Helping your brain sleep with GABA

 

GABA is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our brains. It’s vital for ensuring a healthy sleep schedule, for reducing anxiety, and for promoting well-being. Unfortunately, not everybody is able to produce enough GABA on their own, and this may be affecting their ability to get a good night’s rest. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to increase the amount of GABA available to the brain. This can be done through lifestyle changes and by taking supplements which we’ve outlined above.

To understand how GABA influences a person’s sleeping patterns, it’s important that you understand the standard cycle that the brain undergoes each night during sleep. The following is an overview of the different sleep stages.

Stage 1 is when you’re getting sleepy and are ready to drift off.

Stage 2 – Your brainwave activity quickens and follows a steadier rhythm. Your core temperature and heart rate decrease.

Stage 3 sees the emergence of deeper, slower brain waves. Here, you switch from light sleep to deep sleep.

Stage 4 is the deep sleep stage, also known as delta sleep. This is a vitally important stage because it’s where much of the highest-quality sleep occurs.

Stage 5 is the REM (rapid-eye movement) stage, where most dreams occur.
The third and fourth stage are arguably the most important. Stage three, the slow-wave sleep stage, is important because it reduces the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body, and simultaneously reduces inflammation. Both of these are important for improving your nightly sleep.

The fourth stage, deep sleep, is important because it helps your immune system grow stronger. In a similar manner that your brain commits things to memory, your immune system “memorizes” pathogens and viruses to memory during this phase. [2]

Your Brain on Sleep: What Happens to the Mind and Body During the 5 Stages of Your Sleep Cycle [Infographic]

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