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SYNERGISTIC SLEEP SUPPORT: THE WHOLE SHEBANG

By Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

Happiness is a good night’s sleep & here’s a natural way to make that happen!

Introducing the best natural support in reducing anxiety, stress, anger, and helping you get a good night’s sleep.

Happy Sleepy Powder is formulated with ingredients that satisfied all of our key requirements:

(1)   To effectively reduce anxiety, anger, and promote sleep.

(2)   To increase brain health and promote cognitive function.

(3)   To reduce the dosage requirements of habit-forming pharmaceutical medications and improve drug efficacy.

(4)   There are little to no side-effects for the vast majority of consumers.

Thus, Happy Sleepy Powder was born. Happy Sleepy Powder consists of 5 Key Ingredients that work synergistically to blow our criteria out of the water.

These are the ingredients in Happy Sleepy Powder:

We realize that everybody’s needs are different. While some people feel great on 100 mg of Theanine, others may need 600 mg. And while Inositol is game changing for one individual, high doses may cause nausea in others. With this in mind, and in order to get you the BEST and most PERSONALIZED results we have kept the ingredients separate so that you can mix and match based on what gives you the BEST results.

We’d love to introduce you to each of the characters in our Happy Sleepy Powder. At the end of this article we’ll also share with you our best tips on you getting you the outcomes you deserve.

 

Inositol

The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology published a double-blind, controlled, random-order crossover study comparing the effect of inositol with that of fluvoxamine (which is Luvox, an SSRI antidepressant) in panic disorder (Palatnik, A, 2001).

Looking at effects in 1 month of patients taking 18 grams of inositol per day as compared to fluvoxamine up to 150 mg/day showed improvements on Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety scores, agoraphobia scores, and Clinical Global Impressions Scale scores were similar for both treatments (Palatnik, A, 2001).

What was different between the two is that inositol worked faster with fewer side-effects (Palatnik, A, 2001).

Researchers stated that Inositol appeared to be “superior to placebo in the treatment of depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)” and it is generally well tolerated, has minimal side effects (Palatnik, A, 2001), and can in fact increase neuroplasticity (Fabrice, 2016).

Another study, this one published in the Journal of American Psychiatry, found inositol as an excellent agent for reducing panic attacks. Scientists reported “the frequency and severity of panic attacks and the severity of agoraphobia declined significantly more after inositol than after placebo administration,” and the authors concluded that “inositol’s efficacy, the absence of significant side effects, and the fact that inositol is a natural component of the human diet make it a potentially attractive therapeutic for panic disorder” (Benjamin J, 1995).

Inositol Highlights:

  • Inositol reduces anxiety by increasing the relaxing neurotransmitter GABA (Palatnik, A, 2001).
  • Inositol has been found to be superior to placebo in treatment of anxiety, depression and OCD (Palatnik, A, 2001).
  • Inositol is well tolerated and has low to no side effects (Palatnik, A, 2001).
  • Inositol increases neuroplasticity (Fabrice, 2016).

Typical dosing: 1-13 grams per day. My favorite way to dose inositol is to put a scoop (about 13 grams) in a jug of water and sip throughout the day for all-day support. Sometimes inositol can cause a small amount of nausea if taken in too-high doses for your body. If you experience nausea either reduce the dosage or drink more water with your inositol.

 

Theanine

Let me start by sharing with you my favorite personal theanine story. I was in medical school, studying for a big exam in our Human Anatomy class, and as I memorized muscle origin and insertions, I chugged coffee. Three cups deep, I found my thoughts spinning, heart palpitating and muscles buzzing. I called a colleague and told her that I had accidentally put my body into a state of panic, and she laughed and told me to go to the health food store and pick up some theanine.

I am so grateful I did. Because within 15 minutes of taking 100 mg of theanine, my anxiety had almost disappeared, my heart was slowing back to normal and my muscles were relaxing.

Theanine is an amazing anxiolytic. The word anxiolytic refers to something’s ability to stop anxiety in its tracks. In the research, and in clinical practice, Theanine (L-Theanine) has shown up as a reliable tool for reducing the effects of stress and Theanine’s super power is its ability to slow racing thoughts in particular. It works quickly, it’s well tolerated, and it’s extremely effective (Kimura, 2007).

