Nootropics are amazing for productivity–but did you know that some of them can also help us get a restful nights’ sleep?
- Magnesium (especially Magnesium Glycinate)
Magnesium really is a wonder mineral. It is required by over 300 enzyme processes in the body and is one of the best supplements you can take. Magnesium supports bone and heart health, a positive mood, and it works amazingly well for sleep.
Magnesium is a natural NMDA receptor antagonist (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor) and a GABA agonist. Magnesium increases sleep time, sleep efficiency, and melatonin, while simultaneously decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep and serum cortisol concentrations.
The glycine in Magnesium Glycinate helps you sleep better because it also activates the NMDA receptors in the brain (one of the three types of glutamate receptors). By activating these receptors, the glycine regulates circadian rhythms and body temperature which are integral to sleep.
If you are using Magnesium citrate, its laxative properties may have you rushing to the bathroom about 8 hours after you take it, or first thing in the morning. This is just one of the many reasons why a high-quality Magnesium supplement, such as Magnesium glycinate, is a superior form of this essential mineral.
L-Theanine is the amino acid that you can find in green, black, and white teas. It actually increases the brain waves that are associated with “relaxed awareness” and occur in the stage right before sleep in the parietal and occipital areas of our brains. L-Theanine produces alpha-brain waves within 30-40 minutes after you take it.
L-Theanine also helps calm you down for a restful night’s sleep by regulating the excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain and regulating stress levels. Animal research suggests that L-Theanine increases the levels of glycine and GABA in the brain and causes a sense of relaxation.
L-Theanine won’t make you drowsy, but it will help calm your mind enough that you can prepare your mind to unwind before bed.
One of the best things about L-Theanine is that it is a GRAS substance (Generally Recognized as Safe) and it won’t cause brain fog the next day.
L-Tryptophan is another amino acid that you can find in cheese, chicken, turkey, eggs, and some fish. As a precursor to serotonin, L-Tryptophan increases the levels of serotonin in the brain which, in turn, increases the levels of melatonin in the brain.
L-Tryptophan (taken in doses of 1 gram) can cause sleepiness and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep.
Should you take all 3 of these together? Probably not! However, if you have been looking for a little extra help getting restful sleep, one of these is sure to make a difference.