When we talk about muscle building, most people often focus on diet and exercise, but few actually take their rest seriously. The key component in rebuilding your muscle tissue is a luxury taken for granted, but the reality is that our sleep plays a vital role in exercise performance, hormonal level, and also the storage of adipose tissue in our midsection.
If your sleeping pattern is all over the place, the following supplements will help to fix your internal clock & restore your energy level to its optimum level.
Magnesium is a crucial dietary mineral that’s commonly linked to poor sleep quality. Physically active individuals are facing elevated risk of magnesium deficiencies because it is lost through sweat.
Sleep deprived individuals with low dietary magnesium intake will experience noticeable changes when they start supplementing magnesium, as it has a calming effect on the nervous system, thereby reducing frequent awakenings during your sleep.
There’s no best time to take magnesium, so you can just take it anytime during the day. Dosage of 200 – 400mg of elemental magnesium is required to achieve such result, so make sure you pay attention to the magnesium content in each pill before deciding how many tablets you should take.
Magnesium comes in many forms, such as magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium diglycinate, and magnesium gluconate. The one we wouldn’t recommend taking as supplement is magnesium oxide, because there’s a higher chance that it will result in gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea, and it’s harder to be absorbed by our body than any other forms.
Magnesium gluconate should be taken together with a meal to enhance the absorption of the supplement. Other than that, you are allowed to take any other forms of magnesium on an empty stomach. Do note that some antibiotics such as the quinolone class (i.e. ciprofloxacin) and tetracyclines will reduce the potency of magnesium if taken together. (i,ii)
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep regulation, & its production increases when you dim the light, which explains why you’ll feel drowsy when the light is out. It is directly involved in the circadian rhythm, which will affect your sleeping and waking cycles.
For certain individuals, melatonin can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. However, such effect can only be experienced by those who have problem in falling asleep within 5 minutes of hitting the sack.
If you have never taken melatonin before, try going for 500 mcg few nights before upping the dose to 1 mg. If you do not feel any changes, continue increasing the dosage by 500mcg until you hit the sweet spot.
Melatonin is best taken half an hour before you sleep. For best result, consider taking time-release melatonin tablets to help establishing normal sleep patterns.
Traditionally used in aromatherapy for relaxation purpose, lavender can also be used as an oral supplement to combat anxiety. Those who frequently experience anxiety attacks will benefit the most from it, as it helps in reducing intrusive thoughts, which will make you feel more alert & harder to fall asleep.
Lavender oil is best taken 30 – 45 minutes before sleep. Supplement yourself with 80 mg of lavender oil to help in treating general anxiety.
If oral lavender isn’t your cup of tea, try going for the traditional lavender aromatherapy instead. The relaxing scent has been proven to benefit sleep quality when used before bed.
You’ll need to spend a small fortune on an aromatherapy machine if you want to use it for an overnight sleep. If you’re just planning to do so in the afternoon, you may opt for candles instead.
So far there is no study showing recommended dosage of lavender used during aromatherapy to induce relaxation, but generally it’s recommended for users to get thirty minutes of exposure in a well-ventilated room.