Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) | Vitamin B6 | Chamomile | Magnesium | Lemon Balm | Sour Jujube
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
GABA is a key inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Many common sleeping medications act by stimulating the GABA receptor. Since GABA crosses very slowly into the brain, high blood levels of GABA appear to give a mild and sustained sedative effect without the risk of excessive sedation seen with GABAergic medications.
Vitamin B6 is a necessary cofactor in the production of GABA, and a relatively common nutrient deficiency. In particular, it has often been used in the treatment of anxiety related to premenstrual syndrome or menopause.
Chamomile has been used in botanical medicine as a relaxing bedtime drink for centuries. Recent research has indicated that the key constituent apigenin has modulatory effects on the GABA system. In addition to providing an additional active ingredient to Phix Sleep, chamomile also gives it a pleasant flavor when prepared in the traditional manner (slightly warmed, sipped slowly).
Along with vitamin B6, magnesium is a necessary cofactor in GABA production. It also has been shown to help calm the periodic leg movements that are often involved in restless leg syndrome.
An herbal formula containing lemon balm was judged to be equivalent to a common sleep medication in terms of efficacy, but unlike medication it caused no hangover effect the following morning. Lemon balm also exerts its calming effect, at least in part, through modulation of the GABA neurotransmitter pathway.
Sour jujube has been used as a calming sleep aid in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years. Recent research suggests that at least part of the relaxing effect of sour jujube comes through inhibition of excitatory pathways in the hippocampus region of the brain.