I saw on a prayer chain email that I received that someone has had decades of trouble sleeping, I typed out the below for the person, whom I don't even know. Then I thought to "share with the class." I have since re-written and updated it. If you have trouble sleeping and you decide to try this and it works, let me know.
Some persons may want to try GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) for any of the conditions mentioned in the title of this article.
("Now" brand is good and the company operates on Christian-based principles, but I have noticed no difference in quality between them and Swanson or Vitacost or any other brand. I think that there are only one or two manufacturers for the majority of supplements and all the other companies slap their own labels on them as if they manufactured the product themselves; so buying a more expensive brand does not necessarily assure a better product, only a more-prestigious label and a higher price.)
What I do, when I learn of a product I had not known about, I will buy one bottle at a reasonable price, then if I notice that it produces a benefit or consider it worth taking on a regular basis, I will buy whatever quantity that I need to in order to get the very best price per mg. Expiration dates on most products seem to be meaningless as most things will not go bad if the seal is good and especially if stored in a cool, dry, dark place.
I then do the math to find the best price per mg., whether 500, 750, or 1,000.
Also read the label carefully, some companies are unethical and though the front of the bottle may say 1,000 mg., unless you scrutinize the "serving size" on the back of the label, you won't realize that you need to take TWO capsules to equal that "1,000" mg., advertiseed on the front of the bottle; which in reality should say "500mg" on the front of the bottle. But, this unethical practice is not perpetrated against the public on every product, so you have to be on your toes and read carefully. Then, with a little experimentation, find what dose works best for you.
However, as I explain below the KEY is taking ENOUGH GABA along with the PROPER DOSAGE OF WATER.
I have had apnea / insomnia since at least age 15, though I did not know what it was and it only affected me slightly (that I noticed) after a day of strenuous work or exercise. I was an athlete / weight lifter / muscular and a person who enjoyed good, hard work for the first half of my life and I was not overweight; especially when in college and when I worked as a carpenter, up to about the age of 28. However, anyone in college who was a roommate from when I was 19 to 28 years old, said that I slept worse than anyone they knew... though I did not notice it at that time. It was only after the age of 28 that reality seemed to kick in.
I gained some weight over 2-3 decades of sitting behind my desk instead of being carpenter and playing sports, and I continually battle it; lose it, gain some back.
However, weight has never effected my apnea (even when I lost every ounce of body fat, my sleep did not improve at all); my brother, dad, grandfather all had apnea.
I would be inclined to say that it is not necessarily heretidary, but that our family genes were susceptible to developing the same condition as a result of the the same type of vaccines pawned off on us in southeastern Pennsylvania during those decades. I also received the added bonus gift from the doctors / AMA / FDA / and drug companies, of developing juvenile rheumatory arthritis and fibromyalgia (though that condition I believe was not even known at the time) at the age of 5.
I have not had a good night's sleep in 28 years; have not slept through the night once in 28 years; have not awoken refreshed once in 28 years (I wake up feeling like I have a hangover and the day just gets worse from there on out). I normally have over 22 years slept only few hours a night, intermittently.
One natural product (produced by a Christian who was an aquaintence of mine, who is now deceased), Renewtrient, helped me some, and it was very strong; but it was taken off the market due to teen age / college criminals using it as date rape drug.
[This is merely more sad proof of political corruption in our nation: Millions of law-abiding citizens are the ones who suffer and pay the price for a handful criminals (who often merely get a slap on the wrist) and politicians and judges illegally rob the people of not only power and money, but their Constitutional, God-given, inalienable rights, in addition to their very health and freedom itself.]
Understand, some sites, like this one— https://nootriment.com/gaba-supplements/ , in an article titled, "Why GABA Supplements Do Not Work"— claim that GABA (an important brain neurotransmitter) is ineffective for mood, anxiety, or sleep disorders because it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, and only GABA that the body itself produces in the brain (from Glutamate and B6) does. The jury may be out in regard to everything in that statement and the article title itself.
This site also has this other very interesting information about the non-sleep / non-mood benefits of GABA
"If you have been trying to find an easy to take supplement to help increase your strength and muscle gains in the gym, than [sic, then] you might be interested in using GABA supplements.
