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Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Lesson 30 of 33

Supplements for Sleep

Ben Greenfield

Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Ben Greenfield

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Lesson Info

30. Supplements for Sleep

Lesson Info

Supplements for Sleep

Um, you guys don't talk about supplements some of the supplements that that help you to sleep. Ok? Um, let's, go ahead and start here. There's, a condition called more van syndrome, in which people gradually die from lack of sleep, or from insomnia and rats who have more vent syndrome. A lot of times along last about four weeks and it's a it's, an electrolyte imbalance it's, a severe potassium deficiency in the brain. And while I'm not saying that if you can't sleep, you have more van syndrome, aa lot of times when you can't sleep, it can be an electrolyte and specifically a potassium issue so that's why, even though we hear a lot of times about using magnesium, which looks like this, this is magnesium citrate, not cocaine, as the psa might believe when I travel through airport security, when you combine something like this with a potassium citrate, the two can have a synergistic effect. If you have trouble relaxing when you use magnesium, try combining it with potassium, and sometimes...

that can work much better. The other thing that really helps with sleep if neither the magnesium or the potassium help is that because sleep is associated or lack of sleep is associated many cases with electrolyte deficiencies, especially in athletes who are exhausting their adrenal glands natural store of electrolytes using something like sea salt like this is the real good salt that I talk about over it. Then greenfield fitness dot com you can put like a teaspoon or a couple of teaspoons of something like this or a himalayan salt into a glass of water. Stir that up and drink it before bed, and that can help you sleep. Have any of you ever laid awake at night, and you could hear your heart rate pounding in your ears and that's kind of keeps you awake at night a lot of times that's indicative that your lack of sleep your inability to fall asleep is from an electrolyte issue and potassium combined with magnesium or the use of a couple teaspoons so pretty liberal amount of electrolytes, like a like a sea salt can help out quite a bit in a situation like that. So that's one sleep supplement that I like to use if you lay awake at night hungry, I like em city oil or coconut oil as a slow release fuel because one of the things that it doesn't result in is a surgeon insulin. Now remember how I talked about how that surgeon insulin can cause a down regulation of weapon or interrupt the natural activity of weapon and the ability of your nervous system to repair and recover as you sleep well, protein can cause an insulin release carbohydrates can cause an insulin release, but you get very little to no insulin release with something like medium change greg lyssarides or coconut oil so if you lay awake at night hungry because maybe you're you're doing a little bit of keller restriction or you're being careful not eating too much before bed just doing like a couple tablespoons of m c t oil you can even make something like that into a non caffeinated tea or just eating a tablespoon of coconut oil can help pretty cup out quite a bit with giving you calories without spiking insulin gamma amino beauty iraq acid I brought this up when I talked about supplements. There are some supplements out there that have gamma munir bey, tire gas and many of the popular sleep supplements like a gnc or walgreens will have g a ba in them, and it certainly can help to relax you it's one of your relaxing neuro transmitters. The problem is that normally g abe is too large of a molecule to cross your blood brain barrier so it's only in a case where you actually have a leaky blood brain barrier, which would typically be present if you have a abnormal circadian rhythm. If you're eating foods that you have an allergic reaction towards, if you've had like a concussion or a head injury in the past, those type of things things can all cause basically, ah leaky blood brain barrier, and in those cases of ghb, a supplement will help you to sleep better but that's not necessarily a good thing, so if a g a b a supplement helps you to sleep better, you meaning to dig in and look at taking some of the actions will talk about in the next session when it comes to fixing your brain and making sure that you shut down brain inflammation. Now, passion flower is kind of cool because it allows you to produce g a b a, but you're not consuming the ghb. A passionflower up regulates the amount of ghb a that your brain naturally produces. So if passionflower, which is an extract that looks like this, that you can just get straight off the amazon, if this helps you to sleep, then that doesn't mean that you have an issue with the leaky blood brain barrier ghb a this naturally increases the amount of gabba. What I like about this is it doesn't leave you drowsy at all, so I can use this prior to a nap. I can use it if I'm stressed out in the afternoon, I can use it right before bed I really like to mix it with another naturally relaxing agent like like a magnesium citrate that magnesium is from a company called natural calm and passion flower is really really nice has ah kind of like the flavor you let it sit beneath your tongue for about sixty to ninety seconds so it's another really good one that helps a lot of people especially people who tend to get stressed out and kind of hyperactive and avery taipei that helps quite a bit with that valerian root is a natural relaxant using about two hundred to six hundred milligrams of valerian root which would in most cases involve drinking about four cups worth of valerian t