Creatine is a supplement most commonly used to enhance exercise. While creatine isn't used to help you sleep better, there are connections between the supplement and your sleep habits. Quality sleep is an important part of your overall health, so learning more can help you take steps to find an effective way to improve your rest.
Having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early in the morning are all problems that impact how well you sleep. According to MedlinePlus, a website from the National Institutes of Health, about 10 percent of adults are plagued by chronic sleep problems. A lack of quality sleep can lead to trouble concentrating, irritability and inability to function normally throughout the day. Sleep problems can be caused by many factors, including stress, grief, jet lag, drug or narcotic use, alcohol use, too much stimulation at bedtime, changes in medication and certain illnesses and diseases.
Creatine is a supplement that is used to improve exercise ability for short-term and high-intensity workouts. The supplement is also used to treat creatine deficiencies. Creatine is manufactured in the body, and occurs naturally in certain foods, such as meat and fish. Research indicates that creatine might be useful for other conditions and disorders, though more research is needed to prove effectiveness. The supplement might be effective for muscle disorders, aging skin and for lowering cholesterol. It is also being studied to determine if it's useful for treating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease or Huntington's disease.
Creatine doesn't promote better sleep and it's not prescribed as a sleep-inducing aid. According to a 2007 study published in "Physiology and Behavior," creatine use might improve sports performance in patients suffering from sleep deprivation. A 2011 study published in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" found similar results. Another connection between creatine and sleep was published in 2006 in "Chest." The journal notes that sleep apnea -- a disorder that causes a person to have short, involuntary stops in breathing while asleep -- elevates creatine levels in the body.
Don't take creatine without speaking with your doctor first. The supplement might interact with your other medications or supplements. Certain side effects, such as gastrointestinal upset, dehydration and muscle cramping, might occur if you take creatine in supplement form. If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, make an appointment with your doctor. He can help you identify what is causing your sleep difficulties and the best way to improve your quality of sleep.