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Sleep Recovery ZMA


I'm one of those people who don't require a lot of sleep. I can usually do fine on 5 or 6 hours, sometimes 4. Every few weeks, I'll sleep a more normal 8 hours. I can NEVER sleep in.

I've always kind of liked this about myself. I can get more done. I have a lot of the characteristics of the people in this article.

The Sleepless Elite http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703712504576242701752957910.html

BUT now I'm just wondering if it's messing with my recovery.

I don't drink coffee, I'm trying to limit my Diet Dr. Pepper intake in the evenings, and I just bought ZMA. I usually work out in the morning, but I do go to the gym with my husband in the evenings about twice a week. :slightly_smiling:

If you are into the Poliquin fat distribution theory, I put a lot of fat on my calves which would indicate I need more GH.

Anybody else have a similar sleep pattern?

Ideas on how to maximize sleep for recovery purposes?

Thoughts on ZMA dosage for 110 pound woman? The bottle says 3 for men, 2 for women. I'm wondering if I need to worry about getting too much zinc or magnesium? (A 3 capsule serving of ZMA have 30mg zinc, 450mg magnesium, and 10.5mg Vitamin B6.)


I slept much better when I started taking ZMA and/or Ubermag, but eventually that wore off (due to mag and zinc levels being restored). Has the ZMA helped at all Puff?


Max - I just started last night with two ZMA. I got in about 6 hours total, waking up after 4 but getting myself to go back to sleep. That's better than usual. I'm going start a sleep log to gauge any improvement. I felt great this morning, but then I usually do!


well start off with one tablet and let your body get used too it

do it for 3 nights, and then following 3 nights go up to 2 tablets every night


The NIH UL for zinc is the same for men and women (40mg), though the RDA is a bit lower for women. UL for supplemental magnesium is pretty low at 350mg. I'm a big guy and I take 4 caps. Why not start out with 2 and give it a couple weeks. If you're not sleeping better and recovering easier, try 3. If 2 is making you nauseous or is giving you other problems, drop down to 1.

(Or, for a more scientific approach, get your zinc levels tested and then supplement accordingly, taking bioavailability and whatnot into account.)

I take ZMA regularly. It's one of the few supplements that has noticeable benefits to me.

(Here's more info: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/ )


I have major insomnia but it's getting better. I find Melatonin helped me readjust my body's circadian rhythms. I still have sleep trouble but now I go to bed at 10pm(often don't get to sleep for hours) and wake up at dawn each day. Melatonin will either help you immediately or do nothing at all. Depends on whether your sleeplessness is caused by Melatonin deficiency or not. Melatonin often comes in 10mg capsules. This is probably too much. Some people fall asleep from 1 mg. You can take 10mg or more safely though. Tests have been done with subjects on 100mg a night for 3 months. No longterm studies done though. I wouldn't use it longterm.


aditj - Gotta get a nickname for that one! Probably a good idea. I'll go back to one for a few days and go up from there. Usually you want to take the lowest dose that will give you the results, right?

Calypso - Thanks for the link, and the ZMA feedback. Looks like I don't need to worry too much about UL toxicity. My multi vit. has 11mg.

HaveIron - Thansks. Maybe Melatonin will be my next line of attack if this doesn't work. I hope you can figure out your difficulty getting to sleep. That would be maddening!

I usually go to bed about 11 or so, and fall asleep in a matter of a few minutes. My problem is that I wake up very, very early and am just wide awake, LIGHTS are ON! Extreme morning person! I do sometimes show some signs of sleep deprivation though, with the way I will eventually sleep for 8 or 9 hours to "catch up". Mostly, I figure my body can't be producing enough GH if I'm not sleeping enough to allow it to recover. That's the only reason I'm now considering this a "problem".


Unfortunately ZMA is one supplement that hasnt done much for me.
Unfortunately I have difficulties with sleep. I cant sleep any longer than 5 hours without waking up.
Unfortunately Im a coffee connoisseur.
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I'm the same way; theres been days this past semester (college) where I would go into my internship with 1-2rs of sleep and perform/function fine from 530am-530pm. However, like you indicated this will effect the recovery process.
I recommend taking more levels of tryptophan which is an essential amino acid. But then again it sounds like sleeping isnt the problem, but more of waking up too early and not able to fall back asleep.