It has been used by weight lifters for a long time due to its ability to improve athletic performance and help with fat loss. There is even evidence suggesting that GABA plays a key role in the regulation and growth of embryonic and neural stem cells." [brackets mine. R.A.B.]
The whole article is well worth reading (including all the comments there listed).
This other link also has some very good information:
HOWEVER, science and studies (valid or invalid) aside, I have 28 years experience of grossly severe sleep disorders (compounded by other conditions) and 6 years of experience taking GABA. Whether or not GABA can actually cross the blood-brain barrier may or may not be relevant, if that declaration is even is true. The article itself indicates that though it cannot cross the barrier, it does circulate in the brain.
Regardless, I know how it puts me into deep sleep usually within 20 minutes, when nothing else other than Renewtrient would (I have never tried any over-the-counter or prescription sleep medication; I avoid all pharmaceuticals as I believe they generally cause a dozen other more serious problems than the one they may control or "mask").
Whether or not Renewtrient crossed the blood brain barrier or not, I cannot say (I would guess, "yes"); but it was powerful enough (the body converting it into GHB) that the FDA or whomever outlawed it
[It also helped drug addicts to get through withdraw symptoms while trying to shake the addition, and that cut into a very big, profitable monopoly, and some have suggested that is the REAL reason that Renewtrient was taken off the market—its manufacturer being arrested and thrown in jail to persecute him into compliance, if I remember correctly what he told me. As I will mention below, another link also shows that a similar product, 5-HTP can possibly help kick a nicotine habit (I have never smoked or done any drugs in my life, so I cannot vouch for Renewtrient or 5-HTP's effectiveness in this regard). If this is true, that may also show a relation between the effectiveness of this entire family of products (Renewtrient, GABA, GHB, Phenibut, and 5-HTP; though the latter does not contain any "buter" compound).]
All I can say is that GABA has a very similar effect on me as Renewtrient did, though in normal doses GABA is not as powerful.
GHB and its chemical family created a stir a few decades ago, because it put most people who took it into such a deep state of sleep they could not be woken up (which is why a handful of immoral degenerates used it as a date-rape drug, putting it in an unsuspecting woman's drink) and some who took the product to have effective sleep were on rare ocassion rushed by family members or friends to the hospital as if they were dying or in a coma (their pulse and breath being reduced to levels as if they were hibernating), who then casually woke up feeling refreshed only to be shocked to find themselves in the ER...! I imagine that had they known how well GHB worked, they would have left a note: "I'm not dying or in a coma, just having a good sleep; don't call the paramedics unless I don't wake up in 24-hours".
Of course, anything that helps circumvent the medical establishment will come under fire, both by scare propaganda laced with disinformation, as well as police state tactics.
Rennewtrient was reportedly not as powerful as GHB itself (which I never tried), but the effects were similar, though not as profound. I do know that Renewtrient (a bitter yellow liquid) had a similar effect like taking a few tablespoons of a strong tincture of Loebelia inflata (Indian Tobacco, "pukeweed", one of the nastiest herbs you will ever taste; imagine the spit bottle that tobacco chewers fill). Loebelia is an antispasmatic and nervine / sedative, much stronger than Valerian root (the pharma drug Valium takes one or a few main constituents of Valerian root which are synthesized (developed in the laboratory from petroleum), but without the full natural herbal complex, it of course has contradications, including being addictive, possibly fatal if overdosed, euphoria / hallucenations, or such).
If you take Loebeila in a large enough dose (once you get the nasty taste out of your mouth, which may caue nausea, especially on an empty stomach), it will feel like you have several wet mattresses laying on top of you. Renewtrient had this same effect, but it would quickly put you to sleep (whereas, Loebelia may not)—and you really could not fight Renewtrient, by attempting to stay away: you would lose hands down.
So it is with GABA at the right dosage, though not as powerful.
So, regardless of whether GABA passes the blood-brain barrier or not, it works in a very similar manner as Renewtrient (which is closely related to GHB).
Combine all that information with my 6 years experience and I believe my comments are more significant than any article that says that it is not effective for sleep.