work so whereas that valerian root based t it can calm me down a little bit you really have to use like a self ailment or a capsule that has a valerian root in it to get enough hilarion to have a significant calming effect to relax ation effect on you as you sleep um so melatonin I mentioned that I talk about melatonin when you are traveling your melatonin your circadian rhythm gets disrupted and your melatonin signaling at night can become disrupted so melatonin is is something that I recommend for people who are traveling when they travel for the first few days when you arrive at your destination to kind of reset your circadian rhythm and the older you get the more that you need most young people most people who are kind of underneath about that fifty year old age range can do just fine with about two to three grams of melatonin I worked with some older people who need ten plus milligrams of melatonin to actually be able t sleep at night t feel the effects of melatonin. Melatonin is also very poorly absorbed. Orly and so I'm a big fan of using a patch. So melatonin patch, one of the ones that all use when I'm traveling. This one is made by r e s p r laboratories. I've got a link to it. Ben greenfield, fitness dot com slash creative live. You should be able to find it on amazon, but basically it's a patch and you would want to place this patch. Um, it looks just like a band aid. If I roto open this up all open one, show it to you. You would put it unlike your inner thigh underneath your arm, like on your hip and basically just goes on. And I would appeal this off just like a band aid. And I can stick it right there. And it gives me a slow bleed of melatonin for a good four to six hours. So this can really help you when you're traveling. The only issue with melatonin is if you take it right before you go to bed. When it finally hits your bloodstream melatonin can actually wake you up so if you use melatonin, make sure that you started thirty to sixty minutes before you go to bed so that it's in your system when it's time for you to go to sleep and you know get woken up as it gets released in your bloodstream so melatonin is another one that I like and then finally in people have nor a transmitter issues a neuro transmitter ripley shin therapy which we'll talk a little bit more when we talk about brain bio hacks can really help you to sleep better. Yesterday we brought up the use of something like new mood for women with pms or something like traffic or which is basically a mix of five htp and trip to fan and some other neuro transmitter precursors. This can really help folks who have neuro transmitter issues to sleep better if you were to use a supplement like travel core. This is one of my favorite neuro transmitter ripley shin supplements um that new mood stuff that I mentioned by on it a mix of five htp and trip to fan you just get off the internet usually mix in about a ten to one ratio that can work really well, but I recommend you be careful with neurotransmitter replace shin if that someone like that helps you great, you probably had some newer transgender issues but there is a profile called a neuro endocrine profile that you can order from the company like direct labs, and that will actually test your neurotransmitter levels and tell you if they truly are off, like if you have too much serotonin and not enough dopamine, if you're low and something like g a ba or something along those lines, so neural endocrine panel can help me out quite a bit. Um, and then there's, another supplement that I didn't bring up on the slide, but I really like this one. I talked about how all use this supplement called t and she as a way to increase court assault when cortisol is high when increased court someone cortisol is low and decreased court assault when cortisol is high, one of the only issues with tea and cheese has trace amounts of caffeine in it, and some people are very, very sensitive to caffeine before they go to bed at night, and it can disrupt sleep a little bit. So that same company makes this supplement called inner peace, which has all of the chinese adapted jin's in it that tea and she has in it but doesn't have any of the caffeine in it, and this is in a capsule form instead of a liquid form andi, it really just basically helps to restore your adrenals and stabilize a lot of these meridians that are used in chinese medicine. The first time I got my hands on this stuff and used it, I was I was going through pretty stressed out time engaged in hard and heavy iron man training, and I took a nap and I was out for about three hours, and this was within an hour after it took about three of these capsules, so it's pretty powerful stuff, but it works really well to relax a lot of people and it's really safe chinese adapted jin's there fresh. You need to be careful with herbs because a lot of them are laced with heavy metals. They set big bins in china, getting sprayed with ethylene oxide, and, you know, they're very older, they're not fresh, but I can vouch for this stuff and for teen, she it's made by a really good small company and very small and very concentrated batches. So those are some of the supplements that I used to enhance sleep and before I jump into napping and give you guys my ten top tips to conquer the nap, let's, stop for a second and take some questions that may have come up as we've been going over supplements jeff, I've had a friend recommend to me for the sleep properties of middletown and specifically black cherry tart concentrate as a supplement. What do you feel about that not familiar with it and haven't used it it may I mean I'm familiar with tart cherry extract as an antioxidant anti inflammatory but I'm not familiar with black cherry extract at all so that's that's not one that I can speak for um jackie yeah I had a question you mentioned a little bit earlier but