Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer Review

Affordable, easy to find and coming from a company with decades of experience, Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer is a near ideal dietary supplement choice for the sleep-deprived. However, it must be noted that there is no money back guarantee.

By Mario Esposito
Last Updated: May 8, 2019

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Founded in the 1970s and incorporated in the 1980s, today Los Angeles-based Jarrow Formulas markets its formulations around the world. The company also funds research studies and takes part in scientific pursuits and collaborations with academic environments that result in better formulations of Jarrow Formulas products.

It is the company’s mission to provide superior nutrition to its customers; through proper, high quality and cutting edge formulations that are also affordable.

Jarrow Formulas’ product line boasts of amino acids, enzymes, herbal concentrates, minerals, probiotics, vitamins, and more. The company’s sleep aids include Mellow Tonin, a Melatonin and multivitamin formulation; as well as single-ingredient supplements like L-Tryptophan, Melatonin, and 5-HTP.

We’re reviewing their sleep supplement blend: Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer. What does Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer have to offer? Let’s find out together.

What’s in Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer?

Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer contains sleep hormone Melatonin; amino acids L-Tryptophan and GABA (in the form of PharmaGABA); and extracts of Hops, Lemon Balm, and Valerian root.

Simple and straightforward as it is, the sleep supplement does also contain the following: gelatin, magnesium stearate, maltodextrin, and silicon dioxide.

How Do Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer’s Ingredients Help You Sleep Better?

As the name implies, the product is an optimized formulation that combines amino acids and herbs to make the most of your nighttime rest. It focuses on better sleep quality and providing a foundation for a more regular sleep schedule.

Let’s look at each of the ingredients separately to see how they contribute to the optimizing effect of this Jarrow Formulas sleep aid.

  • Melatonin is probably the most popular sleep supplement ingredient, and rightly so. Humans produce it naturally to regulate our sleep cycles. What’s curious about this formulation is that there’s such a tiny amount of Melatonin in each dose. To compare: Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer has 0.3 mg of Melatonin per serving. Top rated Natrol Sleep ‘N Restore has 3 mg—and we’ve reviewed other sleep aids with even more Melatonin than that.
  • L-Tryptophan is important to the body’s serotonin production, and therefore important to mental health. A Tryptophan deficiency can lead to increased levels or anxiety and even depression, which can affect sleep. Tryptophan is  an essential amino acid, meaning that the body can’t produce it, so we need to get it from food and supplement intake.
  • GABA has been known to improve sleep onset, as well as mental state in general. Like Tryptophan, it is meant to relieve anxiety and stress, and encourage calmness and relaxation. PharmaGABA is naturally sourced using Japanese technology involving lactobacillus fermentation.
  • Valerian root and Hops together have actually been studied as a natural alternative to treating insomnia. Both have a long history of being used as folk remedies for sleep troubles and more.
  • Lemon Balm is a mild ingredient, but like Melatonin, it’s not unusual to find it in sleep supplements. Fragrant and edible, it’s also a common fixture in food and aromatherapy preparations. It’s known to help with stress and anxiety management.

Is Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer Allergy-Friendly, Vegan or Vegetarian?

Yes, three times! Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer comes in a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly gel capsule form. It’s also allergy-friendly.

Good news for the allergy-prone: There’s no dairy, no egg, no fish or shellfish, no gluten, no peanuts and tree nuts, no soybeans and no wheat ingredients.

What to Consider Before Taking Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer

Most—if not all—of the sleep aids we review at Good Night’s Rest are Melatonin-based. This is simply because we believe in the safety and efficacy of this natural sleep hormone. However, not everyone reacts to the same amount of Melatonin the same way.

You may find that Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer does not provide you with an adequate dose of Melatonin. Should this happen, and you want to try a very similar blend with more Melatonin, you may want to check out Nested Naturals LUNA. It contains all but one of Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer’s ingredients—no L-Tryptophan—and a whopping 6 mg of Melatonin per serving.

One more thing: Because it is an over-the-counter alternative to prescription sleeping pills, it can be easy to forget that sleep supplements are not intended to be a permanent part of your daily routine. Products like Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer are supposed to be a two-week or one-month bedtime habit to help realign a biological clock confused or thrown off by changing work shifts, crossing time zones or a stressful event.

Is Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer Safe for Children?

As an over-the-counter supplement, it’s not likely to be truly harmful. However, Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer is definitely not for children under 18.

While Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer is suitable for those having trouble falling asleep and maintaining a consistent and regular sleep cycle, it’s not for everyone. This dietary supplement is not formulated for children, those trying to conceive, and those pregnant or lactating.

What’s the Suggested Dosage of Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer?

The instructions are simple: ingest two capsules about half an hour before bedtime, or as directed by a healthcare professional you trust.

Do not take the capsules if you still need to operate any kind of machinery afterwards—this includes everything from working a stove to driving a car—because its purpose is to make you feel sleepy! Better to be safe and just go straight to bed.

Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer is sold in two different packages—a pack of 30 capsules and a bottle of 60 capsules—so you can choose to use it daily for either two weeks or an entire month.

It is important to consult your physician before adding this product to your daily routine, particularly if you have a medical condition—this includes asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and more—or are already taking maintenance medications that may interact with Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer.

