Have you ever found yourself in bed staring at the roof and wrestling with your mind trying to shut it down from overthinking? And even if you succeed you wake up with poor concentration and get annoyed easy.
You, my friend, don’t have to deal with difficulties to fall and stay asleep.
I have gone through insomnia, and do you want to know what I found funny after spending some cash on the subject?
It’s not a disease. It’s just like a habit that got out of control. Your goal should be to correct your biological clock that tells you brain it’s time to sleep. Flipping the iPhone up to check how much time there are left before work is like saying: please keep me awake.
Stress is #1 reason why you can’t fall asleep
Eliminating stress from your life is the first step you take to treat insomnia. When you’re stressed, your body produce norepinephrine and epinephrine, two stress hormones needed for our survival. This makes it hard to fall asleep since your body is prepared to fight.
Caffeine is another anti-sleep villain that depletes GABA, contributes to stress, and insomnia. As a rule of thumb, avoid caffeine after 1pm to make nootropics work and promote sleep.
Caffeine stays in your system for up to 14 hours.
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen that can relieve insomnia and limit cortisol – a hormone released in response to stress in your bloodstream.
The name adaptogen is given to plants or anything helping your body to adapt to external and internal stress.
Indian cultures have used Ashwagandha and many other herbs for centuries to promote restful sleep and virility in men. However, you need to take Ashwagandha throughout the day if you want to relieve insomnia, human studies conclude. The optimal dose is 6000mg each day.
Many people are aware of prescription drugs and their negative side effects on the brain and body. Not sure if sleeping pills classify as a sleep aid. Most of them, “promote” sleep, but don’t make you sleep better. Some will argue and say natural alternative aren’t effective. But, 100-200mg/kg Ashwagandha has shown similar potency to 500mcg Diazepam, a benzodiazepine medication prescribed for treating insomnia, anxiety, and seizures. (1) (2)
Ashwagandha works by stimulating your GABAª receptor. Often, when you lay wide awake overthinking and worrying – it’s because of low levels of GABA.
(Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a powerful neurotransmitter that slows down brain activity. It acts as “the brakes of the brain.” You’ll notice the majority of nootropics here stimulates this neurotransmitter. Popular prescription medications affect GABA as well.
Magnesium is an essential mineral and the second dominant electrolyte in the body. Known for relieving insomnia by fighting stress, binding, and stimulating GABA receptors.
Deficiency is common in developed countries. The modern agriculture soil is magnesium depleted itself – so the foods that grow in it doesn’t produce sufficient mg levels.
The most effective way to replenish mg levels is by taking epsom salt baths or magnesium oil. There’re many different forms of magnesium to take orally as well. Most of the time you want to avoid oxide because it’s poorly absorbed. For insomnia, Natural Calm is a great option and popular for treating insomnia.
Melatonin is a hormone released by the pineal gland mainly to regulate sleep. It’s produced by your body when it’s dark. The production falls if we don’t expose ourselves to light during the day. As a result, the body’s natural melatonin cycle crumble. Jet lag, shift work, and poor vision also have an impact on melatonin production.
If you’ve disrupted circadian rhythm, say if you’re jet lagged or a night worker, melatonin can help. There’s no negative feedback with supplementation. It’s non-toxic and not addictive.
Melatonin can reduce the time to fall asleep, but, taking more won’t put you to sleep faster. Between 500mcg(0,5mg) to 5mg is universal. You need to test and work your way up. Starting low is often best. A good number is 300mcg and if that doesn’t work, try 3-5mg.
Phenibut is a derivative of GABA with tranquilizing effects. It can cross the blood-brain barrier, reduce stress, and restore natural sleep patterns effectively. It’s a good nootropic to use every Sunday to start the week with energy and a rested mind.
Phenibut can help you to get a restful, deep sleep. But, it’s addictive and should not be used often, because it builds up tolerance quickly. Start with 300mg and climb up. Try to avoid more than 1g. Use in it a situation you know you need to banish anxiety and sleep well.
It’s better to use other nootropics to get rid of insomnia. Since it takes some time to adjust your brain to new sleep patterns. And Phenibut can’t be used every day.
Avoid alcohol and other GABA agonist while you use Phenibut. Critical.
5-HTP converts to serotonin in the brain, an important neurotransmitter for mood and sleep quality. It’s used for promoting lucid dreams because it can induce “the REM rebound effect”, which lengthens your dreams.
GABA combined with 5-HTP has shown to decrease sleep latency and improve sleep quality.
Don’t take 5-HTP if you use other neurological drugs prescribed for depression, especially important for SSRIs. This combination can be deadly.
Theanine is a calming, but not sedative amino acid that works better combined with other nootropics. Melatonin and L-Theanine with magnesium is a popular stack that works.
A Powerful nootropic stack for sleep
You can build your own sleep stack with two components:
- Valerian root
Valerian root is recommended for sleeplessness and insomnia. It’s sedative, relieves anxiety, stress, and can reduce the time to fall asleep. GABA calms down the nervous system. Both work together and function as a potent sleep aid.
Taking care of stress with Ashwagandha during the day can make this stack work even better.
Powerful Tips: Get The Most Out of Sleep Nootropics
When you use nootropics to get rid of insomnia, it’s crucial that you stay asleep and adapt the sleep mindset.
Some people find themselves in bed worrying about how many hours left before the alarm clock ticks off. This state of mind needs to calm down. Tranquilizers such as Phenibut stimulates GABA, as a result – your brain activity slows down and it’s easier to drift off to sleep.
There’re other factors that can play with your sleep, such as noise and light.
Important to make your room as dark as possible. Even a small flashing light from a standby device can put your brain to passive alert mode. Sleeping with your iPhone can also do this. The passive alert mode is crucial for a mother who needs to wake up fast in case the baby needs her.
Go complete dark and invest in a blackout curtain or a mask to cover your eyes. Sleep with earplugs if your environment can get noisy. Try to avoid electronic devices at least 2-3 hours before bed.
The blue light emitted signals your brain it’s daytime. If you must use your computer or smartphone, try f.lux – a software that makes life easier.
As you can tell, stress and caffeine are two powerful anti-sleep factors. Taking care of stress, first, is your best bet to get rid of insomnia. Then you invest in nootropics you think will put to sleep. Melatonin is great to cure jet lag and get your normal sleep pattern back. Keep in mind “curing” insomnia won’t happen overnight. You supplement and adapt the sleep mindset and over time your brain adjust to healthier sleeping habits.