I want you to go into some more detail about it I just read I think it was made we all heard on npr about likes the snooze button and snoozing and alarm is and how you feel about that was sleep because I know you said a lot about like using the sun might toe wig you up but what about like actual sound to wake you up when you are in in deep sleep cycle what's happening like I explained when I was talking about the circadian rhythm is your nervous system is going through repair and recovery and there's a lot of basically up regulation of neurons firing and information of memory and learning and when you disrupt that and just pull yourself straight out of that really really fast what can happen is you have a lot of brain fog and you lose a lot of those memory and learning capabilities that you were forming when you're pulled out asleep really really quickly so if you're going to use an alarm clock I like the ones that start really really silent and gradually increase I liked the sunrise based alarm clock that's based off of light I'm really not a fan of the one that just blares and goes off immediately so as faras alarm clocks goes same thing for like taking naps for getting used to take a take a nap during the day I really recommend that you not use an alarm clock to pull you out of the nap unless it is something like one of those slowly fading alarm clocks um I use the earth polls for napping and and I don't even I just know I'm going to wake up when it turns off and that works really well for me I know that it's like five hundred six hundred dollars that's not a solution for everybody, but if I weren't using that, I'd use like like one of those gradually increasing alarm clocks. How about off the internet? Yeah, we have a question here from bionic a and she wants to know if you have any tips for getting into lucid dreaming or will any of these supplements impact the way you're dreaming during the sleep cycles uh there was a company for a while that was making a lucid dreaming a mask they were on kickstarter I don't remember the name of the company, but if you were to search for lucid dreaming mass he could probably find one I think they were about ninety seven dollars and the theory here is that they up regulate a chemical in your brain called dht that helps you get into really like deep, lucid dreaming there's also a company called sacred geometry and this is going to sound really weird, but they make these geometrical pattern charts that are based off of these ancient studies on how to get ditch, not ancient studies but ancient uses of special patterns to help you, too. Going to deep dreaming stays is or have visions of that type of thing. They're called sacred geometry posters. I tried them for about two weeks. I had horrible nightmares and really, really bad lucid dreams, like just like stuff from out of horror movies, and it was really, really disturbing, and so I got rid of them later on the person that recommended those posters to me told me that you do go through almost like a detox phase, use them, and I was like, thank you very much, but but those are those are two methods that I'm familiar with for for getting more, more lucid, dreaming as faras supplements. G o you know, some people say that they had lucid dreaming when they use that alfa brain supplement that I think I had out the other day is as kind of like anura tropic and that has some neuro transmitter precursors in it, like five htp and I'll trip the fans from the same things that are in this some people say that adapted jin's can help a little bit too like uh you know essentially it's is very very similar to the activity of shrooms you know I personally don't really do a lot of lucid dreaming I don't really geek out on that too much but I do find that that I have nice dreams and especially I don't use those posters so let's talk about napping just we make sure we're able to squeeze everything in and we'll be sure return to more questions later on so ten tips to conquer the nap we'll already covered the first one be careful using an alarm clock number two would be to choose the correct time of day two now so based off of the circadian rhythm the best time of day to nap is about seventy eight hours after you wake up and get up out of bed okay so if you're a six am waker then that would mean naptime for you would be about one pm two p m ish for most people they also do pretty well either eleven a m or three pm and this is just based off of research that has been done in sleep labs having people live in there for twenty four hours and see when naps generally give them the most benefit so about six to seven hours after you get up or eleven a m or three pm are the two good times of day to take a nap consistent timing of your nap is important try enough to jump around too much if you can so if you're able to say schedule lunchtime siesta maybe cut lunch short and find a find a quiet place you know in the office or you know in your car wherever we khun you know take a quick twenty minutes news it's really good to time it at a consistent time of day versus having random naps throughout the day some people will tell you to drink a little coffee right before you take a nap so the caffeine is hitting your bloodstream right when you wake up so that you get up it's not true the caffeine will hit your bloodstream almost right away and will disrupt the quality of your sleep healthy inning from something like green tea will actually not do that and can actually help you a little bit with almost this feeling of relax ation so green tea would be ok before you take a nap. Coffee would not um if you need to take a nap for more than sixty minutes consistently, if you find that you are always taking your nap, you're waking up and you've slept for a good hour if you're lucky enough to be ableto have a nap time that lasts an hour and you're still