September is fast approaching and the thought of it might make your head spin. For many of us September is a very busy time – back to school, back to typical work days after lounging by the lake or vacationing over the summer. If you were lucky enough this summer to have a break and were able to tune out for a long period of time, congratulations! However, this may make September’s hectic nature even harder for those that had a super relaxing summer.
We are so over programmed these days and take our work everywhere with us. It’s important to be CALM. For some of you a walk or quick workout will give you this feeling, but, some of you might need extra help. If you are feeling tense, having trouble sleeping and generally finding your body to be wound tight…you might want to try natural supplements with GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is an amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It is synthesized in the brain from another amino acid, glutamate, and functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter – meaning that it blocks nerve impulses.
Unlike chemically produced, synthetic GABA, natural GABA is able to produce relaxation with greater mental focus and energy. Specifically, research has shown that GABA increases the production of alpha brain waves (a state often achieved by meditation and characterized by being relaxed, with greater mental focus and mental alertness). It also reduces beta waves (associated with nervousness, scattered thoughts and hyperactivity).
A study published in Alternative Medicine Review demonstrated an impressive ability for GABA to improve sleep quality. The ability to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day requires us to achieve deep levels of sleep and to stay in this deep sleep for sufficient time. Unfortunately, many people do not achieve these deep levels of sleep. Conventional sleeping pills actually inhibit deep levels of sleep and disrupt normal sleep patterns, causing people to wake up feeling more tired when they went to bed. That is definitely not the case with GABA.
Another study by John Hopkins University found that individuals with ADHD may have decreased GABA. These findings are interesting and might mean that those individuals could take a supplement alone or in conjunction with other traditional treatments which may help reduce symptoms of ADHD or ADD. Of course, we recommend speaking to your naturopath and medical doctor about this.
I recommend Clear Calm to patients that need some GABA support. It will help improve sleep, reduce body tension, increases GABA and can help reduce anxiety. I suggest one to four vegetarian capsules at bedtime. You can also spread the dosage out and take two caps twice a day OR during highly stressed or anxious times take up to four at a time.
We wish everyone luck next week with whatever September brings you – stay calm, find time for yourself and give gratitude!
(Image courtesy of Unsplash)