T Nation

Why Do We Have to Take ZMA Before Bed?


#1

Why do we have to take ZMA before we sleep? What difference does it make when in the day we take it?


#2

I tried it and it did nothing, my sleep was even worse, just give it a try to see if it makes you sleep better but it seems to be different from person to person.


#3

you don't have to, but it has a calming effect on your nervous system so if you're the type of person who finds it hard to switch off at night, it can help.

It's nothing miraculous, but it can do. I've personally never noticed much of a benefit from it in terms of my sleep but I take it before bed anyway just because you have to take it at some point, so why not then?


#4

My sleep quality is best when taking 2 ZMA capsules. Consuming 3 before bed causes me to wake several times a night even though I’m experiencing good dreams. FYI, I’m 190 lbs. Maybe heavier people can sleep well with 3 capsules?


#5

“ZMA enhances sleep quality due to magnesium’s ability to normalize and extend stage 3 and stage 4 slow-wave sleep.”

Basically this. You don’t HAVE to take it before bed, but doing so ensures you’re hitting proper magnesium levels during your sleep cycle.


#6

Would it then make a difference to take magnesium before bed as opposed to in the morning, or would that be futile?


#7

I imagine it depends on a few things but yes, I believe taking supplemental magnesium before bed is the best time. I usually aim for about 30-60 minutes before bed to take my Elite Pro ( ZMA on steroids )


#8

The question is, how well are you sleeping in spite of waking during the night? Like how do you feel the next day. Typically when im taking ZMA consistently i wake up several times through the night myself but I when i wake up to actually get up i feel far more refreshed than without zma, for me it’s almost as if it allows my sleep cycles to be more effective such that im getting more bang for my buck when sleeping, even if im up 3 or 4 times during the night. It’s obviously different for everyone, but there have been several studies done showing that sleeping in blocks of 1.5 or 3 hours is more effective than just laying down and getting your 8, that kinda came around with the industrial revolution and shift work.


#9

just a reminder don’t take it with milk or coffee withj milk some research said it shares the same pathway and interferers with ZMA working properly.


#10

I understand your point, Kyle_beach; however, when I take 3 capsules, not only do I wake often, but I’m usually awake for a long time, so I sleep roughly 4-5 hours between 8 PM and 4 AM, then it’s time to get ready for work. I feel tired most of the day, and by the time I get home, I’m beat! When taking 2 capsules, I usually wake at least once, sometimes twice, for a short period of time, but I feel good most of the work day whether I’m dragging brush, operating a chainsaw, or climbing a tree.


#11

@andycane

I don’t wake up any more than normal with or without ZMA. I usually wake up to pee around 4-5am then go back to sleep till 6:15.