Calm Nootropic is first and foremost designed as a world-class sleep supplement. We do this by both increasing the quality of sleep, reducing the time taken to fall asleep (known as sleep latency) and also reducing the amount of awakenings throughout the night.
Calm includes 3 key ingredients which act to support sleep quality.
GABA is an amino acid that also acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that limits nerve transmission, and is therefore used as a mild sedative to help reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
L-Tryptophan is another key amino acid and pre-cursor to 5-HTP and Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is most associated with improved mood and L-Tryptophan is a natural pre-cursor that may help your body create more of this neurochemical as needed!
Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that is often used as a herbal tea infusion. It contains a compound called Apigenin which helps improve sleep quality.
Let's take a deeper diver into these 3 key ingredients for improving sleep quality and reducing sleep latency.
1. GABA 🌙
GABA is an amino acid that also acts a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that limits nerve transmission. For this reason, it is often taken as a mild sedative to help reduce anxiety and potentially improve sleep.
It is known that a problem with GABA supplementation is its lack of efficiency in crossing the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). This seems counter intuitive as it does seem to have a potent effect both anecdotally and in research. This could be in part, due to the fact that GABA receptors are also found in the enteric nervous system, such as in the gut and thus GABA can bind to these receptors.
One small 2018 study, showed that participants who took 300mg of GABA an hour before going to bed fell asleep faster than those taking a placebo. They also reported improved sleep quality four weeks after starting treatment. 
- May reduce stress and anxiety
- May improve sleep
- May help with insomnia
Mechanisms of Action
- Acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter and slows down nerve signaling
- GABA and glutamate in the human brain — PubMed (nih.gov)
- Physiology, GABA — StatPearls — NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
- Safety and Efficacy of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid from Fermented Rice Germ in Patients with Insomnia Symptoms: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial (nih.gov)
- Psychological stress-reducing effect of chocolate enriched with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in humans: assessment of stress using heart rate variability and salivary chromogranin A: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition: Vol 60, No sup5 (tandfonline.com)
- Relieving Occupational Fatigue by Consumption of a Beverage Containing γ-Amino Butyric Acid (jst.go.jp)
- Frontiers | Effects of Oral Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Administration on Stress and Sleep in Humans: A Systematic Review | Neuroscience (frontiersin.org)
- GABA Receptor Physiology and Pharmacology — Basic Neurochemistry — NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
2. Chamomile Extract 🌼
Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that is often used as a herbal tea infusion. Chamomile tea is most often consumed for its ability to promote a sense of calm and wellbeing.
The main constituents in Chamomile flower are polyphenol compounds like apigenin, quercetin, patuletin and luteolin.
Apigenin is a bioflavonoid and antioxidant found in Chamomile tea which is most associated with reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality.
One study in particular showed that people who consumed 270mg of chamomile extract, twice daily for 28 days, had 1/3 less night time awakening and fell asleep 15 minutes faster than those who did not consume the extract
- Has a sedative effect and may improve sleep
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces inflammation
- Acts as an antioxidant
Mechanisms of Action
- Anxiolytic effect by acting as a benzodiazepene ligand
- Suppresses induction of NO-synthase and COX2 enzymes leading to anti inflammatory effects
- Inhibits interleukin-4 production
- Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future (nih.gov)
- Herbal medicine for insomnia: A systematic review and meta-analysis — PubMed (nih.gov)
- Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: A randomized placebo-controlled pilot study (nih.gov)
- Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study — PubMed (nih.gov)
- A systematic review study of therapeutic effects of Matricaria recuitta chamomile (chamomile) (nih.gov)
L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid used to create proteins that must be taken in from the diet. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, melatonin and vitamin B3.
L-Tryptophan first converts into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) before converting into serotonin and finally melatonin in the body. L-Tryptophan, therefore, gives your body the building blocks to create serotonin if required, as opposed to taking 5-HTP which bypasses the rate limiting step and outright increases brain serotonin levels.
Increasing serotonin can affect mood and is known as the “feel good” neurotransmitter.
L-Tryptophan is often supplemented and used as a natural remedy for depression, pain, insomnia, hyperactivity and eating disorders.
Within Calm, L-Tryptophan is used for its potential to support mood and wellbeing, and increase sleep quality.
Low levels of L-Tryptophan has been shown to impair cognitive function, and increases feelings of anxiety, tension and nervousness.
It’s important to not combine L-Tryptophan with other serotonin increasing supplements or drugs such as MAOI’s or SSRI’s.
- May support mood and wellbeing
- May aid in depressive symptoms
- May increase sleep quality
Mechanism of Action
- Precursor to 5-HTP and therefore serotonin and melatonin
- L-Tryptophan: Basic Metabolic Functions, Behavioral Research and Therapeutic Indications (nih.gov)
- Letter: Tryptophan and depression — PubMed (nih.gov)
- Sleep-inducing effect of L-tryptophane — PubMed (nih.gov)
- Evaluation of L-tryptophan for treatment of insomnia: a review — PubMed (nih.gov)
- Sleep induced by L-tryptophan. Effect of dosages within the normal dietary intake — PubMed (nih.gov)
- Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis (nih.gov)