We inherently know that sleep is good for us, and not getting enough sleep poses health risks. I suspect that none of us goes out of our way to get as little sleep as possible.
There are some great natural options to help us get a better night's sleep, so when the Stress-Relax Nighttime Magnesium recently hit the natural health market by storm, we wanted to find out why.
Stress-Relax® Nighttime Magnesium Bisglycinate with Melatonin, GABA & L-Theanine is a long name but perhaps the only way to express all the supplements combined to produce the relaxed sleep state we strive for. Stress-Relax Nighttime Magnesium Bisglycinate combines magnesium bisglycinate with melatonin, L-theanine, and Pharma GABA, to temporarily promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Together, these ingredients help the body's sleep-wake cycle, allowing you to fall asleep more quickly and sleep longer.
Melatonin is the body's natural sleep hormone, produced in the brain each evening when darkness falls. Supplemental magnesium works with the body's natural cycles to reset the biological clock safely and effectively. Pharma GABA is a clinically tested and naturally produced form of the brain compound gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It provides fast-acting relief for nervousness and acute stress by promoting a calm, clear mind and physical relaxation. L-theanine is an amino acid from green tea that calms the mind and temporarily encourages relaxation, while the essential mineral magnesium helps support muscle function. This formula contains 100% of the bisglycinate form of magnesium that is easy on the stomach and does not require stomach acid for absorption.
How it works
There is a reason why people call magnesium a relaxation mineral. This essential nutrient is needed for hundreds of biochemical processes throughout the body, including muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium also plays a vital role in regulating the body's stress response. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle tightness, cramping, spasms, and neuromuscular irritability. Because many common forms of magnesium require stomach acid for absorption, magnesium levels can be compromised in older adults with low stomach acid, as well as in people using antacid medications
GABA also provides a non-addictive way to improve sleep quality by calming a racing mind and helping the body relax quickly. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, participants with moderate sleep disorders were supplemented with 100 mg of Pharma GABA 30 minutes before bed each night for one week. GABA improved the participants' moods when they woke up in the morning. Based on electroencephalography (EEG) recordings, supplementation was also discovered to shorten participants' time to fall asleep and increase total non-REM sleep time (Non-REM sleep is a deeper sleep needed to rest both the brain and the body).
The body's sleep-wake cycle can be disrupted by shift work, jet lag, stress, artificial light, aging, and other factors, resulting in insufficient melatonin at bedtime. Melatonin is a hormone that helps us sleep. It works as part of a complementary cycle with serotonin, enhancing GABA receptor binding that regulates sleep-wake transitions, neuroendocrine rhythms, and body temperature cycles. Melatonin has been used for decades to address disrupted sleep schedules and sleep disorders. Some studies demonstrated that people who took up to 5 mg of melatonin fell asleep significantly faster, slept longer, and had improved sleep quality compared to those who took a placebo. Melatonin does not cause dependence and has minimal side effects
Tea drinkers have experienced the relaxing effects of L-theanine for thousands of years. L-theanine is a free-form amino acid extracted from green tea. This amino acid can cross the blood-brain barrier and elicit an effect as quickly as 30 minutes after supplementation. A placebo-controlled crossover study found that supplementation with 200 mg of L-theanine daily before bed improved cognitive health and sleep quality in healthy adults. After four weeks of supplementation, participants experienced fewer stress-related symptoms, fell asleep faster, had lower sleep disturbance, and reduced their need for sleep medication. Although the dose of administered L-theanine was higher than that of Nighttime Magnesium Bisglycinate, it was supplemented without other sleep-supportive ingredients.
The delicious, tropical fruit-flavoured powder is naturally sweetened with stevia and offers a flexible dose – 1–2 scoops based on your personalized Nighttime needs.
Other Supplement Considerations
If taking powder supplements is not for you try Natural Factors Tranquil Sleep Extra Strength (Tropical Fruit chews)- Tranquil sleep combines L-Theanine with melatonin and 5HTP. Three ingredients have been clinically shown to support relaxation and enhance natural sleep quality
Anxious throughout the day or night- L-Theanine remains one of our favourite supplements. Taken in low doses during the day, such as Natural Factors Mental Calmness, it can help take the edge off and keep you focused.
Ashwagandha should be a go-to supplement to help increase your resistance to stress and support the adrenal glands. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an ancient Ayurvedic herb with newfound research to support mood. Ashwagandha has been shown to significantly increase GABA levels in the brain, which we know to help reduce the over-firing of neurons that cause stress, anxiety, and nervousness. This herb appears to help lower cortisol levels, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands in response to stress-producing and adaptogenic effects to manage your body's stress response.
Digestive disorders can affect nighttime sleep and daytime tiredness. Reduce Nighttime digestive problems- If your bowel and digestive system are struggling all day, the result will be tiredness. Take a deeper look into your digestion. The result could be as benign as taking a digestive enzyme with meals to help move food through the colon. It may require a mild laxative or the right type of fibre to reduce constipation or a good probiotic such as Natural Factors CalmBiotic taken before bed to replace healthy gut bacteria
CalmBiotic is a convenient one-a-day capsule that supports occasional anxiety and a healthy mood by helping maintain the microbiome and the gut-brain axis. It also promotes immune health and normal gastrointestinal function in healthy people experiencing stress or nervousness. Natural Factors CalmBiotic is one of the first probiotic products shown to temporarily modify gut flora to address both the physical and psychological symptoms of stress
Do not drive or use machinery for 5 hours after taking melatonin. Avoid taking with alcohol or products that cause drowsiness. Consult a health care practitioner before using supplements mentioned in this article if you are taking steroids or blood thinners, medications for seizure or blood pressure, or medications to suppress the immune system (immunosuppressive medications), affecting your mental state, or to increase sedation. Do not use these products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.