THE 3 BEST BODYBUILDING SLEEP SUPPLEMENTS
There’s no question that getting a sufficient amount of restful sleep each night is an important aspect of your fitness program and your overall life in general.
Getting a proper sleep will help to keep your mood and energy levels balanced, improve concentration and motivation, optimize hormone levels, improve insulin sensitivity and maximize your strength and performance at the gym, just to name a few benefits.
However, if you find that you have a hard time falling asleep each night (or if your overall sleep quality just isn’t up to par), you may end up in a pattern of chronic sleep deprivation that delivers the opposite of these effects.
In this article, I’m going to outline the 3 best bodybuilding sleep supplements available to help you get a deeper, more restful sleep and to decrease the amount of time that it takes you to fall asleep as well.
Before I go any further, I should mention first that supplementation should not be viewed as a quick-fix here, and you’ll definitely want to make sure that you have effective sleep habits in place first before considering adding supplements into the mix.
There are many different strategies you can employ to naturally improve your sleep quality each night, but here are a few of the main ones I want to quickly outline before diving into the 3 sleep supplements below…
5 Tips For A Better Sleep
1) Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
2) Ensure that your room is as dark as possible and that it’s set at a cool temperature.
3) Eliminate electronic light (this includes television, laptops, phones etc.) around 30 minutes before you go to bed as this disrupts natural hormone levels that induce sleep.
4) Neutralize noise by either ensuring that your room is as quiet as possible, or by droning out background noises using a white-noise generator such as a fan or air conditioner.
5) Avoid caffeine or any other stimulants within 8 hours of going to bed.
Okay, assuming you have the above points taken care of and are still looking for some additional assistance to improve your sleep, here’s what I’d recommend when it comes to effective sleep aids that actually work…
The 3 Best Bodybuilding Sleep Supplements
#1 – Magnesium
People who work out intensely on a consistent basis tend to have lower levels of magnesium since this mineral is drained from the body through sweating.
Not only are low levels of magnesium associated with decreased testosterone levels, but it can also negatively impact overall sleep quality as well.
If you do have a magnesium deficiency that has been brought on by hard training, supplementation can help to restore balanced levels in the body and help you get a deeper, more restful sleep.
Go with 200-400mg of magnesium per day taken with a meal either in the form of magnesium citrate, magnesium gluconate or magnesium dylgycinate. (Although magnesium oxide is a very popular form found in many supplements, it’s actually less absorbable and more likely to cause upset stomach)
Magnesium is one of the very best sleep supplements for athletes because it is such a common deficiency.
Keep in mind that magnesium does not have any immediate, acute effects on sleep, and its benefits are seen after consistent daily supplementation over the course of a week or two. For that reason, you can take your magnesium at any time of day you prefer, since consuming it before bed is not going to make you feel drowsy or help you fall asleep faster.
#2 – Lavender Oil
If you’re familiar with the all-too-common experience of turning out the lights, laying your head on the pillow, and then watching as your mind kicks into overdrive, endlessly jumping from thought to thought and completely preventing you from dozing off, then lavender oil might be a helpful option for you.
Lavender oil helps you fall asleep more easily by calming the mind and reducing anxiety, which helps to slow the heart rate, decrease blood pressure and place the body into a relaxed parasympathetic state. Studies have also demonstrated that lavender oil has positive effects on overall sleep quality as well.
The recommended dosage for lavender oil is 80mg taken about half an hour before bed. (I recommend a product called “Calm Aid” for this purpose as it is delivered in pill form and will ensure that you’re taking in the correct amount)
#3 – Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm. Levels of melatonin increase when it gets dark (and conversely are inhibited by light), and this allows you to fall asleep more easily.
Melatonin production can be naturally increased by avoiding electronic light late at night and by sleeping in a dark room, but if you find that it still takes you a long time to fall asleep despite this, additional supplementation may be beneficial.
Effective melatonin dosing will vary from person to person, and it’s always best to start on the lower end and gradually build up until you find the right amount for yourself.
The standard recommend dose is 1-3mg of melatonin taken 30 minutes before bed, and I’d suggest starting off at 1mg to assess the effects first. From there, gradually increase the dose if necessary in increments of 500mcg (half of 1mg) until you find the lowest dose that you require in order to see benefits.
It should be noted that the long-term effects of chronic melatonin supplementation are not known at this time, and so my recommendation is to only use melatonin in the following ways:
1) As a temporary aid to help you adjust yourself onto a new sleeping schedule.
2) Only on specific nights where getting a deep sleep is of particular importance to you.
3) Using it continuously but cycling on and off every few weeks.
Quick Review Of The 3 Best Bodybuilding Sleep Supplements
So, just to recap the 3 sleep supplements we covered along with their specific dosages:
Magnesium: 200-400mg taken at any time of day.
Lavender Oil: 80mg taken 30 minutes before bed.
Melatonin: 1-3mg taken 30 minutes before bed.
In combination with proper sleeping habits, these are my top recommended supplements to help you get an, easier, more restful sleep, which will then positively carry over to your fitness program and to your overall life in general.
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