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 Today, you 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.
A 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 Bodybuilding.com, 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.
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!