Guest Writer: Alex Tarnava, inventor of our AlkaWay Hydrogen Tablets.
One of the most interesting anecdotes we hear again and again is how high-dose hydrogen water impacts sleep. Today, we receive daily reports from middle-aged to elderly individuals expressing amazement at the fact that not only are they sleeping deep throughout the night, but in many cases dreaming for the first time in decades.
For the majority of my adolescence, late teens and throughout my entire twenties, my sleep was characterized by one word: erratic. At the time, I was experiencing long periods of insomnia, often amounting to fewer than two hours a night for weeks or months at a time, which led to my overuse of caffeine and other stimulants. Even after I learned the art of frequent napping and was able to kick my stimulant habit, I often found sleep fleeting and unpredictable.
My dream habits screamed of anxiety, waking me at all hours of the night. I actually became so adapted to this that I left scrap pieces of paper and pens on every table of my house, in my bedroom, living room, and even kitchen so I could write any thoughts that came to me in a groggy state and be able to remember them later. It wasn’t until I got the first Fitbit that I realized how little I was still actually sleeping, and that I needed to make changes. (Other wearable devices that HoneyColony recommends includes the Oura ring.)
Now, at 33 years old I experience pleasant, memorable dreams virtually every night and often lucid dreams), an experience I have not delighted in for over a decade. I’m not talking about disorienting dreams that wake me in the middle of the night and leave me restless. In fact, since upping my dose of molecular hydrogen I have actually started sleeping through the night completely, an accomplishment that previously seemed insurmountable.
At the time I was taking a low dose of molecular hydrogen daily. I was sleeping, but still waking frequently and sleeping in chunks. As I toiled away in my work obsessing over perfecting the high-dose molecular hydrogen tablets I was developing, I noticed that I was no longer writing on my sheets of paper in the middle of the night leaving tidbits of thoughts for my coherent self.
This is because I was no longer waking up multiple times a night. At first, I concluded that my tank had finally run out. Being so exhausted, I was just catching up on all the sleep I had missed over the recent months. I started to realize I wasn’t actually sleeping anymore, I was just finally getting a good night’s sleep.
Fortunately, I wasn’t showing any signs of exhaustion or burn out in other areas. My work, ideas, creativity, and progress were not impeded. I was less cranky. I had the energy to visit with friends and family and to work out to my expectations — in fact, I had more energy. There was only one conclusion: my sleep had improved. Yet, the only thing that had changed was the dose of hydrogen water I was ingesting in a day, thanks to my improving understanding of how to create and retain it.
The Reasons Behind Troubled Sleep
In order to understand how hydrogen water impacts sleep, we first need to understand some of the key reasons why our sleep suffers, and then we need to break down the benefits of both the molecular hydrogen and the highly bioavailable magnesium delivered in the tablets.
Two of the biggest reasons our sleep suffers are stress and anxiety. Stress can be oxidative, mental or physical in nature. For instance, chronic pain in the joints and muscles, a form of physical stress, can also rob us of our sleep. It’s no surprise to me that people who have demanding physical jobs that start on a high-dose hydrogen water regiment report almost miraculous sleep improvement. Sleeping with aches and pains can become a long term chronic problem, exacerbating the symptoms and tragically leading to increased psychological stress and anxiety. One of the keys to getting better sleep may be in one of our essential minerals: magnesium.
Magnesium And Sleep
Magnesium has long been known to aid in sleep. Magnesium is required for hundreds of cellular reactions in the body, but, unfortunately, most North Americans do not get enough of it because our water and soil have become so depleted. Silent activists, like a personal acquaintance of mine Paul Mason, have spent their own fortunes petitioning for the end to distilled water and other practices stripping this critical mineral from our bodies, but the epidemic looms on. Unfortunately, most magnesium supplements on the market flat out do not work, because in order for the magnesium to be effective, your stomach first needs to break apart the mineral ions from whatever counterpart the supplement has bound it to, a process usually completely unavoidable for most supplement ingredient manufacturers.
Incidentally, there are different types of magnesium such as threonate, chloride, and glycinate, and some are more bioavailable than others.
