Welcome back to the 7 weeks to the best possible sleep program.
It is now week four, this week we will cover the 4 best supplements for sleeping better on night shift.
You have possibly noticed by our product offering and the tips I’ve given so far that I much prefer naturally sleeping better rather than using sleeping pills, however there are of course some supplements known to help with sleep.
Make sure you check the laws in your country and state before buying each of these supplements. Make sure you seek medical advice and check the proper doses, side effects and allergies and what you shouldn’t take them in conjunction with before taking them. This is not medical advice, do not listen to me, make your own decisions.
Alright let's start with the main one:
I think we have talked enough about melatonin for you to know where this is going.
Here is a quick excerpt from webmd.com:
“Melatonin's main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles.
Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep.
Light decreases melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake.
Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. It is thought that adding melatonin from supplements might help them sleep.
Some people take melatonin by mouth to adjust the body's internal clock.
It is used for jet lag, for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes (shift-work disorder),and for helping blind people establish a day and night cycle.”
I take this myself when I can't sleep and find it effective. Much better than sleeping pills as you don't wake up drowsy.
I have heard you can build up a tolerance so I wouldn't use it all the time.
But if you just use it for night shift I'm sure that would be all good.
At the time of writing this you can order it for under AU$10 a bottle on iHerb, here is a link:View Melatonin →
Now as a bonus tip and thought on this subject, I have a bit of a theory which is not scientific at all and I do not want this to be considered advice or facts but bear with me anyway.
So, we already talked about how supplementing melatonin can help induce sleep as melatonin is the sleep hormone.
And we also already talked about how when it is light the body converts melatonin to serotonin which wakes you up making it hard to sleep during the day.
So, here goes my unscientific conclusion and tip. Hopefully you can already see where I am going with this and I’m not crazy.
When you wake up for nightshift and it is dark, I would draw the conclusion that your body does not convert enough melatonin to serotonin, leaving you a little deficient.
Now, if you don’t already know, serotonin is known to be the feel good chemical in our brain.
This possibly explains how we always feel worse and more tired on night shift than on day shift, even with the same amount of sleep.
So what can we do about it? We can’t supplement serotonin as I don’t think it exists.
However, there are 3 supplements you can use to increase your serotonin levels instead.
I’ve put them in order of what seem most effective to least effective.
“Tryptophan is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It is essential in humans, meaning the body cannot synthesize it: it must be obtained from the diet. Tryptophan is also a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, the hormone melatonin and vitamin B3.
Because tryptophan is converted into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) which is then converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin, it has been proposed that consumption of tryptophan or 5-HTP may improve depression symptoms by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain.
There is evidence that blood tryptophan levels are unlikely to be altered by changing the diet, but consuming purified tryptophan increases the serotonin level in the brain, whereas eating foods containing tryptophan does not.”
You can order L-Tryptophan Here:View L-Tryptophan →
Mentioned in the Tryptophan paragraph above but here’s some more from Wikipedia:
“5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), also known as oxitriptan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well asa metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin.”
You can order 5-HTP here:View 5-HTP →
L-theanine is an amino acid that enhances your bodys production of GABA, serotonin and dopamine. Here is a copy paste explanation from Wikipedia:
“Large studies in humans have not been undertaken; however, several smaller-scale studies (fewer than 100 participants) have shown increased alpha wave generation and lowered anxiety, along with benefits to sleep quality in people with ADHD.
The combination of theanine and caffeine has been shown to promote faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy. Due to this, the combination has become popular over recent years as a nootropic supplement typically found in the form of a pill, drink, or gum.
Theanine has been reported to raise levels of brain serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, with possible improvement in specific memory and learning tasks.”
You can order L-Theanine here:View L-Theanine →
Where to Order From?
You should be able to buy these supplements at most health stores or online.
The website I order mine from is iHerb.
I order from them because they have probably the biggest selection of supplements in the world and are very cheap.
They are international but orders arrive very quickly to Australia.
Here’s a little sales pitch from their website:
“Browse our site and you'll find over 1,200 brands and 30,000 brand name products that you may also find at health food stores and natural pharmacies -- with one important difference: Our prices are typically 30 - 50% less!”
You can use any of the links on this page to get a further 5% off. I will also get 5% credit towards my next order:Get 5% Off at iHerb →
Link to all 4
If you want to purchase more than one supplement, to make it easier I have created a link to a cart that contains each of the products listed below, just remove the ones you don’t want and checkout.
There are 100’s of brands and sizes and doses of each supplement to choose from so feel free to browse the store if you aren’t happy with the ones I recommended.
The ones I chose are the best value (dose x quantity/price) I could find at the time of writing this.Click Here to Get 5% Off all 4 Supplements →
In conclusion melatonin supplements are well documented in helping you sleep better and have worked for me. Just don't take them too regularly, save it for night shift.
There are also other supplements which assist with serotonin production, which I think could be really good for helping you feel better while on a night shift.
5. Try all 4