[Experts are often "expert guessers" (like anthropologists, paleontologists, sociologists, and even psychologists, who are often elaborate story tellers rather than scientists). Similarly, I have very rarely bought any garden plant, though advertised that it is "deer safe" (meaning deer won't eat it), that turned out to be true. I guess the deer only won't eat it if they are low dominance and have read the book or nursery advertisement that deer won't eat it. My deer (I can read the "thought bubbles above their heads, that show what they are thinking) chow down and think, "GOOD HEAVENS THIS IS DELICIOUS! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING ALL MY LIFE...?" So I think it is, also, with a percentage of what passes for "science" (or more properly, what is called science, but "falsely so called", I Timothy 6:20). Much of science is guessing, mis-interpretation, and discovering mere "approximations" mistakenly thought to be "scientific law".]
However, each person's body chemistry is a little different, and it is possible that what works for one may not work for another—or more properly, may not work without a tailor-suited dosage or "stacking" of other supplements with it.
Where the rubber meets the road and all that is significant is whether GABA will work for you, after you try it by itself (with the proper amount of water) in various doses, on an empty stomach, with food, and then also in addition to other products mentioned below, and various combinations thereof.
All the theory in the world is relatively meaningless if it contradicts practice in your specific case; and just because something works in a laboratory (or even in a human, controlled experiment—which usually cannot control or even comprehend every possible factor) does not necessarily mean that its results will be replicated 100% of the time in 100% of the population in 100% of situations. A simple example: Some people can drink more than others before showing signs of inebriation. One person may get drunk after a small drink; whereas others can pound it back. Of course, like many things, practice / experience can raise the threshold, but that does not change the example that results and circumstances are different for different individuals and their different situations.
Be that as it may...
I have found that GABA helps me greatly (I may only get 1/3 of the sleep that a normal human gets, but I will take what benefit that I can because it is 50% better than what I have had to live with for over a quarter of a century).
I had tried GABA in the past, but I guess I did not take a large enough dose and the instructions on the bottles really are not helpful. I discovered by my own self-experimentation the importance of the right dosage and the right frequency of subsequent doses in the same night—and the important factor of the correct water dosage with each dosage (all without a million-dollar grant, multi-million dollar laboratory, a team of scientists, or even a pat on the back... how about that...!).
I have tried everything (valerian, kava kava, Loebelia, melatonin, St. John's Wort, nutmeg in warm milk, blackstrap molasses in warm milk, hops, flander's poppy, passionflower, etc.—often making my own saturated tinctures from the fresh herbs that I grew myself).
Here is what I take:
I take 2 - 750mg. GABA caps with 1 cup of water.
Proper water dosage that I have learned works for me to prevent any side effects, is about small plastic medicine-chest type cup [like the kind that comes free with a bottle of Nyquil or Pepto-bismol]. This is roughly 1/3 of a cup of water PER 500mg. of GABA.
I will usually sleep well for 1.5 - 2 hours after the first dose.
I then take 1 or 2 more capsules of GABA (when I get up to relieve my bladder / when the GABA wears off) and another 1/3 cup of water per 500 mg. (and a third and even a fourth dose if needed).
However, I have found that the GABA will not work toward dawn if my bowels are getting ready to move after the whole night (water and fiber are IMPORTANT, but they can make life a little inconvenient); the bowel pressure must interfere with the GABA helping the brain to relax, as the brain knows a little secret that if the bladder or bowels relax too much it would create a situation even-less "convenient"). However, most often if I get up and relieve my bowels, I can then get right back to sleep and sleep for a few more hours. I don't use an alarm clock, so I really cannot testify as to whether the soundness of sleep will prevent one from hearing the alarm or being woken by someone. However, it does produce a deep state of sleep, as I shall explain shortly.
I have also found that after taking GABA regularly for a week or so, even if I skip a night or two, I still sleep better than I used to. I don't have any apnea machine; never have and have never been on any medication (other than over-the-counter anti-histamines and nose spray, or a short course of anti-biotics after a serious wound infection) for anything since childhood. I have sinus problems and to use apnea machines a person needs to have open nasal passages; unfortunately, I must use nose-spray frequently. Regardless, I don't want to be dependent on a machine, and due to fibromyalgia I could not stand to have a mask strapped on my face, or be bothered with the hose, as I have to change position every few minutes until I am finally asleep, briefly—in a continual cycle all night long, like a scene from the movie "Groundhog Day", and my attempting to sleep I compare to attempting to row across the Atlantic ocean all night.
