When folks tell me they're stressed, or that they wake frequently in the wee morning hours, I wonder if they aren't firing up their adrenal glands a little too early for the day's work. While we arrange for testing of that hypothesis, my choice of supplement - tried and true with many patients - is Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager. A gentle combination of ingredients, each of which has helped with sleep disturbances on its own. Phosphatidylserine is a particular cortisol regulator. The herb ashwaganda is what is called an adaptogenic herb: neither up- nor down-regulates specifically, but rather normalizes adrenal output. L-theanine is a great focusing supplement that can help you pay attention when you're working, and can keep your mind from lighting up and wandering when you wake in the night. Specific for reducing excess cortisol are magnolia and epimedium.
I recommend folks start with one tablet at bedtime, but if needed may take 2 at bedtime and 1 if waking occurs before 1 a.m. Any time after that, the cortisol reducing properties may disrupt the next morning's schedule and isn't advised.
Full disclosure: it's not a tiny tablet. If you can't swallow it easily, feel free to grind it up and mix with water.
If people progress to the point where they feel it is helping, but is a little too sedating, I recommend they switch to just taking the phosphatidylserine, and 15-30 drops of tincture of ashwaganda, rather than the full mixture in Cortisol Manager.
Particularly with patients who have become dependent on taking melatonin every night, I like the to switch to Cortisol Manager instead for daily use, and save melatonin for special times such as travel or for times of increased stress.