Sleep - supplements & products
Below is a list of my favourite products for sleep.
As always, they are only the most well researched, scientifically-backed & proven supplements of which I believe give the highest return for the cost & effort involved. Most (if not all) of these I use nightly myself.
The links included are simply the cheapest and/or easiest places that I use to buy them online. Please let me know if you find anywhere better, so I can update the list.
This page contains some affiliate links that I may make a 1-5% commission off, at no extra cost to you.
GABA - Gamma AminoButyric Acid
This amino acid is abundant in our brain and is attributed with relaxation, sleep & helping balance activity between brain hemispheres. GABA's apart of the reason that alcohol chills you out.
Dose: 0.2-1g before bed
This uncommon form of magnesium has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively than any other type of magnesium, thus greatly improving the relaxing effect from magnesium.
This has also been shown to greatly reduce feelings of anxiety, improve sleep quality and increase mental clarity along with learning abilities.
Dose: 2x before bed (2g)
This herb was shown in a recent study to lower cortisol levels (stress hormone) by up to 30%. Over the last few years I've noticed all the large companies, finally catch-on and start adding this to their products.
Dose: 1x Morning & 1x Night
This is the master sleep hormone. There are millions of melatonin receptors all over your body that act as a 'clock', so each part of your body knows what time it is. Naturally your brain starts to release this as the sun-sets and things get dark. Often, screens stop this process.
Melatonin is a very cheap and effective fix for millions of people.
Dose: 0.5-1mg 20min before bed
Studies show glycine taken before sleep boosts growth hormone release, greatly improves the quality of sleep, as well as drastically diminished the effect of sleep-loss when participants where deprived of sleep. Also helps ⬇ inflammation, improve skin complexion, speed wound healing & strengthen connective tissue. Converts to glutamate in the brain, which is needed, yet too much can cause over-excitation. [r][r][r]
Dose: 0.1-0.5g before bed
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC)
An amino-acid found to help support liver, immune and cardiovascular health, as well as greatly boosting the bodies ability to build its master anti-oxidant - glutathione. It also strengthened the blood-brain-barrier, leading to lower levels of brain fog, stress & agitation. Also shown in studies to improve the quality of sleep.
Dose: 500g-1g before bed
Protein - or meat
I couldn't tell you how many times I've had a huge week of work, study, networking & training only to be spared from waking up to a world of ache by having a big hit of protein prior to bed.
Certainly my 'go-to' if I know I'll need to leverage the sleep I'm getting to ensure I'm recovering as much as possible.
Powdered protein is an easy alternative to food in late-night situations.
Dose: 30g before bed
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a precursor to melatonin, and serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for Flow state, and task enjoyment. Taking 5-HTP can improve mood, and sleep quality.
I find 5-HTP useful as a social lubricant, as it both calms anxiety and improves mood towards happiness. There's also evidence of it resolving binge/stress eating.
Needed to protect brain cells, as well as facilitate neuronal messaging (brain activity).
PS levels naturally decline with age.
PS supplementation decreases cortisol (stress hormone) and anxiety.
Increases, BDNF, neurogenesis and dendritogenesis, which improves learning and memory. [r][r][r]
Dose: 100mg each night
Easiest way to apply a Blue-light filter to your TV, laptop, phone and houselights? Wear eye-glasses that block blue light directly at the eye.
These are very useful if you don't have LED lights fitted as your house lights or if you can't help watching TV late at night.
The more fashionable options are a pricey $120-300, so I've also listed the $4 pair I personally used (also FAR less fashionable).
LIFX - smart-lights
Having my house lights dim to a candlelight hue in the evenings, and then turn red at night, has probably affected my sleep more than any other product I own. Better yet, they also slowly wake me up in the mornings, just before my alarm goes off. Once you've got these in, you just set the routines and never think about lights ever again.
LIFX is Aussie made, but the Kogan (chinese) version is much cheaper.
Ecosa - mattress & pillow
I made the switch to memory-foam and wished I'd done it years prior. It ameliorated my back, hip & neck stiffness. I also noticed they keep my body at a stable temp far better than other mattress' (I overheat easily).
I mainly picked this brand because they're Aussie made & owned, unlike deceptive brands out there (koala, sleeping duck, etc).
Plus they have a free 100 night trial.
Q size: $850 - Pillow: $120
They frequently have 20% off
Pegasi II - Light therapy glasses
Based on the discovery of specific neurons in the eye, sensitive only to blue & yellow bands of light, and only when light is from above. These neurons likely detect sunrise & sun light, only. Thus, the glasses can reset & shift your body-clock on demand, by providing those wavelengths from above the eye.
I'm in testing phase of these, and will update with a verdict soon-ish.
$300 on Amazon
Humans sleep best in places that are: cold, dark, silent, humid, and are perceived as safe. This device provides the humidity, to improve sleep quality .This one can be set to routines or automations, based on other factors (eg. turn humidifier on when I tell google "goodnight" and the outdoor temperature is >20°C, and time = 7pm-12pm).
Note: I had to dismantle this to pop out 2x LEDs that don't switch off.
$39 from Kogan
Many phones have a blue-light filter by default. Twilight is far superior to the default system. Better options for deeper filters, slow transitions, lowering your screen brightness below the default limits. Meaning you can read at night without getting sucked into your phone or putting off sleep.
Free (95% features) - Android only
I found this useful for sleep self-experiments.
It records through the night and gives you an easy to read frequency chart plotting levels of snoring.
You can also select factors you've used that night, to give you correlations of what helps or hinders good sleep.
Free trail or $8 for 3mnths
This small ring can track a few biometrics while you sleep or work.
Tracks: HR, HRV, breathing rate, body temp, movement, sleep stages, and sleep patterns.
Pairing it with Snorelab allows me to see a lot of useful data. The ring's pretty much unnoticeable after a week, and lasts for 9 days per charge.
$400-550 depending on colour