Fast Asleep 911™ - SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH & EVIDENCE
Insomnia: Studies Suggest Calcium And Magnesium Effective
Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.
Benefits of Calcium Before Bed
Calcium is critical for strong bones and teeth, and the body's most abundant mineral may also help keep you well-rested and healthy. Research shows that consuming calcium-rich foods or taking a calcium supplement before bed can help you fall asleep and sleep well. Getting calcium at bedtime may also help prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss that lead to osteoporosis.
5 Ways That Vitamin Deficiencies Can Impact Your Sleep
A lack of vitamin B6 has been linked to symptoms of insomnia and depression. Vitamin B6 aids in the production of the hormones serotonin and melatonin, both of which are important to sound, restful sleep, and also to mood. There’s a strong correlation between depression and sleep problems.
Vitamin B-6 and Insomnia
According to Oregon State University's Micronutrient Information Center, vitamin B6 can contribute to a reduction in late-life depression. Moreover, both tryptophan and dopamine are dependent upon B6 for synthesis. Tryptophan is important for regulating mood and improving sleep quality due to its role in serotonin and melatonin production. In this way, vitamin B6 indirectly benefits mood and sleep quality.
How Magnesium Can Help You Sleep
In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, your body and brain need to relax. On a chemical level, magnesium aids this process by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed. First, magnesium regulates neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system and brain. It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body. Second, this mineral binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity. It is the same neurotransmitter used by sleep drugs like Ambien. By helping to quiet the nervous system, magnesium may help prepare your body and mind for sleep.
Sleep and Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium is an important element in many biological functions, including nerve and muscle function, so it is often proposed as a natural treatment (for sleep). The studies that have suggested a benefit have been small (fewer than 50 participants) and short (eight weeks). Small benefits in sleep quality were observed in subjects who were elderly.
Melatonin for Sleep: Does It Work?
“Your body produces melatonin naturally. It doesn’t make you sleep, but as melatonin levels rise in the evening it puts you into a state of quiet wakefulness that helps promote sleep,” explains Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M. “Most people’s bodies produce enough melatonin for sleep on their own. However, there are steps you can take to make the most of your natural melatonin production, or you can try a supplement on a short-term basis if you’re experiencing insomnia, want to overcome jet lag, or are a night owl who needs to get to bed earlier and wake up earlier, such as for work or school.”
Melatonin: What to Do and How to Take It
Because melatonin’s job is to signal your body when it’s time to sleep and time to wake, supplements of the hormone can help with certain sleep problems, including:
- Jet lag
- Circadian rhythm disorders among blind people
- Delayed sleep disorder (when you fall asleep and wake later than a normal sleep pattern)
- Trouble sleeping for shift workers who must rest during daylight hours
- Sleep-wake cycle issues among children with disabilities
How Tryptophan Boosts Your Sleep Quality and Mood
Once serotonin has been produced from tryptophan in the body, it can be converted into another important molecule — melatonin. In fact, research has shown that increasing tryptophan in the blood directly increases both serotonin and melatonin. In addition to being found naturally in the body, melatonin is a popular supplement and found in several foods, including tomatoes, strawberries and grapes. Melatonin influences the sleep-wake cycle of the body. This cycle impacts many other functions, including the metabolism of nutrients and your immune system. Several studies have shown that increasing tryptophan in the diet can improve sleep by increasing melatonin.
Taking L-tryptophan might decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and improve mood in healthy people with sleep problems. Taking L-tryptophan might also improve sleep in people with sleep problems related to withdrawal of other drugs.
The Benefit of Berries as a Midnight Snack
Traditionally, goji berries have been used to treat emotional disturbances, including anxiety, which can affect sleep. These berries are so effective in part due to the high levels of magnesium and thiamine (vitamin B1).
What Are the Health Benefits of Goji Berries
In a study, healthy adult participants consumed 120 milliliters of goji berry juice daily or a placebo drink for 14 days. They completed questionnaires to record their feelings of wellbeing, neurological and psychological health, musculoskeletal symptoms, and digestive and cardiovascular complaints, as well as any adverse effects of the juice each day. The researchers took measurements to record each participant’s blood pressure, body mass, weight, pulse, and vision before and after the 14 days of study. The group given the goji berry juice reported improved energy, ability to focus, enhanced athletic performance, mental acuity, and feelings of calmness and contentment by day 15. The study also showed improved quality of sleep in those who consumed the goji berry juice, and none experienced negative effects related to drinking the juice.
An Herbal Medicine of the Past With a Bright Future
Traditionally, chamomile preparations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation (calming effects). Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. Sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid, apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
Yes, chamomile tea does make you sleepy — here's how it can help you fall asleep
"Chamomile formulations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation," says Michael Breus, Ph.D., a psychologist and board-certified sleep specialist. "They are commonly used as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer." Chamomile is particularly effective at making you feel sleepy because of its chemical structure. The plant extract contains apigenin, a chemical compound that induces sleepiness when it binds to the GABA receptors in the brain.
Taking lemon balm (Cyracos by Naturex SA) twice daily for 15 days improves sleep in people with insomnia. Taking lemon balm in combination with other ingredients also seems to improve sleep quality in people with sleeping disorders.
10 Benefits of Lemon Balm and How to Use It
Lemon balm may help relieve restlessness and sleep disorders such as insomnia. Researchers in one 2006 study found that children who took a combined dose experienced a 70 to 80 percent improvement in symptoms. Both the researchers and parents regarded lemon balm as being a good or very good treatment.
