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Will ZMA help me sleep better at night?

by (6082)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created February 26, 2010 at 1:52 PM

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.

D371623b5671d11fa678b201ff23442b
0 · October 24, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Anecdote: I've heard of people before having disturbed sleep patterns on ZMA before, and I've taken zinc and magnesium together, but not in one formulation. I've found it to have a negligible effect on my performance and sleep.

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550 · March 15, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Does anyone have any anecdotal evidence about becoming overly reliant on such a supplement?

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22913 · April 10, 2011 at 9:49 PM

That tingly may mean a blood brain barrier issue...

Medium avatar
310 · February 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Ted, does it help you sleep? Aside from having restful dreams, does it help you fall asleep/stay asleep? Thank you!

Medium avatar
310 · February 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Ahhh, ok. Thank you.

A3e654929c08c0723607842656b57f8f
834 · February 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Whole foods sells gaia brand kava kava. It is safe so long as you follow the instructions and dont mix with alcohol.

Medium avatar
310 · February 26, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Where do you get Kava Kava? I thought it was dangerous. Am I mistaken?

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf
539 · February 26, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Really. The better I sleep, the more I remember.

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf
539 · February 26, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Same here. No effect and I went through the whole bottle.

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1197 · February 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I had exactly the same experience. I now take just magnesium rather than ZMA and my sleep is much better, with less of the 'OMG I am messed up in the head' dreams.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7
6082 · October 18, 2010 at 1:33 PM

What basis is there for that?

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17 Answers

0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0
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754 · March 11, 2010 at 7:11 AM

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.

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349 · February 26, 2010 at 9:25 PM

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!

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4
1197 · February 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

I had exactly the same experience. I now take just magnesium rather than ZMA and my sleep is much better, with less of the 'OMG I am messed up in the head' dreams.

D371623b5671d11fa678b201ff23442b
0 · October 24, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Anecdote: I've heard of people before having disturbed sleep patterns on ZMA before, and I've taken zinc and magnesium together, but not in one formulation. I've found it to have a negligible effect on my performance and sleep.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98
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3268 · February 26, 2010 at 10:46 PM

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!)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · April 10, 2011 at 9:49 PM

That tingly may mean a blood brain barrier issue...

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65 · February 26, 2010 at 10:11 PM

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.

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197 · August 29, 2012 at 3:20 PM

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.

Dacc532e02e9acf8e5d527330a2041ec
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10 · July 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

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.

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1061 · February 25, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Just over a month ago, I tried ZMA to help me sleep. Unfortunately in ZERO impact, none, zip, zero, nada. Taking was exactly the same as not taking it.

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539 · February 26, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Same here. No effect and I went through the whole bottle.

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0 · October 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

I have had problems with sleeplessness ever since I hit peri-menopause. I started taking ZMA on the advice of a co-worker, and I have to say that it helps me more than anything else I've tried, including menopause supplements and melatonin.

What I've found it that it doesn't make me go to sleep faster, but the quality of my sleep is much better. Instead of tossing and turning all night, I wake in the morning feeling really good. My dreams are more vivid, but not unpleasant. I ran out at one point and didn't re-order right away. After about a month I was really ragged. The first night I started taking it again I slept like a baby.

If you would like to try ZMA, check out this link:

http://www.iherb.com/now-foods-sports-zma-sports-recovery-180-capsules/14497?rcode=pul058

It's the best price I've found, and you will get free shipping and a $5.00 discount (10.00 if your order is over $40.00)

For more Paleo Diet hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/13322/will-zma-help-me-sleep-better-at-night.html#ixzz2ieNwxwAb

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E1085ea9d12f68824c28a17bcab6918e
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0 · August 10, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Hey, if its quality sleep that you are looking for, why not try out my website at http://www.SleepWellSecrets.com? I am a professional sleep expert who has been teaching people how to cure their insomnia naturally and efficiently for more than 5 years.

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0 · July 19, 2013 at 11:19 PM

For sleep both my wife and I take one tart cherry capsule. Seems to really help. I took ZMA for a few months but it started messing with my....ah...poop. Stop taking ZMA a couple of days ago and poop back to normal and sleep the same anyway. Now I just take the one tart cherry and my cholesterol pill at night.

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3150 · March 31, 2013 at 8:49 AM

I've taken this many times because seems to be a pretty natural testosterone enhancer with no sides, it's cheap and thought it could not hurt to add it into my stack.

Well, over the time I can't say that I've noticed anything either good or bad about it. My sleep is exactly the same, and my testosterone levels... well, haven't check very regularly, but I guess they remain the same.

In the end it's just a mineral and vitamin complex. If you're lacking the Magnesium, Zinc or B6 it sure will help. If not (and most likely if you are eating Paleo) then maybe it won't make any difference.

EDIT: One tip. My sleep improved the most when I went early for a walk in the morning trying to get sun exposure, trying to go to sleep in the dark but the most when I cut drinking water at least one or two hours before getting to the bed. It's a pity because I enjoy a lot a nightly herb infusion for relax but then I'll sure wake near 3-4AM to go to the toilet. If I stay "dry" then sleep all the way to the morning and awake refreshened even with 6-7 hours of sleep.

A442db562814a82c56d2068a5c3aa69f
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0 · March 31, 2013 at 6:50 AM

This is kinda off topic but just wondering how eric S got adderal because I have been trying for awhile now and it hasn't really worked out. Doubt i'll get an answer but worth a try. Anything will help. Thanks. Also ZMA is deffiently helps with sleep quality.

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5002 · April 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Here are some details of my experience with ZMA so far. I have been taking NOW brand ZMA every night before bed for about 3 weeks. I have had some distinctly vivid dreams in the last week or so, but that is a new thing. In the beginning I didn't notice any difference in my sleep. One confounding factor is that I struggled with noisy neighbors during this time, which I used the Naturespace iOS app to combat. They have since moved, and my last two nights have been particularly restful. One interesting feature of the past four days is that I've had dark puffy bags under my eyes for the first time in my life, but this might be related to an allergic reaction to a facial product that I had on my lips, nose, and eyes. Finally, another confounding factor is that I think that my diet was too low carb because I do strength training 3 to 4 times a week. So I started eating sweet potatoes every other day. This might also help with my sleep. Lastly, I study with Adderall several nights a week, and this changes my sleep patterns. So, for now, mixed results, though my experience has numerous confounding factors.

A3e654929c08c0723607842656b57f8f
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834 · February 25, 2011 at 2:48 PM

I take kava kava before bed on most nights and find it gives me great restful dreams.

Medium avatar
310 · February 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Ted, does it help you sleep? Aside from having restful dreams, does it help you fall asleep/stay asleep? Thank you!

Medium avatar
310 · February 26, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Where do you get Kava Kava? I thought it was dangerous. Am I mistaken?

A3e654929c08c0723607842656b57f8f
834 · February 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Whole foods sells gaia brand kava kava. It is safe so long as you follow the instructions and dont mix with alcohol.

Medium avatar
310 · February 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Ahhh, ok. Thank you.

269aa194d56bacaf0cea49c83a6402f9
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0 · February 25, 2011 at 8:47 AM

The one night i didn't Take ZMA i had crazy, disturbing dreams after two weeks on it. But have been sleeping generally better with it.

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20 · October 17, 2010 at 5:03 PM

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

B58ced7aa9b80307d3fd6faf220da7a2
0
0 · October 17, 2010 at 4:05 PM

If you are sleeping properly, you really shouldn't remember your dreams.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7
6082 · October 18, 2010 at 1:33 PM

What basis is there for that?

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf
539 · February 26, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Really. The better I sleep, the more I remember.

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