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003: Supplements that may increase deep sleep

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 3


So, deep sleep is, primarily what's going on in deep sleep is that all of your biogenic amines, which are most of the neurotransmitters that you make from protein with the possible except — like depending on how you classify it, you could say ultimately you make melatonin from protein, but it's not a biogenic amine.

Biogenic amines, which are the catecholamines — all are basically shut off. They're probably not zero, zero, but they're almost zero during sleep. Acetylcholine is also shut down during deep sleep, but it pops up during REM sleep.

I really don't think this is a supplement issue. 

First of all, you definitely don't want to be taking anything that has acetylcholinesterase inhibitors at night. 

Non-organic foods have pesticides that are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. I don't know if that's relevant here dose-wise.

Things that improve cognitive function are often acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. So, gingko biloba is one. I wouldn't take that at night. There are drugs that treat neurological problems, especially Alzheimer's, that are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors; I wouldn't take those at night. 

I'm on the fence about whether you should take choline at night. I think it's most likely fine to eat eggs at night. If you're taking something like alpha-GPC; I'm not sure. You might want to avoid that at night if you find, particularly if you find that when you're tracking your sleep with an Oura ring your REM is higher than normal and your deep sleep is lower than normal. 

But other than that — I would say that methylation support is very important to help lower some of the important biogenic amines. Histamine, for example, is primarily gotten rid of with methylation in the brain and if your histamine levels are high during the day, it might cause anxiety during the night and that could interfere with your deep sleep.

Electrolytes are also super important. Calcium, magnesium, salt and potassium. All these things you need to get straight in order for your sleep cycle to be working right.

If your cortisol is high at night or other factors of anxiety are high at night you might want a targeted supplement there, like phosphatidylserine — the evidence is conflicting, but has been used to lower the stress response. 

I don't think it's a blanket answer to that question. I think it's like figuring out what's the cause of the low deep sleep and working from there.

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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
We use Zoom, a video chatting software, in webinar mode. You can ask your question anonymously in text, but you can also ask it publicly, and you can even get "on stage" and share your mic, web cam, or screen with everyone.
Chris Masterjohn, PhD