Sleep is a precious good. Trying to balance a working week with training, preparing meals, talking to your family, looking for new memes to send to friends, having a social life and sleeping 8 hours a day…well, it’s hard. As a result, sleep often ends up being the underestimated element.

What natural sleep aids can the world of supplements offer to help you? BULK POWDERS has an entire section dedicated to supplements that can help you sleep well. In this article we will explore the benefits of some of them.

1) MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is an essential mineral found in milk, meat, green leafy vegetables and many other foods and beverages. Interestingly, a surprisingly large number of adults do not come close to the recommended daily dose of 375 mg. When people start to become deficient, there may be large chain adverse effects, one of which may be to worsen the quality of sleep. But there’s good news: the results of several studies so far seem to suggest an improvement in the quality of sleep when taking magnesium supplements.

A study by Nielsen et al (2010) has shown improvements in sleep after magnesium citrate supplementation. 100 adults were evaluated in this study, some of whom showed signs of magnesium deficiency at the start of the study. After seven weeks of supplementation with 320 mg of magnesium, magnesium levels began to normalize in deficient subjects and the quality of their sleep began to improve.

2) MELATONIN

Well, we can’t sell you melatonin, but we know it works. In short, melatonin is produced naturally by the body and controls the cycle of our sleep. Melatonin levels increase after the sun goes down, telling our body it’s time to sleep. One of the reasons why it is so important to avoid the use of electronic devices such as phones and computers directly before going to bed: their bright light can in fact interfere with the production of melatonin. A minimum of 1 mg of additional melatonin can help reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

3) VALERIAN

Although valerian is not classified as a medicinal product, it falls within the category of ‘traditional herbal remedies’ requiring a sales licence. Valerian is one of the best known sleeping supplements and is widely available. However, to be completely honest, there is currently little evidence to support improvements in sleep and in the quality of sleep itself. A meta-analysis by Fernández-San-Martín et al (2010) did not report any significant differences between valerian and placebo intake.

4) CAMOMILE

This plant has been used to promote relaxation and to sleep well for hundreds of years. Interestingly, research into whether chamomile actually works to sleep well has started relatively recently. There are some promising evidence, with a couple of exploratory studies that report reductions in feelings of anxiety after intake. Amsterdam et al (2009) observed a reduction in anxiety scores of 61 patients with generalized anxiety disorders after 8 weeks of supplementation with a chamomile extract. In contrast, Zick et al (2012) reported no significant improvement in sleep in subjects with primary insomnia after 28 days of supplementation with 540 mg of a chamomile extract.

5) L-TRYPTOPHAN

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is typically obtained from meat and dairy products. Turkey meat is a particularly good source of tryptophan for example.

Tryptophan has many roles within the body. It is used directly in protein synthesis and is a precursor to many bioactive compounds, including tryptamine, niacin, picolinic acid, melatonin and serotonin (the “happy” hormone). Once ingested, it undergoes a series of changes and processes before it becomes one of these end products.

The effect of tryptophan has been the subject of recent research. Overall, the results seem promising. In a recent large-scale study of about 30,000 adults in the United States, tryptophan intake was found to be significantly positively associated with sleep duration.

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