Dietary supplements in the Sleep market

© Shutterstock
© Shutterstock
The total sleep market in 2013 was estimated to $54.9 billion. With 5.6% expected increase for the coming years, this market is becoming more and more coveted by biopharmaceutical companies.
Sleep disorders is affecting about 10% of the French population in 2014 with one out of three workers suffering from it. Interestingly, only 13% of them are willing to begin treatment making a huge potential for sleep aids. Natural treatments are usually favored for treating sleep disorders such as insomnia and tiredness because they are part of the OTC market and do not or almost not display dependence.


Plant based treatments

Dietary supplements can be found for any type of natural treatments against various symptoms. They usually are plant extracts that are purified and can be taken any time without any specific indications. For the treatment of chronic primary insomnia, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is thought to participate to a deeper sleep for patients with chronic primary insomnia. Modest and mixed clinical benefits have been observed but more studies are required in order to establish it scientifically.
Dietary supplements such as Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) are also used to treat primary insomnia because of their anxiolytic properties. A study using both plant extracts against sleep disorders during menopause showed significant differences against placebo by reducing levels of sleep disorders on an experimental group.

A lot of studies are performed on chamomile, valerian and lemon balm but also on other plants extracts such as kava in order to establish anxiolytic properties in order to support dietary supplement sales. Indeed, the FDA and EMA usually put low barriers for their market authorization making them easily available with no high developmental costs but high selling price.


The golden star in natural treatments against sleep disorders is Melatonin. It was discovered over a century now and has been associated with a lot of medicinal properties. It is produced in human and displays a role in day-night regulation cycles. In most cases, people having disturbed sleep show low levels of melatonin and external supply was showed to be effective to improve sleep latency. Melatonin contributes to attenuate jet lag and participate to a deeper sleep. The global market for melatonin was valued at $504 millions in 2012 and is expected to double in 2019 at a 14.7% rate, that is to say three times the growth rate of sleep market. In Europe, melatonin was released as a sleep aid in 2013 after being forbidden in 2009 by France. Thus the European market offers a lot of opportunities that compound and explains flourishing of melatonin based products in pharmacies.

Natural treatments belonging to the sleep market represent an important growth rate for the next five to ten years. It promises to be a lucrative business as more and more people display sleep disorders and insomnia due to stress and overwork. This sleep market segment is interesting because the products do not require prescription and are available over the counter in Pharmacies and grocery store in the U.S. They are easy to get and do not display any side effects like sleeping pills addiction. Besides, they are easy to be released on the market since they do not need long approvals and clinical trials to be accepted by the authorities.

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