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From tossing and turning all night to taking forever to drift off to waking up groggy, sleep problems affect everybody from time to time.
And while melatonin is the most common sleep supplement, many people prefer not to use it, opting instead for vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other compounds to help them doze off to dreamland.
One such supplement is Noocube Sleep Upgrade, which relies on magnesium, lemon balm, lavender, and more—but is it worth the money? Let’s find out.
In this review, we’ll get into the details of why we awarded Noocube Sleep Upgrade with an overall B+ grade, with higher points given for the availability of supporting research, ingredient quality, and great customer service.
Noocube Sleep Upgrade
For people who want a good night’s sleep without relying on melatonin, this formula starring magnesium, lavender, and lemon balm is thought to support relaxation, restful deep sleep, and falling asleep faster.
Vitamin D3 (from algae), Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Citrate, Lemon Balm, Lavender Extract 4:1, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Maltodextrin, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate, Silica.
Noocube Sleep Upgrade Pros and Cons
- Melatonin-free sleep formula
- Uses natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals
- Plenty of supporting research on the compounds used
- Rapid and helpful customer service
- Four-capsule serving (with big capsules)
- May cause minor digestive side effects in some people
- Expensive compared to other brands
- Uses six binding/stabilizing filler compounds
- Website doesn’t show supplement facts
Our Noocube Sleep Upgrade Review
We awarded Noocube Sleep Upgrade with an overall B+ grade, with higher points for supporting clinical research on the compounds used, great customer service, and lack of reported dangerous side effects.
However, we thought it was a bit pricey, and would like to see some certifications backing the product.
Nooclube Sleep Upgrade Scores:
- Ingredient Quality: B+
- Supporting Research: A
- Reported Side Effects: A-
- Brand Experience: A-
- Value: B-
The main ingredients were great (vitamins, minerals, and botanicals), but we docked a bit for lack of certifications and sourcing information, and the six binding/anti-caking compounds seemed excessive.
In this category, we award supplements higher points for the quality of ingredients, which also compasses sourcing, testing, and manufacturing processes.
While Noocube Sleep Upgrade has six leading nutrients and botanicals that make up the bulk of their sleep formula, they also have six “extra” compounds that are commonly used for stabilizing, anti-caking, or filling supplements.
Here is what you’ll find in Noocube Sleep Upgrade:
- Vitamin D3 (10mcg/400 IU)
- Calcium Carbonate (300mg)
- Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Citrate (300mg)
- Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis Leaf) (600mg)
- Lavender Extract 4:1 (Lavandula angustifolia Flower; equivalent to 500mg of lavender powder)
- Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose
- Microcrystalline Cellulose
- Stearic Acid
- Vegetable Magnesium Stearate
While these latter six compounds aren’t necessarily bad (see our article on magnesium stearate here), and several of them (like stearic acid and cellulose) are found naturally in foods, the amount of them seemed excessive, and some people may want a supplement with fewer of these binding/stabilizing/anti-caking compounds for various reasons.
For a brief look at some of these compounds, magnesium stearate is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, and the World Health Organization has also confirmed its safety.
Similarly, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose—despite its scary-sounding name—is derived from cellulose, a naturally occurring fiber found in foods like bran, beans, nuts, peas, cabbage, and apples, and is approved by both the FDA and the European Union (which is notoriously harder to please) as a food/supplement additive.
Another factor that dropped their score a bit was their lack of certifications on the product—they do have a cGMP facility certification that ensures good manufacturing practices, however—and no information about ingredient sourcing.
Overall, we loved the five main nutrients and botanicals (vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, lemon balm, and lavender) found in Sleep Upgrade, but would appreciate some certifications to back up their product and perhaps fewer “extra” compounds.
Most of the leading ingredients in Noocube Sleep Upgrade have an abundance of clinical research to back up their effectiveness in improving sleep.
Despite their relatively short list of primary ingredients, they all have quite a bit of clinical research to back up their sleep-supporting claims.
Starting with vitamin D (which is algae-based and sustainably sourced), a 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis of human intervention studies found that supplemental vitamin D is promising for improving sleep quality, but there was conflicting evidence for its benefits to sleep time and sleep disorders.
It’s thought that vitamin D supports sleep because vitamin D receptors are found in several areas of the brain involved in sleep regulation, suggesting that vitamin D is intended to bind to and act on these regions of the body.
Magnesium is another nutrient that is commonly linked to sleep. However, there are several forms of the mineral, and this formula uses magnesium oxide and citrate.
Magnesium citrate is much better absorbed by the body than magnesium oxide, but both forms have been linked to better sleep outcomes.
In one study of older adults with insomnia, supplementing with magnesium oxide significantly increased overall sleep time and efficiency with decreases in sleep onset latency (the time it takes to fall asleep).
Similarly, supplemental magnesium citrate was found to improve overall Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores—a questionnaire assessing subjective sleep quality, latency, duration, efficiency, disturbances, and more—by almost 40% in older adults.
Lavender has been well-studied for its role in promoting calm feelings and sleep—however, most of the research is done with aromatherapy, lotions, or other external uses.
One study published in Phytomedicine in 2010 did look at the effects of taking supplemental lavender oil, finding that lavender significantly reduced anxiety symptoms—comparably to the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam—as well as improved restlessness, sleep disturbances, subjective well-being, and quality of life.
Lastly, lemon balm (also known as Melissa officinalis) was found to reduce scores of depression, anxiety, stress, and total sleep disturbances in an 8-week supplementation trial.
Reported Side Effects
The majority of the active ingredients in Noocube Sleep Upgrade have been found to cause minor digestive symptoms, but typically in higher doses than those found in this supplement.
