In our research, we find that many of the companies who make the most noise about the deplorable state of the natural supplements industry are the biggest culprits, guilty of the very practices they criticize. Less frequently, we come across a company that ticks all the right boxes:
- Evidence-based scientific formulas – peer-reviewed √
- Sustainability √
- Transparency – every ingredient is identified √
- Vegan – Veggie Caps from plant-based materials √
- Non-GMO √
- Gluten-Free √
- Quality Control – each batch of products independent third party tested √
- Exceed FDA Guidelines – all products conform to California Prop 65 specifications √
- NSF – cGMP certified manufacturing facilities √
- Lifetime Product Guarantee √
- Customer Support Pledge √
- Charitable Contribution to Vitamin Angels √
Nested Naturals, Inc. of Vancouver, BC, Canada meet all the above criteria. We especially appreciate the company’s “good for the planet” sustainability and animal cruelty-free platforms.
The company was founded in 2013 by Kevin Pasco and Jeremy Sherk, both athletes and outdoor enthusiasts who eat organically and ethically, taking great care about what goes into their bodies. After encountering the darker side of supplementation when searching for whole natural sports nutrition products, the two joined forces to produce “radically transparent supplements.”
Their first product was LUNA® Gentle Sleep Aid. In this review, we’ll detail the LUNA® product formulation and its key ingredients. We’ll discuss the product’s features and benefits. We’ll investigate to determine if the product is meeting each of its above standards, and its marketing claims. We’ll inform you where you can find the product, review the cost-value relationship, and as always provide you our rating in terms of effectiveness and value.
What is LUNA®
LUNA® is described as a natural and non-addictive sleep aid containing a blend of five herbs, two amino acids, and melatonin to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed, not groggy.
The product contains a blend of herb extracts and amino acids, detailed in the next section. This initial product from Nested Naturals®, the product which put them on the map and became the best-selling sleep supplement on Amazon.com, has been extended to three sku’s LUNA® Original, Melatonin-Free LUNA®, and LUNA Kids®.
LUNA® is in veggie capsule form, the ingredients used in making the capsules are included in the Supplement Facts panel, (Rice Flour and Vegetable Cellulose), and the Lifetime Guarantee statement is included on the bottle. LUNA® contains no wheat, gluten, GMO, soy, dairy, egg, corn, fish, shellfish, nuts, tree nuts, yeast, barley, or added sugar. The label states that the product is third-party tested and manufactured in an NSF certified cGMP facility. All herbs are in standardized extract form versus powder for superior quality.
LUNA® appears to adhere to each of the standards the company has set for itself and its products.
Key Ingredients in LUNA®
LUNA® contains the following five herbal extracts, known for their calming and soothing properties. These herbs, staple ingredients in sleep supplements, have been used for centuries and are known to aid in relaxation and sleeping:
- Valerian Root
- Lemon Balm
The two amino acids in LUNA® are L-Theanine and GABA, both known for promoting a state of relaxation.
Theanine has been shown in clinical trials to be effective. It promotes physical relaxation, brings sleep on faster, and helps you remain asleep for longer. The 200mg dosage in LUNA® is perfect.
GABA’s role in this formulation appears to be mainly for its ability to reduce anxiety and improve mood. There is some debate about whether GABA when taken as a supplement, reaches the brain in sufficient quantity to be effective.
The final ingredient is melatonin, a hormone found naturally in the body whose primary function is to regulate sleep – wake cycles. This ingredient is popular in all sleep aids, like Alteril and Nocturest.
The melatonin used in medicines or supplements is synthetic, manufactured in a laboratory. Melatonin is proven to aid in falling asleep and works better for older people who have less natural melatonin in their bodies. The typical dosage of melatonin for insomnia is 2 mg – 3 mg, and other sleep disorders, 1 mg – 6 mg. Each LUNA® capsule contains 3 mg of melatonin, a recommending serving is two capsules or 6 mg.
The company’s recommended dosage is one to two capsules, thirty to sixty minutes before bed. As discussed above, this provides the flexibility of one capsule delivering 3 mg of melatonin, or two capsules delivering a full 6 mg.
Benefits of LUNA®
The specific benefits of LUNA®:
- Get to sleep faster
- Stay in a deep, restful sleep
- Awake refreshed without grogginess
- Promotes relaxation
- Non-habit forming
- Better sleep or it’s free – Lifetime guarantee
How Does LUNA® Perform – the Claims versus the Reality
Melatonin, being the primary active ingredient in LUNA®, gives us confidence the product delivers on its sleep claims. Melatonin, coupled with Theanine and its structure-function claims of helping you get to sleep and stay asleep, which are supported by clinical trials, is an effective combination. The role of the herbal extracts appears to be primarily to induce a calming effect, essential for getting to sleep.
Is this an effective sleep aid? Yes. We think you will see improvements in sleep quality and duration while using Nested Naturals® Luna®.
Is Luna® a cost-effective solution versus the competition? Our research indicates that there may be more, better cost-value relationships in the category. There are several Melatonin and Theanine based products, at similar dosages at about half the cost per bottle, each providing a thirty-day supply:
- Nature’s Bounty
- Nature Made
- Olly Gummies
Potential Side Effects of LUNA®
The potential side effects for LUNA®, an all-natural sleeping aid, are far less onerous than the prescription alternatives. The company does not address side effects on the site; however, they do go to great length to assure the consumer they are allergen-free, non-GMO, and tested extensively.
Some of the ingredients in LUNA® can cause mild side effects, including nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation. Less common side effects are drowsiness, skin reactions, and headache.
As with any supplement, we recommend you check with your medical professional to determine if any of the ingredients in LUNA® are known to have interactions with the prescription medications you are taking. As an example, Melatonin may have interactions with certain blood pressure and diabetes medicines.
Best Places to Buy LUNA®
LUNA® is available on the company website and other online retailers such as Amazon.com, ebay.com, and Sears.com. The product does not appear to be available in traditional brick and mortar stores such as specialty retailers GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe or in Chain Drug, Walgreens, or CVS.
The best pricing for LUNA® is on the company website. The 60 Veggie Capsule bottle sells for $21.95 on the site, with a $2.70 standard shipping charge, total $24.65. We find it refreshing there is no play on the website for “stacks” or special pricing on the purchase of two, four, six, etc. We did not observe an auto-ship offer.
The company prides itself on the Lifetime Guarantee and their Customer Service. There is a toll-free number posted on the site with a Talk with a Real Human, “Call Us Anytime” message.
The price on Amazon.com is the same, $21.95, as on the Nested Naturals® site. As previously mentioned, Luna® is the #1 selling sleep aid on Amazon.
We respect Nested Naturals’® go to market approach and their stance relative to transparency, sustainability, quality control, lifetime guarantee, and their charitable contributions to Vitamin Angels. We think Luna® is a very thoughtfully designed product if a bit over-manufactured. The product would get our total endorsement were it not for the value versus the competitive set.