Sleep Well, Feel Well

April 2024 - Health & Wellness

Unlocking the best version of yourself begins with a restful night’s sleep, yet for many, achieving it can feel elusive. Let’s explore various strategies and aids to help you reclaim those precious ZZZs. From lifestyle adjustments to innovative sleep supplements, discover effective tips to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated each morning.

1. Sleep in a completely dark room or use a sleep mask. Complete darkness enhances your natural sleep hormone production. When you get used to sleeping with a mask you may develop a slumber-inducing response just to donning it, like putting the cover on a birdcage. In the morning, pulling the mask off is an easy, no-snooze way to wake up as light receptors in your eyes send a strong signal to your brain that it’s time to rise and shine.

2. Leave phones, screens and gadgets outside the bedroom. Tablets and TV can rob us of sleep simply by encouraging us to binge on just-one-more episode of our favorite show. The blue light emitted by screens also interferes with natural circadian rhythms.

3. Exercise regularly, but not too much. Moderate exercise, such as walking, significantly improves sleep, but strenuous exercise, like running and lifting heavy weights, doesn’t. This is counter-intuitive as it might seem that the harder you workout the harder you will sleep. Instead intense exercise adds to your stress level, which can ultimately keep you from sleeping deeply.

4. Have a light bedtime snack. Nocturnal hypoglycemia can cause a rude awakening around 3 am. A spoonful of honey at bedtime is an old-fashioned sleep remedy worth trying for this type of insomnia. Better yet, a few sliced apples with almond butter or cheese and crackers may be just enough to hold you over until breakfast.

5. Consider a natural sleep aid. There are several that are safe, non-habit forming and won’t leave you feeling hungover, such as A. Vogel’s Goodnight! This scientifically formulated sleep aid supports your full sleep cycle, helping you fall asleep effortlessly and extending sleep duration. Crafted with organic ingredients like Lactuca Sativa and Lemon Balm, plus L-Tryptophan and Magnesium, it’s non-habit forming and vegan.

Deep Dive into the Ingredients

  • Lactuca sativa (Wild lettuce)
    An ancient herb made new again! Compounds in wild lettuce can produce a mild sedative effect that helps to promote better sleep. Its ability to manage stress and improve sleep stems from lactucopicrin and lactucin, found in the sap of the plant.[i]
  • L-tryptophan
    This essential amino acid plays a pivotal role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can be converted into melatonin, crucial for regulating the sleep cycle.[ii] Studies have shown that L-tryptophan supplementation can improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. It’s particularly beneficial for those looking to enhance the quality of their sleep. By boosting serotonin levels, L-tryptophan also impacts mood, helping you wake feeling refreshed and alert.[iii]
  • Magnesium
    Magnesium can act by supporting the nervous system, helping to quiet the body and mind to make it easier to fall asleep.[iv] [v] Studies suggest that magnesium supplementation can increase sleep time or efficiency.[vi] This is likely due to a link between low magnesium and the consequence of reduced melatonin production.[vii]
  • Lemon balm
    Lemon balm has traditionally been used to improve mood and counter rumination. Through its influence on a compound known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), it helps promote relaxation.[viii] It goes without saying that a more relaxed mind makes for a deeper sleep, while a deeper sleep makes for a more relaxed mind during the day.

[i] Kim, Hae Dun et al. “Sleep-inducing effect of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) varieties on pentobarbital-induced sleep.” Food science and biotechnology vol. 26,3 807-814. 29 May. 2017, doi:10.1007/s10068-017-0107-1

[ii] Jenkins, Trisha A., et al. “Influence of tryptophan and serotonin on mood and cognition with a possible role of the gut-brain axis.” Nutrients1 (2016): 56.

[iii] Schwalfenberg, Gerry K., and Stephen J. Genuis. “The importance of magnesium in clinical healthcare.” Scientifica2017 (2017).

[iv] Jenkins, Trisha A., et al. “Influence of tryptophan and serotonin on mood and cognition with a possible role of the gut-brain axis.” Nutrients1 (2016): 56.

[v] Al Alawi, Abdullah M., Sandawana William Majoni, and Henrik Falhammar. “Magnesium and human health: perspectives and research directions.” International journal of endocrinology2018 (2018).

[vi] Arab, Arman, et al. “The role of magnesium in sleep health: a systematic review of available literature.” Biological trace element research1 (2023): 121-128.

[vii] Abbasi, Behnood, et al. “The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences12 (2012): 1161

[viii] Safari, Mostafa, et al. “The effects of melissa officinalis on depression and anxiety in type 2 diabetes patients with depression: a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial.” BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies1 (2023): 140.

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