Sleep is very important for human function. Not just from the bodybuilding perspective but also from the perspective of good health and performance.
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Poor sleeping habits can not only sabotage your fitness goals but it will also be harmful to your overall health in the long run.
Now, there are various sleep boosting supplements available out there in the marking claiming to be effective sleep enhancers but I am going to discuss only the ones that actually work.
Disclaimer: None of these supplements is a pure recommendation. They are just suggestions. Consult your doctor before taking any of these.
Magnesium performs various essential biological functions including neurotransmitter synthesis. However, due to poor eating patterns people these days fail to take the recommended daily dosage of magnesium through diet. This eventually leads to various behavioural changes like stress and anxiety. Research conducted at the University of Geneva established a possible correlation between magnesium levels and sleep quality.
In this research, subjects who supplemented with magnesium and whose magnesium levels were higher in the blood were able to have a more restful sleep as compared to people who were deficient. Thus, magnesium supplements can actually help you to enhance your quality of sleep. Start with a small dosage of 200mg to see the tolerance of your body and then increase the dosage according to your needs.
According to research published in U.S national library of Medicine, Ashwagandha leaves contain ‘triethylene glycol’ which is a compound that has been found very useful in inducing sleep in humans. Another important finding of this study was that supplementing ashwagandha also increases the quality of sleep as subjects who took Ashwagandha supplements were able to go in the ‘deep sleep’ mode.
Another advantage of Ashwagandha as a sleep supplement is that the body does not become addicted to it. You can stop taking Ashwagandha once you don’t feel the need to take it anymore.
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Valerian is a sleep-boosting herb that is more commonly used in the United States and Europe. However, these days you can find valerian herb supplements in the Indian online market too. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, valerian has proven benefits to enhance the quality of sleep. These benefits come with no side effects like morning hangovers. Valerian is a potent herb thus you want to make sure that you start consuming it only in small amounts.
Melatonin is a common over the counter drug that is generally prescribed to get rid of jet lag and to manage any kind of sleep disturbances. It is helpful in managing unbalanced circadian rhythms from jet lag. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, evidence exists to prove that melatonin may reduce the time it takes for people to fall asleep.
However, melatonin is not a supplement that you can play around with. If you are taking concentrated melatonin alone, make sure to start with a low dosage. Compound supplements that contain melatonin as one of the components contain melatonin in small doses only which you may not worry about.
Though the above supplements can help you to increase the quality of your sleep, it is always better to let your body do its routine activities without any supplements. Use any of these supplements to manage your sleep and discontinue when you feel that your sleeping cycles have become better.
Anuj Tyagi, author of this article, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist from American Council on Exercise (ACE). Now an Online Health Coach, he is also a Chartered Accountant by education. You can connect with him through Instagram on:- https://www.instagram.com/sixpacktummy_anuj/
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