tired that's pretty indicative that you may have adrenal fatigue, and you may want to dig into some of those adrenal fatigue issues that we talked about on day one. Avoid stress for one to two hours prior to a nap if you can, so if you know that you're most stressful time of day is, say after lunch at work between, like, you know, twelve and two p m or something like that, don't be the three p m nap time person try and be more of like eleven am naptime person if that's just the way that that your day rolls, so if you, if you need to nap, try and choose a time in which cortisol levels are not going to be high and you're going to get into that napping phase more quickly, try to time your naps at a point during the day where you have an exercise one to two hours prior again, because a lot of those wakefulness hormones are going to be present within those one to two hours after you've exercised. So that's, not that's, not the optimal time for a nap. Do it before a nap, if you can. I personally do a nap at about one p m most days and that's, right after I eat my big ass salad that I was talking about yesterday, so I eat that thing. Sometimes I even have a glass of magnesium with it, and then I just go down for my nap. A lot of times we'll do the passion flower as well, so I like to take my nap on a little bit of ah, full stomach don't force your nap, he can't get to sleep, don't lay there frustrated just get up and keep going throughout your day. This is going to return to this this concept of free running sleep that will talk about in a second and then finally don't use alcohol or sedatives to help you nap. So ah, glass of wine before an afternoon nap is not a good idea typically won't get as refreshing in that if you didn't use an alcohol or some kind of downer prior to taking a nap. So those are some of the concepts, some of the tips for getting better naps, but I also want to make sure I mentioned this concept of free running sleep because it's very related to the nap. I'm not a fan of what's called poly physics sleeping because ever heard of polly physics sleeping? Polly physics sleeping is this style of sleeping that some sleep hackers will use. Where you take, for example, six to eight twenty minute naps over a twenty four hour circadian rhythm cycle to allow yourself to get by on, say, like two hours of sleep versus eight hours of sleep, and some people will swear by it. The problem is that even though that can help you with wakefulness and with staving off some of the performance deficits that can occur with the lack of sleep, the problem is that you miss out on some of those neuronal repair mechanisms that you learned happen after you've been asleep for about four hours, it takes that long for the core temperature to decrease and for leapt in to get that effect on your body. That's why being asleep between about two a m and six a m is pretty dang important if you really want to get the most benefit out of sleep. So I'm not a fan of this whole polly phase iq. Just sleep four hours a night and then take multiple naps throughout the day type of approach, unless you're using it as a short term hack to string yourself say, like you're a navy seal, having to string yourself through how weak you're a college student having to get through finals. You know that's where you might use polly physics sleeping and, like, you know, a nap, it three an app, it six an all nighter with a nap it midnight, you know, a nap it's seven a m that type of thing that can work it in stringing along for a little while. But it's not a lifestyle solution by any means free running sleep means you simply go to sleep on lee when you are tired and not earlier or later and you wake naturally without an alarm clock. The reason that I bring up free running sleep is that there is some evidence that in some cases our ancestors would get up, you know, around eleven p, m or midnight and maybe have sex go for a walk, go outside on and then go back to bed and there's not necessarily a rule that if you wake up and you're not tired at all, that your circadian rhythm is completely broken. Now I realize that this might sound a little bit confusing based off what I've explained it's always safest to try and just go after that full seven to nine hours sleep cycle when you can, but if you want to learn more about free running sleep and some of the concepts behind free running sleep that we really don't have a tana time to get into right now. Excellent article took me about two weeks to read the article because it's really long but it's it's super memo dot com go to super memo dot com and click on the sleep section there really, really good probably most comprehensive article I've ever read on sleep but really, really good section there on why sleeping when you're tired is really important and why even things like pulling kids out of bed to go to school like six or seven am is probably a really bad idea if we want them to learn and for memories and get smarter as quickly as possible. So some really interesting stuff in there on free running sleep. Jessa all right, I have a question about the free running sleep like if you were to try to apply that to kids, lots of kids will just deny over and over and over again, but they're not sleepy and I'm sure every parent can attest to that, but you know that's what they need so do you just let them go or do you like are you? Do you foresee? The funny thing is when you're camping that doesn't happen does it like it's dark out kids go to bed and a lot of times it's because the tv's blaring the artificial lights are on the kids have their electronics there's all this stuff going on that's really not natural so you know anybody who's, who's camped with kids? It's probably noticed that they fall asleep a lot earlier than they would normally at home and a lot of times it's distractions and artificial