Tag Archives: sleep aid

GABA Stops or Prevents Seizures

GABA, also referred to a gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and serve different functions in the body. Historically this amino has been used as a natural sedative, to help with relaxation and sleep since it is acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. However, it also has anti-anxiety and anti-seizure properties, and is an anti-convulsant.

GABA is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that the body produces it (you can also get it from protein foods or take a supplement) but sometimes it is still deficient depending on what is happening in the body.

According to studies, this amino acid can aid with sleep, inhibition, calming the nerves, drug dependency (including alcoholism), is used in antiepileptic drugs (epilepsy), and according to a study entitled ‘Molecular mechanisms of antiseizure drug activity at GABAA receptors’ by L John Greenfield Jr, is used to prevent seizures.

GABAA receptor (GABAR) helps prevent seizures

GABAA receptor (GABAAR) is, says the researcher, a “major target of antiseizure drugs (ASD’s).” There are actually a number of different agents that act at GABARs’ distinct receptor sites that can eliminate or prevent seizures.

Some of these agents include: loreclezole, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates, in which the GABARs are the only known substance used due to its antiseizure ability.

However, this is only one of a few possible antiseizure mechanisms in these agents: topiramate, losigamone, retigabine, felbamate, and stiripentol.

Other agents, which affect GABAergic “’tone’ by regulating the synthesis, transport or breakdown of GABA” also exist. The development of ganaxolone was a response to the neurosteroid allopregnanolone (a progesterone metabolite, which intensifies GABAR function).

This amino is an intrinsic component to epileptic patients. The efficacy of GABAR function can change when someone develops or has chronic epilepsy, so Greenfield says that it “may provide an additional target for ‘GABAergic; ASDs.”

The conclusion was that targeting the altered receptors may “provide a novel approach for seizure prevention.”

Reference:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1059131113001143

Improve Sleep for Insomnia via Amino Acids and Deep Breathing

1… 2… 3… 4… How many of us have tried counting sheep, or other things that never seem to work, just to get some sleep at night? Insomnia can strike a person for a good many reasons, including: worry or fretting, stress or anxiety, racing thoughts, sleep cycles being off kilter (light therapy can sometimes help), hormones or metabolic reasons, and even due to being overly tired, among other things. However, there are two natural things you can do to help you sleep… take certain amino acids, and perform certain breathing exercises.

Studies have shown that increasing oxygen levels through deep breathing exercises, contrary to popular belief, can actually help induce sleep rather than wake you up. This is due to the connection with CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels in the body, which I will go into later.

Interestingly, amino acids can also help relieve insomnia. Two of the common 22 amino acids, in particular, are able help calm the mind and induce rest in a weary but aggravated body.

Insomniacs need oxygen, and amino acids for serotonin

Adults with insomnia were studied and given relaxation techniques, including deep breathing exercises (do not forget about bedtime yoga!) as part of information included in complementary and alternative medicine or naturopathic medicine techniques. These insomniacs, after being informed of these easy activities at bedtime, had higher rates of continued use.

Deep breathing exercises aside, it is not just increasing oxygen levels alone that help you relax and slumber, but reducing CO2 levels in the body. Amino acids actually play a vital role in this process.

In a fascinating cross-species study that compared plants, insects, animals, and humans, the levels of CO2 and anxiety were investigated. Anyone who has woken up in the night due to a panic attack knows what I am speaking about here. CO2 levels are higher in correspondence with anxiety or negative emotions.

There is a neurological ‘fear circuit’ that is not entirely understood, but evidence reviewed on the amino acid GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) may help modulate anxiety that is CO2 induced. That is, if you take the GABA amino acid, it could help calm the mind, anxiety, and troubling thoughts so you can sleep.

Another amino acid that is known to be a natural sedative is tryptophan (like what makes you tired from turkey meat), plus serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) and melatonin also help you induce sleep.

GABA and tryptophan are commonly available as supplements at health food stores and drug stores as a sleep aid. So breathe deeply and reduce the amount of CO2 in your body, plus take amino acid GABA and/or tryptophan to complement this for a good night’s rest.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23243402

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18485466

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22652369

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22365651

Midnight Snacks That Help You Sleep – GABA Insomnia Cure

So tonight I awoke at 2:30AM for the usual reasons—to go to the bathroom and get some water; however, my mind started racing and I couldn’t sleep. It’s an altogether too-common problem for many people. So what did I do? Well, first I wrote this article so it will help others, but secondly, I reached out to cure what ails me, foods containing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) for a natural GABA insomnia cure.

GABA is an amino acid, and a natural cure for insomnia. Sure, I could take a prescription drug for insomnia, but I doubt my doctor can help me at this hour of the night. I could take an over the counter sleep aid (like allergy medicines: Excedrin PM, Tylenol PM, or Nytol—these contain diphenhydramine, which causes drowsiness and sometimes help people sleep) but why take something that is designed for allergies just to sleep?

I could also take a natural sleep aid supplement, such as GABA supplements, or a sleep aid that is a GABA insomnia cure? GABA medications that are also sleep medicines include: Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), Lunesta (eszopiclone), Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate extended release), and Sonata (zaleplon)… but who wants to run to the local 24-hour drug store in the middle of the night?

What if a store near you is not even open? Why not simply walk to my kitchen for a moment and grab a snack that already a great source of GABA to help me sleep?

GABA insomnia cure: Foods in your kitchen that aid sleep

Food that triggers the brain’s neurotransmitters to help you sleep, GABA insomnia cure type foods are a quick and easy answer that works! I mean, does it make sense for you to grab drinks or foods that would keep you awake? Coffee, tea, soda pop, hot chocolate, or other drinks with caffeine do not make any sense in the middle of the night, so why eat foods that will keep you awake either?

Try a handful of raw nuts, particularly almonds (or even mixed nuts), especially if they are raw. Bananas also have GABA in them. Leftovers are also easy to snack on in the wee hours… consider any of these GABA insomnia cure foods: broccoli, brown rice, lentils, oranges/citrus fruits, beef liver, halibut, rice bran, spinach, walnuts, tree nuts, whole wheat, other whole grains like whole oats. Also, fish (mackerel in particular) and wheat bran are known to have some of the highest concentrations of GABA that are naturally occurring.

I always keep raw nut mix available to me at all times. I have already popped a handful of GABA-insomnia-cure natural sleep aid food into my mouth and am ready to lie down and rest my mind, and my body…

And with that, I bid you, goodnight… ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz…

References:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/sleeping-pills-what-need-know

http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=3582