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Prime Nutrition Sleep/GH Review

Sleep/GH

Sleep/GH
View Sleep/GH Supplement Facts

OVERVIEW:

Sleep/GH is, as the name implies, designed to enhance sleep and encourage optimal GH levels during rest. As a sleep-aid, the formula is moderately effective…

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Sleep/GH is, as the name implies, designed to enhance sleep and encourage optimal GH levels during rest. As a sleep-aid, the formula is moderately effective…[Skip to the Bottom Line]

GABA:

GABA is the primary inhibitory (downer) neurotransmitter in the brain, as opposed to Glutamate which is the primary excitatory (upper) neurotransmitter. While increasing GABA levels in the brain certainly has an anxiolytic effect, supplemental GABA cannot effectively cross the blood-brain-barrier so supplementation with GABA itself isn’t really an effective way of increasing it in the brain. There are anecdotal reports of orally supplemented GABA inducing relaxation, but there are no studies confirming these reports. That being said, Sleep/GH contains 3000mg of GABA, much more than the average GABA-containing sleep-aid.

TAURINE:

Taurine is an amino acid commonly found in energy drinks, pre-workouts, and even post-workouts, as it has a variety of implications mostly relating to its anti-oxidant properties. However, preliminary evidence also suggest Taurine may reduce anxiety. A 2007 study from the “Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism” found that 200mg/kg was able to reduce anxiety quite significantly (more so than the reference drug) in rats. This anti-anxiety effect has not been further studies in humans and it is unclear whether this may effect sleep quality or latency.

L-TYROSINE:

Tyrosine is an amino acid which serves as a precursor to the neurotransmitters Dopamine and Noradrenaline. While commonly alleged to increase Dopamine and Noradrenaline levels, the real benefit of Tyrosine lies in its ability to restore these neurotransmitters when rapid depletion occurs (in the presence of an acute stressor). Tyrosine essentially forms a pool in the brain, and when depletion of Dopamine/Noradrenaline occurs, the pool is drawn from to restore them. For this reason, it is unlikely that supplemental Tyrosine would have any profound effect on sleep quality, except in individuals who are Tyrosine deficient (and thus Dopamine deficient). The direct effects of Tyrosine on sleep quality have never been investigated in a clinical environment. GH/Sleep contains 1000mg of Tyrosine, which may reduce the stress response in certain situations and help to maintain optimal levels of Dopamine.

MUCUNA PRURIENS:

Mucuna Pruriens contains, among other things, a compound called L-Dopa which is a direct precursor to the neurotransmitter Dopamine. Dopamine, sufficient levels of which are required for REM sleep, is generally believed to play a significant role in the overall sleep-wake cycle, so optimizing levels of Dopamine should theoretically lead to healthier sleep patterns. Indeed, certain REM-sleep disorders are characterized by a Dopamine deficiency. A 2009 study found that treatment with Mucuna Pruriens increased Dopamine levels in healthy men, though the effects on sleep specifically have yet to be studied in humans. Sleep/GH contains 450mg of Mucuna Pruriens.

VALERIAN ROOT EXTRACT:

Valerian is widely used, both as an herbal supplement and tea, to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Valerenic acid, a primarily bioactive component of Valerian, has been shown (in vitro and in mice) to bind to GABA receptors in the brain, potentiating their signaling. This would explain the subjective reports of reduced anxiety following oral supplementation, though a 2002 study from “Phytotherapy Research” failed to show any such benefit in humans with generalized anxiety disorder.

Because Valerian is relatively popular as an herbal anxiolytic, it is also alleged to influence sleep (quality and latency). A 1985 pilot study found that 450mg Valerian extract decreased sleep latency (time it takes to fall asleep). However, a 2010 meta-analysis which compared 10 qualified studies found insufficient evidence to support these findings. The same meta-analysis also determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the claims that Valerian can enhance sleep quality.

Overall, the evidence is not overwhelmingly in favor of Valerian as a sleep-aid, but the anecdotal evidence, combined with a couple positive studies, indicates that there may be something to it. Sleep/GH contains 200mg of Valerian per serving, less than what has generally been used in studies, but likely enough to contribute some relaxation.

