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Memory, Sleep, and Concentration Stack

A reader wrote in looking for advice on creating a stack for memory, sleep, and concentration. This person suffers from low moods and problems sleeping. They also often build a tolerance to nootropics quickly. This person is looking to create a new stack as they have had success in the past with nootropics, but experienced sleep disruption and wants to avoid that.

Since the list of nootropics they gave was so extensive, I decided to dedicate an entire blog post to this topic in hopes of helping them and others suffering from similar issues.

The nootropic stacks are as follows:

Morning Stack

Caffeine Anhydrous 100 mg
L-Theanine 50 mg
Aniracetam 750 mg
Alpha GPC 200 mg
Creatine HCl 750 mg
Sulbutiamine 200 mg
Vinpocetine 5 mg  (3 days on, 1 off)
Huperzine A 1% 100 mcg  (every fourth day)
Noopept 50 mg  (cycle with pramiracetam every 2 weeks)
Pramiracetam 200 mg  (cycle with noopept every 2 weeks)
Stevia 95% Steviosides 500 mg

Afternoon Stack

Aniracetam 750 mg
Sulbutiamine 200 mg
Vinpocetine 5 mg  (3 days on, 1 off)
Huperzine A 1% 100 mcg  (every fourth day)
PEA 200 mg
Phosphatidylserine 100 mg
NALT 500 mg

Before Bed

L-theanine 100 mg (3 days on, 1 off)
Phenibut 500 mg (every 4th day)
Phosphatidylserine 100 mg

If you’re designing a stack for concentration, energy, and sleep, you want to keep a few things in mind. First off, it’s crucial that you dose up with energy-boosting supplements in the morning without overloading on anything that will cause a crash during the day. Come afternoon, you want a mild energy boost that’ll get you through your day without leaving you overstimulated for sleep. Your evening stack should be mild so it doesn’t cause dependency. The stack above should cover all the requested areas very well. Substances are paired to work as synergistically as possible, while a few are cycled for safety/dependency reasons. Here’s a brief overview of each portion of the stack.

Morning Stack

Stacking caffeine and l-theanine in the morning should work synergistically to boost baseline cognitive function while minimizing over-stimulation [1]. Paired with Aniracetam, this will be great for verbal fluency, reduced anxiety, and increased memory [2, 6]. And the aniracetam will in turn be even more effective when stacked with alpha GPC.

Creatine is a great supplement for your mind and body so long as you keep the doses reasonable, and will help maintain energy levels throughout the day without overstimulation [2]. Look for sulbutiamine to combat fatigue, boost dopamine (pleasure neurotransmitter) and reduced inhibitions – making for easier immersion in conversation [3]. Sulbutiamine powder may taste vile, but it’s a fantastic way to boost energy without any jittery side effects.

As far as memory goes, Vinpocetine and Huperzine are both great choices; they are cycled here to disrupt your body adapting to them, and because long-term impacts of Huperzine are not very well studied [4]. They’ll pair well with pramiracetam or noopept, which are both great for boosting memory, concentration, and focus.

You should cycle them to prevent your brain from adapting; plus pramiracetam has the potential for a toxic buildup of nitric oxide [6]. Stevia is another great compound that has been shown to reduce stress levels; it is great for offsetting any overstimulation you might get for other compounds. Plus it can help to mask the bitter flavor that comes with most nootropics.

Starting your day off like this should give you a well-rounded cognitive start to your day while promoting healthy energy levels.

Afternoon Stack

The afternoon stack should work in synergy with your morning stack, which is why you will be redosing the aniracetam and sulbutiamine powders as both see improved effects when taken cumulatively. You’ll also repeat your vinpocetine/huperzine cycle here, since they’re more effective when their doses are split up throughout the day.

Beta Phenylethylamine (PEA) will give a mild energy boost and, taken in the afternoon, should set you up for more restful sleep come nighttime. Phosphatidylserine should take any edge off while priming you for sleep. And, finally, NALT is added because it will help your body produce dopamine and noradrenaline [7], crucial neurotransmitters for energy and focus (the PEA should boost dopamine stimulation even further [6]).

You’ll be primed for maximizing this production thanks to your morning stack. Overall, this part of the stack will take your morning edge and allow it to mellow out while still giving you a sufficient energy boost to stay productive throughout the day.

Before Bed

For the final part of the stack, I added phenibut. L-theanine will relax you and is beneficial to your GABA system, which helps regulate mood and stress. Take phenibut powder every fourth day; since it hits your GABA-B receptors, it works synergistically with l-theanine, and will provide you with a very deep, restful sleep [9].

Phosphatidyl Serine for Sleep

The downside is that tolerance and dependence build fast, while efficiency declines, so keep this to every fourth day to maximize efficiency.  Then you can round it off with one last dose of phosphatidylserine to boost relaxation and improve memory formation while you sleep [10].

One concern with such an elaborate stack is the actual measurement and consumption of the powders. Weighing out fifteen or so nootropics (not to mention swallowing them) is going to get a bit arduous even for the most dedicated nootropic enthusiasts.

Fortunately, you can put your powders in capsules, and there is an inexpensive machine that makes the process quick and easy. For this stack you’ll want to get a machine that works with size 00 capsules – they hold about 800 mg give or take a bit.

The entire process of capping takes about five minutes and gives you 24 capsules each go-round – almost enough for an entire month. It’s a heck of a lot easier than measuring out each substance day to day, and has the added bonus of making the worse-tasting nootropics (hello, sulbutiamine powder) much easier to take.

SOURCES

  1. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/8/1572S.long
  2. http://examine.com/supplements/Aniracetam/
  3. http://examine.com/supplements/Sulbutiamine/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3781107/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8557218
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1767242
  7. http://examine.com/supplements/L-Tyrosine/
  8. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/phosphatidylserine/faq-20057764
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11830761
  10. http://examine.com/supplements/Phosphatidylserine/