Simple Nutrient May Finally Beat Your Sleepless Nights
Sleep problems more than just frustrating. They’re downright dangerous. For example, sleep-deprived drivers cause an estimated 100,000 car crashes every year.
Sleeplessness is also common. About 1 in 10 Americans suffers with chronic sleep problems. But the American Psychological Association reports that up to 60% of mature adults regularly have trouble sleeping.
If you’re one of the millions with chronic sleep issues, I have good news. A team at Johns Hopkins University may have figured out why.
The researchers discovered people who have chronic trouble sleeping also have a difference in their brains from people who sleep well. The difference is greater plasticity and excitability in one area of the brain.
Plasticity is a fancy term for a brain’s ability to change due to experiences. And excitability means pretty much what it sounds like. It refers to how easily your brain responds to stimulation.
Basically, the study shows that the brains of chronically sleepless people process information at a fairly high rate when most people’s brains slow down to rest.1
No one’s certain yet how we’ll be able to use this new information. But here’s an idea you may find worth trying. Here’s why…
The level of activity in your brain is controlled by neurotransmitters (NTs). “Excitatory” NTs – such as glutamate – boost brain activity. “Inhibitory” NTs slow it down.
The main inhibitory NT in your brain is called GABA. When your brain is racing, GABA will slow it right down.
Doctors have known for years that GABA is linked to sleep… and to your internal clock. And now we know that at least part of sleepless people’s brains are working overtime.
GABA puts the brakes on a racing mind, so it makes sense it may be useful as part of a sleep formula. And though I haven’t seen any tested yet, a recent study suggests there may be something to this idea.
The study was published last year in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. A medical team gave a GABA derivative to a group of patients before having eye surgery. A second group had the same surgery without the GABA derivative.
In this study, the GABA group was more relaxed, needed less pain relief and recovered more quickly than the non-GABA patients.2
Stress tends to keep our brains working overtime, and GABA appears to promote both calm and sleep. So a nutritional supplement with GABA may be what you’ve been looking for to finally get a good night’s sleep every night.
Two other nutrients that seem to work the same way are theanine and tryptophan (5-hydroxytryptophan). Both these amino acids can link with GABA receptors in your brain, and have a proven calming effect.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Salas, R.E., et al, “Increased use-dependent plasticity in chronic insomnia,” Sleep. 2014; 37(3): 535-544.
2 Kavitha, J., et al, “Oral gabapentin premedication for elderly patients undergoing intraocular surgery,” Br J Ophthalmol. Jul 2013; 97(7): 900-904.
3 Weeks, B.S., “Formulations of dietary supplements and herbal extracts for relaxation and anxiolytic action: Relarian,” Med Sci Monit. Nov 2009; 15(11): RA256-RA262.
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