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Sleep

cyos   27 Feb 2020

Natural Sleep Supplements Backed By Science

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A long tiring day at work, using public transportation, climbing stairs, running so we won’t be late, and other everyday stresses makes sleep the ultimate reward. It feels good, it rejuvenates us, and gives the necessary motivation to get back into the race the next day. 

 

However, most of us have trouble sleeping. Be it because of overtime, traffic, or simply because we’re too tired to fall asleep, going to work yawning and in need of coffee has become the new norm. Fortunately, there are natural supplements to sleep better every day.

 

This is where sleep supplements come in. What exactly are sleep aids? How do they work? What are some of the best ones out there? Read our blog to find out.

Why is Sleep important?

There are plenty of underlying reasons as to why you can’t sleep well, but before that let’s first know why sleep is important for us. Here are three reasons why:

Improved Recovery

Without a doubt, sleep is the best and most efficient way the body can recover. It replenishes lost energy, rebuilds worn tissue, and makes sure our immune system is working at its best. This is also why bodybuilders are sensitive when it comes to how much sleep they get as lack of sleep can slow their muscle growth.

Stress relief

Stress has become one of the world’s leading causes of death, and living in a fast-paced world can definitely take its toll on anyone. Sleep helps us recover from stress as it focuses on making sure the body functions optimally the next day. In fact, sleep is such a good stress reliever it can even help lessen the pain and discomfort felt if you get injured.

Healthier weight

You may not believe it, but sleep can actually help you reach a healthy weight. It has to do with how you’re more likely to crave for food when you’re sleep deprived than when you had a good night’s rest. It also plays a role in improving your weight loss attempts, especially when you’re obese. Good sleep can improve our metabolic rate and reduce appetite or cravings.

What Happens When You Lack Sleep?

Sleep is important for our body to function normally, so the opposite is also true: lack of sleep will be harmful to our health. How harmful? Here are just a few things that could happen if the quality of sleep you get is less than ideal all the time.

Cognitive impairment

The brain needs to rest to absorb everything it’s seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt, and this is especially important for those who are studying for an exam or practicing for an office presentation. A lack of sleep can cause the brain to poorly remember everything you jammed up in there and could lead to disastrous results such as a failed exam or forgetting your lines during a performance!

Being sleepless can lead to less than ideal brain functions and could cause you to have problems in responding to events due to lack of alertness, concentration, reasoning, and reduced ability to solve problems.

Increased risk of accidents

Drinking and driving is bad, but driving while you lack sleep can be worse. Drowsiness can lead to a much slower reaction when it comes to preventing accidents especially accidents related to driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says around 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths is the result of driver fatigue and weariness each year.

Impaired muscle recovery and growth

Bodybuilders and professional athletes all have one thing in common and that is a really good sleeping routine. Regardless of the powders or capsules you take, you can’t supplement your way to ripped abs, thick biceps, or faster laps. Sleep has more to do with fitness than many people think, and those who literally make money out of being fit take their sleep seriously. 

Even if you could get some results, those results will either be not as good or short-lived. 

So, you naturally want to make sure you get the best sleep possible. This is where sleep supplements come in handy.

What are Sleep Supplements?

Sleep supplements are ingredients capable of inducing a calm and relaxed state that promotes an easier and faster transition to sleep. Many sleep supplements come from natural sources such as plants and herbals, extracts, minerals, and amino acids. Unlike their synthetic counterparts, natural sleep aids aren’t known to have any real adverse effects on the body.  

How do Sleep supplements work?

Natural sleep supplements aren’t like magic pills where you pop them into your mouth and expect to be asleep in one minute. They don’t directly induce sleep, but instead put your body into a state of “sleep readiness.” Some of their functions include:

  • Inducing muscle relaxation. Tense muscles are tired and overworked muscles. Relaxing muscles can help the body be in the mood to sleep easier.
  • Influencing brain chemicals that trigger sleep and lowers brain chemicals related to stress and alertness.
  • Promoting a natural sleep pattern.
  • Reduces adrenaline, noradrenaline, and other “energy” hormone activity.

Popular Sleep supplements in the market

There are a great number of sleep supplements in the market today, all of which can have an effect on your sleep quality in one way or another. Here are some of the most popular natural sleep supplements: 

Valerian Root

Valerian root is one of the most popular herbal remedies, dating back to ancient Greece and Roman culture. It’s most commonly used as part of a blend of sedatives taken as a form of tea. It’s prized for its calming effects that stem from stress release. [1] – BUY NOW

Magnesium

We all know magnesium as an essential mineral for the body that primarily comes from food and sometimes water. This mineral has been shown to function as a muscle relaxant that allows for both physical and mental relaxation. It’s most often taken before bedtime and works best when taken every day. [2] – BUY NOW

