Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Sleep Cocktail

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Dr. Andrew Huberman is a certified professor of neurobiology and anatomist at Stanford University. He is also the director of Neurobiology Institute and Chief Neuroscience Advisor for Virtual Reality company Nitro. One thing that has a stronghold on his attention is the human visual system and how it reacts or adapts to virtual reality.

Recently, Dr. Huberman has attracted the attention of many during an interview discussing his sleep supplements, after he was asked about his daily routine during a panel for TechCrunch Disrupt. He revealed that although he is not what you would consider sleep deprived, it takes him quite some time to reach REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and thus fall asleep.

Huberman revealed the sleep supplements that he puts himself through before heading to bed. Let’s dive in!

Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Sleep Cocktail

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Magnesium Threonate

This is an essential form of magnesium that can pass the brain-blood barrier and enters into neurons. “Magnesium is involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions in your body, so it’s involved in a lot of different things but what we’re interested in is learning more about its role with memory,” says Huberman. “Magnesium is really important for proper memory consolidation in sleep.”

You need to be sure to get Magnesium Threonate and not other forms of magnesium such as magnesium citrate because they have different purposes and do not cross the blood-brain barrier.

Huberman suggests this as you want to keep the mitochondria energized during your sleep cycle. If your mitochondria are not able to gain the energy they need, they will ultimately die. Or, in other words, “charcoal is supposed to be good at absorbing toxins, and this thing called pyritinol – it’s a vitamin B6 derivative – is supposed to help repair the GABA receptors.” According to Huberman, these two put together will help you fall asleep.

A recent study also uncovered that magesium threonate can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that stimulates the formation of new brain cells.

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Benefits of Magnesium Threonate

  • Unlike other forms of magnesium, it pierces the blood-brain barrier
  • Memory consolidation during sleep
  • Enhances ability of mitochondria to “recharge”
  • Increases neuroplasticity, aka the brains ability to grow, change, and learn

Dosage of Magnesium Threonate

Huberman recommends taking 300-400mg 30 minutes before bed. It can be a bit confusing when dosing Magnesium Threonate. For example, a supplement may say 2,000mg per serving, but if you look on the back it will say “144mg providing elemental magnesium”. This is the dosage you’re looking for, so 300mg would be two capsules. We recommend taking Magnesium L-Threonate by Doublewood Supplements.

Theanine

This is an amino acid that can be found in green tea, but Huberman states that taking a supplement of Theanine before bedtime will get your brain to attempt to reach REM as much as possible. This means you will be able to fall asleep faster and spend more time dreaming. “It’s very common for people who have sleep problems to have very vivid dreams,” says Huberman. “This is another piece that seems to be hitting on the same thing, doing a little bit better job of getting you back in REM.”

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The supplement of Theanine that Huberman takes is Suntheanine. Suntheanine is an extract of green tea. This particular extract has been shown to increase alpha brain waves. According to Huberman, Alpha Brain Waves have a strong correlation with reaching REM and thus rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

A study conducted in 2010 by The University College Cork, has shown that Theanine may help a person to fall asleep faster and spend more time in bed dreaming. Another study conducted by The Osaka City University of Medicine Hospital has found that Theanine gives individuals a more restful sleep.

Benefits of Theanine

  • Improved sleep
  • Enhances mental discipline and focus.
  • It helps ward off mental exhaustion by boosting levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that assists in promoting relaxation.
  • It helps stimulate the release of dopamine, an important brain chemical that induces feelings of pleasure and happiness.
  • Increases alertness by stimulating the production of alpha waves in the brain’s cortex region. This results in increased concentration ability, more energy, and improved learning capacity.

Dosage of Theanine

According to the detailed study done on Theanine, an adult with a body weight of 60kg (132lbs) should consume between 250mg to 350mg before bed. Huberman recommends consuming Theanine about 30 minutes before bedtime. To achieve the right dosage, follow these steps:

  1. Start with a low dose and work your way up according to Huberman’s instructions (250-3 50mg) if you feel comfortable doing so
  2. Do not consume more than five servings of Theanine in 24 hours.
  3. Make sure you have no other sources of caffeine intake within six hours of consuming your supplement.
  4. For an individual to achieve optimum results, they should take their dosage for a minimum period of two weeks before stopping consumption and then see if they feel a difference. If there is no significant difference in sleep patterns, you may want to increase your dosage or add other supplements.

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Apigenin

The third ingredient in Huberman’s cocktail is Apigenin. Huberman mentioned that apigenin allows for a nice transition to sleep. Huberman is currently taking Swanson Apigenin 50mg (he has no affiliation with Swanson). Other than the Swanson brand, Apigenin on it’s own is almost impossible to find, even Amazon doesn’t have it.

Apigenin is derived from camomile and binds to receptors on the brain that decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. On the Tim Ferriss Show regarding Apigenin, Huberman said: “And then the third thing is apigenin, A-P-I-G-E-N-I-N, which is a derivative of camomile, but it acts as a chloride channel agonist. So it essentially helps shut down the forebrain by hyper-polarizing neurons and all this kind of stuff, for the aficionados, if they want to know.”

According to this study, Apigenin increased both total sleep time and sleep rate in mice. Another study showed that cortisol levels were decreased in human adrenal cells exposed to apigenin. This is because at high doses, Apigenin blocks the cortisol-producing enzyme CYP11B1.

Apigenin Benefits

  • Allows for an easier transition into sleep
  • Acts as chloride channel agonist, helping shut down forebrain before sleep
  • Promotes more restful sleep
  • Can lower the stress hormone cortisol

Apigenin Dosage

Huberman recommends taking 50mg of Apigenin 30 minutes before bedtime.

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Conclusion

Several studies have shown that combining these three ingredients can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. It is important to note that this is not a permanent solution for insomnia but helps with the symptoms temporarily until you find a more permanent solution for yourself.

We recommend consulting a medical expert before taking any supplement since it may interact with other medications. However, the sleep cocktail is a safe and natural alternative to prescription medication that can be used daily. Dr. Huberman has proved that this combination of ingredients works, and we hope you will give it a try for yourself to see the difference!

The above-described cocktail is the secret weapon that helps a lot of people with sleep complications. If you are looking for help with sleep, anxiety, and depression, then I suggest you give this combination a try. It works great for so many people!

1 COMMENT

  1. Regarding Magnesium threonate dosing. If you look at the Supplement Facts. 2000mg serving equals 4 capsules. Amount per serving equals 144mg of elemental magnesium. so wouldn’t the dose be 8 capsules to equal 300mg not 2 capsules?

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