Creatine supplement is a popular choice for athletic performance and muscle growth. But what about its impact on sleep? Does creatine keep you awake?
There is no evidence showing creatine keeps you awake or disrupts sleep. Creatine is not a stimulant keeping your central nervous system alert or energized. But creatine may reduce sleep depth, duration, and the quantity of sleep you need after sleep deprivation.
So, don’t doze off just yet if you want to snooze soundly and settle the score on whether creatine disrupts your Z’s. Keep your eyes peeled and read the full article to get the lowdown on this supplement’s impact on your slumber.
Does Creatine Keep You Awake?
The research on the effects of creatine on sleep is limited and mixed. However, creatine is not a stimulant keeping your nervous system alert and awake, so it’s unlikely to impact your sleep.
Sleep is important for restoring energy in the brain, but we don’t know if giving the brain more energy reduces the need for sleep. Creatine gives cells more energy and has been shown to improve exercise and brain function.
The only research done on creatine and sleep is on rats, who were given creatine supplements for four weeks. Then they measured their sleep and brain energy levels.
The study found that the rats slept less during the day after taking creatine but not at night. Their deep sleep was also reduced while keeping the rats awake for six hours.
The study found changes in the brain’s energy molecules after taking creatine, which seemed to reduce the chemical that makes you feel sleepy. These findings suggest oral creatine-monohydrate supplementation may reduce the need for sleep and the homeostatic sleep pressure in rats, particularly during the light (inactive) period.
Also, it has the potential to be used in the treatment of sleep-related disorders.
However, taking it with other substances, such as caffeine or other stimulants, can increase wakefulness.
So does creatine affect your sleep or not? What to believe?
While more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between creatine and sleep, its intake may reduce sleep depth, duration, and quality in some individuals.
Creatine And Sleep: Potential Reasons For Your Sleepless Nights
Here are some potential reasons that can affect your sleep while on creatine.
Creatine can increase the amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) available for muscles, which may also increase overall energy levels. It could make falling or staying asleep harder if taken too close to bedtime.
Creatine has been shown to affect levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters play a role in regulating sleep, so changes in their levels could impact sleep quality.
Interference with melatonin production
Creatine supplementation can lead to increased water retention in the body, which may cause dehydration if adequate water intake is not maintained. However, dehydration may disrupt sleep and make it more difficult to stay asleep.
High-stress levels can affect sleep quality while taking creatine, exacerbating the body’s response to external pressures.
Everyone is unique. While some may not experience any side effects from creatine, others may have trouble sleeping.
Tips For Managing Sleep While Using Creatine
If you are using creatine as a supplement to enhance your athletic performance, it is essential to take steps to manage your sleep effectively.
Here are some tips for managing sleep while using creatine:
Monitor your creatine dosage
Taking too much creatine may lead to side effects such as bloating, and gastrointestinal distress, which can interfere with sleep quality. Monitor your creatine dosage and stick to the recommended dosage of 3-5 grams per day.
Dehydration can contribute to sleep disturbances. So, drink enough water to counteract the water retention caused by creatine.
Time your creatine intake
Take creatine earlier in the day to avoid sleep disruption, as it allows your body to process the supplement and minimize adverse effects. It’s best to refrain from taking creatine in the late evening or before bedtime.
Learn about the proper time to take creatine.
Practice good sleep hygiene.
To achieve a good night’s rest, create an environment assisting in sleeping. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Further, avoid using electronic devices before bedtime as these devices can interfere with your natural sleep-wake cycle.
Engage in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or cognitive-behavioral therapy. It will help you manage stress effectively.
Monitor your sleep
Keeping track of your sleep patterns with a sleep tracker can assist in detecting any changes in sleep quality due to creatine intake. You can adjust your supplement and sleep routine appropriately for the best sleep quality.
Avoid Mixing Creatine With Caffeine.
Some evidence suggests that taking creatine with caffeine may increase the risk of sleep problems.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase alertness, especially when consumed in large amounts. Creatine, on the other hand, increases your energy levels. Combining these two increases the stimulating effects leading to sleep disturbances.
Learn the effect of mixing creatine with coffee.
Consult with a Healthcare Provider
Consult a healthcare provider if you experience severe sleep disturbances while taking creatine to address any underlying issues. They may recommend adjusting your creatine dosage or timing, changing your sleep routine, or trying other sleep aids to manage sleep disruptions.
If creatine continues to impact your sleep quality despite managing it, consider switching to alternative supplements that do not affect sleep. Protein powder, BCAAs, and beta-alanine are some examples of non-sleep-impacting supplements. But don’t forget to consult a registered dietitian before switching to creatine alternatives.
Taking Creatine Before Bed: What to Expect?
Taking creatine anytime during the day is generally safe. But what will be the impact of taking creatine before bed?
Creatine is not a stimulant, so it’s safe to take before bed. However, it can indirectly have stimulant effects due to its ability to increase energy levels and improve exercise performance. So, taking creatine before bed may increase the likelihood of experiencing sleep disturbances in individuals.
Further, the timing of creatine intake may impact the absorption and utilization of the supplement. When taking creatine, you should consider meal timing, workout timing, and individual metabolism.
Remember, consistent use of creatine, a well-designed workout program, and a healthy diet can significantly improve strength, power, and muscle mass.
The million-dollar question remains: does creatine keep you awake?
The truth is, there is no conclusive research on whether creatine affects your sleep. While some individuals may report experiencing difficulty sleeping after taking creatine, others may not notice any change. It may depend on your body and its response to the supplement.
So to play it safe, seek the advice of a healthcare professional before incorporating creatine into your regimen.
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I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.