Sleep – essential for holistic health
Micronutrients and botanicals to improve sleep wellness
Restful sleep sets the stage for all-round health! Many regenerative processes in the body take place during sleep, from the immune system and metabolism, to the skin, to the nervous and endocrine systems. In addition, sleep subserves the important function of clearing multiple potentially toxic central nervous system waste products. Thus, good sleep quality and duration are essential for preventing illness, maintaining physical and mental performance, and improving resilience.
Lack of sleep as a health risk
This makes it all the more unfortunate that many people suffer from chronic difficulties in falling asleep and getting a good night’s sleep, as well as fatigue during the day. 62 percent of adults worldwide have the feeling that they don’t sleep well. Long-term lack of sleep reduces performance, concentration and well-being. It also results in greater susceptibility to infection, and heightened risk of numerous diseases like dementia, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and hypertension.
High risk factors for sleep disorders are medication, illness and especially personal and professional stress. Ongoing tension, conflicts, financial problems, and too much blue light (e.g. from smart phones and tablets) interfere with sleep.
How can micronutrients help to improve sleep?
In addition to stress reduction, good sleep hygiene and sufficient exercise, nutrition plays an important role. People with sleep problems benefit from a Mediterranean diet, and from abstaining from heavy foods, caffeine and alcohol at night. In addition to sleep-friendly eating habits, special micronutrients and botanicals can make sleep more restorative.
Stress situations often lead to unbalanced eating and inadequate supplies of micronutrients, which in turn adversely affect sleep. Seniors are also often affected by micronutrient deficiency, which can lead to sleep problems.
The following micronutrients can promote healthy sleep:
Many people know about zinc’s immune-boosting effect. But its sleep-improving effect deserves just as much attention. This trace element promotes the body’s production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, by activating and regulating serotonin synthesis, the process in which L-tryptophan is converted into serotonin. This is important for the production of melatonin in the evening, since the pineal gland converts serotonin into melatonin. The latest research shows that supplementation for a better serum zinc level correlates with higher sleep quality and duration, and shorter sleep latency. This trace element is thus an important building block for sleep health.
Magnesium likewise supports the body’s production of serotonin, making it the ideal accompaniment to zinc for falling asleep and sleeping well. Magnesium also relaxes the muscle and nerve cells, which is very good for restful sleep!
Health claim, e.g. “Magnesium contributes to normal nervous system function.”
Further micronutrients that support sleep are vitamin C, calcium and selenium.
A sleep-promoting micronutrient mix can be complemented with botanicals. For instance, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is more and more important here. This ayurvedic medicinal plant is also referred to as the “sleep berry”. As an adaptogen, it is traditionally used to treat stress-related sleep disorders. Ashwagandha extract helps reduce sleep latency and improve sleep quality, due primarily to its withanolides (plant secondary metabolites).
L-theanine from green tea extract is a useful addition, since it promotes sleep duration and quality. It also helps with relaxation, without causing drowsiness or lack of concentration. Our sleep premixes contain a 98 percent L-theanine, which is decaffeinated and contains less than 1% caffeine.
Traditional botanicals like hops and passionflower reduce sleep latency and promote long, undisturbed sleep. Lavender promotes relaxed and restorative sleep.
There are many ways to improve sleep. As your supplier of micronutrient premixes, SternVitamin can support with the right ingredients, customized solutions and expert services for your successful product.
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Deshpande A, et al.: A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep quality in healthy adults. Sleep Med. 2020 Aug; 72: 28-36.
Guadagna S, et al. Plant Extracts for Sleep Disturbances: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020; 2020: 3792390. 2020 Apr 21.
Hidese S et al Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 3; 11(10): 2362.
Ikonte CJ, et al. Micronutrient Inadequacy in Short Sleep: Analysis of the NHANES 2005-2016. Nutrients. 2019 Oct1;11(10):2335.
Ji X, Grandner MA, Liu J. The relationship between micronutrient status and sleep patterns: a systematic review. Public Health Nutr. 2017 Mar;20(4):687-701.
Langade D, et al. Clinical evaluation of the pharmacological impact of ashwagandha root extracton sleep in healthy volunteers and insomnia patients: A double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jan 10; 264: 113276.
St-Onge MP, et al. Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. Adv Nutr. 2016 Sep 15; 7(5): 938-49.
Watson N.F, et al. Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. J. Clin. Sleep Med. 2015 11, 591–592.
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Xie L, et al. Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain. Science. 2013 Oct 18;342(6156):373-7.
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/08/we-need-more-sleep; as of Jan 2022
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