T Nation

Sleep aids

Alright, I know you guys know your supplements, so here goes. I’m looking to get a good night’s sleep consistently, and I have to get up early in the morning. But I have trouble getting to sleep early enough at night. My body just doesn’t want to (then it’s pissed when I wake up early, and gets sleepy in the afternoons). So I’m looking for the best (hopefully natural) product to help me get to sleep at a decent hour. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Most artifical sleep aides don’t allow you to get enough REM sleep, so you sleep but wake up feeling crappy. (Alcohol does the same thing - prohibits REM sleep. ) Melatonin is the exception - it’s a natural product. 1 to 3 mgs makes you get more REM sleep, meaning you wake up feeling good and dream a lot. But make sure you can get a full night’s sleep. Take it early and get to bed early. You may feel groggy if you still have some in your system when you wake up. I hear that complaint with melatonin but it’s usually from those taking 3-4 times the recommended dosage. Stick to 3 mg; some do fine on even less. You can find 1 mg tabs too. Some will recommend Kava and other things, but melatonin is all that’s really worked for me. Any brand will work. I get generic stuff from the grocery store.

i second the vote on the melatonin.i take it occassionally when i cant seem to get to sleep.take it an hour or so before your ideal bedtime preferably on an empty stomach.3 mg seems to be planty for me and i am 218 lbs.it really does give you quality sleep and you will wake up feeling very rested providing you gave your self 6 plus hours to sleep.i tried kava kava and that didnt work well for me.

I like Valerin personally. Melatonin is effective though.

Recently my boyfriend and I have been taking both kava kava and melatonin before bed. Together they are working like a charm. The only complaint is my boyfriend feels the kava kava makes him warm. Other than that, works great. I wake up feeling wide awake and completely rested in the morning, even if I haven’t slept as long as I should have. Worth a try!

I’ve taken melatonine for a couple of months and though it worked very well, especially at high doses(9-15mg), it completely killed my sex drive, it was very obvious, as nothing else changed at that time. While researching the net i came across some doctors site which had a reasonably extensive article about it and one of the things he said in the people that should avoid melatonine section was that whoever doesn’t want his (or her’s) male hormones lowered should avoid it. I’ve searched for his site again and couldn’t find it. The truth is i did feel a very noticeable improvement when i quit it, though i realised i was getting addicted to it as i had to lower the dose gradually otherwise i couldn’t sleep.

About it being natural. Someone correct me if i’m wrong, but i’ve been told that it’s extracted from cows pineal gland, hardly qualifying as natural in my book. Anyway, as an ocasional sleeping aid in reasonable doses i don’t think there will be much to it, but for constant use, ramember it’s an hormone and that we don’t really know what are the long term effects regarding endogenous production supression and how it affects antagonist hormaones and things like that.

any sides to this stuff? sounds good…u can get it where?

Hmm… this is interesting stuff. Thanks for the replys. I found a website on melatonin that said it can be effective in doses from 0.1 to 0.3 mg. I figure I might try finding some 1 mg pills and give it a go for a couple weeks to see if I can reset the ol’ body clock. Then hopefully I won’t need it after that. What’s everyone’s experience coming off melatonin?

get a botttle of the generic tylenol PM at walmart, take one or two about a half an hour before you want to go to sleepy…good night Irene! they are also non habbit forming

Tylenol PM is NOT a good choice for sleeplessness unless you can’t sleep due to pain, or you use it very infrequently. Stick with the natural stuff.

ZMA works like a charm for me without any negative side effects. Great stuff that helps me get nice deep sleep and feel great in the morning. I don’t like any other products such as kava kava, melatonin, or 5-htp as sleep aids as they tend to make me feel “out of it” the next day.

GABA works great for me, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. I can’t say much for the “growth hormone potentiating effects”, but 4 or 5 grams of the stuff knocks me out and gives me extremely vivid dreams all night long. I haven’t tried melatonin, but I’ve heard in the past that it shouldn’t be used by younger folks.

A couple of shots of Tequila! Haha j/k. I am with Mike Mahler on this, ZMA has definetly improved both my ability to fall asleep, and my overall quality of sleep.

im looking for something myself… but i also have a problem…i live in dorms so all night kids are playing music yelling screaming and comming home drunk and loud… so its kinda difficult to get good sleep

I second (or third) the ZMA. I always experience a very deep sleep when taking it. Sweet dreams…zzzz…

Lowered sex drive is a possible side effect, especially at 9-15mgs. That dosage is a bit high and is way more than what your body would “naturally” produce. You would probably still have melatonin in your bloodstream into the next day. I think you should try 1mg or less. Personally, 3mgs even makes me feel drowsy the next day and lowers my drive. 1mg is perfect. Could probably even go lower.

im assuming u guys use biotest zma??

i used z-mass in the past and felt nothing and saw nothing…thats y i second another round of zma

L-Theanine, 200 mgs. I took it to “chill out” but it really helped me sleep. Interesting supp-really helps me calm down after a stressful day. Cheap enough that if it doesn’t work 4 you it’s no big loss. Got mine at the Vitamin Shoppe.

although i havent tried it, ive heard ashwaganda is real good from poliquin

Once I fell asleep ZMA worked for me as well. It’s my guess that the Magnesium is the key here…it’s a natural muscle relaxer.