Cycling Your Sleep Supplements

There are many people who find themselves having to cycle their sleep supplements because they discover that they are slowly building up a tolerance to their current sleeping supplement. This results in them having to increase the dosage which also means that they end up having to purchase more of that supplement in order to accommodate for them using it up quicker from the higher dosages. Unfortunately this also means dishing out more money so what most people do is switch between sleeping supplements. However, you should also cycle off of sleeping supplements so that your body does not become dependent upon them and your melatonin production does not get negatively effected. Not cycling off of sleeping supplements can affect your body’s natural production of melatonin if the sleep supplement you are taking contains melatonin.

Popular Sleep Supplementscycling sleep supplements

The most common sleeping supplements that people will cycle between are theanine and melatonin, GABA and valerian or phenibut and x-dream. Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in green tea. It has a variety of health benefits and is considered to be an antagonist to caffeine and other elements that can stimulate the brain and central nervous system. It is said that theanine has a calming effect that helps the mind focus and in some cases become sedated. It is very helpful for stress and anxiety because it provides the stimulation of GABA which is what creates a feeling of calmness and well being. Melatonin on the other hand is a hormone that is naturally made by the pineal gland which is a small pea sized gland that is located in the center of the brain. Melatonin is stimulated by light and darkness which is what regulates the sleep cycle.

When light is present melatonin tells the body to stay awake but when darkness comes melatonin helps the body to get to sleep. Melatonin supplements are readily available and in addition to helping you sleep can also alleviate low moods and anxiety. GABA is another amino acid and is the second most prevalent neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA has an effect that can help to calm overly active nerve impulses. This can make a person feel more relaxed and give them a sense of well being  Without this neurotransmitter a person would never be relaxed and constantly be on edge and always anxious. No matter which sleeping supplements you are taking it is important that even if you do not cycle between them that you cycle off of them.

Failing to cycle off of sleeping supplements can result in addiction which can lead to plethora of new problems that are both physical and mental. Usually sleeping supplements are used to help regulate your sleep schedule if it was out of whack for one reason or another, such as jetlag. So you will not want to stay on them for long anyway especially since sometimes they can result in you being overly tired the next day which can be dangerous if you have a long drive ahead or you work in a job where you have to operate machinery. It is generally recommended that you cycle off of sleeping supplements every four to six weeks.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18032103
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7419665
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19766184

Author:

David Johnson is a freelancer with an avid interest in supplements that help relax, enhance mood, and provide cognitive enhancement. Most days he can be found researching innovative ways to bring his readers sounder sleep, better moods, and more.