GABA basically has the brain synapses slow down and fire less rapidly and less frequently. It is ideal for a racing mind to just relax. I have noticed NO side effects or residual grogginess when I awake, whether at night or in the morning.
[Reports do say NOT to take GABA with protein; but I have never seen any explanation WHY (which is annoying)—which I consider to be irresponsible! Yes, it is important to point out WHY. Will it simply cause the GABA to be less effective or will it cause projectile vomiting. The difference between the two, to me anyway, is well worth sharing with the consumer.
I would venture a guess that it may be that the protein may interfere with GABA being able to successfully cross the blood-brain barrier (not completely, but probably only partly)—if indeed, it does. Single amino acids, taken on an empty stomach, often have the best chance of crossing the BBB. Some Amino acids, amino acid compounds / proteins (such as type-II chicken sternum collagen) are unstable and will easily bond with other amino acids / compounds in the G-I tract or bloodstream, and instead of going to where they need to be utilized for the reason they are being taken, they will be "over-ruled" due to "the chain of command" and be order to appear elsewhere for duty. It may also be, if I understand the science, that proteins are involved in the receptors of neuron transmitters, so it may be that extra protein in the G-I tract / bloodstream will interfere with the slowing down of the neuron firing that the GABA is supposed to achieve.
Regardless, it does not seem to matter whether I take GABA with or without food; but I imagine an empty stomach would be most effective and it is better not to go to sleep with full stomach anyway, and especially not with a lot of complex protein, which takes longer to digest (though not always possible). However, I have not kept notes of what I eat and how I sleep, so it is quite possible that on nights that I do not sleep as well, even if I have taken GABA, that it could very well be due to too much free protein circulating in my body.
Regardless, it might be a good idea to research WHY you should not take GABA with protein, just in case you have already eaten protein and then realize you need the GABA to get to sleep. Protein takes several hours to digest.]
I have even at times taken 3 and 4 - 750mg. GABA capsules at a time, which in extreme cases may help you finally get to sleep; but again, MORE WATER is necessary to prevent side effects.
If you don't drink enough water with GABA, from my experience, you may experience transitory side effects such as:
1. arms and legs, but more often, chest and face tingle like pins and needles; anywhere to merely annoying to being very unpleasant, but once you fall asleep you don't feel it (or it stops once you are asleep, one or the other);
2. limbs feeling excessively heavy;
3. nausea. However, the nausea I only experienced if I took too large a dose without enough water, or if I took too large of a subsequent dose or if the subsequent dose was too close to the previous dose. So this is easily remedied with either the proper amount of water with each 500mg. or if I take 3 capsules the first time, if I am going to take a second dose I then take 2; and if I am going to take a 3rd dose I take 1.
There is one other very mild and brief side effect:
4. I will notice a very mild metalic taste in my mouth shortly before I fall asleep (maybe 10-15 min. after taking it). With the right amount of water it may not even be noticeable. With not enough water, it will be more pronounced.
Regardless of what the side effects above may be, they are all easily and quickly remedied by simply getting up and drinking some more water.
[It should be understood that city tap water full of chlorine, fluoride, etc., is never healthy or a good idea, and drinking it with supplements may quite well render those supplements ineffective. Bottled spring water or ozonated water from a trusted source / company, if you don't have your own well / spring, is really a must in our polluted / chemical age.
Also, while on the topic, if you are trying to sleep, you need to realize that some natural supplements, while very healthy for you, are not good to take too close to bedtime (6 hours), because many are blood oxygenators... more oxygen in the blood means more oxygen to the brain, while means a more active mind, which means less sleep. Some vitamin supplements or herbs have caffeine. Freshly ozonated water (if you have your own ozone machine) or water with H2O2 is of course richly oxygenated and thus should not be taken too close to bed (or on a full stomach, since the oxygen may perioxidise the fats in your G-I tract). Other supplements that are blood oxygenators to avoid too close to bed: iron, Co-Q10, Ubiquinol, Gineng, MSM, Gota Kola, Ginkgo Biloba, adrenal glandulars, cacao (and chocolate), etc. These and other factors will certain interplay in trying to sleep, so they need to be factored into the equation.