Passion Flower

Studies suggest that passionflower can promote sleep by reducing brain activity while also inducing calmness and mental relaxation.  The best part about passionflower is it doesn’t have any adverse side effects. [3] – BUY NOW

Glycine

Glycine is an amino acid that we produce naturally. As a sleep aid, glycine can copy the functions of specific neurotransmitters that bind to sleep receptors and induces sleep. In addition, this amino acid also boosts serotonin levels, a compound linked to happiness and positive outlook. [4] – BUY NOW

Ginkgo Biloba

Studies show that taking Ginkgo Biloba 30 to 60 minutes before sleeping can help reduce stress, improve relaxation, and promote sleep. [5] – BUY NOW

L-Theanine

Theanine is one of the best in the business when it comes to ingredients that promote calmness. It’s the primary antioxidant found in tea. In many pre workouts and fat burners, theanine is used to combat the side effects brought by caffeine. In a way, theanine serves as an anti-caffeine. [6]


As a sleep aid, theanine can reduce brain activity and lower nerve excitatory levels – or the sensitivity of our nerves to external stressors. – BUY NOW

5-HTP

5-Hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP is an amino acid that our body produces naturally. It’s known to help elevate serotonin levels which boosts happiness and wellbeing. It’s also known to increase melatonin production, the very hormone responsible for regulating our sleep pattern. [7] – BUY NOW

GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the brain’s primary inhibitory transmitter, meaning it’s the brain’s way of sending signals to the rest of the body when it’s time to sleep. When GABA is sent, the muscles and other organs in the body start to relax or reduce activity, preparing themselves for recovery during sleep. [8] – BUY NOW

L-Serine

L-Serine is another amino acid the body produces naturally. It plays an important role in protein, cell membrane, and DNA production. Some studies show L-Serine could improve sleep quality in people who already have pre-existing sleep problems. [10] – BUY NOW

Summary

Sleep is one of the most vital activities required by the human body for everyday function. Sleep can help us recover from a hard day at work, improve brain activity and other processes, boost muscle growth, and even help with weight loss efforts. 

 

Living in a busy world can sometimes create an environment that could reduce sleep quality, but sleep aids show potential when it comes to helping us get into a state of relaxation and calm and lead to sleep.

 

There are plenty of ingredients available that can help with sleep such as Valerian Root, Magnesium, Passion Flower, Glycine, Ginkgo biloba, L-Theanine, 5-htp, GABA, and L-Serine. These natural ingredients have studies to back them up and show little evidence of having any adverse side effects.

 

 

References:

 

  1. Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2006;119(12):1005–1012. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.02.026
  2. Cao Y, Zhen S, Taylor AW, Appleton S, Atlantis E, Shi Z. Magnesium Intake and Sleep Disorder Symptoms: Findings from the Jiangsu Nutrition Study of Chinese Adults at Five-Year Follow-Up. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1354. Published 2018 Sep 21. doi:10.3390/nu10101354
  3. Guerrero FA, Medina GM. Effect of a medicinal plant (Passiflora incarnata L) on sleep. Sleep Sci. 2017;10(3):96–100. doi:10.5935/1984-0063.20170018
  4. Kawai N, Sakai N, Okuro M, et al. The sleep-promoting and hypothermic effects of glycine are mediated by NMDA receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015;40(6):1405–1416. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.326
  5. Murray BJ, Cowen PJ, Sharpley AL. The effect of Li 1370, extract of Ginkgo biloba, on REM sleep in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2001;34(4):155-7.
  6. Kim S, Jo K, Hong KB, Han SH, Suh HJ. GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep. Pharm Biol. 2019;57(1):65–73. doi:10.1080/13880209.2018.1557698
  7. Morrow JD, Vikraman S, Imeri L, Opp MR. Effects of serotonergic activation by 5-hydroxytryptophan on sleep and body temperature of C57BL/6J and interleukin-6-deficient mice are dose and time related. Sleep. 2008;31(1):21–33. doi:10.1093/sleep/31.1.21
  8. Plante DT, Jensen JE, Winkelman JW. The role of GABA in primary insomnia. Sleep. 2012;35(6):741–742. Published 2012 Jun 1. doi:10.5665/sleep.1854
  9. Boonstra E, de Kleijn R, Colzato LS, Alkemade A, Forstmann BU, Nieuwenhuis S. Neurotransmitters as food supplements: the effects of GABA on brain and behavior. Front Psychol. 2015;6:1520. Published 2015 Oct 6. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01520
  10. Ito Y, Takahashi S, Shen M, Yamaguchi K, Satoh M. Effects of L-serine ingestion on human sleep. Springerplus. 2014;3:456. Published 2014 Aug 22. doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-456
CYOS blog content is for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Always consult with your doctor or medical professional before using any dietary supplements or if you suspect you have any medical concerns or issues.

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