ingredient profile of NooCube Sleep Upgrade makes a lot of sense. They use high quality ingredients that are designed for optimal absorption and maximum impact.
My own experience of using Sleep Upgrade was nothing short of a triumph. It helped me to re-establish a regulated sleeping pattern and achieve deep, restorative sleep every night for a month during testing.
It’s cost effective when opting for their bulk deals and my suggestion would be to opt for a minimum 3 bottle package.
With results from day one (for me) and a 60 day money back guarantee there is little to lose from giving Sleep Upgrade a try.