Quick question- have you noticed elevated heart rate when you wake up at times ?? - This is a primary sign for overtraining. Don't know what your typical day consists of but if overtraining occurs that definately disrupts sleep patterns.


Hi friends.
Im going to try ZMA again for the 2nd time and Ill report if I notice any effects.
Im using the Optimum nutrition brand.
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I haven't notice my heart racing, but I also haven't paid attention to that. I'll see. I do frequently wake up and feel hot. Maybe a sign of something metabolic, heart rate?

So far I haven't noticed feeling any different on the ZMA but I'm only taking one cap. I want it to work, so I'm making more of an effort to try to go back to sleep. I'll report back as I ratchet things up over the next week or so.


FYI, with some supps, you're better off witha lower dose. i.e., if you don't feel anything with 2 caps of ZMA, then 3-4 might not be better...but it might be better, so try it.

Melatonin should be used AT THE SAME HOUR every time to establish a rhythm, and then discontinued after about 4-5 days. Use it to get back on track (e.g. jet lag), not as a regular supp. It's addictive and makes you groggy if used too long.

Try taking in ZMA + 10g of glycine about 30 min before you want to sleep. Read a book and make sure you're not mentally excited for the last 30-45 min before sleep. Dim the lights, too, to encourage melatonin production.

If running/lifting makes you tired, move workouts to later in the evenings.

Yes, ZMA effects will "wear off" as Max pointed out; happened to me as well.


Night sweats actually are associated with magnesium deficiency. I'll be curious to see if that changes with the ZMA supplementation.


Last night was my 3rd night in a row that I took 3 tablets of ZMA. Recieved 6 hours of sleep, felt like another hour would of been good.
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That is curious. I do wake up with night sweats quite often, including last night. My husband tells me I'm like a furnace. As I recall, when I have entered my food into Fitday, I was always coming up short on Magnesium.

I've taken one capsule ZMA for the past 4 nights. I got 6 hours sleep last night. I'll go up to two capsules and see what happens. It's hard to account for placebo, because I'm trying harder to get myself to go back to sleep. If the night sweat thing disappears, that would give me another measurable variable here.

Data so far - with ZMA dosage
4/12 - 2 ZMA - 6 hours
4/13 - 1 ZMA - 6 hours
4/14 - 1 ZMA 4.5 hours
4/15 1 ZMA 5.5 hours
4/16 1 ZMA - 6 hours
4/17 - Will go up to 2 caps


I wouldn't focus too much on the absolute hours. I noticed that when I started on ZMA, I woke up earlier and was probably technically sleeping the same or less but I just bounced out of bed. We've all "slept" 8 hours and woke up feeling like crap and taken 45 minute cat naps and woken up feeling like a million bucks.


Toad - Agree, but the deal is, I wake up feeling great nearly every morning. I wouldn't even consider this a problem, except I'd imagine that more sleep is going to mean better muscle growth and recovery. I'd like to have optimal GH production, which I'd assume I'm not getting when I'm only sleeping 4 or 5 hours/ night. Glad to hear that the ZMA helped you get better "quality" of sleep, if not "quantity".

Last night I got 5.5 hours, with 2 ZMA. Woke up feeling "on top of the world, lookin' down at creation", but that's typical! :wink:


Based on my LIMITED reading on the topic of sleep, I think the more tired you are when you go to bed, the quicker you enter REM (and I believe the longer you remain in REM). So, if you were to be exhausted and go to bed and sleep for 5-6 hours, you would likely get more REM (i.e. be more refreshed?) than if you were to sleep for 8-9 hours but not be too tired when you lay down.

I'm not sure how you can manage to do that consistently--go to bed exhausted--unless you wear yourself out every day. I personally sleep better when I workout later in the evening, because I'm never alert after a workout; I always need some good, deep sleep right after I lift.


Did you mention going to a sleep clinic? If not, is there one nearby you could go to?


Powderpuff, do you take your ZMA on a empty stomach?
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