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Quality sleep is crucial for a true vitalized lifestyle.
I really can’t stress this enough.
But unfortunately, nowadays, too many people are skimping on sleep hygiene.
- Lower testosterone output
- Higher risk of type 2 Diabetes
- Higher risk of cardiovascular disease
- Increased risk of multiple types of Cancer
It does make me wonder if people were REALLY aware of these risks, would they take their sleep hygiene more serious?
I’d argue yes.
There are many natural ways to improve sleep quality – regular sleeping times, sleeping in a cool room, reducing screen time at night – to name a few.
And whilst natural ways are great, many people prefer taking supplements to aid their sleep.
This is especially useful for those who work on different shift patterns, thus can’t keep a regular sleeping pattern.
With the growing body of evidence showing the benefits of Phosphatidylserine for brain health, we wanted to see the science on Phosphatidylserine and sleep.
So this article is an exploratory piece that helps you decide for yourself whether you should consider supplementing with PS or not.
As an added bonus, I’ll also be reviewing Natural Factors PS in this article.
Yes, in this article, I’m going to share with you the results I personally experienced after supplementing with Natural Factors PS (Amazon), every single day, for a period of 2 weeks.
Ready, set, go.
What is Phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid that helps brain function.
It’s a natural compound produced in the body that covers and protects every cell in the body.
Studies in animals suggest that levels decline with age, hence increasing Phosphatidylserine levels should be a method of maintaining healthy brain function as one gets older.
Phosphatidylserine is naturally found in many foods, including egg yolks, chicken liver, beef liver and Soy.
But unfortunately, it’s difficult for your body to absorb sufficient amounts from dietary sources.
This is where supplementation comes to aid.
Historically, Phosphatidylserine supplements were derived from the brain cells of Cows, but because of the safety concerns about mad cow disease, most supplements are now produced from Soy Lecithin or Sunflower Lecithin.
Reasons for supplementing with Phosphatidylserine for sleep
This section of the article is all about the case for supplementing with Phosphatidylserine for improved sleep.
If you think you might benefit from Phosphatidylserine, this section is for you.
1. Phosphatidylserine lowers Cortisol
Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands in a circadian rhythm – it should peak in the morning (which causes you to wake up) and then gradually decrease until evening.
But due to the over-stressed and over-ramped-up world we live in, Cortisol levels are chronically high for many of us.
This desensitizes two parts of the brain called the hippocampus and the hypothalamus, which act as the shut-off valves for Cortisol.
When these become desensitized, Cortisol levels go through the roof.
This ends up being a vicious cycle, where cells aren’t taking in the hormone as they’re desensitized (caused by high hormone levels) leading to even HIGHER levels of Cortisol in a desperate attempt to enter the cells.
Phosphatidylserine stops this cycle by re-sensitizing the hippocampus and the hypothalamus to Cortisol.
So by lowering your Cortisol levels back in line with a circadian rhythm, your sleep cycles should return back to how nature intended, resulting in a deep, refreshing sleep.
2. Phosphatidylserine is a natural compound
At Vitalized Future, we’re strong believers of the old saying “nature knows best”.
In the context of supplements, this means we generally only use those that are found naturally either within the human body or from the land.
(Basically anything that isn’t synthesized from man-made chemicals in a lab.)
Phosphatidylserine is a great option for those wanting to improve sleep, as it works by a natural mechanism (lowering Cortisol to normal levels).
On the other hand, man-made sleep medications tend to have more serious side effects and addiction potential.
3. Many people claim to experience improved sleep from supplementing with Phosphatidylserine
To be clear, this is just anecdotal.
But many people claim to experience improved sleep with Phosphatidylserine (including myself, which we’ll talk about in just a little while).
If you run a search on Google, you’ll find tons of people raving about how supplementing with Phosphatidylserine has dramatically helped resolve their sleep issues.
Reasons against supplementing with Phosphatidylserine for sleep
We like to be as fair as possible here at Vitalized Future.
It’s important to address the reasons against supplementation when it comes to overcoming health problems.
(After all, supplements are rarely perfect.)
So here are some reasons not to supplement with Phosphatidylserine for sleep.
