Summary: Unfortunately, we don’t think Sleep Fairy is a very impressive sleep aid at all. The formula has been poorly put together; Sleep Fairy has a low dose of magnesium, 5-HTP instead of tryptophan, and an unspecified magnolia extract. Things could be made much better here with some simple but powerful changes.
Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy Review: What does it do?
Sleep Fairy is a brand new sleeping supplement from Hollis Nutrition. As far as we can tell, this is the only product that Hollis Nutrition make. They don’t have any other supplements listed on Amazon; just Sleep Fairy. They don’t have an independent website either – at least not one we can find. So what does Sleep Fairy claim to do?
According to the standard ads shown on the Amazon page – we swear these things are available as a template somewhere – Sleep Fairy delivers the following benefits:
- Helps you fall asleep fast
- Calms the mind
- Helps you relax
Sounds like standard stuff.
The question is, are these claims legit, or are they just a sales pitch?
Does Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy really work? Is it safe? What are the main health risks? Is Sleep Fairy worth the money? Is there a better option for your needs? Find out by reading our full Sleep Fairy review below!
Sleep Fairy Ingredients
Let’s just jump right into the important stuff. Here is the Sleep Fairy formula as it appears on the bottle:
Below is a quick overview of each ingredient; what it does, how it influences sleep (if it does so at all), what the scientific proof is like, and what we think of the serving size. Please post your questions to the comments section at the end.
Magnesium – (Bisglycinate Chelate) 20mg
Magnesium is so often over-looked by supplement manufacturers, but this is a big mistake. Magnesium is an effective and reliable sleep enhancer. It has multiple different mechanisms of action; it reduces nerve activity and calms the CNS; it supports healthy hormone levels; and it reduces blood pressure. Studies have found that magnesium supplementation improves several different aspects of sleep, including depth, duration, and morning alertness.
Hollis Nutrition have opted to use a much more bioavailable form of magnesium than the standard stuff you get from multivitamins. However, they have not included very much of it in Sleep Fairy – just 20mg!
Valerian Root Extract – 200mg
Valerian root is used by the majority of natural sleep aids today. But we believe this to be a serious mistake. While some studies have seemingly shown good improvements in sleep quality and duration in people using valerian root supplements. But if you actually read these studies, you’ll see that participants were also taking other sleep aids. We have not been able to find an independent, peer-reviewed study in which people saw improvements in sleeping patterns from Valerian Root administration alone. So to us, this one is totally unproven! It is a shame that this unproven ingredient takes up such a large portion of the Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy formula.
L-Theanine – 200mg
Theanine is an amino acid; it is naturally found in high concentrations in black tea (not in green tea as is so often asserted). Theanine is a proven, powerful sleep aid. Studies show that consuming 200mg of theanine shortly before bed drastically reduces the time it takes you to fall asleep. Theanine works by relaxing the muscles and reducing anxiety. It is not a sedative, although it does help reduce muscular pain and stiffness. It is not a strong anxiolytic; it simply aids relaxation and counters some of the effects of caffeine.
5-HTP – 100mg
5-HTP is an amino acid. It is actually a product of the breakdown of the amino acid tryptophan (its full name is 5-Hydroxytryptophan). It is a direct precursor to – and intermediary in the biosynthesis of – the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin, as most of you will know, is one of your principle ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters. It triggers feelings of serenity, joy, love, closeness, and empathy. Having low serotonin levels can cause feelings of emptiness, sadness, dread, and anxiety.
Many people supplement with 5-HTP to boost serotonin production. However, we think this is a relatively ineffective way to promote serotonin. 5-HTP does not cross the blood-brain barrier as easily as tryptophan itself. When 5-HTO is taken orally, much of it is used by the enteric nervous system. Tryptophan supplementation is more effective.
Chamomile Flower Extract – 100mg
Chamomile is the archetypal soothing herbal tea. It is the go-to brew for many people around the world in need of some rapid soothing. It is said to be a relaxant, anxiolytic, and natural sleep aid. The problem is that we have never seen any hard clinical data indicating that chamomile actually improves sleeping patterns in any way whatsoever. There is certainly little evidence that consuming a powdered flower extract from the plant will boost sleep quality or duration.