Also, it is important to realize that while fiber (psyllium husk powder or any other form) is important, it needs to be taken 1/2 hour on either side of any medication or supplement or it will absorb a percentage of the supplement, which is both a waste of money and it inhibits your body obtaining the full benefit of any medication or supplement that you are taking. Similarly, MSM works like EDTA chelation, in that it will bind to metals / minerals, other substances, as well as toxins in the body and remove them through urination; thus, MSM should not be taken 1/2 hour on either side of any medication or supplement, but also not too close to bedtime or it will keep you up as it is a blood oxygenator. It only stays in the bloodstream for 12 hours, and a recommended dose for maximum health benefit is 1/2 teaspoon for every 50 lbs. of body weight - twice a day. However, the time period in which it is taken will have to overlap (and not be the full 12 hours) or it will keep you up. As with anything else, each person can learn by experimentation, how close they can take certain supplements and it not interfere with sleep. I have found I need about 6 hours off all such substances, including regular tea. I like a strong Irish Breakfast (Twining is the best), so I switch to their decaffinated after 6:00 pm, though it still has a little caffeine, it does not interfere, even with a few cups.]
The side effects of GABA of heaviness and even nausea, in too large a dose or in a subsequent dose taken in too close proximity to the previous dose (which was also an issue with Renewtrient) may be the same for many other similar products (5-HTP, Phenibut,* etc.). GABA and the obsolete product, Renewtrient are in the same bio-chemical family (being converted by the body to GHB and then HGH, if I understand correctly).
[* However, as I explain below, Phenibut should not be taken more than once a night, and not more than 3 days in a row, or it could become addictive.]
Drinking more water will make you have to get up to urinate during the night; but that is a "good thing" rather than dehydration (and most people are dehydrated and don't know it; especially the elderly or those who have mobility troubles, who don't want to be bothered with having to get up and go to the bathroom frequently while awake or while asleep; and for the same reason such people are irregular / constipated and don't take a fiber supplement or drink enough water, so they retain more toxins and are semi-dehydrated which prevents the inflow of nutrients to cells, and the removal of waste and toxins). Reportedly when a person sleeps, the water from the lower part of the body which has settled to the lower extremities while you have been upright all day, will then equalize / settle out, which is one reason for having to urinate during night (and possibly one reason why a person sometimes drools on the pillow during early stages of sleep: just a theory I have).
Further, drinking 16-oz glasses of water immediately upon rising in the morning reportedly revitalizes the organs that have been semi-dehydrating during the night due to normal respiration as well as getting up and voiding the bladder (unless like me you are up getting a glass of water or milk several times a night, which, in my case, I am always fully hydrated).
Also, since GABA only works for about 1.5 - 2 hours on me (and that is as long as Renewtrient would work on me also, even though the manufacturer said it should knock anyone out for 8 hours), then the urge to urinate some time after having drank 8 ounces of water with 1,500mg. of GABA and going to bed is not really any great inconvenience, because around the time that I will have to empty my bladder is around the same time when the GABA wears off (for me) anyway and I will need to get up and get another dose. I guess it is possible that the GABA would last longer for me if I did not have the urge to urinate possibly interfere with sleep; however, that is an inconvenience that I have to live with, since 8 ounces of water is the minimum needed with 1,500mg. of GABA to prevent any side effects. Also, understand, when you take a medication or supplement, the little parts of the pill do not hop on a commuter subway for transport throughout the body, they are carried in a solution of fluid after dissolving in your G-I tract and thus drinking enough water is essential for dissolving as well as metabolizing and transport. You might even compare not drinking enough water with GABA to commuters at a bus stop or train station in which the bus / train is late or does not show up. They get cranky, irritable, complain, tempers flare. Thus, water keeps the bio-chemical G-I tract bus / train moving to prevent problems and to make sure everyone gets to where they need to go as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
GABA in the proper dose is the only product that has given any normalcy to my sleep for the 6 years or so that I have been taking it; but for 22 years, nothing I tried helped.