PICAMILON:

Pikamilon (alternatively spelled ‘Picamilon’) is formed by combining Niacin (vitamin B3) and GABA (the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in mammals). Pikamilon is able to effectively cross the blood-brain-barrier where it is converted into GABA. Since GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter (as opposed to excitatory) it may produce anxiolytic effects when levels are increased beyond normal. For this reason, Pikamilon is touted as an anxiolytic. However, it has also been demonstrated to increase cerebral blood flow in animals, due to its niacin component (niacin is a vasodilator).

Despite a fair amount of efficacy demonstrated in animal studies for both cerebral vasodilation and as an anxiolytic, human studies remain scarce. This is likely because there are better (pharmaceutical grade) anxiolytic compounds as well as cerebral vasodilators. Ultimately, Pikamilon may slightly increase the presence of GABA in the brain in a similar, but much less potent, manner as Phenibut. Sleep/GH contains 100mg of Pikamilon which may increase GABA in the brain to some degree.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Sleep/GH is probably the first sleep-aid/gh-support formula we’ve seen that does not contain Melatonin. This isn’t necessary a good thing, just different, and may be considered a positive for those who tend to experience next-day grogginess from Melatonin (fairly common). Sleep/GH contains several anxiolytic/relaxation-inducing ingredients which may ultimately aid in achieving quicker and more restful sleep. We’d recommend giving Sleep/GH a shot to those looking for a non-melatonin containing sleep-aid to help them achieve more restful sleep.

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REFERENCES
  1. Zhang, Cheng Gao, and S-J. Kim. “Taurine induces anti-anxiety by activating strychnine-sensitive glycine receptor in vivo.” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 51.4 (2007): 379-386.
  2. Andreatini, Roberto, et al. “Effect of valepotriates (valerian extract) in generalized anxiety disorder: a randomized placebo‐controlled pilot study.”Phytotherapy Research 16.7 (2002): 650-654.
  3. Felgentreff, F., et al. “Valerian extract characterized by high valerenic acid and low acetoxy valerenic acid contents demonstrates anxiolytic activity.”Phytomedicine 19.13 (2012): 1216-1222.
  4. Leathwood, P. D., and F. Chauffard. “Aqueous extract of valerian reduces latency to fall asleep in man.” Planta medica 51.02 (1985): 144-148.
  5. Miyasaka, Lincoln Sakiara, A. N. Atallah, and B. G. Soares. “Valerian for anxiety disorders.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 4 (2006).
  6. Fernández-San-Martín, Ma Isabel, et al. “Effectiveness of Valerian on insomnia: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials.” Sleep medicine 11.6 (2010): 505-511.
  7. Cerny, A., and K. Schmid. “Tolerability and efficacy of valerian/lemon balm in healthy volunteers (a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study).”Fitoterapia 70.3 (1999): 221-228.
  8. Powers, Michael E., et al. “Growth hormone isoform responses to GABA ingestion at rest and after exercise.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 40.1 (2008): 104-110.
  9. Mueller, G. P., et al. “Differential effects of dopamine agonists and haloperidol on release of prolactin, thyroid stimulating hormone, growth hormone and luteinizing hormone in rats.” Neuroendocrinology 20.2 (1976): 121-135.
  10. Vance, Mary Lee, et al. “Role of dopamine in the regulation of growth hormone secretion: dopamine and bromocriptine augment growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone-stimulated GH secretion in normal man.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 64.6 (1987): 1136-1141.
  11. Kruglikova-L’vova, R. P., et al. “Pikamilon-a new vasoactive and nootropic preparation.” Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 23.2 (1989): 182-186.
  12. Shephard, R. A. “Behavioral effects of GABA agonists in relation to anxiety and benzodiazepine action.” Life sciences 40.25 (1987): 2429-2436.
  13. Mirzoyan, R. S., et al. “Effect of picamilon on the cerebral cortical blood supply and microcirculation in the pial arteriolar system.” Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine 107.5 (1989): 668-670.

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