Supplements, Sleep

I am going to go through some of the supplements that I have dealt with and find useful in the next several Daily-Tips.  First up is sleep.  Sleep is very important, if you don’t get restorative sleep all aspects of your health will suffer from it.  We need to talk about what is restorative sleep.  There are four stages of sleep, restorative sleep occurs during stage 3 and stage 4.  If your brain is not getting to this stage it will affect your health, glucose control, food cravings, blood pressure, and mood, among other things.  So how does one get to a stage 3 and 4 sleep cycle?

These are not in any particular order and I will talk about nonprescription supplements first.

Seriphos -  Phosphatidyl Serine, is taken to control Cortisol right before you go to bed.  If you are finding yourself becoming more and more energetic as the day goes along, and you don’t get sleepy till very late at night you may have a Cortisol problem.  This is also related to Adrenal Fatigue.

GABA, GABA reduces the effects of cortisol and adrenal hormones; it usually takes effect within 30-40 minutes after consuming.  It will make you sleepy if taken in higher dosages.

KAVA, Kava reduces anxiety and provides mild muscle relaxation without reducing brain activity.  If taken in high enough quantity it will promote sleep and pain relief.

Passion Flower, Passion Flower acts on the adrenal system as well.  It is an anxiogenic and anticonvulsant. It is used during drug with drawls

Inositol, Inositol will not make you sleepy but it will help your brain to achieve stage 3 and 4 sleep cycle.  Inositol also modulates glucose in your system and is being used to help treat women for PCOS. 

Magnesium, Magnesium is also beneficial in helping to maintain a deeper sleep cycle

5HTP, 5 HTP will be converted by your body into serotonin which then can be converted into melatonin.  If you are on a SSRI you have to monitor closely the amount of 5 HTP you consume to avoid what is known as serotonin syndrome.  Melatonin is needed for helping your body stay asleep.

Fish Oil, Fish Oil is calming on the brain if taken right before bed time and will help your brain maintain sleep.

L-Glycine, L-Glycine is an amino acid that provides calming of the brain it will help maintain sleep.

L-Glutamine, L-Glutamine is an amino acid that can be converted to GABA by your body.  I t will also provide building blocks for tissue repair while you sleep.

Folic Acid, Folic Acid reduces restless leg syndrome, calms the nerves, and helps to maintain sleep.

Prescriptions that will help with getting to sleep and maintaining sleep

Atarax, Hydroxyzine is a strong antihistamine, a non-addictive drug that will promote sleep.

Tizanidine, Tizanidine is a muscle relaxer which will promote sleep within 30 minutes and last for 30 minutes.  Once you get past this 30 minute window the sleep effect of the drug wears off, so it is important to take 30 minutes before bed and be in bed when it affects you.

Gabapentin, Gabapentin is very effective in helping your brain reach stage 3 and stage 4 sleep cycle.  You have to titrate upwards to achieve the proper dose for your particular body.  A dose of 2400mg at night is not unheard of.

There are others that are more main stream sleep aids by prescription only.  The ones listed above are rarely used for sleep disorders but are very effective in that regard.

The key to getting a good night’s sleep is determining what your problems are then deciding which of the above will help me with my problems.

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