Sunday, November 28, 2010

GABA for Sleep

Doctor Oz talked about alternative supplements for sleep problems; GABA for sleep is the most common brain neurotransmitter that allows us to relax. Gamma Amino Butyric Acid or GABA is an amino acid produced in the brain. It is a natural tranquilizer that increases the level of Human Growth Hormones (HGH) which is vital for all human beings. If sleeplessness last for a considerable period of time it should not be ignored and GABA can treat insomnia because it induces good quality and quantity of sleep. Free from unusual side effects, GABA prevents after effects like drowsiness and lethargy. There are many factors why we cannot fall asleep easy at night including anxiety, stress, illness and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Lack of sleep affects our body’s ability to reenergize and repair itself which will cause harm to our health and take a toll on our work and family life. We will lose focus and concentration, become restless and slows our reflexes, which will make it dangerous for us to drive or operate heavy machinery.

In 2003, new research suggested that both sleep and mood problems may result from a lack of the same brain chemical…GABA. GABA helps stop brain activity and allows both your brain and body to get the rest it needs. A GABA deficiency causes both sleep problems by interfering with deep sleep and anxiety disorders that are associated with racing thoughts. The longer GABA caused sleep problems continue the greater risk to your emotional and physical health. Those with bipolar disorder are known to have GABA problems experience lows (depressed) when sleep deprived and highs (mania) when they wake up in the morning. Today there are new GABA stimulating drugs being developed with the hope of treating both problems. Doctors also recommend changing lifestyle habits to incorporate improved sleep hygiene that will help which means keeping a sleep routine, avoid late naps, limit caffeine after lunch, no large late night meals, exercise in the morning and not using alcohol as a sleep aid.

HGH naturally reduces production after the age of 40 and is thought to be a reason why older adult wake up during the night or wake up early in the morning. HGH levels can be increased by GABA administration which improves the effect on sleep cycles, controls body temperature and pituitary gland action while promoting a restful night’s sleep. GABA is also known to settle tremors and trembling from an epilepsy episode and Huntington’s disease sufferers. There are several clinical studies on GABA neurotransmitters for elevating HGH levels which effect sleep cycles. Naturally HGH is released within 90 minutes of falling asleep, so a GABA supplement should be taken immediately before bedtime to promote sleep.

According to some researchers they feel they don’t have enough data on GABA supplements or the products purity since they are not regulated by the FDA. Low levels of GABA have been found in people with disorders such as multiple sclerosis or other movement disorders. People with panic attacks, depression, alcoholism and bipolar disorders also have shown to have low GABA levels. Unhealthy lifestyles, stress and genetics have revealed GABA deficiencies. GABA side effects include a mild tingling around face and neck, a brief change in heart rate or breathing patterns that will quickly dissipate and not harmful. Due to lack of scientific data, GABA is not recommended for those that are pregnant and nursing. People that take prescription medications for anxiety which target GABA receptors in the brain should not use GABA supplements without the advice of a medical professional. An overdose of GABA can exacerbate the very symptoms of anxiety and insomnia that it is supposed to alleviate, emphasizing the need to use it within recommended amounts.

How much GABA to take to fall asleep easy? The appropriate dose of GABA depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other factors. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for GABA sleep. Be sure to follow pertinent directions on product labels and consult your physician before using. GABA is available in tablets, capsules and in powdered form, and can be purchased online, at your local health food store, pharmacy or grocery store. Capsules can be opened and mixed with liquid to make them easier to ingest. Sublingual tablets of GABA (tablets that are placed under the tongue to dissolve) are also available.

If you don't like taking supplements that are not controlled by the FDA, here is a list of foods which are high in glutamic acid/glutamate. “The more GABA-producing foods you eat, the more you will be able to create.”

  • Almonds

  • Tree nuts

  • Bananas

  • Beef Liver

  • Broccoli

  • Brown Rice

  • Halibut

  • Lentils

  • Oats, whole grain

  • Oranges, citrus fruits

  • Rice bran

  • Spinach

  • Walnuts

  • Whole wheat, whole grains.

The content provided in GABA for Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional
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