light more than it is so the kid's natural propensity to not go to bed when their body is actually truly tired and needing sleep yes, I'm talking more like a nap. Oh, yeah, like forcing a kid to not know you can't force a kid in that, but I mean, you know, like they'll go all day, I just feel like I'm fine, I'm fine don't even only napoli yeah, ideally technically based off of the research that's prevented were presented with free running sleep, you would simply let that kid go on, go on, go on, just fall asleep when they get tired, ok, so that is technically the healthiest way to go when it comes to circadian rhythm, so just real quick, what about for those people who have different schedules? So some mornings they have to be up really early and other mornings they don't. Is there a way to regulate your sleep schedule with that? Well, you can use some of those those waking methods that I talked about, like combined something like blackout curtains with the sunrise alarm clock or use something like the earth colts but ultimately what it comes down to and this kind of returns when we were talking about food, you know what about those people that don't want to spend the money on, you know, wild salmon and grass fed beef just comes down to where your priorities lie, you know, I've told people, you know, I'd like, for example, who want to qualify for iron man hawaii and there you know, night phase shift workers who have horrible sleep patterns who never recovered from their workouts told him, well, sure quit your job and go get a new job and get you qualified and it's just one of those things where it's like, you know, you have to decide where your priorities lie, and if someone is really, really messed up and as a horrible life because they're getting horrible sleep and say like, they're a nurse, who does, you know, night shift work, I'd say, well, if it's really bothering you that much, looking to a new job, so you know they're on dh I know that's a hard answer, but it's it's kind of kind of the way that it is so a few ways to track sleep, there are a lot of different methods out there there's a new one that number six, by the way, that z machine is really expensive it was anybody familiar with zio sleep machine it was just really cool sleep machine that let you like put a head band around your head and really truly track your brain waves in your sleep cycles and was accurate way more accurate than any of the other phone app said I'm going to talk about but they went out of business there was a company that called called z machine I think it's a z machine dot com they sell like a multi thousand dollar unit that's almost like a home version of your own sleep lab if you are super duper geeked out on this or if you're like a train or a practitioner or maybe a doctor who's who's watching this who's interested in tracking sleep at a higher level that's where something like a z machine would come in the rest of these air more applicable to the general population so for example sleep time by azumi o or sleep by motion acts those air iphone aps so you place them near you while you're sleeping and they will detect things like sounds that you make while you sleep movement that you make will you sleep and they will identify based off of that how much you are in your deep sleep cycles versus your light sleep cycles and after a period of time of using the app it will sense about the time of the morning when you begin to stir and it will base its alarm setting on that time that you naturally begin to stir so you can say ok, a sleep time by assuming I want to get up sometime between like six thirty and seven thirty a m well, you set it for that time range that you want to get up and its senses based off of your movements and when you're naturally kind of starting to wake up when to actually make the alarm go off during that time range so that's kind of cool it's also way to actually track your sleep and approximate the amount of time that you that you spent in like deep sleep phases versus life sleep phases and you may find that you laid in bed for nine hours but you really truly only slept for five of those hours it's kind of interesting now I'm not going to pretend that any of these air extremely accurate but they give you a ballpark for the android phones if you're not using an iphone sleep bought and sleep as android will do similar things is the sleep time by azumi o or the sleep by motion x the sleep cycle app is another app I thought I think that's an iphone one and that just gives you a little bit more detailed information about stage one, two, three, four and five sleep that we'll get into in just a second and I'll explain to you what those sleep stages actually are then finally, there are wearable devices that you can put on your wrist like the like the nike wristband or the fitbit or the jawbone or the my basis watch any of these also will kind of detect movement, and they have accelerometers in them and things like that. What kind of sense when you're moving around a lot when you're getting up and when you're still and when you're sleeping and they can, they can give you a good idea they're not super accurate again, but they give you a ballpark idea of how much you're actually sleeping, and a lot of times you'll find that you feel more rested when these type of aps air telling you that you actually really did sleep, you know, seven hours and forty nine minutes versus, you know, five hours and fifty minutes because you forgot that you got up and went to the bathroom three times, and he tossed and turned woke up four times it's weird when you forget during the night and when you wake up in an ap actually shows you how much you truly did move around it's kind of interesting, so those are some of the ways that you contract, sleep those are some of the better sleep aps and tools that are out there.

