Insomnia and an inability to relax can have a negative impact on our health. Here are some suggestions on how to help.

Getting a proper night’s sleep is essential to good health and wellbeing.

Not only does sleep deprivation leave you feeling irritable and exhausted but it can also lead to further problems such as weight gain, the risk of heart disease and the risk of diabetes type 2. The following supplements are known to aid relaxation and promote a restful night’s sleep.

L-THEANINE
The amino acid L-theanine, which is the primary component in green tea, is known to ease anxiety and stress and is also said to promote restful sleep.1 Interestingly, when it is taken during the day, users report feelings of calm alertness, whilst at night it can aid sleep without any feelings of drowsiness the following morning.

The way it works is that L-theanine counteracts the stimulatory effects of the caffeine in tea and triggers the brain to produce alpha brain waves which create deep relaxation and alertness. L-Theanine also helps to formulate GABA or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, which influences the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, thus producing a state of relaxation.

L-TRYPTOPHAN

The amino acid L-tryptophan acts as a precursor to many neurotransmitters and neurochemicals, including serotonin (which improves mood and mental health) and melatonin (which improves sleep). Much research has been carried out into the effects of
L-tryptophan and sleep. Evidence suggests that L-tryptophan in doses of 1g or more promotes feelings of sleepiness and decreases the amount of time it takes to get to sleep. This amino acid is not found in the body so it must be added through foods or nutritional supplements.

VITAMIN B3

Vitamin B3, or niacin, is one of the eight essential B vitamins important in your diet.

In a 2005 evaluation of controlled studies published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the role of vitamin B3 in sleep promotion was explored, along with other alternative treatments. The authors discovered that when an increasing dose of nicotinamide, a supplemental form of niacin, was given over a period of 21 days, the subjects who did not have sleep problems experienced increased REM sleep. Meanwhile the subjects with insomnia experienced better sleep when given the same dosage.4

VITAMIN B6

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, plays an important role in the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps to improve sleep length, improve mood and helps to calm the mind from anxiety or worry. The effects of vitamin B6 deficiency on sleep are said to be similar to the effects of serotonin depletion, in terms of reduced body temperature, altered REM patterns and shorter periods of deep sleep. Interestingly, research seems to suggest that vitamin B6 may increase our ability to recall dreams by increasing cortical arousal during periods of rapid eve movement (REM) sleep.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is known as nature’s relaxant and for good reason. It helps to ease tension and promote muscle relaxation which can in turn help people to fall asleep. This important nutrient is also involved in at least 300 essential biochemical reactions ranging from protein synthesis to calcium absorption and regulation of the sympathetic nervous system. Yet, interestingly, it is one of the main nutrients that tend to be deficient in our diets.

Studies suggest that magnesium deficiency may be one of the causes of insomnia.6 Low magnesium levels can also cause the release of certain stress hormones in the body, particularly high levels of noradrenaline, which increase under stress. It is therefore crucial to ensure that you are getting the proper intake if you want to ensure good health and good sleep.

In summary, these nutrients all help to ease stress and reduce anxiety whilst promoting good sleep.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

RELAXWELL®

Relaxwell® is a professional strength super nutrient formula which combines L-Tryptophan, L-Theanine, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3 for effective relaxation and sleep support.

Other recommended products include the Ancient Minerals Magnesium range which comprises magnesium oil, gel, lotion and bath flakes.