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  • Submitted: Jul 17 2016 08:47 AM
  • Views: 2102

Sleep Stack

* * * - -
glycine reishi mushroom gaba l-tryptophan zma


This is my usual stack I take around 1/2 hour before I go to sleep. Around this time I also have a bowl of porridge with a spoonful of lavender honey. If I wake up in the night and am feeling a little stressed then I will usually have another 500mg GABA/500 mg L-Tryptophan/1x ZMA pill/5mg Melatonin (Time release) I take the melatonin here instead of the start of the night as it tends to wake me up after 5 hours or so. Also if I feel hungry then I will eat a banana then as well.

After coating windows with foil my room is near enough pitch black now (only light that comes in would be in the day) I also have aircon which keeps the temp at 18/19 degrees celsius depending on how I feel. (I would try to avoid zircon but I'm in china (Chongqing )and temperature at night can be 25 degrees+ easily.

A bit about me and my history:-

I've struggled with sleep for a long time when I was younger. I think playing too many computer games, not enough exercise and low mood contributed to this. (I would get around 8 hours but it was hard to get to sleep and I always felt tired, not lethargic but lots of brain fog)

A few years ago I went on to prozac and while it boosted my mood, my sleep quality went downhill (averaged 6 hours a night).

After explaining this to my doctor he prescribed me mirtazapine 30mg which was a wonder drug to me. I averaged 10 hours of sleep a night and felt refreshed (although a bit dozy in the day). I kept with this for a while until I started to get a lot of anxiety and decided (stupidly) to quit mirtazapine cold turkey... needless to say my sleep dropped to about 4 hours a night. I tried a lot around then to get my sleep back, meditation, binaural beats etc. My doctor said I should go back to mirtazapine but I argued against it and was prescribed zopiclone instead. This was horrible. I had a few nights of getting to sleep a little easier but felt hungover (on top of massive fatigue anyway) so gave it a miss.

I eventually went back to a lower dose of mirtazapine (15mg) and tapered down. My sleep was an immediate 9 hours again but keeping that quality while tapering was difficult. Add to the fact that I moved from a fairly quiet life in UK to a new job and life in China (this messes with sleep) it made me have to focus on improving sleep quality again (I got down to 5-6 hours).

I found with tiring days I could sleep easily but would wake in the night and could't get back to sleep or wake up too early in the morning. I tried a few things and this seems to have helped the most. I vary between 7-10 hours now depending on what happened the day before.

I am very happy with this stack and would recommend to other who struggle. I am also curious if anyone has any alterations or suggestions to make it even better, I'm all ears :) I think it's fairly clean, I'd maybe want the melatonin and possibly GABA to go (I'm worried about down regulation) but for now I'm enjoying getting quality sleep again)

Ingredient Dosage Frequency Administration
Glycine 3 gram Daily Taken 1/2 Hour before bed
Reishi Mushroom 376 mg Daily Taken 1/2 Hour before bed
GABA 500 mg Daily Taken 1/2 Hour before bed
L-Tryptophan 500 mg Daily Taken 1/2 Hour before bed
ZMA 2 pill(s) Daily Taken 1/2 Hour before bed

I'm myself also a former insomniac and former mirtazapine user and I also quit m cold turkey.


I've found that treating my insomnia naturally, without drugs or supplements, is the best and most effective way. I mainly utilize two pacemakers, blue light and coffee.


I make sure to avoid exposure to blue light in the few hours before going to bed. Blue light (coming from your computer's monitor for example) is picked up by intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells that turn it into a signal for the brain's circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nuclei in hypothalamus, effectively resetting your internal clock. I advise to avoid white LED lighting as it has a significant peak in blue wavelength and in case you use computer/smartphone/tablet/whathaveyou before going to bed, use a freeware application named f.lux which adjusts the RGB balance of your display according to the time of day.

This also works in reverse. If you don't get enough blue light exposure before noon (as is the case here in Nordic countries during winter), your internal clock is delayed, making you tired in the morning and wakeful during evening. I think this is the reason why coffee consumption is highest in Nordic countries.


Coming to the coffee topic, I use it as a pacemaker as well. I drink lots of coffee in the morning and that's it. If I drink coffee past noon, I often have trouble sleeping. I think I may be slow metabolizer of caffeine, although I'm not sure how that hypothesis agrees with my habit of drinking green tea in the afternoon without risking insomnia.

I should also probably mention that I manage stress with mindfulness meditation and sticking to a healthy diet.

Nov 01 2016 06:02 PM

I agree with dorho, i would also add a cold shower before bed, grounding on the earth if you can for 15 mins before bed. You can get an infrared bulb and shine that on your face for 15 min before bed too, seems to help calm my mind immensely. Are you taking magnesium or lithium orotate? essentials for sleep in my opinion. You can get UVEX blue light blocker orange glasses off of amazon for 10 bucks. Just wear them at night after the sun goes down when exposed to artificial lighting. 

Do tryptophan benefits offset its side effects? I read this recently and decided it wasn't worth it: http://www.supplemen...de-effects.html


I suggest adding l-theanine instead.