L-Theanine works to stop anxiety in two main ways:

  1. Theanine blocks the binding of L-glutamic acid to glutamate receptors in the brain (glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter) (Yoneda, 2017).
  2. L-Theanine also increases the brain’s production of GABA (Kimura, K, 2007).

In a research study published in the Journal of Biological Psychology, scientists compared theanine to placebo; their results reported the following findings in those taking the theanine (Kimura, K, 2007):

  • Theanine is more effective than placebo at reducing anxiety (Kimura, K, 2007).
  • Theanine can cause a reduction in the heart rate (Kimura, 2007).
  • Theanine reduced salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) responses to an acute stress task (Rui Li, 2018).
  • L-Theanine causes heart rate variability to increase. (More heart rate variability is associated with less stress in the heart and less variability is associated with more stress in the heart) (Kimura, 2007).

Theanine Highlights:

  • Theanine is superior to placebo at reducing anxiety (Kimura, K, 2007).
  • Theanine’s superpower is to slow racing thoughts (Kimura, K, 2007).
  • Theanine reduces the effects of stress on the heart (Kimura, K, 2007).
  • Theanine reduces stress hormone in the body (Rui Li, 2018).
  • Theanine helps you get to sleep (Rao TP, 2015).

Typical Dosing: 100-600 mg/day. My favorite way to dose Theanine is to start with 100 mg and see how you feel. Often, higher doses of theanine are required for higher levels of stress and so personalization will get you the best results. Start with 100 mg and increase until you find a dosage that you like. Try to stay under 600 mg at a time. Theanine can be dosed safely up to 5 times per day. For best results mix with other amino acids in the Happy Sleepy Powder.

 

Glycine

Glycine is great for the entire body. It is a relaxing inhibitory neurotransmitter (Zafra, 2017), reduces anxiety (Furini, 2014), builds muscle (Poortmans, 2012), reduces blood sugar (Qiu Y, 2018), promotes sleep (Bannai, 2012) and much more.

Glycine’s super power is not only its effectiveness in helping you get to sleep, but it is also incredibly useful in helping to improve your quality of sleep. In an article published by the American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, researchers proposed amino acid medicine as a promising strategy for insomnia or sleeping difficulties. In regards to glycine, the authors reported that glycine can improve sleep quality, they stated: “We recently reported that glycine ingestion before bedtime significantly ameliorated subjective sleep quality in individuals with insomniac tendencies” (Bannai, 2012).

Glycine Highlights:

  • Glycine improves sleep quality (Bannai, 2012).
  • Glycine reduces the fright response (Furini, 2014).
  • Glycine stabilizes your blood sugar (Qiu Y, 2018).
  • Glycine helps you build muscle (Poortmans, 2012).

Typical Dosing: 500 mg all the way up to 10 grams depending on the individual. My favorite way to dose glycine is with it’s Happy Sleepy Powder compatriots or mixed in a big bottle of water and sipped throughout the day. Glycine has a naturally sweet flavor to it and is generally quite well tolerated.

 

Taurine

There are four key things that you need to know about taurine:

First, scientists have effectively demonstrated that taurine reduces anxiety. In particular, it does this by modulating GABA, which is a relaxing neurotransmitter. This also makes taurine a powerful tool in combating insomnia, and panic attacks (Oja SS, 2017).

Secondly; taurine is amazing for your brain. Taurine content in the brain tends to decrease with age, and restoring taurine concentrations in the brain has been shown to offer impressive cognitive benefit and formation of long-term memories (Neog MK, 2019).

Third: Research has shown that taurine regulates your neurological system and your hormonal systems. An article published in the Journal Adv Exp Med Biol states: “Dietary supplementation of taurine results in significant health benefits in the brain, visual system, skeletal system, heart, and pancreas” (El Idrissi A, 2019).

