Surely, you’ve been there, fidgeting at your desk, unable to concentrate because your mind is spinning with a dozen different every day worries. Or perhaps you’ve been staring at your bedroom ceiling unable to sleep, even though you’re bone tired. Maybe you’ve been there more than usual the past year and a half. If so, you’re not alone. Supplements for stress, mental calmness, focus, and occasional anxiety are available to serve you during the day and to fall asleep at night. Give your brain what it needs to relax. Start with theanine and GABA to help support alpha brain waves.
The good news is that scientists understand the process of how the brain calms down so it can focus or prepare for sleep. With that knowledge, it’s just a question of giving it a nudge in the right direction.
Here’s what your brain needs to do to feel calm:
Unleash Alpha Brain Waves: Theanine and GABA
- Alpha brain waves are tied to a state of calm alertness that’s conducive to focus. Nonetheless, these same alpha waves can also serve as a bridge to sleep. L-theanine is an amino acid found in black and green tea that increases alpha waves in the brain. What’s more, it improves attention and reaction time. GABA, another amino acid found in fermented foods, reduces occasional stress — in one study, in as little as 60 minutes.
Dial Down the Excitement: GABA
- Inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as GABA, are necessary for relaxation and sleep. This is because they rein in excitability in brain cells. Pharma GABA is a clinically tested, naturally sourced form of GABA, produced by Lactobacillus. In one study, Pharma GABA® reduced markers of stress in the saliva of height-phobic volunteers who were asked to walk over a suspended bridge. Can you relate?
Balance Hormones for Sleep: Melatonin and 5-HTP
- Two hormones are particularly important for sleep. Melatonin regulates the body’s internal clock and prepares the body for sleep. Supplemental melatonin helps people
- fall asleep more quickly
- increase the time spent in restorative REM sleep
- decrease nighttime wakening, and sleep longer
Serotonin also promotes healthy sleep. However, it doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier, so you can’t take it as a supplement. 5-HTP can slip past that barricade and is converted to serotonin once it reaches the brain. Taking 5-HTP has been shown to support a calm mood and healthy sleep.
Our Pick: Natural Factors’ Stress-Relax® line of products marshals the power of GABA, L-theanine, melatonin, and 5-HTP to help you unwind during the day and drift off at night. Just picture your agitated brain waves yielding to calming alpha brain waves. Hello, mental focus! And hello calming, relaxing, focus to sleep or not.
Fast Stress Formulas in Chewable
- Pharma GABA is a fast-acting formula that promotes physical relaxation and mental focus. Available in 100 mg chewable tablets and 100 mg vegetarian capsules.
- Suntheanine® L-Theanine supports mental calmness and relaxation and takes effect in as little as 30 minutes. Available in 100 mg chewable tablets.
- Melatonin helps provide more restful and natural sleep. Available in 1, 3, 5, and 10 mg chewable tablets.
- Tranquil Sleep®, with Suntheanine L-theanine, 5-HTP, and melatonin, supports relaxation and enhances natural sleep quality. Available in regular and extra strength chewable tablets.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.