Class Description

Professional athletes and elite exercisers may be able to train full-time, but what about those of us who want a better body or to achieve amazing feats of physical performance but have busy lives and jam-packed schedules? Athlete and author Ben Greenfield will arm you with the tools, strategies, and systems you need to look, feel, and perform at your peak physical and mental capacity, without spending your entire day exercising or dieting.

In this course, Ben covers topics such as how to avoid injury, imbalances, or overtraining, how to address crucial elements that most exercise enthusiasts overlook, and how to quickly develop natural, ancestral strength, balance, mobility and physical function. You’ll learn how to customize your daily nutrition and workout fueling protocols so that you can get adequate calories without destroying your metabolism or expanding your waistline. From your gut-brain connection to mind-hacking tactics to sensory system enhancement, Ben will show you the crucial role the nervous system plays in fitness, and will reveal strategies for being mentally and physically prepared for any challenge life may throw at you.

Whether you want to run a marathon, do an Ironman triathlon, complete an adventure race, launch into Crossfit, are a dedicated gym junkie, or just want to shed fat fast and get rid of fatigue, this course will equip you to feel your best and perform at your peak capacity.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

10 Human Performance Meals

7 Day Done

creativeLIVE Home Detox

Health vs Performance Slides

Become Superhuman Resource Guide

Body Products and House Cleaners

Enrollment Page

Ultimate Human Performance Exercise.mp4

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Ben delivered an exceptional three-day seminar at creativeLIVE that I was lucky enough to attend. His expertise in all facets of health & wellness was on full-display -- and his presentation was clearly articulated & engaging He was friendly and responsive to feedback and gave actionable recommendations which are already paying dividends in my life -- especially in the areas of energy, mental clarity & sleep quality I strongly recommend Ben -- he walks the walk & talks the talk -- genuinely cares about helping other people and possesses a real gift to teach & inspire

a Creativelive Student

This is one of the best courses I have ever seen! So much value for money and so many amazing bits of information jam packed in. What a brilliant guy! Geeky information presented in a down to earth way. I can not recommend this course enough. I don't think I have ever been bothered to write a review for anything (EVER) but this was SO good I had to share. Well done Ben and thank you Creative Live!


Ben Greenfield has a lot of information, best course I have taken in regards to Nutrition and Fitness. There is a lot of knowledge and their a great couple and both have a lot of information to offer, I even like the lame jokes that he makes. Very nice and knowledgable couple.