Tag Archives: sleep

  • Top 3 Supplements to Help You Sleep, Boost Your Recovery

    Sleep: You know it's really important so then why does it seem so difficult to get in your 7 to 9 hours each night? The average person only gets between 5 and 6 hours of sleep. While it may not seem like a big difference, those missing hours add up. This may result in fatigue, slower recovery or a weakened immune response. It may also make you more susceptible to over training.

     

    If you have a hard time getting to sleep AND staying asleep, there are a few all natural supplements that may be able to help. Let's take a look at the top 3 supplements to help you sleep and boost your recovery.

     

    ZMA

    ZMA is marketed as a sports recovery supplement but it's no coincidence that you are directed to take it just before bed. ZMA is made up of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. You'll often see ZMA associated with bodybuilding and athletics but make no mistake about it: ZMA can be a valuable supplement for anyone looking to improve their sleep.

     

    Each individual ingredient in ZMA has been shown to promote sleep and when combined, the supplement has had incredible results. ZMA has been shown in numerous studies to improve deep sleep. This is when the body's heavy duty recovery happens. (1-4)

     

    Take the ZMA as directed. Just be sure not to take ZMA with a protein shake as protein will interfere with the absorption of Zinc.

     

    Want to pick up a high quality ZMA supplement? Click here to check out our ZMA collection.

     

    GABA

    When you wake up in the morning and that sunlight hits your face, your body immediately begins producing hormones that make you alert and ready to start the day. As you prepare for sleep, your body does just the opposite. It prepares to shut down. This is where GABA comes into play. GABA is short for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid. GABA is an inhibitor neurotransmitter that naturally helps you prepare for sleep AND helps you stay asleep during the night. It's no surprise that many nighttime recovery supplements have GABA as their number one ingredient.

     

    Looking for an excellent GABA supplement? Check out our collection of GABA here.

     

    VALERIAN ROOT

    Valerian root has been used a natural sleep aid for many years. The subject of a variety of sleep-focused studies, valerian root may be able to help promote restful sleep. What's more, it may help you stay asleep longer. How does it do this? It's all about GABA.

     

    Studies suggest that valerian root helps to promote the release of GABA, the compound we discussed above. Once released, valerian root helps to protect GABA from breakdown. This means it will stay in your system longer, allowing you to sleep better.

     

    Click here to check out our valerian root collection.

     

    Conclusion

    Getting more and better quality sleep is simple when you try one of these all natural herbal supplements. Taken as directed, these supplements may help to promote healthy sleep patterns.

     

    References

    1. Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The effect of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc on primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents in Italy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Jan;59(1):82-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03232.x.
    1. Kordas K, Siegel EH, Olney DK, Katz J, Tielsch JM, Kariger PK, Khalfan SS, LeClerq SC, Khatry SK, Stoltzfus RJ. The effects of iron and/or zinc supplementation on maternal reports of sleep in infants from Nepal and Zanzibar. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009 Apr;30(2):131-9. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31819e6a48.
    1. Nielsen FH, Johnson LK, Zeng H. Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep. Magnes Res. 2010 Dec;23(4):158-68. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2010.0220. Epub 2011 Jan 4.
    1. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9.
    1. Gottesmann C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. Neuroscience. 2002;111(2):231-9.
    1. Lindahl O, Lindwall L. Double blind study of a valerian preparation. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989 Apr;32(4):1065-6.
  • Sleep and weight loss

    Sleep is an important modulator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism. It has been reported that the worldwide prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980, with women more likely to be obese than men. This obesity epidemic has been paralleled by a trend of increasing prevalence of sleep loss in both children and adults in the modern society. We are sleeping a lot less than we were a few decades ago and are paying the price for it. Significant amount scientific evidence has indicated that poor sleep quality and sleep loss can cause endocrine alterations, including decreased insulin tolerance and sensitivity, increased level of cortisol in the body in evenings, increased level of ghrelin, decreased level of leptin, and increased hunger and appetite. There is a direct association between increased BMI and sleep loss. Children and adults who are short sleepers are at a higher risk for weight gain and obesity. In addition, the dysregulation of the neuroendocrine control of appetite and the alteration of glucose tolerance in people who are not getting enough sleep exposed them to an increased risk of getting diabetes later in life.

     

    So, how much sleep is enough? Well, it really depends on the individual and your age group. One may feel properly rested after 6 and half hours of sleep while others may need 9 hours of sleep to feel rejuvenated. The average basal sleep need for a healthy adult is around 7-8 hours per night. This is discounting all the sleep debt that one accumulates due to previous sleep loss, which may make you feel tired even after a few nights of good sleep unless the debt is paid.

     

    Many of us work very hard to keep our weights down but sometimes we forgot that basic routines in life such as sleep could have a far greater impact on our body and health than the extra 2km you run on the treadmill the other day. Getting enough sleep is probably the easiest, cheapest and most productive way of setting yourself up a good foundation to a healthy and lean life.

  • Rest as Important as Exercise to Reducing Cancer Risk

    A new study found that regular exercise lowers women’s risk of cancer, but only if combined with proper night-time rest. Without a good night’s sleep, exercise does not have as big an impact on cancer risk; in fact its protective effect may be eliminated.
  • Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain

    Could gaining weight be related to the amount of sleep you get? Absolutely, according to the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders in New Jersey.
  • Lack of Sleep Can Reduce Athletic Performance

    Studies have shown that cumulative sleep deprivation can slow glucose metabolism by 30 to 40 percent, and reduce cardiovascular performance by 11 percent.
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