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Hydrogen and Its Effect on Sleep

Contributor Bio

Alex Tarnava is the CEO of Drink HRW, and the primary inventor of the open-cup hydrogen tablets. Alex runs the clinical outreach program for our company, working with over a dozen universities coordinating research. Alex has also published research of his own. You can find it on his ResearchGate. Additionally, he has been interviewed for many prominent publications, such as Entrepreneur and Forbes, and on many popular Podcasts. You can find all of his interviews and articles on his media page.

Hydrogen and Its Effect on Sleep

Hydrogen and sleep

One of the most interesting anecdotes we’ve heard over and over again, at first unexpectedly but now standard, is how high dose hydrogen tablets have helped individuals sleep better. Almost daily we hear reports from middle aged to elderly members of our community expressing amazement at the fact that not only are they sleeping deep through the night, but in many cases dreaming for the first time in decades.


Personally, at 33 years old I experience pleasant, memorable dreams  (8 Ways to Improve Sleep by Enhancing Your 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. For the majority of my adolescence, late teens, and throughout my entire twenties my sleep was characterized by one word: erratic. I have experienced long periods of insomnia (What Causes Insomnia? ) with sleep often amounting to less than two hours a night for weeks or months at a time. This insomnia leads to caffeine and other stimulant-based dependencies exceeding safe and tolerable levels. 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 adapted to this and 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. It wasn’t until I got my first Fitbit that I realized how little I was still actually sleeping, and the changes I need to make. During this period I was taking a comparatively lower dose of molecular hydrogen every day; my tablets were only making 2 - 3ppm in half a liter with complicated preparation, and I was only taking 1 or 2 a day as I was hand pressing them. I was sleeping, but still waking frequently and sleeping in chunks.

As my formulations improved, and the H2 concentrations rose dramatically, I noticed I was no longer waking up in the middle of the night. At first, this threw me off, as I had constructed work habits around leaving myself tidbits of thought on scrap paper in the middle of the night. This was disheartening, as I had come to rely on these morsels of vision to provide clarity the next day and propel my work forward.

At first, I concluded that my tank had finally run out. I was exhausted and catching up on all the sleep I had missed over the recent months; and if I’m being honest, the past years. As I started to realize I wasn’t sleeping anymore, I was just sleeping more solidlyI started to reconsider my conclusion. I wasn’t showing any signs of exhaustion or burn out in other areas. My work, ideas, creativity, and progress were not impeded and had arguably improved. I was less cranky. I had the energy to visit with friends and family and to work out/exercise to my expectations- in fact, I had more energy. There was only one conclusion: my sleep had improved. 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. 

In order to understand why high dose hydrogen water tablets are helping, first we 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.

Why we have trouble sleeping

Some of the biggest reasons our sleep suffers are stress and anxiety.  Another killer for anyone trying to get a good night’s sleep is chronic pain, both in the joints and in the muscles. It is no surprise to me that many of the members of our community who have reported almost miraculous sleep improvement from starting on a high dose hydrogen water regimen are in high demand physical jobs with nagging aches and pains. Sleeping with aches and pains can become a long-term problem, exacerbating the symptoms and tragically leading to the very stress and anxiety mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph.

Magnesium and sleep

Magnesium has long been known to aid in sleepMagnesium is an essential mineral required in hundreds of cellular reactions in the body, unfortunately, most North Americans do not consume enough of it in their daily diet. 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.

In order to uptake the Magnesium, your stomach first needs to break apart the Magnesium ions from whatever counterpart the supplement you are taking has bound it to, a process usually completely unavoidable for most supplement ingredient manufacturers.

For instance, if your Magnesium supplement is Magnesium Oxide, the most common found on the market, the Magnesium first needs to be liberated from the Oxide bound to it. This is a feat that is much less achievable than most marketers would have you believe. Typically, our stomach acids are responsible for breaking vitamins and minerals off the compounds. For Magnesium Oxide, success is as low as 4% of the average person. FOUR PERCENT!! This actually may be significantly higher in young, fit people with stronger stomach acids- and as low as 0% in older or unhealthy individuals, those who need Magnesium the most!

What makes the Magnesium in high dose open cup hydrogen tablets special, is that by the nature of the reaction and the ensuing buffering acids, free Magnesium ions remain. What this means is that upwards of 70% of the Magnesium in the tablets is immediately bioavailable in water, with much of the salts formed in the reaction remaining becoming bioavailable once it hits your stomach acid. This means that an 80mg Magnesium tablet may deliver as much as 17.5 to 25 times the Magnesium ions to your cells as a Magnesium Oxide supplement.

So what does this extra Magnesium actually do for your sleep? Magnesium helps you sleep 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- Magnesium assists your brain to start slowing down and 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 aide in regulating redox, mitigating a serious side effect that plagues sleep apnea sufferers. Furthermore, 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's ability to regulate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines- these tiny proteins that lead to inflammation- leading to a healthy inflammatory response, 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 in a human model, previously mentioned as a serious driver of sleep issues previously in this article.

Furthermore, in a study using our tablets currently going through peer review, we have found that acute usage of molecular hydrogen significantly lowers submaximal heart rate in 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 experiences, the lowered heart rate may also assist in falling asleep.

Not a miracle, but heavy-duty firepower for your sleep health

If you have serious and chronic health issues, this article is not a substitute for the advice of a trained, reliable Medical Doctor. While both Magnesium and Hydrogen have shown both in literature and anecdotal testimonials to be reliable and powerful aides in a good night’s sleep, long term replicated clinical trials have not been undertaken. Talk to your family doctor about your sleep issues, and if you feel fit give magnesium-based hydrogen tablets a try. We are confident they will work for you and would love to hear your feedback.


  • Alex Tarnava

    Hi Michel, the protective effects of hydrogen last 24hrs, or more, so there is no need to take right before bed. I like taking in the morning on an empty stomach, as one time.

    You may be interested in this article regarding ideal dosing protocol, it discusses some of the complexities but gives ideas for doses and times:


    continued article hydrogen and sleep.
    What time should the tablet be taken to get the effect?
    take 1 tablet just before going to bed in half a litre of water!!!! we are sure to wake up to go to the toilet:)

  • Alex Tarnava

    Hi Atencio, we have an article coming out on dosing Friday Jan 24th, it’s a complicated answer to a simple question.
    Drink the water down as fast as you can as soon as the tablets rise to the surface when the water is white with H2 gas.

    For the rest of the day just drink normal filtered water. Don’t drink hydrogen water for all your water.

    I hope this helps

  • Atencio Lopez

    I will really appreciate your help, I need to know the price and details of what kind of water should I use, how many times a day should I drink the water etc.

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