I also have sinus problems which also keep me from sleeping, having to use nose spray continually, waking up because my nose is completely blocked.
[Understand, I DON'T want to have to use nose spray because it and oral antihistamines are not good for the brain (and I take a dozen or two natural products to feed the brain and possibly help counteract the deleterious effects). I've had to use nose spray for about 28 years (though I've had apnea / insomnia for 40 and arthritis / fibromyalgia for 50). I have tried everything natural and even tried to just ignore it and bear through it—but unless you know what it is like to not be able to breathe at all through your nose, you don't know how exhausting it is. It also dries the throat and mouth out and causes a sore throat. Mouth breathing is also linked to greater possibility of Alzheimer's, Parkinsons, etc., according to some studies. Also due to hives, in the past, my throat has closed up, not 100%, but to a significant degree that it is a cause of concern. And since I can't breathe through my ears, it really is a good idea to keep both throat and sinuses as fully open as possible.]
For about 22 years I normally only got 2 or maybe 3 hours of sleep per 7 - 10 hours in bed, in 15 min. increments — on a "good" night — and during bad times, 1 to .5 hours sleep per night. Now with GABA I may get double the amount of sleep, and though it is good deep stage sleep, unfortunately, it is in several short cycles (in between waking up from not breathing from apnea, or not being able to breathe through my nose and needing a shot of nose spray, or having to get up to relieve my bladder and take more GABA).
GABA helps the mind to rest and gets you into deep sleep. If like me and it only lasts 2 hours, you may even think that you were not even asleep, or that you were only asleep for a few minutes; but if you check the clock when you lay down each time after taking a dose, and then check the time when you wake up (possibly to relieve your bladder and to take another dose) you will see how long you slept and you will be able to determine how long a dose works for you.
Also: It may also take a little while for the body to build up a good supply of GABA (GABA is actually found in significant quantities in the eyes and the brain and the amount of sunlight coming through the eye striking the pineal gland in the brain is what helps regulate sleep to some degree, so they may be related).
Though a person who first tries GABA may not notice any significant improvement immediately, do not give up. I started out with small doses and I did not seem to sleep much better; then I vamped up to 3 to 4 - 750mg. but like I said, it can cause a little discomfort until you do fall asleep if you do not drink enough water.
Proper water dosage that I have learned works for me to prevent any side effects, is about small plastic medicine chest cup [like the kind that comes free with a bottle of Niquil or Peptobismal]. This is roughly 1/3 of a cup of water PER 500mg. of GABA.
If I were trying GABA (or any of the other below-mentioned products) for the first time, I would start with 1 - capsule (starting with the 500 mg. size) and each night work my way up, 2, 3, 4 (but prob. not past 4); if 4 caused too much discomfort even with more water, I would back down to 3. If 3 does not cause discomfort I would then continue to take 3 as my first dose for a week or two; when I wake up, I would take 2 for subsequent dose; if that caused discomfort even with more water, I would only take 1 for subsequent dose. But like many things, it sometimes takes a few weeks for things to really stabilize; so I would not give up after 1 or two nights; but continue to take it to help the body build up its reserves and also learn how to process it in greater quantity (and it is also good for the brain and eyes; as are L-Taurine (which can also help mood, but it needs to be taken on an empty stomach, and too high a dose may upset the stomach, so again, drink more water) and Lecithin (see my short discussion on Lecithin in another article). After taking GABA on a regular basis, you may find that you don't need to take it every night. While not taking it every night will save money (and possibly prevent trips to the bathroom), since the body needs it for many things, it may be a good idea to take it all the time).
Other similar products that are helpful either by themselves or by "stacking" (combining).
5-HTP, another substance found naturally in the body, also works similarly, but I have found better results with GABA. Everyones body chemistry (and pathology) is a little different; while GABA may work best for one person, 5-HTP may work better for another (or alternating between them each night / week, or combining them). Larger doses are probably also best taken with adequate water.