Like every dietary supplement in the market, it’s worth noting that this product—legally speaking—is not intended to cure, prevent or treat any disease.

What Are the Side Effects of Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer?

Different people react to these formulations in different ways. However, because these products are regulated by the government, we can be sure that any formulation that’s been on the market for a while has not been found toxic or harmful when used correctly.

When it comes to side effects, the best way to look into it is to note and research the ingredients one by one. Truthfully, this will probably be what your doctor will do, as well—when you talk to them about this product or any dietary supplement, that is.

For instance: Hops and Valerian root are strong sleep remedies, and both may interact with anesthesia and other medications needed before and after surgeries. If you are scheduled for one, it may be a good idea to stop taking Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer two weeks before going under the knife.

Additionally, Hops has been known to worsen depression; and some chemicals present in Hops are not good for people with hormone-sensitive medical conditions like breast cancer or endometriosis. Valerian, on the other hand, has been known to cause excessive drowsiness the morning after its use.

The bottom line is that natural does not always equal good, particularly in blends and formulations that haven’t been tried and tested by studies and years of consumer experience. Fortunately, Jarrow Formulas has been around for decades; a quick online search will yield all the customer reviews and comments in relation to the Sleep Optimizer and the company’s other products.

How Effective Is Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer?

If dietary supplements worked with 100% accuracy, they likely wouldn’t just be sold as supplements. Let’s give effectiveness some leeway.

However: Unlike some of its competitors, Jarrow Formulas does not have customer reviews prominently displayed on its official website. That may have something to do with the fact that it does not have its own online store.

Amazon customer reviews have mostly been positive—reporting good sleep quality but not always better sleep duration—though some report that it feels like they get better sleep with fewer hours needed.

What Are Common Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer Complaints?

Some have reported lucid dreaming, though whether that is positive or negative is up for speculation. Some negative reviews highlighted a feeling of drowsiness that was not easy to shake off in the morning, but others reported the opposite.

A consistent complaint—even by those that found the supplement worked perfectly—is the smell. The capsules have a strong scent that some may find unpleasant, but it’s perfectly normal considering the ingredients. Moreover, many dietary supplements that use botanical ingredients and are formulated for sleep have strong odors; Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer is not an outlier.

Where Can You Find Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer?

Jarrow Formulas relies on retailers—physical and online—to sell its products. As previously mentioned, they do not have their own online store.

Looking for a brick and mortar seller? Jarrow Formulas has a very user-friendly store locator on its website that shows you where you can purchase Jarrow Formulas products by US State. If you prefer to shop online, you can do that, too. There’s a list of online supplement specialty retailers, like Vitamin Lady and Amazon.

What to Expect from the Maker of Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer

Jarrow Formulas promises its customers what it calls total quality. This applies to every aspect of the business: conforming to regulations, ensuring quality control, conducting formulation testing, and even sourcing and marketing its products and their ingredients.

What Quality Assurance Does Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer Go Through?

Every Jarrow Formulas product is manufactured in facilities certified as upholding current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).

Part of following cGMP regulations is making sure that everything used in the products made is evaluated so that the composition, identity, purity and strength of the materials meets standard specifications. This is why Jarrow Formulas does ongoing and constant qualifications and audits of its raw materials suppliers.

On top of this, the majority of Jarrow Formulas products are made by sister company Jarrow Industries, which features state-of-the-art and pharmaceutical grade equipment—not to mention medical grade levels of quality control. FDA recommended High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) is used on every botanical material for verification, prior to its use in manufacturing.

How Is Jarrow Formulas Customer Support?

If you have a question about the product—a packaging issue, health concern, manufacturing error, or something similar—Jarrow Formulas is relatively easy to contact.

Although they do not offer live chat, its customer service department is open Monday through Friday from 7AM to 6PM PST. You can call, fax, email or leave a message using an online form; all contact information is available on Jarrow Formulas official website.

Does Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer Come with a Return Policy or Guarantee?

Because Jarrow Formulas has retailers sell its products, sales to direct consumers are beyond their scope. As such, they offer no return policy or guarantee.

For shipping grievances, it is likely better to contact the store you bought Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer from, rather than the company itself.

How Much Does Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer Cost?

Price points may differ based on where and how you purchase Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer. On Amazon, the price is $10.45 as of this writing for the 60 capsule bottle.

With regular and recommended usage, the contents of the bottle are enough for one month’s use. A 30 capsule pack—good for two weeks of regular use—is also available for $7.36.

Final Words on Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer

There is something to be said for a prescription-free, easy to find and affordable sleep aid that is vegetarian and manufactured by a company with a long history of excellence and accountability. If your doctor tells you that you can try it, by all means, do just that. It may just help you sleep better.

We don’t like that Jarrow Formulas does not offer a money back guarantee, but that it likely due to the fact they they don’t do direct sales. No real pressing complaints other than that.

Again, and we cannot stress this enough: Please do consult a trusted healthcare professional—preferably one that is familiar with your medical history—before adding dietary supplements to your diet.

Do ask your doctor questions about Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer, and make sure you aren’t taking maintenance medication that may be contraindicated with it. Definitely do not take Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer if you are under 18 or have a medical condition that may be affected by it.