I was keeping up on my reading through scientific blogs, and found a wonderful author who is actually a dear friend, also–Dr. Kate Placzek with ZRT Laboratory. Not only is she brilliant, but holy cow, can she write so that the lay person and the doctor both learn a lot. This is hard to do!
After reading two of her articles, I wanted to share them as I think they have great information about simple supplements that have huge return on sleep improvement. I hope you find them as beneficial as I did. I am happy to give you a quick rundown of these articles, and how to dose these simple supplements.
In this article, Dr. Kate talks about the role of Vitamin D3 in sleep. I did not know the effect it had on sleep, specifically in regard to serotonin and melatonin, but I did observe that Vitamin D deficiency was detrimental in my patient population for their sleep quality. Now I know why.
I would recommend taking Vitamin D3 in the morning, although the literature is not clear on timing. I would use between 2000-5000 IU’s a day, especially in winter, or anytime if you live in “Little England,” or as most people know it, “Ohio.” Be sure to get your levels checked by your provider every 6-8 weeks until you know your dosing is stable and don’t take your Vitamin D supplement 24 hours before getting your labs done, as it can artificially elevate the level in the blood tests.
I have been using glycine for years in my patients to promote sleep, but I have never written an article that explains it so well, so now I don’t have to! Here, Dr. Kate, explains what this simple amino acid can do. Not only is it great for sleep, but I also used it for tic disorders (involuntary movement disorders like Tourette’s) and have noticed a big difference in my patients due to its ability to decrease firing in the neurons responsible for those abnormal movements. A truly amazing amino acid, and with traveling, I have found it indispensable for correcting my sleep cycles.
I recommend using GlyMag-Z packs. They are tasty and I like to take it before bedtime on an empty stomach; although, it is not a problem with other supplements. Amino acids need to be taken away from other amino acids, like the ones in food, because they will compete for absorption, and decrease the efficacy of the desired amino acid–in this case, glycine.
To your improved sleep,
Nathan Morris MD