In Australia, 13-33% of adults have regular difficulty in either getting to sleep or staying asleep. In NSW alone, almost one-fifth of the population are chronically sleep restricted.
Getting a good or even a full night’s sleep is clearly something many individuals struggle to achieve. Factors that can influence sleep include:
- poor diet choices
- tense muscles
- leg cramps
- an overactive mind
- shift work
- increased stimulant intake.
Stress is prevalent in many of our day-to-day lives. Stress, both physical and emotional, can cause excess magnesium loss.
Your health professional may recommend specific ingredients that can help reduce the effect of stress on sleeplessness.
Popularly known for its role in energy production, our hero mineral magnesium is also an important mineral for relaxation particularly when it comes to muscles and the nervous system. The role of magnesium is to encourage normal and healthy muscle contraction and relaxation. When we want to sleep, we want adequate muscle relaxation in order to be able to get to sleep and have a restful night.
Helps to relieve the symptoms of stress and promotes relaxation in times of mental stress.[4,5]
Also known as tart cherry, sour cherry is naturally high in melatonin, a hormone and antioxidant, along with other antioxidants, including anthocyanins and phenolic compounds.[6-8]
A herb that has been used traditionally in western herbal medicine to promote sleep in people with mild irritability and nervous tension. It has gone under the spotlight in numerous clinical trials, which have highlighted its efficacy. A specific form of valerian extract called Bio-156TM has been shown to promote the onset of deep sleep, improve sleep quality, promote a restorative, refreshing sleep, and encourage a sense of wellbeing in individuals who experience sleeplessness, after 2-6 weeks.[9-12]
Whilst it may be found beside the incense burner in many people’s homes, lavender oil also has a long history in traditional western herbal medicine for promoting relaxation in individuals, for mild insomnia due to restlessness. The volatile oil component of lavender appears responsible for its beneficial effects, as shown in clinical trials.[3,13-15]
If you experience night sweats alongside sleeplessness and irritability, ask your health professional about zizyphus, a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote sleep and quiet the spirit.
Speak to your local Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist for more information about supplementation. Be sure to always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.
Visit www.bioceuticals.com.au for more information.
1. Cunnington D, Junge MF, Fernando AT. Insomnia: prevalence, consequences and effective treatment. Med J Aust 2013;199(8):S36-40.
2. Bartlett DJ, Marshall NS, Williams A, et al. Sleep health New South Wales: chronic sleep restriction and daytime sleepiness. Intern Med J 2008;38(1):24-31.
3. Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide, 3rd ed. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2010.
4. Messaoudi M, LeFranc-Millot C, Desor D, et al. Effects of a tryptic hydrosylate from bovine milk alphaS1-casein on hemodynamic responses in healthy human volunteers facing successive mental and physical stress situation. Eur J Nutr 2005;44(2):128-32.
5. Kim JH, Desor D, Kim YT, et al. Efficacy of alphaS1-casein hydrosylate on stress-related symptoms in women. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007;61(4):536-41.
6. Howatson G, Bell P, Tallent J, et al. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nut 2011 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print]
7. Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, et al. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. J Med Food 2010;13(3):579-83.
8. Garrido M, Paredes S, Cubero J, et al. Jerte Valley cherry-enriched diets improve nocturnal rest and increase 6-sulfatoxymelatonin and total antioxidant capacity in the urine of middle-aged and elderly humans. J Gerontology 2010;65(9);909-14.
9. Donath F, Quispe S, Diefenbach K, et al. Critical evaluation of the effect of valerian extract on sleep structure and sleep quality. Pharmacopsychiatry 2000;33(2):47-53.
10. Ziegler G, Ploch M, Miettinen-Baumann A, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of valerian extract LI 156 compared with oxazepam in the treatment of non-organic insomnia–a randomized, double-blind, comparative clinical study. Eur J Med Res 2002;7(11):480-486.
11. Dorn M. Efficacy and tolerability of Baldrian versus oxazepam in non-organic and non-psychiatric insomniacs: a randomised, double-blind, clinical, comparative study. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 2000;7(2):79-84.
12. Vorbach EU, Görtelmeyer R, Brüning J. Therapy for insomniacs: effectiveness and tolerance of valerian preparations. Psychopharmakotherapie 1996;3:109-115.
13. Kasper S, Gastpar M, Müller WE, et al. Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in generalized anxiety disorder – a randomized, double-blind comparison to placebo and paroxetine. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2014;17(6):859-869.
14. Kasper S, Gastpar M, Müller WE, et al. Silexan, an orally administered lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 2010;25(5):277-287.
15. Kasper S. An orally administered lavandula oil preparation (Silexan) for anxiety disorder and related conditions: an evidence based review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract 2013;17 Suppl 1:15-22.
16. Cao JX, Zhang QY, Cui SY, et al. Hypnotic effect of jujubosides from semen Ziziphi spinosae. J Ethnopharmacol 2010;130(1):163-166.