While some magnesium salts such as threonate, glycinate and malate may perhaps have better bio-availability than magnesium oxide, in all cases our body will not be able to utilize the majority of the salts and our stomach acids will be tasked with trying to break the chemical bonds. With the magnesium-based hydrogen tablets, the reaction takes place in the water allowing your body to utilize almost all magnesium present in the tablet.
So, again, if your magnesium supplement is from a form other than a hydrogen tablet, the magnesium first needs to be liberated from the other molecule bound to it. This is actually more difficult than most marketers would have you believe. Typically, our stomach acids are responsible for breaking vitamins and minerals from the compounds in order to make them bioavailable.
When it comes to magnesium oxide, the success rate for detaching it from the other compounds is as low as four percent in the average person. FOUR PERCENT! This actually may be significantly higher in young, fit people with stronger stomach acids, and as low as zero percent in older or unhealthy individuals — those who need magnesium the most!
High dose open cup hydrogen tablets do not actually contain H2. They contain elemental magnesium which liberates the H2 off the H2O. The magnesium that is left is exactly what our bodies need for function. By the nature of the reaction and the ensuing buffering acids, free magnesium ions remain. What this means is that upwards of 70 percent of the magnesium in the tablets is immediately bioavailable in water, with much of the salts formed in the reaction remaining becoming bioavailable once they hit your stomach acid. This means that an 80 mg magnesium tablet may deliver as much as 17.5 to 25 times the magnesium ions to your cells as that so-called magnesium oxide supplement.
So what does this extra magnesium actually do for your sleep? Magnesium helps by regulating neurotransmitters, which send signals through our brain and nervous system. It then binds to GABA receptors, a principal used by benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax, Ativan, Ambien, and Valium. By calming the nervous system naturally, magnesium assists your brain is slowing down, allowing sleep to take over.
Hydrogen And Sleep
While molecular hydrogen therapy is a relatively new concept, there is already some scientific groundwork exploring hydrogen therapy and sleep apnea. While molecular hydrogen likely does very little to open airways or stop the tongue from obstructing breathing, it could prove to be a powerful aid in regulating redox, mitigating a serious side effect that plagues sleep apnea sufferers. Redox is the process of oxidation/reduction and is complementary to antioxidant production. Oxidative stress and antioxidants have a yin/yang relationship, and hydrogen acts as a supervisor to make sure our redox is in homeostatic function.
Further, sleep apnea sufferers are plagued by chronic inflammation, and it is not yet clear what came first –– the inflammation, or the sleep apnea. Regardless of which came first, molecular hydrogen is able to regulate the production of proinflammatory cytokines which are tiny proteins that lead to inflammation. By regulating these cytokines, molecular hydrogen promotes a healthy inflammatory response, which may be critical in assisting with these sleep challenges. On top of hydrogen’s ability to ensure a healthy inflammatory response to the challenges our bodies deal with, hydrogen has shown to positively affect mood and anxiety.
Further, as shown in a recently published study using hydrogen tablets, we have found that acute usage of molecular hydrogen significantly lowers submaximal heart rate during exercise. While this is a single study on athletes, anecdotally we have received reports of heart rates being lowered directly after hydrogen water is consumed. While in many cases a burst of energy and focus is also experienced, the lowered heart rate may also assist in falling asleep.
Hydrogen water is not a miracle cure, but it is showing up to be a heavy-duty firepower for your sleep health.
If you have serious and chronic health issues, this information is not a substitute for the advice of a trained, reliable medical doctor. While research and anecdotal testimonials suggest that both magnesium and hydrogen are potentially reliable and powerful aides in a good night’s sleep, long term replicated clinical trials have not been undertaken.
Alex is an entrepreneur and prolific inventor who was the mastermind behind the open cup hydrogen tablets. Motivated by his own passion for health and maximizing longevity, Alex turned his sights to hydrogen water in 2015. Alex has since created a clinical outreach program, connecting the hydrogen water tablets to public researchers around the world, with several completed clinical trials and more underway.