As the end of the semester approaches, a lot of students tend to rely on things like coffee and pulling all-nighters in order to get their work done. Many have trouble sleeping or getting enough restorative sleep as they tend to be so stressed out. As a result, they turn to sleep medications. However, these sleep medications can leave the body feeling more drained and tired. Most importantly, they can mess with mental clarity and focus. That is the last thing anyone wants before an exam.
The body relies heavily on sleep in order to restore itself and prepare itself for each day. Sleep is the one chance the body gets to “shut down” and focus on itself. Naturally, there are many dangers of sleep deprivation. The risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, or diabetes increases. Not enough sleep also leads to irritability, learning impairments, anxiety, and depression.
The number one tip given out to students is usually “manage your time so you can get enough sleep”. However, that is not always possible as each student has many other different commitments besides school. The good news is that there are natural options available. Many students have heard of melatonin. However, taking melatonin can increase the amount of REM sleep every night. The deep REM sleep can lead to very vivid and lucid dreams which do bother some individuals. That being said, there are other options available.
There are other supplements that typically do not cause the same kind of lucid dreams. Kavinace is a company that offers around four different products that are sleep aids. The original formula blends ingredients, like vitamin B6 and taurine, that help promote the synthesis and activity of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter in our brain that is very important for sleep. It calms the body down and helps to manage stress. However, stress can alter the activity of GABA which is why a boost from supplements is sometimes needed.
Melatonin, 5-HTP, magnesium, and theanine are the other supplements that can help promote sleep during stressful times. Taking time to listen to calm ambient music, taking an Epsom salt bath, or drinking an herbal tea can also help calm the nervous system down enough to drift off to sleep.
As always, it is important to do research and make sure that any of these supplements do not have interactions with medications.