Supplement Recommendations for Stress Relief and Better Sleep

supplements for stress and sleep


Life in Hong Kong for most people is stressful. The fast pace and high cost of living, frequent international travel, long work hours and having too little recreation, exercise, or family time can take its toll. Add in WiFi, air and noise pollution in an overcrowded city, it’s no wonder we’re stressed!

Too much stress can lead to fatigue, tension, and poor sleep. In fact how well we sleep is a good indicator of whether or not we are too stressed. Trouble falling asleep from a “tired but wired” and worried mind is one expression of the problem. The other type is waking up too early and finding it hard to get back to sleep. If that’s you, your stress hormones may be out of balance. Apart from poor recovery and low productivity, prolonged stress and poor sleep could eventually lead to depression, immune related illness and other serious diseases such as heart attacks.

A number of herbs, vitamins or minerals are scientifically proven to add to your resilience to stress. Many stress related symptoms are aggravated by a magnesium deficiency for instance. It’s also shown in studies that B complex vitamins reduce fatigue and keep the mind more alert. IMI's naturopathic practitioners have thoroughly researched and carefully selected these safe and effective supplement items to people who want to manage a healthy stress level and stay in their peak in productivity and performance:


Sereni-Pro™ Herbal Adaptogen Formula

Adaptogens are herbs that help the body cope with prolonged stress. Sereni-Pro™ incorporates four of the most researched adaptogens, Ashwagandha, Siberian Ginseng, Rhodiola and Lavender. It is a comprehensive formula designed to promote mental and emotional wellbeing and to help the body cope with chronic stress. We have found it to be the ideal formula for those suffering from tension and fatigue that may otherwise begin to affect sleep, moods and energy levels. The extract of Ashwaganda—called Sensoril—has been shown to produce a more relaxed response to stress by stabilizing the hormones related to stress, and it restores sleep patterns and improves ability to concentrate when taken over several weeks.1 Sereni-Pro is the leading herbal supplement at IMI, since many people experienced the revitalising benefits in body and mind and come back for resupply. Safe for long term use.

Product available in IMI Dispensary, or you may buy online.


Vital Nutrients B Complex
This product delivers high potency B vitamins in the most bioavailable state. The folate, P-5-P form of B6, and methyl cobalamine are all at the effective amounts that can support optimal cognitive function. B Vitamins have powerful effects with on mental health and cognitive performance, moods and energy metabolism as well. Recent studies show B complex is able to prevent depression and fatigue under prolonged stress. Researchers found that people who were given a high potency B complex supplement led to improved ratings of stress, mental health and vigour, and improved cognitive performance during intense mental processing.2

Product available in IMI Dispensary, or you may buy online.


Vital Nutrients Magnesium Glycinate

This is a well-absorbed magnesium capsule at a good price. Magnesium promotes nerve and muscle relaxation, and a positive effect on mood, especially for symptoms of tension. Signs of magnesium deficiency include anxiety, muscle twitching and cramping, tension headaches, sugar cravings, as well as irregular heart rhythms and rising blood pressure.3 A Government study found 60-70% of people in Hong Kong consume below the WHO recommended  levels of magnesium in their diet, as reported by Centre for Food Safety.4 Similar to overseas findings, most of us are short of magnesium. We recommend taking this magnesium supplement: 2 capules at night usually help you to relax more quickly and into better sleep.

Product available in IMI Dispensary, or you may buy online.


Sleep (Cortisol) Manager

This effect formula combines five scientifically researched natural ingredients: L-Theanine from Green Tea, Phosphatidylserene, plus Ashwaganda (as Sensoril extract), Epimedium and Magnolia herbs that together help to rebalance the levels of the main stress hormone. As the herbs slowly balances the stress response it promotes a sense of relaxation, and returns the brain to a state that allows the rest of the body to relax and sleep better. In our clinical experience, when used over several weeks, the formula provides relief from waking too early (for example 3 to 5am), thus alleviating stress related fatigue.

Product available in IMI Dispensary, or you may buy online.


Innate Response C Complete Powder

In 2003, a team of researchers from Germany subjected 120 people to a public speaking task combined with math problems. Half of those studied were given 1,000 mg of vitamin C. Such signs of stress as elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol and high blood pressure were significantly greater in those who did not get the vitamin supplement. While the present Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg for adults, there's a growing belief that the amount needed to promote health under varying environmental conditions appears to be a lot greater than the amount needed to prevent deficiencies, especially when under stress. Researchers at Cochraine found five trials of 598 participants exposed to short periods of extreme physical stress (including marathon runners and skiers) given high doses of vitamin C halved the common cold risk.5 Dosing up with vitamin C is recommended when travelling or under other high performance stress phases such as marathons, giving major presentations or at conferences. The C Complete Powder offers potent, food derived vitamin C with many synergistic polyphenols, ideal for full anti-oxidant activity—a vital component to offset air pollution damage as well.

Product available in IMI Dispensary, or you may buy online.


Vital Nutrients Ultra Pure Fish Oil 1400

Researchers from the University of Oxford found that children between the ages of 7 and 9 would experience nearly 1 hour more sleep each night and fewer walking episodes when given 600mg supplements of omega-3 DHA.6 Formulated to provide a higher concentration of essential omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, the Ultra Pure Fish Oil 1400 is independently tested for rancidity and contaminants to guarantee purity. This liquid form has a pleasant natural lemon flavor that children will like. Free of yeast, wheat, gluten, dairy, artificial colourings or preservatives.

Product available in MI Dispensary, or you may buy online.



While these products can be very helpful, if you are experiencing prolonged stress, chronic insomnia, anxiety or depression, you may benefit from expert support. We suggest you to talk to our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who can explain how the different modalities in natural medicine support sleep—including Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Psychotherapy and Counselling and many more. They can guide you to the right individualised treatment plan for your needs.



  1. Auddy B, et al. 2008. A standardized Withania somnifera extract significantly reduces stress related parameters in chronically stressed humans; A double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled study. JANA 11:50-56)
  2. Kennedy D, et al. 2010. Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy malesPsychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jul; 211(1): 55–68.
  6. Paul Montgomery, et al. 2014. Fatty acids and sleep in UK children: subjective and pilot objective sleep results from the DOLAB study—a randomized controlled trial. J Sleep Res. 2014 Aug; 23(4): 364–388.