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A Sleep Game Changer: Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Sleep Stack Cocktail

Dr. Andrew Huberman, a professor of neuroscience at Stanford University, has become well-known for recommending a combination of three supplements to improve sleep quality. His “sleep cocktail” is said to help people fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night, and wake feeling more rested.

This Article at a Glance:

  • Dr. Huberman recommends 3 supplements – magnesium threonate, apigenin, and L-theanine
  • Taking together before bed, they improve sleep quality
  • Magnesium threonate crosses into brain, suppresses thinking/anticipating
  • Apigenin has mild sedative effect from chloride channel activation
  • L-theanine reduces anxiety and racing thoughts
  • Take cocktail 30-60 mins before bed for best results
  • Consult doctor before use, especially if on other medications

Magnesium Threonate for Deeper Sleep

The key ingredient in Huberman’s formula is magnesium threonate. This specialized form of magnesium is able to cross the blood-brain barrier because it binds to transport proteins, whereas regular magnesium supplements cannot.

Once in the brain, magnesium threonate helps suppress activity in the regions responsible for thinking and anticipating. As a result, the brain can relax and disengage, making it easier to fall asleep. Furthermore, magnesium also activates parasympathetic nervous system activity, lowering heart rate and blood pressure.

Studies show magnesium threonate not only improves sleep quality, but also enhances learning and memory. Some research suggests it may even provide neuroprotective effects.

The recommended dosage is 300-400 milligrams taken 30-60 minutes before bed. When purchasing, it’s important to look for the amount of “elemental magnesium” on the label.

  • Specialized form of magnesium that can cross the blood-brain barrier
  • Helps suppress brain activity in regions for thinking and anticipating
  • Allows the brain to relax and disengage before sleep
  • Also activates parasympathetic nervous system to lower heart rate/blood pressure

Apigenin for Sedative Effects

Apigenin is a natural flavonoid compound found in chamomile tea and certain vegetables. It works similarly to magnesium by increasing inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain.

Specifically, apigenin opens chloride channels which hyperpolarize neurons and make them less excitable. As a result, this produces a mild sedative effect that encourages sleep.

While apigenin is considered quite safe, women should know it may have mild estrogen receptor blocking effects. The suggested dosage is 50 milligrams before bedtime.

  • Natural flavonoid found in chamomile tea and vegetables
  • Increases inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain
  • Produces mild sedative effect to encourage sleep

L-Theanine to Reduce Anxiety

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea, but also available as an oral supplement. It has significant anti-anxiety and relaxing qualities by increasing activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

By reducing excitatory neurotransmission, L-theanine helps quiet the mind and prevent racing thoughts that can delay sleep. Additionally, it boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine which improve mood.

The recommended dosage of L-theanine ranges from 100-400 milligrams taken 30-60 minutes before bed. However, one downside is that it intensifies dreaming, so people prone to vivid dreams or nightmares should use caution.

  • Amino acid found in green tea
  • Has anti-anxiety and relaxing qualities
  • Increases activity of the GABA neurotransmitter
  • Quiets the mind and prevents racing thoughts
  • Boosts serotonin and dopamine to improve mood

Following Huberman’s Protocol

To get the full benefit of these sleep-promoting supplements, Dr. Huberman advises taking them together 30-60 minutes before bedtime. He notes they are not habit-forming, so taking occasional breaks from the regimen should not disrupt effects.

It’s a good idea to consult your physician before trying new supplements, especially if you have an underlying health condition or take other medications. While these ingredients are generally well-tolerated, there is still potential for interactions.

With consistent use of this trifecta, many people report falling asleep faster, staying asleep through the night, and feeling more refreshed in the morning.

NEUROSCIENTIST: This is a SLEEP GAME CHANGER | Joe Rogan & Andrew Huberman
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