There are three supplements that, at least for me, have had a tremendously positive effect on my sleep that some of you might consider. I would say if you're doing everything properly, behaviorally, and you're still having issues, then supplements might be a good thing for you. Or if you are traveling and you want a little bit of extra help in buffering your sleep wakefulness protocols.
There are supplements that for most people will greatly improve their ability to fall and stay asleep and the three main supplements in that category or that kit of sleepsupplements, and I've talked about these before, are magnesium threonate, so T-H-R-E-O-N-A-T-E, apigenin, A-P-I-G-E-N-I-N, apigenin, and theanine, T-H-E-A-N-I-N-E, theanine.
There now exist as many as eight different supplements that can powerfully modulate sleep in healthy ways and that have huge margins for safety. We're going to talk about what those supplements are. In previous episodes of this podcast and as a guest on other podcasts, I've talked about three particular supplements, magnesium threonate, apigenin and theanine, which together can really enhance the speed at which one falls asleep and people's ability to stay asleep and to really get into those deep stages of sleep.
And I want to be very clear, I am not pushing supplements. I'm just pointing you towards some things that have been shown in peer reviewed studies to have some benefit. The first one is magnesium. There are many forms of magnesium, but certain forms of magnesium can have positive effects on sleepiness and the ability to stay asleep, mainly by way of increasing neurotransmitters like GABA, which help turn off the DPO, the kind of thinking about the future duration path outcome analysis and make one sort of one's mind kind of drift in space and time
We already talked about melatonin earlier. There's another supplement that could be quite useful, which is apigenin, A-P-I-G-E-N-I-N, which is the derivative of chamomile. 50 milligrams of apigenin also can augment or support this kind of creation of a sleepiness to help fall asleep and stay asleep.
A couple of notes about dosages. For some people, the dosages of any one or several of the supplements I mentioned will be zero. That is, you won't need them in order to get and stay asleep most nights of your life. That's terrific if you don't need them. For many people, however, taking 145 milligrams of magnesium threonate can be very beneficial.
In other words, things like supplements into your body or, you know, use different types of drugs to help you get there. Now, when it comes to prescription sleep aids, I think I've been, again, a little bit too forthright. We know in clinical practice that there may be a time and a place for things like sleeping pills.
Although in a moment, we'll talk about some supplements and supplement protocols that can also assist in the ability to fall and stay asleep and they can adjust to anxiety and that do not seem to disrupt sleep architecture in negative ways and in fact can enhance the depth and quality of sleep architecture.
So magnesium threonate or biglycenate, apigenin and theanine in combination can be very effective for aiding the transition to sleep. And I realize that not everyone wants to take supplements. I certainly am not pushing any of these. I would hope that everybody be able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep for the duration of time that they want without any supplemental help.
They can be addictive or at least habit forming. They can create grogginess in the morning. Some are safer than others. There's a variety of them out there. But for those that want to explore supplements and how they can impact sleep, this combination of about 300, 400 milligrams of magnesium threonate or biglycenate, 50 milligrams of apigenin, and 100 to 200 milligrams of theanine alone or in combination have been beneficial to many people.
You have to experiment for yourself. I've talked about supplements that can support sleep. In previous episodes of the podcast, things like magnesium threonate or magnesium bisglycinate, things like theanine, apigenin. If you'd like to read more about those, we actually have a newsletter that I'll just quickly refer you to.
And I think the same is true when we think about supplementation. There are so many things that are easy to implement when it comes to sleep that don't require venturing out into those waters. And again, we're not here to tell anyone about whether they should venture or not. That's completely your choice.
There are some supplements that I've mentioned in previous podcasts, but I've seemed to get a lot of questions about. So I just want to take a couple of minutes and just talk about some of the supplements that can be beneficial for helping turn it off thinking, accessing deeper sleep, and even being able to compact your sleep schedule into a shorter period of hours, meaning getting by well with less sleep.
That's the best way to support us. Not during today's episode, but on many previous episodes of the Huberman Lab podcast, we've discussed supplements. While supplements aren't necessary for everybody, many people derive tremendous benefit from them for things like easing and accelerating the transition time into sleep and getting better, deeper sleep, as well as things such as focus, et cetera.
As you know, I'm certainly not suggesting people do that. A couple of the supplement-based legal over-the-counter approaches to this are things like 5-HTP, which is a precursor to serotonin. Some people will take 5-HTP to try and enhance their sleep. I'm not a fan of doing that personally. I've talked about this in the sleep episodes, but the state that we call sleep has a very complex and important architecture as it relates to neurochemicals.
