This Dietary Supplement is Making its Rounds as a Sleep Aid. Here’s How it Works

Quality rest is essential to maintaining your mental and physical health, but the struggle to fall asleep is real. The CDC says 70 million Americans live with chronic sleep problems. Sleep supplements are a viable solution to promote better rest, but some are prescribed Sleep aids People who take sleep supplements may feel sleepy the next morning Melatonin makes them coarse.

Enter gamma-aminobutyric acid.

It is a naturally occurring amino acid in the body and has a calming effect. GABA is often taken as a dietary supplement, but it has been reported to be a good alternative sleep aid to melatonin. It only affects the early stages of sleep, resulting in you feeling more awake in the morning. Although there is limited research, the small studies that have been done show positive results and GABA is worth a try if you can’t sleep.

Here’s what we know about GABA, tips on taking it, and why it might be a viable sleep aid to consider if you have trouble sleeping.

For more help getting quality rest, try these Seven natural sleep aids for insomnia And how Create the perfect environment for sleep.

Also Read :  Sneaky Signs You're Dealing With PCOS

About GABA

CNET Sleep Tips logo

GABA is a neurotransmitter found naturally in the brain and in certain foods such as tomatoes and soybeans. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that blocks chemical signals in the central nervous system and reduces brain activity. GABA helps promote calmness in the body and regulate nerve cell hyperactivity when feeling fearful, anxious or stressed.

It’s sold over-the-counter as a dietary supplement, but GABA’s effects may also benefit those who struggle to fall asleep.

How does GABA help you sleep?

Taken alone or with other natural sleep aids, GABA supplements can help address anxiety, stress, and an overactive brain, three of the main culprits that make falling asleep difficult. Its calming effect puts the mind in a relaxed state, so you’re in the right headspace for sleep.

Low GABA levels have actually been linked to insomnia, with one study finding that participants with insomnia had 30% lower levels of GABA in their systems. Another small study by Frontiers in Neuroscience involving middle-aged adults found that taking 300 milligrams of GABA at bedtime for at least a week reduced sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep).

Also Read :  Taking Ozempic? Here Are Side Effects You Should Know

There is no solid research showing that GABA helps sleep efficiency (sleep quality and slow-wave sleep), but study results showed that it may promote sleepiness because it affects the early stages of sleep. Another benefit is that it won’t make you feel drowsy the next morning like other anticonvulsants like ZzzQuil or prescription sleep medications.

Tips for taking GABA for sleep

1. GABA can be taken as a supplement or powder in your diet.

2. Take GABA 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime for best results (as shown in studies).

3. Follow the dosage instructions and track how much and how often you take GABA.

4. Use a sleep journal to document your sleep quality so you can identify patterns, potential side effects, and effectiveness of GABA.

5. GABA is found naturally in fermented foods such as kimchi, soursop, sake, and mulberry beer.

6. Always talk to your doctor before taking GABA or any new supplement.

GABA can ease anxiety and stress

While research is still limited, more data supporting GABA a Stress and anxiety Relief continues to emerge. Relieving anxiety and stress before bed should not be taken lightly, as it can significantly affect sleep latency and overall sleep quality.

Also Read :  Hillsborough County - No-Cost Health Care, No Insurance Needed with the Hillsborough Health Care Plan

Side effects of taking GABA

According to the Sleep Foundation, GABA has no serious side effects when taken in small doses through sleep or dietary supplements. However, some consumers have reported experiencing abdominal pain or headaches. High levels of GABA in the brain are associated with daytime sleepiness, and few people report feeling sleepy after taking GABA.

As you should with any new supplement, consult your doctor before taking GABA. Especially when taken in combination with other medications or prescription drugs.

People at higher risk of having a negative reaction to GABA include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Persons under 18 years of age
  • People taking prescription drugs for high blood pressure
  • Those taking anti-seizure medications

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.