T Nation

ZMA is Only Sort of Helping

I just recently started taking zma after a recommendation from an older gentleman at the gym, and I definitely trust him… But on nights that I take zma, I only get four or five hours of sleep, before I wake up well rested… but then when I go back to sleep and wake up when I actually need to, I’m very tired. I’m 5’4, about 155 pounds, a female and I powerlift… I haven’t seen anyone else say they have the same issue, so I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if other people are having the same issue of sleeping well but not long enough

Make sure you’re not eating any calcium a few hours before bedtime. Calcium competes with Magnesium for absorption. Magnesium has great calming benefits.

How many days a week are you working out ? How many times ? What your workout look like ? Your lifestyle ? Tell us more about it

** one week of the program, but it’s a general idea

4 days a week, once a day for 1-1.5 hours. I’m mostly sedentary outside of my workouts, and could probably use 1 more average meal a day… But this is the program I follow for the most part.


I’ll have to pay closer attention to meals and timing. I’ve been trying to take it 1.5-2 hours after my last meal + 1 hour before bed… It definitely helps get a restful sleep, I just need a few more hours. Thanks!

Could try taking it immediately postworkout and/or try just taking zinc

And if your not using ZMA are you sleeping well or no ?

No, I get 7/8 hours but never wake up feeling fresh… and usually wake up in the middle of the night 1 or 2x

Did you try to reduce your workout volume for a few weeks ? Did you try a week off gym ? Are you going to sleep always at the same hours ?

Waking “fresh” seems a subjective descriptor.
When do you recall last waking “fresh”? What was different then than now?

Are you waking up second time to an alarm? If so, could be getting woken mid REM cycle, whereas first time you wake up on your own is after a complete sleep cycle–hence feeling fresh.

Also, are you waking up the first time because you have to pee?

Some other supplements that have been godsends for my sleep/stress levels in general are CBD oil, Glycine, and Ashwaganda…all about an hour before bedtime.

For the last 4 or 5 month now I have been going to bed around 10:30 and waking up at 4am and not able to get back to sleep. I’ve tried ZMA and for about two weeks I seemed to sleep better but soon it stopped helping. My doctor suggested Meletonin and sometimes it helps but mostly not. It’s very frustrating . I think it’s worry of this damn virus, work etc that keeps me up?

I have tried ZMA manufactured by 2 different companies. The first one I slept like a Trojan for 9-10 hours, the second, which I literally just started taking the night before last, I slept 5 hours the first night and less last night, so similar to you. I only changed to the second manufacturer bec they didn’t have any of the original in stock. It was half the price of the original but the ingredients are almost identical so I’m thinking maybe it’s a quality issue, which might be your problem too.