Some people have recommended that I take ZMA to help me sleeper better. ZMA is a supplement that contains zinc and magnesium. The recommendation is to take it before bed, on an empty stomach.
I've taken ZMA on occasion because it allegedly benefits both sleep quality and testosterone production. Well, I can't say I noticed any benefits in regards to my physical performance but it certainly had an impact on my quality of sleep, and it was a negative one. When taking ZMA my dreams are VIVID! And that's not a problem in and of itself but at times I would wake up startled, thinking to myself, "WTF?! is going on in my head?"
I would both encourage and discourage the use of ZMA for that reason alone, depending on how you react and how adventurous you are - it's an interesting trip!
ZMA pretty much is a muscle relaxant, the testosterone claims only come from people who were Magnesium and zinc deficient finally getting enough (and boom they had more testosterone cause they supplemented the deficiency)
as far as sleeping better, it won't help you fall asleep if its your mind keeping you up, but you will sleep deeper and quality of sleep goes up for me at least... for some people the vivid dreams come from finally getting proper deep and rem sleep cycles, other people the vivid dreams go away after taking ZMA for awhile.
I'd be interested if there's any clinical studies of its effects. I have been taking Natural Calm (which is just magnesium) for a while and anecdotally, I can say it helps with my sleep quite a bit. But YMMV.
I haven't tried ZMA, but I do use GABA and it works wonders for helping me getting a very sound sleep! About 15 minutes after you take it, you get a slight flushed/tingly sensation, and if you are already in bed by then, its the perfect time to nod off. When I wake up I feel fully rested (no getting up before the alarm goes off!)
the b6 in ZMA boosts your neurotransmitters across the board accounting for the vivid dreams. i take it a few times a week. my wife nightly, and loves it. we take 1 out of the 3 or 4 capsules which help moderate the dream effects. as earlier commenters noted about zinc and mag, your mileage may vary depending on how deficient (or not) you are with the 3 nutrients. almost 3/4 of people surveyed are deficient in magnesium; i'm sure the same could be said of zinc. depending on your weight and nutrient density of the foods you eat, supplementing with ZMA along wih whole food multis and Bs and fish oil make sense. ZMA is a solid addition; You'll feel the difference. Just modulate the dose and timing based on your body's reaction.
I think it helps me fall asleep faster by helping me get into a sleepy state just before bed. I've been taking it for about 6 months. On days I forget to take it, I can still lie in bed for up to 30 minutes before I fall asleep. With ZMA, I fall asleep quick enough not to notice.
From what I've read, it is the magnesium that has the muscle relaxtant effect. I took magnesium before ZMA and noticed it does help me fall asleep just as well as ZMA.
I take magnesium citrate 400mg(as per robb wolf) before bed and melatonin. And my sleep is much deeper then before. My dreams also seem to be like I'm watching a tv show or movie that has me at the edge of my seat. But regretfully once my eyes open there is barely any recall of the dream
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