Can ZMA Help You Sleep: A Detailed Analysis Based on Current Research

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Does ZMA help you sleep?

We will answer your question, but first, a small story!

You must have heard about that infamous Russian sleep experiment. The story goes something like the researchers put five people in a cell and used gas to prevent them from sleeping. Within a week, the participants went mad and starting shouting at the top of their voices. By the end of the study, many of them were dead. Some of them even ripped out their abdomens!

Relax! What you read is not true. The story is an urban legend and doing the rounds of the internet for decades. 

However, sleep deprivation is serious. 

Lack of sleep can make you go insane and wreak havoc to your health. For athletes, sleep is a must.

If you don’t get proper sleep, your muscles are not going to recover. Your body will also be full of toxins, and your workouts will suffer.

Sleep is important. But does ZMA help you sleep?

Sure it does! There are ample studies to prove the fact, and we are going to cite some in this post. We are also going to explain how ZMA supplements help you sleep better!

The Role of Zinc and Magnesium in Making Us Sleep

You will find plenty of articles from reliable sources that show how zinc and magnesium aids sleep. Here, we will provide our own take. 

People who have problems sleeping are generally deficient in zinc and mineral. Having adequate levels of both minerals is necessary for a peaceful sleep. 

Contributions of Magnesium in ZMA for Sleeping

Magnesium has been proven to have beneficial effects on sleep. According to Healthline, it can help our brain and body calm down. Magnesium does the job in many simultaneous ways. Magnesium-

  • Stimulates neurotransmitters in our parasympathetic nervous system (which relaxes us)
  • Regulates the levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone)
  • Maintains healthy levels of GABA that improves sleep quality
  • Reduces stress and encourages relaxation

According to Psychology Todayyou need healthy levels of magnesium for deep and restorative sleep (sleep that heals). Magnesium also reduces anxiety and elevates mood, two more things that help you sleep peacefully. 

Many studies involving older adults prove the positive effects of magnesium on sleep, as cited by Healthline. You will also find research on how magnesium improves insomnia symptoms.

Contributions of Zinc in ZMA for Sleeping

Many studies show the positive effects of zinc on sleep. In fact, zinc deficiency can lead to many sleeping problems as disorders. You need healthy levels of zinc to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Zinc can directly increase the hours you sleep. It also plays a role in regulating neurotransmitter functions and metabolizing melatonin.

Zinc can also help you fall asleep by creating a sedating effect on your body. Like magnesium, it also has a calming effect.

People with insomnia experience better quality sleep after taking zinc. The mineral also boosts the beneficial effects of restorative sleep. It also helps you stay asleep and reduces the number of times you wake up before morning. 

Oh! You can also have more vivid dreams by taking zinc supplements!

Unlike magnesium, researchers are still debating how zinc exactly impacts our brains to help us sleep. Along with the above mechanisms, zinc also activates the signalling pathway that promotes sleep.

Summary: From our analysis, it’s clear that both zinc and magnesium promote sleep duration and quality. The minerals also boost the healing effects of restorative sleep. As a result, our bodies recover muscles and synthesize protein much better. So, ZMA supplements can surely help you sleep peacefully for a longer duration. 

Now, we will take a look at research specifically targeting ZMA and sleep.

Can ZMA Help Us Sleep Better

In the above analysis, we cited research that dealt with zinc and magnesium separately. Now, we will see what studies say that evaluated the effects of ZMA or at least zinc and magnesium together.

study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society gave zinc, magnesium, and melatonin to primary insomnia patients. After 8 weeks, the researchers found the supplement group to fare much better than the placebo group. They experienced-

  • Better quality of sleep
  • Increase in sleeping hours
  • Increased ease in falling asleep

Subjects who took the supplement also were more alert and less hung-over after waking up in the morning. The researchers concluded that zinc and magnesium improved the restorative value of sleep.

Our next study is a mega review of research on the effects of zinc on sleep. The researchers went through several studies to see how zinc played a role in improving sleep. They noted an interesting thing while reviewing the current research-

Zinc always had better results when paired with other substances. In many studies, the other substance was our very own Magnesium. 

This shows how zinc and magnesium in a combined form can improve sleep duration and quality

According to, ZMA can regulate and lengthen our stage 3 and 4 sleeping. 

During these stages, we sleep deeply while our muscles recover. Deep sleep also boosts the levels of growth hormones, creating strong anabolic effects in our bodies. As a result, you can protect and maintain your muscles, apart from building mass with ZMA. 

Both zinc and magnesium in ZMA reduce cortisol levels. Too much cortisol can have catabolic effects and breakdown muscles. ZMA can help maintain healthy levels of cortisol and prevent muscle breakdown. 

ZMA is also known to maintain healthy levels of testosterone. That, too, improves muscle building and reduce sleep disturbances. 

Summary: Well, we guess that’s more than enough to prove our point. We can now confidently conclude that ZMA helps us sleep better and longer.

Final Thoughts

Plenty of research exists to prove how ZMA benefits sleep. If you are low on minerals, ZMA supplements can be your key to a peaceful and deep sleep. The supplement can also extend deep sleep that helps us recover and build muscles more effectively. The minerals even make it easy to fall asleep and alleviate symptoms of insomnia.

If you are turning and tossing in bed, ZMA might be the thing you need to fall asleep!


When should I take ZMA?

You should take ZMA 1 hour before going to bed. Also, maintain a gap of 1 – 2 hours after dinner.

Does ZMA help you sleep?

Zinc and magnesium have beneficial effects on sleep. You can fall asleep quickly and sleep longer and better with the help of ZMA. It can do wonders for people who don’t get enough zinc or magnesium.

When should I take ZMA before bed?

You should take your ZMA one hour before going to bed. However, keep a gap of an hour or two after dinner. 

Can zinc help you sleep?

Low zinc levels are associated with poor sleep. Zinc can make you sleep longer and improve sleep quality. So, yes, zinc does help you sleep.

Can ZMA give you weird dreams?

It’s zinc in ZMA that can make you have vivid dreams. We have enough research on the subject. You shouldn’t have to worry unless you are getting psychologically affected by your dreams. 

Can magnesium increase testosterone?

Magnesium can increase testosterone when you suffer from testosterone deficiency. However, some studies found magnesium to boost testosterone in average persons. So, magnesium may help you increase testosterone. 

Can you take zinc every day?

You may take zinc every day if you are prescribed by a doctor. You may also need zinc supplements if you are deficient in zinc. But it’s not advisable to take any supplement for the long-term without medical supervision.

Can zinc hurt my stomach?

Zinc can make you experience puking and diarrhea. It may even lead to stomach damage in some people. Don’t take zinc without consulting a doctor if you experience any bad side effects.

Can magnesium make you poop?

Magnesium stimulates bowel movement by acting as a natural laxative. It may even help you soften and pass stool. So, you may need to visit the loo more while taking magnesium.

Can magnesium help with anxiety?

Magnesium deficiency can make you irritable and cause behavioral disturbances. You may even suffer from depression. Zinc is even a home remedy for anxiety and a range of ailments. Many studies also note the same.