So these would include science-based tools for things like focus, for sleep, for learning, and many other topics as well. In previous episodes of the Huberman Lab podcast, we often refer to supplements. Now supplements aren't necessary or correct for everybody, but many people derive tremendous benefit from them for things like sleep and focus and so on.
Many people find allows them to get really drowsy and fall asleep, sleep really deeply, and they feel much more refreshed the next day and they don't have a grogginess to them. Now, a couple of notes about these different supplements. About 5% of people report that magnesium threonate really disrupts their gut.
And melatonin is kind of arguable, and it depends on the situation. But in general, if you're taking a sleep supplement, it should not be taken every night. The sleepsupplements that I understand are okay to take every night or nearly every night are things like magnesium 3 and 8, apigenin. If that's not true, correct me.
There are a lot of supplements out there geared toward improving sleep. I've taken some of them and I've taken many of them, if not all of them at this point, so I could report back to you. And I think I mentioned on a previous episode that when I take tryptophan or anything that contains 5-HTP, which is serotonin or a precursor to serotonin, serotonin is made from tryptophan, I tend to fall very deeply asleep and then wake up a few hours later.
The other supplement that has been very beneficial for me is theanine. So this is T-H-E-A-N-I-N-E, theanine, T-H-E-A-N-I-N-E. Theanine activates certain GABA pathways, which are involved in turning off top-down processing and thinking, making it easier to fall asleep. And theanine, 100 milligrams to 300 milligrams, has a calming effect.
I've mentioned before in previous podcasts other supplements besides melatonin. And some of those supplements are quite good for sleep. I'm not a supplement pusher. I am somebody who takes supplements. I believe in them. Some have worked for me, some have not worked as well, but I certainly believe in getting the behaviors right, whether or not it's NSDR protocols, viewing natural light, exercise, it's hot baths or cold showers or what have you, behavioral protocols first.
I have no relation to them, but there you can find links to peer reviewed studies for any compound or supplement, as well as some important warnings related to the things I discussed as well as any other thing that you might decide to supplement with or ingest to help improve your sleep. Okay. That was a lot of information about how to get better at sleeping, falling asleep, wakefulness, et cetera.
Magnesium. So magnesium has been shown to increase the depth of sleep and has been shown to decrease the amount of time that it takes to access sleep, to fall asleep. Comes in various forms. I've talked a bunch of times about magnesium threonate, T-H-R-E-O-N-A-T-E, threonate, which seems to be the more bioavailable form of magnesium.
All I'm saying is that if you want to think about optimizing your sleep, there are a number of ways that you can do it that don't necessarily require you to swallow anything or inject anything, or smoke anything, or- Right, and for which the margins of safety are quite wide. Right. That's the other one.
What else can we do in order to optimize our sleep? Well, I always say behavioral tools first, then look to nutrition, then if necessary, look to supplementation and then if still necessary, look to prescription drugs, obviously prescribed by a board certified physician. Well, we've talked a lot about the behavioral tools for critical period three, we have not talked a lot about the supplementation based tools.
There are also some other effects of those that can be quite bad. So we're going to explore stimulants in a whole month related to drugs, but there are some supplements and some things that are safer, certainly safer. And that in cases where you're doing all the right behaviors, you're exercising and eating correctly and you're still having trouble with sleep that can be beneficial for falling and staying asleep.
The other reason is that melatonin will aid the transition to sleep, but it won't keep you asleep. And many people that take melatonin find that they fall asleep more quickly, but then they wake up unable to fall back asleep. Three compounds that could be very beneficial for aiding the transition to sleep and for which there are wide safety margins, although please do check with your physician before taking anything, are specific forms of magnesium, something called apigenin and theanine.
While supplements aren't necessary for everybody, many people derive tremendous benefit from them for things like improving the transition time and depth of sleep, or for improving focus, or for a variety of other things, including things like anxiety management. For that reason, the Huberman Lab Podcast has decided to partner with Momentous Supplements.
which is something that a lot of people struggle with. Now that's supplementation for falling and staying asleep, but we can return to the behavioral tools also as powerful levers and tools for falling asleep and getting back to sleep. And again, we look to NSDR, non-sleep deep rest or the Reverie app as a way to do that.
This is the Huberman Lab Neural Network Newsletter. You can sign up for it by going to HubermanLab.com. It's very easy to find, but even if you don't sign up, you can go to the toolkit for sleep that's listed there, and that toolkit is not just supplements. That toolkit is a number of different things, both behavioral and supplement-based and nutrition-based, et cetera, that can allow you to get into sleep and to stay asleep more readily.