The Importance of Sleep A good night’s sleep helps you feel more rested, energetic, and focused, while a poor night’s sleep may contribute to feeling fatigued, irritable, and unable to concentrate. Despite this, most of us tend to treat sleep as a luxury — something that can be easily sacrificed to our demanding schedules. However, the opposite is true. Sleep is vital to human health.
Studies show that sleep influences many aspects of well-being, including: • Blood sugar Poor sleep quality negatively affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar.1,2 Adults who do not get quality sleep become less sensitive to insulin, the hormone that keeps levels of blood sugar balanced.1
• Immune health Lack of sleep has been shown to lower the body’s overall immune health.3 • Heart health Sleep duration has an impact on heart health.4-6 Middle-aged adults who get more than seven hours of sleep are more likely to have healthy, flexible arteries than those who do not.4
• Memory and learning Studies indicate that sleep benefits memory, learning, and cognitive performance.7-10
The Influence of Brain Waves on Sleep How wakeful or sleepy we feel is dependent on the type of brain waves we are producing. That’s because different brain wave patterns are associated with different states of consciousness. Higher-frequency brain waves are indicative of intense brain activity, while lower-frequency brain waves are indicative of restfulness and sleep.
There are four types of brain waves:
• Beta (above 13 Hz)
• Alpha (8-13 Hz) • Theta (4-7 Hz)
• Delta (below 4 Hz)
The Five Stages of Sleep Stage 1: NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) Light sleep. Slowing eye movement and muscle activity. Stage 2: NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) No eye movement. Brain waves continue to slow and sleep spindles (rapid waves) sporadically occur. Stage 3: NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) Deep sleep. Delta waves begin and mix with smaller, faster waves. Stage 4: NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) Deep sleep. No muscle activity. Almost entirely delta waves. Stage 5: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Breathing becomes uneven. Rapid eye movement. Limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. Increased heart rate and blood pressure. Source: NINDS/National Institutes of Health11
How Much Sleep Is Enough Sleep? • Adults: 7-9 hours (8 hours optimally) • Teenagers: 9.5 hours • Infants: 16 hours Source: National Sleep Foundation12
Healthy Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep To help prepare for a good night’s sleep: • Turn the lights down about an hour before you go to bed so your internal clock knows it’s nighttime. • Avoid drinking anything alcoholic or caffeinated within six hours of going to bed. • Keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible and maintain a comfortable room temperature. • Try to stick to a regular schedule — go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. There are also a variety of supplements that may help those experiencing occasional sleeplessness or anyone wanting to promote sound, quality sleep.*
Supplements That Help Promote Sleep* Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle.* Darkness stimulates melatonin production — promoting a relaxed mood and calm, restful sleep — while light suppresses it.* Research supports melatonin’s positive role in promoting sleep.*13-16 One study in particular found that melatonin increased sleep duration, decreased sleepiness and fatigue, and reduced the amount of time it took subjects to fall asleep.*14 A review study, which analyzed the results of 10 human clinical trials, concluded that melatonin helps those experiencing jet lag adapt to their new time zone.*17
Naturally occurring in green tea, L-theanine is a non-essential amino acid that supports relaxation and a positive mood.* Several studies have demonstrated that L-theanine supplementation influences alpha brain wave activity, thus promoting relaxation.*18-20 Additionally, L-theanine may have a part in the formation of GABA, a quieting neurotransmitter, further contributing to its calming effect.*20 Suntheanine® is a patented, pure form of L-theanine that has been clinically researched for more than a decade.
5-HTP supports the brain’s production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and mood.* Research has demonstrated that supplemental 5-HTP can increase serotonin levels in the brain.*21 Not surprisingly, several human clinical trials have shown that 5-HTP is an effective mood enhancer.*21 Additionally, studies have found 5-HTP improves sleep quality by increasing REM sleep.*21
Healthy muscle function may help you find a comfortable position, which can help you prepare for normal rest. The essential mineral magnesium supports muscle health and normal muscle function.* In fact, 27% of the body’s magnesium is found in muscle tissue.23
Vitamin B6 may aid the conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin.* Research also indicates that vitamin B6 may increase magnesium absorption.*22
Valerian is an herb with a long history of traditional use, dating back 2,000 years. It helps with occasional sleeplessness and promotes relaxation.* One double-blind placebo-controlled study found that 89% of subjects who took valerian reported improved sleep.*24
What’s So Special about Solgar® Sleep Support Products?* In a word, quality. Everyone talks about quality, but at Solgar, it’s not a word used casually — it’s a way of life. For more than 65 years, it has been our guiding principle. Everything we do — from choosing the finest natural raw materials, to state-of-theart manufacturing, to the premium product that appears on the shelf — must meet our Gold Standard™ of excellence.*
References: 1. Tasali E et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008;105(3):1044-9. 2. Knutson KL et al. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(16):1768-74. 3. Cohen S et al. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):62-7. 4. King CR et al. JAMA. 2008;300(24):2859-66. 5. Knutson KL et al. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(11):1055-61. 6. Ikehara S et al. Sleep. 2009;32(3):295-301. 7. Walker MP. Sleep Med. 2008;9 Suppl 1:S29-34. 8. Siengsukon CF and LA Boyd. Phys Ther. 2009;89(4):370-83. 9. Walker MP et al. Neuron. 2002;35(1):205-11. 10. Diekelmann S and J Born. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010;11(2):114-26. 11. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – National Institutes of Health. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. Publication No. 06-3440-C. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm. Accessed 06/14/10. 12. National Sleep Foundation. Sleep-Wake Cycle: Its Physiology and Impact on Health. Available at: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/SleepWakeCycle.pdf. Accessed 06/14/10. 13. Rajaratnam SM et al. J Physiol. 2004;561 (Pt 1):339-51. 14. Dollins AB et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1994;91(5):1824-8. 15. Zhdanova IV et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001;86(10):4727-30. 16. Garfinkel D et al. Lancet. 1995;346(8974):541-4. 17. Herxheimer A and KJ Petrie. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(2):CD001520. 18. Nobre AC et al. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8. 19. Juneja LR et al. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 1999;10:199-204. 20. Mason R. Alternative & Complementary Therapies. 2001;7(2):91-5. 21. Birdsall TC. Alt Med Rev. 1998;3(4):271-80. 22. Majumdar P and LM Boylan. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1989;59(3):300-3. 23. Shils ME. Magnesium. In: O’Dell BL, Sunde RA, eds. Handbook of nutritionally essential minerals. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc; 1997:117-52. 24. Lindahl O and L Lindwall. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1989;32(4):1065-6.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.