Natural sleep remedies spotlighted on World Sleep Day
13 Mar 2020 --- Lack of regular, sound sleep is strongly linked to decreased general health and well-being. In an overworked and under-rested society, World Sleep Day advocates for prioritizing sleep alongside a balanced nutritious diet and regular physical activity. NutritionInsight explores how nutritional supplements can help address an increasingly insomnia-prone population, as industry delivers natural sleep remedies to position sleep and rest as a cornerstone of overall health and well-being.
“Sleep is important for cognitive health and brain function in many aspects, such as learning, memory and mood. World Sleep Day is an opportunity to be aware, sleep regularly, sleep enough and treat sleep disorders,” states Professor Fang Han, Managing Director of The Sleep Center, Peking University People’s Hospital in Beijing, China.
Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in scientific understandings of neural mechanisms, linking the critical relationship between sleep and cognitive health. Mounting evidence indicates that sleep is an active process in which recently-encoded memories are consolidated and transferred for long-term storage. Moreover, sleep disorders may cause impairment of a person’s oxygen supply, disturb the immunological system or damage brain structure.
Pharmactive’s Spanish saffron-based ingredient affron has demonstrated that it can help support several parameters of sleep quality, including helping induce restorative sleep even at very low doses. A company-issued clinical study recently found that affron saffron extract helped reduce overall insomnia by 25 percent, while subjects reported less difficulty falling asleep and less interrupted slumber. Saffron presents a potential natural means of ameliorating the symptoms of sleep deprivation, which is currently considered an “underestimated global public health pandemic.”
However, saffron just as a natural plant cannot always guarantee consistent beneficial health variables. Díaz adds that because affron is standardized to contain more than 3.5 percent lepticrosalides, it provides the same amount of bioactives to offer enough of its beneficial properties, avoiding the problem of ingredient variation entirely.
“Sleep deprivation goes unrecognized because most people consider six or less hours of sleep and waking up during nights as normal. This lack of awareness in general populations continues to hide the problem,” Julia Díaz, Head of Marketing at Pharmactive, tells NutritionInsight.
Natural supplements for natural sleep
Though synthetic drugs are useful for the treatment of chronic sleep disorders, they are not suitable for prolonged management due to the side effects, Dr. Krishnakumar Im, Chief Research Officer at Akay, tells NutritionInsight. Natural agents can also exhibit certain side effects, such as headaches, morning sickness, nausea and memory decline.
To address these challenges, the company developed BlaQmax, a 100 percent black cumin composition rich in phytonutrients, which is a natural sleep aid without common side effects. “BlaQmax has anxiolytic- and stress-relieving properties along with the ability to induce sleep. It helps to manage and relieve stress and anxiety, as well as depression, which in turn, help manage sleep disorders, such as insomnia.” Dr. Im affirms.
“In addition, BlaQmax provides a physiologically relevant dosage of thymoquinone in just 100 to 200 mg daily dosages. This is important since most of the black cumin oil in the market does not contain pharmacologically relevant dosage of thymoquinone. Some published clinical trials have used 6 to 12 g of oil per day for some activity.” BlaQmax is available in oil and powder form suitable for softgels, tablets and capsules.
You snooze, you don’t lose
CBD paired with melatonin features an additional plant-based sleep remedy application. Charlotte’s Web (CW) by the Stanley Brothers created CBD Gummies: Sleep, the latest addition to the company’s line of CBD hemp-extract products. The gummies weave 10 mg of hemp extract with 3 mg of melatonin per two gummies to help consumers “float off to dreamland.” Moreover, the natural flavorings are derived from fruits and vegetables, plus terpenes, and flavonoids for a sweet bite. Hemp’s naturally occurring phytocannabinoids fused with melatonin supports sound, quality sleep and regular sleeping cycles, the company maintains.
“A sleep cycle is our circadian rhythm, which is a natural biological clock that signals the brain to sleep and wake, usually at consistent times of the day. Melatonin is the hormone that the body produces when it's dark outside to signal the brain that it's time to sleep. The sleep cycle can be off-kilter, due to jet-lag, night shift working or other causes, and taking melatonin as a supplement can help reset it. Also, if we don't produce adequate melatonin, which is common in older adults, then supplementing with melatonin can help us get back on track,” Dr. Jen Palmer, Director of Education at CW, tells NutritionInsight.
Hurdles in the CBD sector result from several factors, including the rapidly changing patchwork of state laws governing hemp and hemp-derived products. “However, the removal of hemp and its extracts from the Controlled Substances Act according to the 2018 Farm Bill, the passage of numerous state bills expressly premising the retail sale of hemp-derived products and the FDA's recent indication of moving toward full-spectrum hemp extracts are significant developments towards resolving these barriers,” concludes Tom LaForge, Human and Cultural Insights at CW.
By Anni Schleicher
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