The last superpower that you need to know about taurine is that it is an essential nutrient in those who struggle with cardiac disorders. Scientists have published dozens of articles on the benefits of taurine in heart health. This quote from the journal of Diet Suppl summarizes the literature on taurine for heart health, stating: “Taurine is an amino acid found abundantly in the heart in very high concentrations… taurine improves cardiac function” (Ahmadian M, 2017).

Do you struggle with anxiety that tends to manifest in your chest?

Do you experience palpitations?

Chest pains with anxiety?

Or do you have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease?

If so, taurine might be the ticket.

Taurine Highlights:

  • Taurine’s superpower is to improve heart health while also targeting your anxiety (Ahmadian M, 2017).
  • Taurine concentrations in the brain decline with aging and this may be part of why individuals struggle with cognitive deficits with aging (Neog MK, 2019).
  • Taurine improves sleep (Oja SS, 2017).
  • Taurine reduces anxiety, panic, and stress (Oja SS, 2017).

Typical Dosing: 1500 mg/day/evening. My favorite way to dose Taurine is 1.5 grams mixed with the other Happy Sleepy Powder ingredients in a small cup of water before bed. In most individuals, taurine may reduce daytime stress by being mixed in water and sipped throughout the day.

 

Phosphatidyl Serine

Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by your adrenal glands in order to help you respond to stress. Cortisol increases your heart rate, blood sugar, blood pressure and enables the “fight flight” response. Oftentimes, in states where we are anxious, deal with anger or struggle with sleeping, too-high cortisol levels may be to blame. We can measure cortisol in the blood, urine, and saliva in order to assess if a person’s level is out of balance (Hellhammer, J. 2009).

Fortunately, there is an excellent solution for out-of-control cortisol levels.

Phosphatidylserine (PS) (PAS) is a type of fat cell that is used by your body to manage the stress response. In fact, according to an article published in the journal, Stress, researchers found that “treatment with 400 mg PAS resulted in a pronounced blunting of both serum ACTH and cortisol, and salivary cortisol responses” (Hellhammer, J. 2004).

One of our other favorite things about Phosphatidylserine is that, according to the Journal of Alternative Med. Review, supplementation with this nutrient has the potential to improve cognitive function (Kidd, PM 1999), but let’s not forget its effectiveness at improving stress recovery (Kingsley, 2006) (Kingsley, 2005), and sleep (Valadas, 2015).

Phosphatidylserine Highlights:

  • Phosphatidylserine reduces cortisol stress hormone (Hellhammer, J. 2004).
  • Phosphatidylserine improves cognitive function (Kidd, PM 1999).
  • Phosphatidylserine helps to reduce anxiety (Hellhammer, J. 2009).
  • Phosphatidylserine improves sleep (Hellhammer, J. 2009).

Typical Dosing:

Most research has studied “oral supplement intended to improve cognitive function, with recommended doses usually ranging from 100 to 500 mg/day” (Kingsley, 2005).

As such, we typically recommend you start with 100 mg once per day for 3 days, and if this is tolerated well and you see either no changes or improvement, increase to 100 mg twice per day, and again, if this is tolerated well after 3 additional days, increase by another 100 mg later in the day. Do not exceed 500 mg in one day. Best results will be achieved by dividing the dosages. Signs that your dose is too high or that this product is not the best for you may include: Your thoughts become “too clear” and may be sped-up, if you develop a headache or stomach upset or any other unwanted symptoms.

Happy Sleepy Powder

 

Happy Sleepy Powder Dosing Tips

Start with bedtime dosing, adding in one ingredient at a time. This is so we know what causes what. Think about it this way: We want to throw a pebble in a pond and watch the ripples. With the data regarding how you feel, we can make small and intelligent adjustments. This is as opposed to throwing a handful of pebbles in and not knowing what did what.

Typically, my favorite dosage of Happy Sleepy Powder would be as follows:

  • Theanine 600 mg
  • Inositol 12 grams
  • Taurine 1.5 grams
  • Glycine 500 mg
  • Phosphatidylserine 100 mg

For extreme symptoms, the above mix can be used up to 5 times per day (of course, always under the supervision of your trusted doctor).

That being said, every body’s needs are different and so personalization is best.

