GABA Levels 30 Percent Lower in Those with Sleep Issues

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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GABA Levels 30 Percent Lower in Those with Sleep Issues
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A new study looked into the GABA levels in those having trouble sleeping1 and found they were 30 percent below normal, a level that also contributes to an anxious feeling and poor mood. GABA is a relaxing neurotransmitter required for sleep at night and a more relaxed feeling during the day.

Researchers evaluated eight men and eight women who had long duration sleep problems (average 10 years), between ages 25-55, who were not on any sleep medications. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was used to noninvasively determine GABA levels. The results were compared to a control group. Sleep problems were clearly linked to low GABA levels.

Theanine is a terrific GABA boosting nutrient. The active component of green tea responsible for its relaxing effects, clinical studies show that it can raise the relaxing alpha brain waves within 40 minutes of ingestion. Another nutrient that assists GABA activity is taurine,2 which has been shown to activate GABA receptors. It has been shown to guard against nerve cells overheating via GABA activation (preventing excitotoxic stress3). Taurine also activates glycine receptors4, which along with GABA are the two primary relaxing neurotransmitters required for sleep.

Both theanine and taurine are in Sleep Helper, along with several other fine quality relaxing herbs. Glycine is in RelaxaMag, along with the relaxing mineral magnesium. Sleep Helper and RelaxaMag are a great sleep combination; don't forget about melatonin as the winter sets in.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ GABA Lacking When There are Sleep Problems of Long Duration  Sleep  John Winkelman, et al.
  2. ^ Taurine Activates GABA Receptors   J Neurosci.   Jia F, Yue M, Chandra D, Keramidas A, Goldstein PA, Homanics GE, Harrison NL.
  3. ^ Taurine Protects Against the Amyloid Plaque of Alzheimer's  Neuropharmacology  Andréa C. Paula-Lima, Fernanda G. De Felice, Jordano Brito-Moreira and Sérgio T. Ferreira.
  4. ^ Taurine Activates Glycine and GABA Receptors  Neuroreport.   Wu J, Kohno T, Georgiev SK, Ikoma M, Ishii H, Petrenko AB, Baba H.

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