You’ve heard about Andrew Huberman’s sleep cocktail and want to know the details? Checkout Huberman’s sleep supplement list below.
Andrew Huberman’s Sleep Cocktail
Huberman’s Supplement List
Andrew Huberman’s special sleep cocktail should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed:
- 145mg Magnesium Threonate* or 200mg Magnesium Bisglycinate
- 50mg Apigenin
- 100-400mg (L-)Theanine**
- 2g Glycine (3-4 nights a week)
- 100mg GABA (3-4 nights a week)
I put all of these supplements in a cart at iHerb.
*Magnesium Threonate is a special kind of magnesium that can help you sleep better because it can go into your brain. But, be careful the first time you try it because about 5% of people might have some trouble with their stomachs.
**If you have really crazy dreams, walk in your sleep, or get scared at night, it’s best not to take theanine.
Huberman’s Sleep Hacks in a Nutshell
Here is a summary of sleep advice by Andrew Huberman besides his sleep cocktail:
- No caffeine after 2 pm
- It’s easier to fall asleep in a cold room
- Don’t use melatonin
- Within 30 minutes of waking up, go outside and view sunlight for 2 – 10 minutes
- When the sun goes down, look at it to tell your brain that it’s nighttime.
Huberman: Why Do We Get Sleepy?
Adenosine is a special chemical that builds up in your brain as you stay awake, no matter if it’s day or night.
There’s a pattern to your body’s temperature that changes throughout the day and night. Your body is coolest 2 hours before you wake up and then gets warmer, reaching its warmest point in the late afternoon and then cooling down again in the evening.
When your body is cool and there’s a lot of adenosine in your brain, you feel tired and want to sleep.
If you force yourself to stay awake when you feel tired, you’ll start to feel more awake again later because your body temperature is rising and you’re no longer feeling tired.
That’s also why it’s easier to fall asleep in a cool place.
When you sleep, your brain goes through different levels of activity in 90-minute cycles. You’ll feel more awake if you wake up at the end of a cycle instead of sleeping for another hour and waking up in the middle of a cycle.
“How sleepy we get for a given amount of adenosine depends on where we are in the circadian cycle”Andrew Huberman
More Andrew Huberman’s Sleep Advice
It’s not just about Andrew Huberman’s sleep cocktail above. You don’t even need to use any supplements at all. Just try out this free advice from Huberman. It’s very aligned with my biohacking sleep guide and my personal experience.
Getting exposure to sunlight is important for a healthy daily routine. Consider stepping outside for 10 to 60 minutes in the morning shortly after waking, and repeating the process in the late afternoon prior to the sunset.
If you wake up before the sun rises, switch on bright artificial lights and head outside once the sun is up.
For particularly sunny days, 10 minutes of sun exposure in the morning and afternoon should suffice, while 20 minutes is recommended on cloudy days, and 30 to 60 minutes on very overcast days.
It’s important to have a regular sleep schedule. That means waking up at the same time every day and going to bed when you start to feel tired.
Yes, even on weekends. It’s just a habit to get used to.
Caffeine & Coffee
How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine is a special substance that makes us feel awake. It does this by boosting the levels of a chemical called dopamine and blocking another chemical called adenosine. Adenosine makes us feel sleepy, so by blocking it, caffeine keeps us awake.
But, when the effects of caffeine wear off, we might feel tired or grumpy. This is called a “caffeine crash.”
That’s because the level of adenosine that was blocked before starts to build up again.
It’s important to be careful with caffeine. Drinking too much, or drinking it at the wrong time, can actually make us feel worse instead of better. The right amount and timing of caffeine can help us feel awake and alert.
Your body takes 5 to 6 hours to break down half of the caffeine you drink. This time can be longer for some people, up to 9.5 hours, depending on how quickly their body breaks it down.
Huberman’s Advice on Caffeine Intake
Huberman’s advice is to avoid caffeine-containing drinks 8 to 10 hours before bedtime.
Don’t drink caffeine/coffee to wake up and wait 90 minutes after waking up before having your first coffee. If you drink coffee right after waking up it will confuse your neurochemicals.
I get up around 05:45 am and have my coffee around 07:30 am. This works perfect and does not disturb my sleep. I go to bed around 9 pm.
Light For Better Sleep
The things that have the biggest impact on your body’s internal clock are: (1) light, (2) exercise, (3) eating, and (4) talking to people in the morning.
Light can affect how well we sleep. To help our body know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up, we need to look at light.
- In the morning, spend 2-10 minutes outside in the sunlight.
- At night, avoid bright lights and dim the lights instead.
- Get your first exposure to bright light 14-16 hours before bedtime.
- Watch the sunset to let your brain know it’s evening.
- If it’s cloudy outside, turn on the lights in the morning.
Why Sleep Impacts Health
Here are some insights from Andrew Huberman and his podcast Huberman Labs on the impact of sleep on your overall health.
People who stay up all night do worse in things like immune function, metabolic function and keeping their bodies working well, compared to people who sleep at night and are awake during the day.
It’s clear that having these very regular oscillations every 24 hours is essential to everything from metabolism to reproduction.
Everyone’s sleep needs are different, just like athletes need different foods to stay healthy, the might also need different sleep.
If you’re getting enough sleep but still feel tired during the day, it might not be because you need more sleep. It could be because you’re stressing your body in other ways.”
About Andrew Huberman
Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
His massively popular podcast the Huberman Lab exploded over the past months and even your uncle is currently listening to it.
Links: Podcasts with Andrew Huberman on Sleep
Huberman Lab Toolkit for Sleep and details on his Sleep Cocktail
Note on Sleep Supplements
Everybody should do their own experiments and find out what works for them. Try adding one sleep supplement at a time. Consult your physician before adding any supplements to your diet.