The Calming Effects of Passionflower
Incarnata has many common names, including purple passionflower and maypop. Early studies suggest it might help relieve insomnia and anxiety. It appears to boost the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. This compound lowers brain activity, which may help you relax and sleep better.
Early research shows that taking passionflower extract or drinking a passionflower tea before bedtime might increase total sleep time and improve sleep quality in people with insomnia.
Effect of Taurine and Caffeine on Sleep-Wake Activity in Drosophila Melanogaster
Treatment with taurine at 0.1% to 1.5% reduces locomotor activity by 28% to 86% and shifts it from diurnal to nocturnal. At 0.75%, taurine also increases total sleep by 50%. Our results show that taurine increases sleep, while caffeine, as previously reported, attenuates sleep.
Early research shows that taking taurine plus caffeine or a combination product containing taurine, caffeine, and B vitamins reduces sleepiness and improves reaction time in people who are sleep deprived.
Can Hops Help You Sleep?
More recently, researchers have taken a closer look at hops and their effect on anxiety and sleep disorders. Several scientific studies suggest that hops do have sedative effects. For example, a study reported in the journal PLOS One examined the effects of drinking non-alcoholic beer with hops at dinnertime. The researchers found that women who drank it showed improvements in their sleep quality. The participants also reported reduced levels of anxiety. Another study published in Acta Physiological Hungaric linked drinking non-alcoholic beer with hops to improved sleep quality among university students.
The Sedative Effects of Hops
The concentration of 2 mg of hop extract effectively decreased nocturnal activity in the circadian activity rhythm. On the basis of this investigation, administration of non-alcoholic beer would be recommended due to its hop content and consequent sedative action, which would be an aid to nocturnal sleep.
St. John’s Wort
The Benefits of St. John’s Wort
A number of the supplement’s active ingredients, including hypericin, hyperforin, and adhyperforin, may be responsible for its medicinal benefits. These ingredients appear to increase the levels of chemical messengers in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.
St. John’s Wort
The mechanism of action in St. Johns Wort, aka Hypericum, remains elusive, but most studies indicate a number of compounds in the plant could play significant roles as anti-depressants as well as sleep aids.
- St. Johns Wort may stimulate the GABA receptor, a key gateway for sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain.
- St. Johns Wort may provide a stimulus for the production of serotonin or limit serotonin reuptake similar to some of the common anti-depressants on the market currently.
GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep
GABA/l-theanine mixture has a positive synergistic effect on sleep quality and duration as compared to the GABA or l-theanine alone. The increase in GABA receptor and GluN1 expression is attributed to the potential neuromodulatory properties of the GABA/l-theanine combination, which seems to affect sleep behavior.
What Does GABA Do?
In a small 2018 study, participants who took 300 milligrams of GABA an hour before going to bed fell asleep faster than those taking a placebo. They also reported improved sleep quality four weeks after starting treatment.
Skullcap was used formerly for nervous disorders, including hysteria, nervous tension, epilepsy and chorea. It is now used largely as a sedative and sleeping pill, often in combination with other herbs.
Skullcap is a plant. The above-ground parts are used to make medicine. Skullcap is used for trouble sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, stroke, and paralysis caused by stroke. It is also used for fever, high cholesterol, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), rabies, epilepsy, nervous tension, allergies, skin infections, inflammation, and spasms.
Does L-theanine have health benefits?
Several studies have suggested that L-theanine could help people relax before bedtime, get to sleep more easily, and sleep more deeply. These benefits may result from the specific effects that the amino acid has on brain chemicals that play a role in sleep.
What You Need to Know About L-theanine
With its ability to increase relaxation and lower stress, L-theanine can help in sleep in a number of ways. L-theanine may help people fall asleep more quickly and easily at bedtime, thanks to the relaxation boost it delivers. Research also shows L-theanine can improve the quality of sleep — not by acting as a sedative, but by lowering anxiety and promoting relaxation.
Drink “Moon Milk” with Ashwagandha At Night to Lower Stress, Improve Sleep
Ashwagandha can also improve the quality of sleep and may help with the treatment of insomnia. Specifically, the leaves of the plant contain the compound trimethylene glycol, which promotes sleep induction.
15 Powerful Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an herb with great significance in Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine. It was used, amongst many purposes, to strengthen the immune system after illness and relieve anxiety. Its value lies in its ability to give energy and create calmness at the same time. Some small scientific studies support the health benefits of ashwagandha, suggesting that it has anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and sleep-inducing properties.
The Health Benefits of Inositol
In addition, inositol is believed by some to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and prevent certain cancers. Some people also use inositol to promote hair growth or overcome insomnia.
Inositol – The Surprising Supplement for your Health
Inositol has been shown to reduce insomnia for some individuals and improve sleep quality in others. It virtually has no side effects or known complications and is considered extremely safe. Since inositol ticks quite a few of the health boxes – calming anxiety, reducing insulin resistance and improving sleep – this supplement may be one to consider adding to your regimen, especially if you are trying to avoid taking medications (but please check with your healthcare professional first).
5 Science-Based Benefits of 5-HTP
Supplementing with 5-HTP may promote sleep by increasing melatonin production in your body. One human-based study showed that a combination of 5-HTP and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased sleep duration and improved sleep quality.
The Health Benefits of 5-HTP
Serotonin is converted into melatonin, a hormone needed to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Because 5-HTP is thought to increase serotonin levels, it may increase melatonin and help normalize sleep patterns.