Written by Alex Simpson
Promote Sleep Quality
There are fewer feelings worse than how you feel after having had a poor night’s sleep, as a lack of sleep can leave us feeling tired, fatigued, miserable, irritable, and just generally unwell. Not only can a lack of sleep make us feel bad, and by bad, we mean like how you might imagine a zombie to feel, but it can also affect our fitness goals as well.
As you probably know, trying to train in the gym when you are feeling tired and fatigued is extremely difficult. Not only do you have a lack of energy to content with, you will also struggle with a lack of motivation as well, so getting into the right frame of mind will be a lot harder. This will also make it much harder to establish an effective mind-muscle connection whilst training, so you basically will not be getting everything out of your training. We all have the occasional bad night’s sleep from time to time, and some may even experience slightly more prolonged bouts of insomnia and sleep trouble.
If however, you have found yourself battling insomnia and sleep troubles for a long time, it could be time to look for a viable solution. Here’s a look at 4 supplements which have been proven to help promote a good night’s sleep. If you aren’t sleeping at night, grab some of the supplements listed below, and see for yourself how effective they are in regards to dozing off at night.
Magnesium is a very beneficial mineral that is responsible for a number of healthy processes within the human body, including those relating to getting a restful night’s sleep. Magnesium helps maintain nerve and muscle function, it boosts the immune system, it strengthens the cardiovascular system, it strengthens your bones, and of course, it helps you to get to sleep at night.
Studies have found that those deficient in magnesium, will likely exhibit the symptoms of suppressed nerve cell communication, which could increase overall excitability levels. This means you will feel nervous, stressed, and jumpy, which is hardly likely to help you get to sleep at night. Magnesium improves nerve cell communication levels and subsequently helps sleep-inducing hormones such as serotonin, to better communicate with nerves and receptors, which will signal to your brain and body that you are tired and need sleep.
B Vitamins are very important when it comes to our sleep patterns, for a number of reasons. Although B vitamins boost metabolic rates and increase energy levels during the day, at night time, B vitamins help the body to convert tryptophan within the body, into serotonin and niacin, which both help to increase REM sleep, and regulate sleep patterns and cycles.
5-HTP, also known as 5 Hydroxytryptophan, is derived from an amino acid known as LTryptophan, which improves your mood and helps promote feelings of calmness and tranquillity. It functions as a precursor to a neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which promotes calmness, sleepiness, mental focus and relaxation. 5-HTP crosses the blood-brain barrier more efficiently than the amino acid form, so it enhances brain serotonin levels. This means that you will fall asleep quicker, and you will have a deeper and more restful night’s sleep.
There is a theory amongst scientists, that states that the reason why people feel so sleepy after eating Christmas dinner, or Thanksgiving dinner overseas, is because Turkey is rich in Tryptophan. This is not proven, but it certainly would make sense, so if you feel sleepy after your Christmas dinner this year, if you have turkey, you may know why.
Soya Phosphatidyl Serine
This naturally occurring phospholipid is rich in Lecithin, which inhibits cortisol secretion and production, helping to keep you calm and relaxed. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can make us feel more alert, awake, stressed, anxious, and depressed, which again, are all likely to affect your sleep patterns. This supplement is ideal for right before bed as it regulates homocysteine levels, and helps people to relax and unwind after a stressful day.