 

Tips for Success:

(1)   Start with one amino acid at a time (you might add a new one in every day or every three days depending on how you feel). Look at the notes above in order to select which amino acid might be best for you to start with. For example, if you have racing thoughts as a key symptom, try theanine first and phosphatidyl serine last. If you struggle with heart palpitations with anxiety, try taurine first. If you are unsure, try them in the order written above.

(2)   Begin with low doses and work your way up one at a time. A general guideline is to start at approximately 1/8th of the above listed dose. Here is how the math shakes out (you can round up or down to make this a bit easier):

  • Theanine 75 mg
  • Inositol 12 grams 1.5 grams (1500 mg)
  • Taurine 1.5 grams 188 mg
  • Glycine 500 mg 63 mg
  • Phosphatidylserine 13 mg

(3)   Listen to your body’s feedback: For most people, these amino acids will take effect within 15-30 minutes. You might notice feeling a little more relaxed and a slowing of your thoughts. If you do not notice any changes, after 1 hour you may take a little more, consider increasing slowly depending on your response. If you are unsure, increase slowly. For example: Increase by 1/4th of a dose at a time. If you are doing a benzodiazepine taper with your doctor, it is especially important to take it slow and introduce one amino acid at a time.

Sample Schedule

This is an example from a client who struggled with:
(1) Racing Thoughts
(2) Heart palpitations, and
(3) Difficulty Sleeping

Day 1: Theanine 75 mg

Day 2: Theanine 100 mg

Day 3: Continue to up theanine if desired, add in taurine 188 mg

Day 4: Continue to up theanine if desired, increase taurine to 500 mg.

Day 5: Continue to up theanine and taurine as desired, add in inositol 1.5 grams

Day 6: Continue to up theanine and taurine as desired, increase inositol to 3 grams

Day 7: Continue to up theanine, taurine, and inositol as desired, add in glycine 60 mg

Day 8: Continue to up theanine, taurine, and inositol as desired, increase glycine to 150 mg

Day 9: Continue to increase existing amino acids as desired, add in phosphatidylserine 10 mg.

Day 10: Continue to increase as needed.

Happy Sleepy Powder

 

References:

Palatnik A, Frolov K, Fux M, Benjamin J. Double-blind, controlled, crossover trial of inositol versus fluvoxamine for the treatment of panic disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001;21(3):335-339. doi:10.1097/00004714-200106000-00014 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11386498/ on July 6, 2020.

Yoneda Y. An L-Glutamine Transporter Isoform for Neurogenesis Facilitated by L-Theanine. Neurochem Res. 2017;42(10):2686-2697. doi:10.1007/s11064-017-2317-6 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28597057/ on July 10, 2020.

Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja LR, Ohira H. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45. Epub 2006 Aug 22. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16930802

Rao TP, Ozeki M, Juneja LR. In Search of a Safe Natural Sleep Aid. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(5):436-447. doi:10.1080/07315724.2014.926153 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25759004/ on July 10, 2020.

Li R, Song Z, Zhao J, et al. Dietary L-theanine alleviated lipopolysaccharide-induced immunological stress in yellow-feathered broilers. Anim Nutr. 2018;4(3):265-272. doi:10.1016/j.aninu.2018.05.002 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30175254/ on July 10, 2020.

Benjamin J, Levine J, Fux M, Aviv A, Levy D, Belmaker RH. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment for panic disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 1995;152(7):1084-1086. doi:10.1176/ajp.152.7.1084 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7793450/ on July 6, 2020.

Fabrice Jollant, et al. Prefrontal Inositol Levels and Implicit Decision-Making in Healthy Individuals and Depressed Patients. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Aug;26(8):1255-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.06.005 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27342631/

Zafra F, Ibáñez I, Bartolomé-Martín D, Piniella D, Arribas-Blázquez M, Giménez C. Glycine Transporters and Its Coupling with NMDA Receptors. Adv Neurobiol. 2017;16:55-83. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-55769-4_4 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28828606/ on July 6, 2020.

Bannai M, Kawai N. New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep. J Pharmacol Sci. 2012;118(2):145-148. doi:10.1254/jphs.11r04fm

Furini C, Myskiw J, Izquierdo I. The learning of fear extinction. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014;47:670-683. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.10.016

Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25452113/ On July 6, 2020.