The article concerning GABA that I first mentioned (https://nootriment.com/gaba-supplements/), also helpfully points out:
"5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is Serotonin-boosting supplement. Like GABA, Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is involved in mood regulation.
In the body, the amino acid Tryptophan is broken down in the body into 5-HTP and other metabolites. 5-HTP, either from Tryptophan in food, Tryptophan supplements, or 5-HTP supplements, travels through the bloodstream, crosses over the blood-brain barrier, and enters the brain. "
The second link that I mentioned above (https://www.naturalstacks.com/blogs/news/gaba-supplement-benefits-dosage...) also points out:
"A recent study on humans showed that a supplement combining both GABA and 5-HTP reduced the time it took to fall asleep, increased the duration of sleep, and improved sleep quality."
Also, Magnesium is THE* most important mineral in the body (being involved in almost every bodily function) and most people are magnesium deficient. Magnesium deficiency is silently behind a whole host of ailments, including sleep and many other health issues. Cancer patients are usually deficient in Magnesium and Zinc, because these two minerals are depleted by stress. Most everyone is deficient in magnesium because the soils are depleted and because most forms of Magnesium are hard for the body to digest and if you take too much it is laxative—sometimes powerfully!
[* Chromium is probably the second, and chromium polynicotinate is a good chelated form. Minerals are metals and thus hard for the body to digest. A chelating agent helps keep them in a state the body can more easily assimilate. Taking some Vitamin C and / or the digestive enzyme Betaine HCL can also help with the body's assimilation of minerals. However, GTF Chromium is a special form (Glucose Tolerance Factor) with benefits for diabetics, and it works a bit differently, so for normal use chromium polynicotinate is probably preferred.]
However, Magtein / Magnesium L-Threonate is a newer form of Magnesium and it is fantastic. THE MOST easily and fully absorbed form of Magnesium for the body; it is nonlaxative, and it feeds the brain. All forms of magnesium help with sleep (but those that are better absorbed will help more and will be more cost effective—and you don't have to worry about forgetting that you took it and accidentally taking another, and then 20 minutes later you have to make a bee-line for the bathroom like a rocket blasing off)—and you can mix and match all the products mentioned here. I take 8 - 10 Magtein capsules a day. It is the only thing that cleared up years of very, very, very (did I say 'very'?) annoying eye twitching (which I think was caused by antihistamines and even the antihistamines in nose spray, which may deplete the body's stores of magnesium?).
See also: http://alignlife.com/articles/magnesium-deficiency-is-behind-many-disease-states/
Phenibut is another product related to GABA [you can tell by the "-but"] and others (LiftMode has a good brand / prices: https://liftmode.com/calming/phenibut.html ); however, it can become addictive if you take it too often, so it is recommended you only take it 3 nights in a row. It also can be "stacked" (taken with other products mentioned here; at least, that is what I have read and I have never had any problem with it). The capsules in the bottle smell a bit like Elmer's glue. I noticed a tiny bit of residual grogginess in the morning sometimes. Phenibut can take 2 hours to kick in, and GABA usually kicks in within 20 minutes, so if taken together, one may kick in around when the other is about to wear off.
Valerian root + Tryptophan
Recent research has shown that taking these two products together is more effective than taking them separately. I have tried it and it works fairly well, but no greater than others. I will take 4 - 500mg. of Valerian and 2 - 500mg. of Swanson's L-Tryptophan (veg. caps, Trypropure, which is reportedly a higher or purer quality, though more expensive). One thing that I did notice is that it may cause residual grogginess in the morning if it has not worn off or if you have to get up in the middle of the night... AND... one time I had drunk too much herbal tea before bedtime, and had to get up during the night LONG BEFORE the Valerian and Tryptophan had become depleted in my body, and I experienced the most painful brain fog ever... it was like I could feel both hemispheres of my brain separately being squeezed in a vice and the pain was something akin to my brain as it would be to an engine if you were driving a vehicle 80 mph and then downshifted to first gear. Not pleasant. But the effect did not last that long because I went right back to sleep.
I hope this helps someone.
(as always, no medical advice given, just sharing my experience)