April 13, 20-17; By Briana McDonald (Silver Bulletin e-News Magazine) In our society sleep deprivation is an all too common ailment. It is estimated that 50-70 million people suffer from chronic sleep disorders and these numbers are only climbing. The number is so alarming that the Institute of Medicine claimed it to be “an unmet public health problem.” There is an increasing demand for drugs that provide relief and while prescription drugs work for a while, the long term side effects impact our quality of life and become highly addictive. Not only do these prescription drugs never address the underlying cause, they also increase the risk of premature mortality associated with their use. What if I told you there was a way to achieve rejuvenating sleep naturally? Let’s explore all of the amazing natural remedies God provided us for relief from the stresses of this world.
Magnesium is one of the most amazing minerals our bodies need to perform over 300 biochemical processes on a daily basis. A deficiency in magnesium can create anxiety, heart conditions, muscle spasms and much more. A deficiency in this critical nutrient is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood tests- only 1% of the body’s magnesium is stored in the blood. Most Americans are deficient in this miracle mineral because even organic soils are depleted of this nutrient (and others thanks to poor farming methods) and there are many ways that magnesium becomes depleted in the body, e.g. alcohol, coffee, black tea, grains, soy, most pharmaceutical drugs, and certain calcium supplements. Magnesium is mostly found in dark leafy greens so if your diet is lacking in color, you’re probably lacking in magnesium!
If you think the amount of magnesium you obtain from your food is sufficient without supplementation then I would say thinking is for people who don’t know. Taking just a few capsules of a quality formulation of magnesium, calcium and potassium each night before bed can drastically increase your sleep quality and provide relief from anxiety. Magnesium is a calming mineral that nourishes the nervous system and keeps anxiety, fear, nervousness and irritability at bay.
5-Hydroxytryptophan is a naturally occurring substance derived from the seed of pods of griffonia simplicifolia, a West African medicinal plant. For humans, 5-HTP is the nutrient precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) which means that 5-HTP converts directly into serotonin in the brain. Serotonin has many important functions serving a role in ones sleep, appetite, memory, learning, temperature regulation, mood, sexual behavior, cardiovascular function, muscle contraction and endocrine regulation. (1.)
- restore serotonin levels
- help improve your overall mood
- decrease depression
- decrease anxiety
- reset natural sleep cycles
- help you lose weight
- decrease headaches + migraines
- decrease pain caused by fibromyalgia
Bioactive Milk Peptides
Nutrients found in milk called bioactive milk peptides (chains of amino acids) have been found to enhance sleep quality, shorten the time to get to sleep, and reduce daytime dysfunction. They have also been shown to simultaneously produce a calming, sedative effect that helps combat anxiety and depression. Research shows us that bioactive milk peptides activate brain cell receptors for neurotransmitters that reduce anxiety such as GABA, serotonin and dopamine.
The advantage to milk peptides unlike benzodiazepine drugs which can become habit forming, bioactive milk peptides induce relaxation and sleep without the side effects. Animal studies have shown that while it does produce the same anxiety relief effects as Valium they don’t produce the same “disinhibition” that can lead to risk taking behavior associated with these drugs.
A study shows that women who suffered with anxiety, sleep disorders and other stress related symptoms who took 150mg a day after 30 days had a 65.6% improvement in digestion, 48.9% improvement in cardiovascular function, 62.5% improvement in cognitive function and 40.2% improvement with social difficulties. 2.
The vicious cycle of anxiety is it can cause insomnia and insomnia can lead to further anxiety. Managing our stress is an important aspect to wellness and mental/physical health. Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb with long standing, wide spread use in ancient medicinal systems that play an important role in breaking this vicious cycle. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which is a compound that induces physiological balance in the body and reduces the impacts of stress. It has many uses geared to help treat and prevent cancer, infection, immunomodulation, and neurodegenerative disorders. Many studies have shown that is has a beneficial impact on anxiety, stress, and insomnia and in fact it’s latin name Withania Somnifera means “sleep inducer”. 2.
In a study of adults with a history of chronic stress, taking 300mg of Ashwagandha twice daily for 60 days led to a reduction in scores on stress assessment and also had a significant reduction in blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol during treatment period. In addition it also posed these benefits:
- improvements in perceived stress
- decrease in food cravings
- increase in overall happiness
- reduction in serum cortisol
- reduction in body weight
- reduction in body mass index
- protects the brain from of the harmful behavioral and biochemical effects of sleep deprivation such as impared locomotor activity and impaired learning and memory
You can achieve rejuvenating sleep naturally using the minerals, amino acids, and herbs that God laid out before us without the damaging side effects of over the counter “cures.” Taking back the quality of our sleep is essential as there is mounting evidence that poor sleep has an effect on our chromosomal telomeres, shortening them and thus our lives prematurely. Long revered natural products continue to show us that God made no mistakes and if we look to Him and His creation, we can find long lasting relief that benefits us in every way with no side effects.
- “Achieving Restorative Sleep” Life Extension. November 2016. Page(s) 47-51.