1. Nature knows best
As emphasized earlier, we’re strong believers in the “nature knows best” mantra.
Thus before splashing some cash on Phosphatidylserine, you may want to try some free and natural ways to improve sleep, including the following:
1. Sleep in a cool room
By decreasing body temperature and regulating room temperature, you can create an environment that will help sustain REM sleep.
2. Make your room a Batcave
REM sleep can easily be affected by noise pollution and light interference, so make your bedroom as dark and as quiet as possible. (I’d even go as far as switching off electrical devices that have a standby light on.)
3. Reduce afternoon caffeine intake
Caffeine increases Cortisol output. As previously discussed, elevated Cortisol can be detrimental to your sleep quality, especially later in the day.
2. It’s not the cheapest product in the world
Those on a watertight budget may want go for a cheaper supplement such as Holy Basil, which also helps lower Cortisol and is great at improving sleep.
(Although I did notice different effects from the 2. I’ll cover this later in the article.)
Just to be clear, it’s not expensive by any means, but there are cheaper supplements out there that could be just as effective for you.
Vitalized Future’s review of Natural Factors Phosphatidylserine
Although I can’t speak for everyone regarding whether Phosphatidylserine will work for you or not, I can speak for myself.
This is why I chose to review Natural Factors PS as part of this experiment on Vitalized Future.
I wanted to know for myself whether I felt any sleep benefits from supplementing with Natural Factors Phosphatidylserine (Amazon).
And here’s how I know Natural Factors PS works for me.
Due to my work schedule, I can only train (lift weights) from 9pm onwards.
Unfortunately for me, lifting weights makes me feel energized and revitalized, rather than drained and tired.
(Which is what I’d want late in the evening).
This usually makes falling to sleep quite difficult after a heavy gym session.
Each and every time I’ve taken Natural Factors PS, I’ve felt much calmer and more relaxed.
Sleepy some may say.
I’ve also been taking Holy Basil in my supplement regimen which is great at ensuring I don’t wake up during the night, but it doesn’t make me feel sleepy in the same way Natural Factors PS (Amazon) does.
Based on my personal experience, it’s obvious PS is a powerful supplement for at least some people. Maybe not for everyone. But some people, like myself, certainly benefit from supplementing with PS.
Hopefully this article has provided all the info you need on deciding whether you want to try Phosphatidylserine.
Those on a shoestring budget may want to try natural sleep remedies first, before getting your hands on some PS capsules.
These really do make a difference from my experience.
But if you do want to give PS a try, then I’d look no further than Natural Factors PS (Amazon).
It worked exactly as I hoped it would and I’m sure it will for you too.
P.S. Is it just me who feels more energized and awake after a gym workout? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
What’s the best Phosphatidylserine dosage for sleep?
As we’re all biologically unique, the best Phosphatidylserine dosage for sleep really depends on how your body reacts to it.
Personally, 200mg worked great for me.
But that isn’t to say it’s optimum for you!
Your best bet would be to start at 100mg and see if your sleep improves.
If not? Then give 200mg a try.
Can Phosphatidylserine cause insomnia?
Although Phosphatidylserine improves sleep and insomnia in most people, some people have reported insomnia after taking it.
This is most likely from taking a too high dose.
(I.e. more than 300mg daily.)
Should Phosphatidylserine be taken at night?
Well, this really depends on what benefits you want to see from taking Phosphatidylserine.
If you’re taking it to improve your sleep, then taking it at night is advisable.
But if you want to take it to improve your focus, then taking it in the morning makes sense.
(Related reading: What’s The Best Time Of Day To Take Phosphatidylserine?)
Does Phosphatidylserine make you sleepy?
Whilst I’ve taken many great supplements for improving my sleep, the one which made me feel most sleepy was Phosphatidylserine.
Now, if you’re one of the rare few who get insomnia from Phosphatidylserine, then obviously it won’t make you sleepy.
But for the vast majority of people, I have no doubt it will.
You might also find these articles interesting…
WebMD (Implications of Lack of Sleep)
PubMed (Phosphatidylserine Levels Decrease With Age In Rats)