Valadas JS, Esposito G, Vandekerkhove D, et al. ER Lipid Defects in Neuropeptidergic Neurons Impair Sleep Patterns in Parkinson’s Disease. Neuron. 2018;98(6):1155-1169.e6. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2018.05.022 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29887339/ On July 6, 2020.

Poortmans JR, Carpentier A, Pereira-Lancha LO, Lancha A Jr. Protein turnover, amino acid requirements and recommendations for athletes and active populations. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2012;45(10):875-890. doi:10.1590/s0100-879×2012007500096 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22666780/ On July 6, 2020.

“Extracellular taurine inhibits neuronal firing through GABA and glycine receptors”

Oja SS, Saransaari P. Significance of Taurine in the Brain. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;975 Pt 1:89-94. doi:10.1007/978-94-024-1079-2_8 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28849446/ On July 7, 2020.

Taurine regulates your neurological system, and your hormonal systems. “Dietary supplementation of taurine results in significant health benefits in the brain, visual system, skeletal system, heart, and pancreas.”

El Idrissi A. Taurine Regulation of Neuroendocrine Function. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1155:977-985. doi:10.1007/978-981-13-8023-5_81 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31468461/ on July 7, 2020.

Neog MK, Chung H, Jang MJ, Kim DJ, Lee SH, Kim KS. Effect of Aging on Taurine Transporter (TauT) Expression in the Mouse Brain Cortex. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1155:3-11. doi:10.1007/978-981-13-8023-5_1 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31468381/ on July 7, 2020

Ahmadian M, Dabidi Rosohan V, Ashourpore E. Taurine Supplementation Improves Functional Capacity, Myocardial Oxygen Consumption, and Electrical Activity in Heart Failure. J Diet Suppl. 2017;14(4):422-432. doi:10.1080/19390211.2016.1267059

Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28118062/ on July 7, 2020.

Hellhammer DH, Wüst S, Kudielka BM. Salivary cortisol as a biomarker in stress research. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2009;34(2):163-171. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2008.10.026 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19095358/ On July 6, 2020.

Hellhammer J, Fries E, Buss C, et al. Effects of soy lecithin phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine complex (PAS) on the endocrine and psychological responses to mental stress. Stress. 2004;7(2):119-126. doi:10.1080/10253890410001728379 Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15512856/ on July 6, 2020.

Qiu Y, Perry RJ, Camporez JG, Zhang XM, Kahn M, Cline GW, Shulman GI, Vatner DF.  In vivo studies on the mechanism of methylene cyclopropyl acetic acid and methylene cyclopropyl glycine-induced hypoglycemia. Biochem J. 2018 Mar 20;475(6):1063-1074. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20180063.

“Phosphatidylserine, derived from cow brains, has been shown previously to dampen the ACTH and cortisol response to physical stress.” “Treatment with 400 mg PAS resulted in a pronounced blunting of both serum ACTH and cortisol, and salivary cortisol responses” “These data provide initial evidence for a selective stress dampening effect of PAS on the pituitary-adrenal axis, suggesting the potential of PAS in the treatment of stress related disorders”

Kidd PM. A review of nutrients and botanicals in the integrative management of cognitive dysfunction. Altern Med Rev. 1999;4(3):144-161.

Kingsley M. Effects of phosphatidylserine supplementation on exercising humans. Sports Med. 2006;36(8):657-669. doi:10.2165/00007256-200636080-00003

Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16869708/ On July 6, 2020.

Kingsley MI, Wadsworth D, Kilduff LP, McEneny J, Benton D. Effects of phosphatidylserine on oxidative stress following intermittent running. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005;37(8):1300-1306. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000175306.05465.7e Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16118575/ On July 6, 2020.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes a change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your primary care physician first. Dr. Nicole Cain consults with clients locally and internationally. Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA has helped countless people take back control of their lives, and she can help you. To set up a complimentary consultation, call our office or visit https://drnicolecain.com/getting-started to schedule online.
Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational video e-courses, books, and exclusive free Facebook group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.