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Sleep Soundly

Get Some Help to Sleep Soundly

Since we live in a fast-paced world, it often feels like we just can’t afford 8 hours of sleep a night.  But the truth is that getting the proper amount of rest every night is essential to your health.1  You can exercise and eat right, but if you are tired all the time, you are still at risk.  Consequently, chronic fatigue can wreak havoc on your metabolism.   It also causes damage to DNA, accelerate aging and increase inflammation, a marker for increased cancer risk.2,3,4  So, you can sleep soundly knowing your health is in good order, if you are in fact sleeping soundly!

5-HTP Makes Your Brain Sleep

5-HTP is short for 5-hydroxytryptophan and  is a precursor to the neurotrasmitter seratonin.  Thus, you must have it to make seratonin.5  However, your body can and does form 5-HTP using the amino acid tryptophan.  It is abundand in animal protein, and turkey has tryptophan , but tryptophan alone will not make you feel tired.  But a full stomach can.  Of course it also regulates brain activities that include getting to and staying asleep.6  So unless your body is does a perfect job at making 5-HTP, you could benefit from supplementing with it.  Consequently, few bodies do it perfectly and they also become less efficient with age.

Melatonin is the Sleep Soundly Hormone

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the brain where its role is to regulate your rest cycles.  As you might expect, it increases in the dark and decreases during the daytime. That’s why some folks have such a hard time getting enough rest when they work nights.  Nonetheless, several studies have shown that melatonin is effective in treating many of these disorders.  These include insomnia and jet lag, but it may even help with Alzheimers.7

In any case natural melatonin production decreases with age.  Even if you are in good overall health  That’s why so many people have trouble sleeping.  They simply do not produce as much melatonin as they used to.You’ve probably noticed that most children, especially teenagers, sleep like bears during hibernation!  Yet as adults as many as 50% of us struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep and feel fully rested afterwards.You were that teenager once, but as an adult you can’t sleep and this is why.

Valerian for Relaxation

Valerian root is an herb, typically found in dietary supplements.   It is also a common ingredient in over the counter medications.  While it is not clear why it works, it seems to have moderate sedatitive effects.   There is also very little risk associated with using valerian.  Unlike many drugs out there, it does not cause side effects that are arguably worse than being tired!10  Many studies have illustrated just how effective it can be at inducing sleep as well as improving its quality.11  Moreover, some of the ladies out there will find a bonus to taking valerian.  It has been shown to reduce emotional, physical and hehavioral symptoms associated with PMS.12