best sleep supplements

The Best Sleep Supplements—And the Science Behind Them

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If you’re struggling with insomnia, you may be interested in the best sleep supplements, and the science behind them, as you figure out how to solve your sleeping problem. There are some great options on the market that have helped millions of people get to sleep—and stay asleep all night. But where should you begin, and what exactly is in the best sleep supplements? It’s all about science. Here’s an overview of a couple of the most common active ingredients in sleep supplements: GABA and melatonin, what they are and how they just might help you get to sleep.

First, consider what the underlying problem might be when you read Common Sleep Disorders and What To Do About Them

The Best Sleep Supplements and GABA? What Does It Do?

The best sleep supplements contain GABA, which is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid. GABA is a neurotransmitter that your brain produces. More specifically, it’s the main inhibitory neurotransmitter found in your brain, so it suppresses the excitability of certain neurons, like glutamate. What does that mean for you? Well, the main point of GABA is to help your mind and body relax, because it can increase the alpha waves in the brain while reducing beta waves. It actually starts each stage of sleep, so if you don’t have enough, you won’t be able to seamlessly go from one sleep stage to the next—stopping you from getting a full night’s sleep.

GABA not only promotes relaxation, but it also reduces stress, anxiety, and insomnia. So it’s no wonder that people with depression, anxiety, and insomnia tend to have low levels of GABA. Their low levels of this neurotransmitter may be due to age, illness, or an unhealthy diet. But no matter the underlying cause, increasing GABA in the brain is a good move for anyone who wants to reduce stress and get better sleep.

So does this mean the best sleep supplements contain GABA? Not exactly. Instead, they work by making it easier for GABA to bind to your brain’s receptors. After all, this compound can’t go through the blood-brain barrier, so simply ingesting more of it wouldn’t get it to your brain to improve your sleep. But rest assured that many of the best sleep supplements work on GABA receptors to treat insomnia.

The Best Sleep Supplements and Melatonin—How Does It Combat Insomnia?

Most people have at least heard of melatonin, since this is a widely known way to beat insomnia. But do you know how it works? It’s a bit different from GABA, first of all, as melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain. When you have sufficient melatonin levels in your brain, your circadian rhythm should be in good working order.

For most people, this means the sleep/wake cycle is such that they’re awake during daylight hours and tired enough at night to fall asleep once it gets dark. This is because your brain releases more melatonin when it’s dark out than when it’s light outside.

If this sounds great–but is not exactly a familiar feeling for you—you might have low levels of melatonin and may benefit from a supplement. Unlike GABA supplements, melatonin supplements actually feature the hormone in them. Also, even though it’s one of the best sleep supplements, it won’t knock you out the minute you take it like some sleeping aids can. Melatonin will just help regulate your sleep/wake cycle. So if you struggle with insomnia, get in the habit of taking one tablet of 1 to 3 mg of melatonin an hour or two before your bedtime, you’re more likely to fall asleep at night than you would be without a melatonin supplement.

Find out more about some common sleep problems here: Wrestling the Insomnia Demon

Should You Try GABA or Melatonin for Better Sleep?

Some people want to know which is better: GABA or melatonin? Well, it depends, as some people get better results with one than the other, so you might have to try each one to find out for yourself. Then again, why choose? For many people, the best sleep supplements are a combination of GABA and melatonin is the best option, so it comes as no surprise that some of the best sleep supplements feature both! GABA can help your brain shut down as bedtime approaches, while melatonin can make you more likely to feel tired at night as it gets dark, regulating your circadian rhythm.

If you’re curious about the best sleep supplements on the market, you might be interested in trying a brand new, all natural option. We’re actually debuting FitFormula Sleep later this summer, and we’re very excited about it. The decision to develop FitFormula Sleep actually came from our customers, many of whom have difficulty sleeping. FitFormula Sleep is a blueberry flavored direct dissolve powder that you just pour on your tongue and let dissolve. Safe for grownups and kids, we’re pretty sure you’re going to love it. Want to get on the waiting list to try out a free sample? Email us your name and shipping address at hello@fitformula.com and we’ll make sure you’re among the first to know when the product is available. Sleep is critical to your health, so email us today to get on your way to trying one of the best sleep supplements available!

As you decide which supplement to try, check out: Avoiding Insomnia: How to Fall Asleep—and Hopefully Stay Asleep

More sources on GABA, melatonin, and the best sleep supplements:
How to Take GABA Supplements for More Restful Sleep
Taking GABA for Sleep: The Science Behind It and If It Really Works
Can Supplements Help You Sleep?