Although we obviously can’t speak for every person who’s taking these compounds, this section addresses any minor or major side effects that are commonly reported from them.
We found that some of the active ingredients in Noocube Sleep Upgrade can cause minor side effects, primarily digestion-based.
Magnesium oxide and citrate can cause diarrhea in some people—however, the amount found in Sleep Upgrade is likely not enough to do so.
Of the main ingredients, lemon balm may cause the most significant side effects, with reports of nausea, dizziness, GI issues, headache, and wheezing—but, again, that’s typically seen at doses of 2g or more, while this product has 600mg.
Lastly, calcium carbonate may cause gas and bloating, and high doses of lavender may cause headaches and constipation.
Overall, the potential reported side effects are minor and more on the “hey, that’s annoying” side of things—and the amounts found in Sleep Upgrade are not likely to cause them.
Plus, for what it’s worth, our product tester did not experience any of these side effects during or after taking Sleep Upgrade for several nights.
Rapid and helpful customer service boosted their grade here, but the website was on the “salesy” side.
In this section, we assess customer service, website experience, and availability of consumer education.
Noocube scored great for their customer service, as we were connected with a real human—who responded helpfully and rapidly—on their chat system within a minute.
They also offer free shipping and a 100% Satisfaction, 60-Day Guarantee on their products, making it a risk-free experience for a first-time buyer.
However, their product page is a little bit on the “salesy” side, with just one long page with tons of information.
While we did appreciate the ingredient breakdown and supporting clinical research at the bottom of the page, we didn’t like that you couldn’t find the full supplement facts anywhere on the site—in case you’re wondering, here is a picture we took at home:
Although the ingredient quality is good, Sleep Upgrade is definitely pricey—and similar formulas are charging less.
At $64.99 for 30 servings, there’s no getting around the fact that Noocube Sleep Upgrade is pricey.
But as with all of our reviews, we also take into consideration the ingredient quality and how they compare to other products—let’s take a closer look at how the price compares to other melatonin-free sleep supplements.
|Noocube Sleep Upgrade
|Vitamin D, magnesium citrate, calcium, lemon balm, lavender
|$64.99 for 30 servings($2.17/serving)
|Mindbodygreen Sleep Support
|Magnesium bisglycinate, GABA, jujube seed extract
|$49 for 30 servings($1.63/serving)
|MaryRuth Melatonin-Free Sleep Gummies
|Lemon balm, vitamin B6, chamomile, L-theanine
|$22.95 for 30 servings($0.77/serving)
|Arrae Sleep Alchemy
|Organic chamomile, organic valerian root, organic holy basil, organic hops, GABA
|$48 for 30 servings ($1.60/serving)
As you can see, Noocube Sleep Upgrade is at the highest end of the price range, and doesn’t seem to have ingredients that are over-the-top better than the other products.
One benefit of Sleep Upgrade is that you can bundle and get 1-2 months free—but it’s still going to cost you quite a bit upfront.
Combining these factors, we landed on an overall B- for value.
Our Experience with Noocube Sleep Upgrade
Although we don’t have any major sleep issues to note, one of our team’s testers of Sleep Upgrade does tend to experience frequent wake-ups throughout the night.
After taking Sleep Upgrade, she noticed that she fell asleep relatively quickly and had fewer nighttime wakeups—plus, she awoke feeling rested.
While we can’t comment on the effectiveness of Sleep Upgrade for people with insomnia, jet lag, anxiety, or other sleep disorders, it did seem to help us fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
One downside of Noocube Sleep Upgrade is the four-capsule serving size–and, mind you, they are not small pills.
Fortunately, the pills do not have any weird smell or aftertaste (which many sleep or calming supplements tend to have), making them easier to take before bed.
If you are easily able to take pills, we’d recommend Noocube Sleep Upgrade for some melatonin-free help in calming down before bed and getting a good night’s rest.
FAQs About Noocube Sleep Upgrade
Why Doesn’t Noocube Sleep Upgrade Have Melatonin?
Although it’s a commonly used over-the-counter sleep aid, melatonin is a hormone that can lead to dependence in some people.
Therefore, Noocube decided to utilize vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that don’t lead to dependence.
What Are the Ingredients in Noocube Sleep Upgrade?
– Vitamin D3 (10mcg/400 IU)
– Calcium Carbonate (300mg)
– Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Citrate (300mg)
– Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis Leaf) (600mg)
– Lavender Extract 4:1 (Lavandula angustifolia Flower; equivalent to 500mg of lavender powder)
– Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose
– Microcrystalline Cellulose
– Stearic Acid
– Vegetable Magnesium Stearate
Does Noocube Sleep Upgrade Work?
Based on reviews and personal experience, we believe that Noocube Sleep Upgrade works to promote falling asleep faster, staying asleep, and waking up feeling rested.
However, we don’t have experience with whether or not it works for people with sleep disorders or more severe sleep issues.
Does Noocube Sleep Upgrade Have Side Effects?
Some of the ingredients in Sleep Upgrade have been shown to produce minor side effects (primarily digestive-related), but the doses found in this supplement are not thought to be high enough to cause issues.
Noocube Sleep Upgrade has some great attributes as a melatonin-free sleep supplement.
With research-backed ingredients to support sleep—like magnesium, vitamin D, lemon balm, and lavender—Sleep Upgrade is a solid choice for people wanting to avoid the melatonin route.
This supplement received an overall B+ rating from us, with high points awarded for ingredient quality, supporting research, and customer service.
Conversely, some areas for improvement include its high price point and lack of product certifications, plus the overuse of stabilizing/anti-caking agents in the supplement.
Overall, we recommend Noocube Sleep Upgrade for those who want to support better sleep—both falling asleep and staying asleep—without relying on melatonin.