Sleep better: Andrew Huberman sleep cocktail revealed
Every human on earth needs good quality sleep for a well-functioning brain. Sleep helps you refresh your brain with a deep clean, learn and store important information and foster communication between brain cells . Getting optimal sleep should be a part of your self-care and you may wonder how to get your best sleep yet. A world-renowned neuroscientist may have some answers. Dr Andrew Huberman is a Professor of Neurobiology & Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He has taught over a million people about brain health through his podcast, the Huberman Lab Podcast. So, what does the man with a PhD in neuroscience and 20 years of experience take for optimal sleep? Dr Huberman recommends some of the best supplements for sleep if you need help improving your snooze time.
Dr. Huberman Sleep Stack: Spotlight on 3 supplements for sleep.
Dr Huberman discussed a toolkit for sleep in his first newsletter for his podcast, the Huberman Lab. Sleep hygiene practices along with supplements can help improve sleep. The three supplements recommended were magnesium threonate, apigenin & theanine .
Theanine to promote relaxation in 30 mins.
Being stressed can be a barrier to getting good quality sleep. Feeling calm and relaxed can help you sleep faster and better. A nutrient extracted from green tea called L-theanine can help you relax, without feeling drowsy. Upon intake, it can enter the brain to promote its calming effects within 30 minutes .
Theanine promotes relaxation by increasing brain waves that induce a meditation-like state called alpha waves . In this state, you are relaxed but alert, making theanine a good calming aid even during the day when you need to focus on work. It also increases the relaxing brain chemical, GABA . Theanine was also found to reduce stress levels within an hour of intake . Since it promotes relaxation without sedation, you can take theanine during the day and at night as an effective calming aid. brain feed’s 250 mg L-theanine is extracted from green tea and each capsule contains 15-20 cups worth L-theanine.
Magnesium to reduce insomnia by 15%.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and is involved in over 300 chemical reactions . It can be taken from the diet through adequate intake of nuts, whole grains, and soy products. It is available in many supplemental forms, but Dr Huberman recommends the threonate form because your body absorbs it easily and it is one of the few forms that can enter the brain . Magnesium threonate was found to increase magnesium levels in the brain by up to 15% in 24 days . Magnesium bisglycinate is another form of magnesium that is absorbed well by the body .
Magnesium’s role in sleep is associated with its involvement in the body clock (sleep-wake) cycle and its association with stress system. Magnesium is involved in production of your sleep hormone, melatonin . It was also found to decrease your stress hormone, cortisol . Deficiency of magnesium was also seen in those with sleep disorders . Those with higher magnesium levels were found to sleep longer and had better sleep quality , including reduction in insomnia scores by almost 15% . Adding magnesium to you sleep care routine can help aid good quality sleep.
Apigenin to support longer sleep.
Chamomile tea is often recommended in traditional medicine as a sleep aid . A plant compound extracted from chamomile tea called apigenin has shown some benefit in promoting sleep . Other sources of apigenin are parsley and artichokes. This nutrient has shown preliminary results in support of improving sleep by prolonging sleep time, thus promoting deeper sleep . More research is needed to learn more about its mechanism.
Huberman’s sleep cocktail recipe
Dr Huberman recommends starting with one supplement and adding as and if needed. He recommends that following doses 30-60 minutes before bed:
In addition to supplements, Huberman recommends:
- Waking up at the same time each day and going to bed when you are sleepy.
- Keeping lights dimmed between 10pm-4am.
- Limiting day naps to 90 mins max.
Owing to sleep’s important role in brain health, taking steps to optimise sleep will reflect as improvements in your daily life. Find more tips on how to sleep better here.
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