By Zoe Garlington
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Or maybe you have broken sleep and are prone to waking up in the night. Sleep is essential for muscle growth as it helps release protein-building amino acids into our bloodstream which helps our muscles grow back stronger. So how can supplementing sleep stack help you?
The Supplement Needs sleep stack is a 6 ingredient supplement which aids falling asleep and staying asleep in order to minimise insomnia and broken sleep. I am going outline and explain how they can aid you. The ingredients include:
1- 5HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan): this is a precursor to serotonin, which we need a sufficient amount of to calm our brain/nervous system down and allow that lull in to sleep.
2- Pyriodoxal 5 Phosphate: this is form of vitamin B6 which assists in the conversion of 5HTP to serotonin which as we know aids falling asleep.
3- ‘Vitamin B5’ Pantothenic acid: vitamin B5 helps push across serotonin cued by 5HTP across to melatonin to keep you asleep. Pantothenic acid is designed to support AANAT enzyme, which is essentially a gene which helps us register the difference between day and night.
4- Magnesium Bisglycinate: helpful in activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for getting you relaxed. Magnesium supports over 300 processes within our body so this is a good supplementation alone.
5- Zinc Methionine: zinc supports your immune system in addition to helping regulate sugar and hormone levels.
6- L-Theanine: ingredients 4-6 are included to support neurotransmitter clearances in your brain, like dopamine clearance so we can relax.
Sleep stack is providing assistance into early onset light sleep, however it is important to consider sleep hours vs sleep quality. During deep sleep, we are able to aid repairs on the body and recover from training. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, this aids memory consolidation and new skin layering. So you may be ‘in bed’ for 8 hours but how much of that time are you in a deep sleep where you can make these essential repairs on the body?
This is not a ‘one size fits all’ supplement, you need to assess your sleep hygiene (your pre-bed routine). Things to watch out for include how close to bed you are ingesting caffeine. This is because caffeine can stay in your system for around 8 hours on average after you ingest it. Implementing a ‘caffeine bedtime’ can be beneficial, I personally set this for myself at around 3pm. Alcohol before bed can also cause brain activity to be high and block that deep sleep. Alongside this, we also need to consider our exposure to blue artificial light (phone and TV) pre-bed and aim to limit this, as blue light blocks the production of melatonin at night. This is not to say you have to cut out screen time completely, as this can be difficult, but you can combat the blue light by using blue light glasses, which block artificial light. Having a pre-bed routine is very important but during the day we can consider how much sunlight exposure we have had. For my clients I like to include a minimum sunlight exposure a day. We an SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) in our bodies which takes in sunlight during the day which will store melatonin, so in order to allow for that melatonin release in the evenings we need to reduce blue light exposure so this is not blocked.
Another factor to consider is your stress levels. If the stress hormone cortisol is low, your body should have the ability to destress and unwind in the evenings, as this is essential to a good nights sleep. Having a warm shower before bed can help you relax and regulate your temperature. When we sleep our core temperature is often increased, so having a warm shower can help cool us down before we sleep and control thermoregulation in the night. Sleeping naked is ideal as there is no external layering which you need to thermoregulate against. This is also applies to the temperature of the room in which you are sleeping, and if it is hot or cold.
So you want to supplement Sleep Stack? When should you take it? 30 minutes before bed and on an empty stomach. If you eat late and are unable to have this on an empty stomach then taking this before your final meal ideal.
Sleep Stack by Supplement Needs is available at our reception – pick up yours today.
About the author
Getting into fitness due to wanting to change my lifestyle habits I decided to start bettering my health, this spiralled into getting my personal training L2&L3 qualification. Since passing my qualification I have continued to learn and better myself as a trainer and increase my knowledge of which my clients get the benefits. My personal training methods involve a mix of strength training and physique development partnered with strengthening joint stability and overall mobility. My passion is making my clients push past mental barriers limiting strength and give them the tools and flexibility to be the strongest version of themselves.