It’s pretty clear that if you want to do everything from performing better at your job, to fighting off unwanted weight to simply just living longer, you shouldn’t neglect sleep.
It’s not just about sleep disorders either, which affect millions of people of all ages. According to American Sleep Association data, 50-70 million adults in the US alone have some form of sleep disorder.
These can have a significant impact on quality of life, leading to fatigue, decreased cognitive function, and a higher risk of developing other health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. We don’t bring these up because we have a cure for complex sleep disorders. Rather, we do to get the point across that Americans sleep like shit, and we need to do better.
Today we’re not even talking about the more extreme cases like actual sleep disorders. Rather, we’re just talking about how to improve your sleep. After all, sleep is essential for everything from learning faster, to performing at your job, to being in a good mood.
In this article, we’re going to assume that when it comes to improving sleep, you’re already doing the basics. You understand how circadian rhythms work, why you should stay off your phone at night, and other bedrock habits that we covered in this article on 5 ways to fall asleep fast.
However, the basics may not be enough for everyone.
If you’re just looking to improve your sleep beyond the basics, a few simple supplements can be good options.
For example, magnesium for sleep has been well-investigated, and we wrote an article on it.
The simple amino acid glycine may also support sleep.
Another naturally occurring compound, agmatine, may (or may not) be of support, and that’s what we’re here talking about today.
Agmatine is a naturally occurring compound found in the human brain and various foods, like fermented products and soybeans. It has a host of potential benefits, from relieving pain, and improving cognitive function.
However, anecdotally, a few people using agmatine for other reasons have also found it led to faster sleep onset. In other words, they fell asleep quickly.
Truthfully, there’s very little research on agmatine and sleep, so we’re living in the realm of anecdote. So keep that all in mind. Nonetheless, maybe you’ll want to (safely) do some agmatine experimentation. Or maybe you’re just taking it for other purposes, but want to know how it’ll affect your sleep as a side effect.
In any case, you’re in the right place, because today we’re talking about agmatine and sleep.
- Anxiety Reduction: While mostly in animal studies, agmatine has shown that it reduces anxiety levels. A mice study found that agmatine administration led to a significant decrease in anxiety-like behaviors in just a few days when the mice were put under a lot of stress.
- Pain Relief: Agmatine has been shown to have analgesic properties, making it a potential alternative to traditional pain medications. A study conducted on rats found that agmatine administration led to a significant decrease in pain sensitivity, while another study found that agmatine supplementation reduced pain levels in patients with chronic lower back pain. In fact, we dive into the pain link even more in this article on agmatine and kratom, since they’ve both shown pain-relieving effects.
- Cognitive Function: Agmatine may even improve cognition function, and you may see it talked about in “nootropic” subreddits. A study on rats from 2002 looked at learning and memory after having them take agmatine, and found some benefits. Again, though, these are just a few preliminary mice studies.
Recent studies on agmatine for things like anxiety have also mentioned that some patients in the studies saw things like improved sleep, reduce sleep disturbances, and a faster time falling asleep.
These were just asides in the study, though, so it leaves a few questions. First, we don’t know the mechanism. It’s probably as a result of reduced anxiety which therefore will improve nearly everything, including sleep. If you take an anxious person and a non-anxious person, we’d all bet on the one who’s not anxious to sleep better.
This is noted in the study. Improved sleep quality from agmatine supplementation came in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The study found that agmatine supplementation led to a significant increase in total sleep time, as well as an improvement in sleep efficiency and subjective sleep quality.
Agmatine is a simple supplement, and it’s generally considered safe for most people.
The most common reported is GI (gastrointestinal) distress. So if you have a weak stomach, you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, be sure to take extra measures to take care of your gut, and start with small doses if you try agmatine.
It may also interact with certain medications, including antipsychotic medications, antidepressants, and opioids. Of course, talk to your healthcare provider.
Agmatine may also lower blood pressure. Individuals with low blood pressure or those taking medications to lower blood pressure should exercise extra caution and again, work with your healthcare provider.
You can find agmatine in capsules or powder from various reputable supplement companies. The dose will vary based on your needs, so read the instructions on the back of the supplement for more guidance.
Of course, timing also matters. Anecdotally, the reddit users and other places where people have talked about their agmatine experience say, unsurprisingly, that if you want to use it for sleep, take it close to bedtime.
Others share that taking it earlier in the day improves overall mood and energy levels, which may in turn help you get better sleep.
Speak with a healthcare provider before taking any new supplement, including agmatine.
While an interesting supplement, agmatine should not be your first line of defense for improved sleep.
Instead, turn to the tried and true basics first. Put your phone away in the evening, choose relaxing activities over stimulating ones, get sunlight first thing in the morning, and more.
After that, supplements like magnesium and theanine have a lot more research on them for sleep.
Is agmatine a better sleep supplement than melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that’s essential to our sleep. However, supplementing with melatonin is controversial because it may disrupt our body’s natural production.
For more on this, check out this article on melatonin and sleep.
What other supplements may help me sleep?
Again, we mentioned this. Magnesium, glycine, and theanine are a few places to look.
Where can I buy agmatine?
We have no affiliation with this company, but BulkSupplements sells a simple agmatine sulfate powder that’s a good place to start.