I have been experiencing bouts of insomnia for the past couple of nights perhaps stemming from the fact that I am preparing to compete again in a few days in Suriname. I never have problems sleeping, but oddly, insomnia becomes a norm as competition nears.
Since the sandman has been eluding me lately, I decided to do some research on some natural remedies for sleep aid.
If you are looking for a safe and natural sleep remedy that is cheap and effective, than you will want to try these two supplements which can help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
One supplement that I researched for help with sleeping is melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep and wake cycles. Our bodies have their own internal clocks that control our natural cycles of sleeping and waking hours. Melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid to late evening and this is part of what makes us feel sleepy; the levels drop off in the early morning hours.
Light affects how much melatonin our bodies produce. Ideally, we should wake when the sun comes up and go to sleep after the sun sets, like most animals do in nature. However, in today’s society very few people do this. We tend to stay awake late in the night watching television, using the computer or our cellphones. These forms of artificial light and stimulus tend to disturb our sleep rhythms and our natural melatonin production.
In addition, the production of melatonin slowly declines with age. This is why a lot of older people have trouble sleeping through the night and they tend to sleep less than they used to when they were younger.
Melatonin is safe for short-term use when taken orally. However, according to research, it should not be used by pregnant women, children, persons with bleeding disorders, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure and persons who get seizures or who have been recipients or organ transplants.
Another supplement which I researched and would recommend is Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid) this is the main calming neurotransmitter in the brain. It helps to turn off excess adrenalin and calm us down, which can help us to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
The body makes Gaba from the amino acid glutamine. Gaba helps the body make endorphins which are the chemicals that make us feel happy. Having enough Gaba in our brains is linked to being relaxed. It can make us feel more tranquil and give us a sense of well-being. Without this inhibitory neurotransmitter, one would constantly remain on edge and anxious, and not have the ability to relax. Having too little Gaba is linked to the sleeping problems, insomnia, and feeling anxious, stressed, tense and depressed.
Gaba supplements are available, but instead of containing the neurotransmitter itself, they contain substances that help the body produce its own. Taking Gaba increases the amount of alpha waves, which are linked to clear thinking, good focus and being in the zone or the flow. In these mind states, in which we are focused, calm and productive, we have high amounts of alpha brain wave activity.
Gaba is popular among bodybuilders because it can increase the level of human growth hormone. Studies have shown as much as a 300% increase in growth hormone release from taking Gaba.
According to research, Gaba is likely safe when used correctly, by mouth, for short periods; no longer than 12 weeks is the recommended period. However, it should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
You can get both melatonin and GABA to purchase as over-the-counter supplements. They are inexpensive and are available at most pharmacies. But if you can’t find them locally you can order them online. As with all supplements, talk to your doctor before you start using either one.
I am currently testing melatonin and will keep you readers updated on its effectiveness.
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