Chamomile is a common ingredient in sleep aids today, but it does not deserve to be. It is a real shame to see that Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy have followed the crowd rather than the science.
Magnolia Bark Extract – 100mg
Magnolia bark has been used for a long time as an anxiolytic, a mild sedative, an antidepressant, and a sleep aid. There is some evidence that select compounds found in magnolia bark may exert a light sedating effect on humans (source). However, Hollis Nutrition have not specified what has been extracted from magnolia bark here. We have no idea if the magnolia bark in Sleep Fairy contains these effective compounds, or other, useless substances. We really have little time for manufacturers who don’t label their extracts properly!
Melatonin – 5mg
Melatonin is an absolute staple of natural sleep aids, and so it should be. It is the hormone which controls your sleeping cycle. The release of melatonin makes you feel tired. High concentrations induce deep sleep, while lower concentrations keep you in REM sleep. Supplementing with melatonin will help bring on the onset of sleep much more quickly than normal. It will promote deep, truly restful and restorative sleep. If you’re suffering with jetlag, melatonin is an ideal way to help get yourself back onto a normal sleeping cycle.
The 5mg we get from Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy is absolutely perfect. You need no more than 5mg to see dramatic improvements in sleep quality.
Our thoughts on the Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy formula
This really is standard stuff; there’s nothing special about the Sleep Fairy formula at all.
We’ve seen these same ingredients several times before, at similar doses, and in roughly the same forms. All in all, it does not make for the very effective sleep aid. Nor does it provide much value for money. Hollis Nutrition have clearly tried to make a decent sleep aid here, but we’re just not impressed with Sleep Fairy at all.
Valerian Root is unproven.
Chamomile is unproven (especially as a flower extract).
Magnolia bark seems promising, but we aren’t told what the Sleep Fairy extract actually provides – is it the few active ingredients, or useless plant matter?
5-HTP is not as effective at increasing serotonin levels as Tryptophan.
The magnesium dose is low.
As is so often the case, the only saving grace of Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy is the decent serving of melatonin. However, this isn’t enough to make a great sleep aid. Other supplements offer a similar dose of melatonin and a range of proven sleep aids at good doses on top.
If you are looking for a comprehensive, full-spectrum sleep aid, we think there are much better options out there than Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy.
Too much of the formula is dead weight, and the good ingredients aren’t dosed high enough to make up for it.
Side Effects: Is Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy safe long-term?
One thing we can say about this natural sleep aid is that it looks perfectly safe to us. We doubt anybody is going to experience serious side effects while using Sleep Fairy.
The ingredients are well-understood and widely used. They’ve all been tested in numerous different clinical trials. None have been found to be dangerous. Even mild side effects are rare.
The only slight concern might be the magnolia bark because of its sedative properties. However, so long as you follow the usage instructions provided by Hollis Nutrition – and so long as you have no pre-existing medical conditions which might be relevant – then you should be fine. Just do your research and be thorough.
If you do experience any side effects whatsoever while using Sleep Fairy, stop using it and seek medical attention right away. Contact the manufacturer for their advice too.
In conclusion – Is Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy a good sleep aid?
In our opinion, this is a mediocre sleeping supplement. Hollis Nutrition have tried to make a good stack here, but in the end Sleep Fairy is decidedly average.
It has a standard formula, with standard ingredients in standard forms.
The only interesting ingredient is the magnolia extract, which has only thin scientific proof. It is a mild sedative, which makes side effects a slight concern (especially morning grogginess and brain fog).
The magnesium is dosed too low for our liking.
It uses 5-HTP instead of Tryptophan.
The bulk of the work is done by the melatonin. This is an effective sleep aid, and the dose is good. But melatonin does not by itself constitute a good sleep aid. Certainly not at this price.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive, complete sleep enhancer, then we think you can do much better than Hollis Nutrition Sleep Fairy. There are much better sleep aids out there than this one.
Brian Johnson is a former academic researcher, psychologist, and tireless proponent of bio-hacking. Brian has dedicated all of his time since leaving academia and private practice to promoting the benefits to be obtained from the application of biotechnology and bio-hacking supplements. He has years of experience with nootropics, as well as prebiotics, probiotics, and other natural nutritional supplements. He has published scholarly research on natural nootropics; you can find his papers on his Google Scholar page.