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- Have you heard of this brain chemical that helps you sleep?
- Moderex Supplement Facts
- B Vitamins and Sleeping Problems
- Eat This and Sleep Better
- Popular Sleep and Anxiety Drugs May Be Linked to Dementia
- The Foods That May Be Harming Your Sleep
- Insomnia and a Magnesium Deficiency
- The Flower That Helps With Sleep
- Bach Flower Sleep Aid
What You Should Know About Sleep N Restore Before You Buy
Sleep N Restore is a sleep aid and antioxidant formulation. It improves sleep mostly through valerian and melatonin even though L-glutamine and calcium may make modest contributions to the supplement’s sedative effects. The rest of the ingredients in Sleep N Restore are antioxidants to help reduce oxidative stress and rejuvenate the body. How effective is Sleep N Restore as a sleep aid? Do valerian and melatonin make significant contributions to its sedative effects? What benefits do antioxidants have in this sleep medication? Read on to find out.
by Brad Chase
Sleep N Restore is a natural sleep supplement from Natrol. Although it contains 6 active ingredients, the ones responsible for its sedative effects are melatonin and valerian.
Other active ingredients of Sleep N Restore are calcium, vitamin E, L-glutamine and grape seed extract. Therefore, Sleep N Restore is a sedative-antioxidant formula.
Each bottle of this sleep aid contains 20 tablets and the recommended dose is 1 tablet taken 30 minutes before bedtime or just before bedtime. A maximal dose of 2 tablets per night is allowed.
Sleep N Restore is safe and well-tolerated. A few mild side effects are reported and these are mostly due to its valerian content. The side effects of Sleep N Restore include nausea, headache, dizziness, hives and skin rash.
Valerian is the most popular sedative herb used in natural sleep aid formulations. Each tablet of Sleep N Restore contains 100 mg of the herbal extract.
Valerian extract is traditionally used to treat insomnia, anxiety, stress, tension headache, muscle spasm and epilepsy. Its medicinal effects are primarily due to its effects on the GABA pathways in the body.
GABA or gamma aminobutyric acid is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Therefore, it blocks the effects of stimulants and excitatory neurotransmitters. This reduces neuronal activities in certain parts of the brain leading to a sharp drop in “noise” signals.
The calming effect of GABA on brain activity can relieve anxiety and promote sleep.
Outside the nervous system, the effects of GABA can also be felt at the muscles. By reducing electrical conduction between muscle cells, GABA can relax your muscles and relieve spasms.
Valerian increases the concentration of GABA in the body as well as its activities. Studies indicate that multiple phytochemicals in valerian extract are responsible for the sedative and calming effects of the herb.
The phytochemicals in valerian that may help include alkaloids, volatile oils and amino acids. Some of these phytochemicals (the amino acids) can be used to synthesize GABA in the body. Valerian even contains a significant level of GABA (which is also an amino acid).
Other valerian phytochemicals bind to GABA receptors in the brain to enhance the effects of the neurotransmitter.
The use of valerian as a sleep aid is backed by years of scientific research. In fact, the herb is potent enough to be classified as a sedative drug in certain European countries.
Melatonin is a hormone released from the pineal gland. It is naturally released in response to darkness and, therefore, represents an important part of the mechanism that eases the body to sleep.
Unfortunately, melatonin production falls sharply as we get older.
In addition, studies have shown that people who have difficulty sleeping at night also have lower melatonin levels than normal sleepers. Therefore, the melatonin in Sleep N Restore can help restore the normal 24-hour sleep-wake cycle.
Besides its primary role in the regulation of the circadian cycle, melatonin is also an antioxidant.
Therefore, it fulfils dual roles in Sleep N Restore and complements the effects of the other antioxidants in the sleep aid. As an antioxidant, melatonin can protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals and, therefore, reduce oxidative stress.
Calcium is not commonly used as a sleep aid but studies show that it contributes to the sedative effects of warm milk, the folkloric home remedy for insomnia.
There are a couple of ways by which calcium may promote sedation. First, it can help stabilize electrical conduction through nerves. By stabilizing the nerves carrying these electrical signals, calcium reduces the flurry of “noise” signals transmitted through those nerves.
In this way, calcium can calm the nervous system as well as the muscles and, therefore, improve sleep.
Secondly, calcium improves the utilization of the amino acid, tryptophan, in the brain.
Tryptophan is an important amino acid in the central nervous system. It is used to synthesize a number of important compounds include the B vitamin, niacin, as well as serotonin.
Niacin has a modest effect on sleep and serotonin can improve sleep by improving the mood. However, the most important contribution of tryptophan to sleep is melatonin. Once converted to serotonin, tryptophan can end up being used to synthesize melatonin.
Therefore, the calcium in Sleep N Restore can make a modest contribution to the sedative effects of the sleep aid.
L-glutamine is one of the 20 major amino acids although it is not strictly an essential amino acid.
It is used in the syntheses of proteins, in the utilization of nitrogen sources and as an alternative energy source (as a glucose substitute). For these reasons, L-glutamine supplements are routinely recommended for those desiring increased muscle growth and for healing injuries, burns and trauma.
In relation to sleep, the contribution of L-glutamine involves human growth hormone. This amino acid stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to secret human growth hormone.
Studies show that the body releases growth hormone while we sleep. In fact, the peak of the production of this hormone occurs an hour after we sleep. Therefore, L-glutamine may improve sleep by stimulating the release of this hormone.
However, very large doses of the amino acid is required to prompt the pituitary gland to release human growth hormone. And Sleep N Restore only packs 300 mg per tablet.
Furthermore, even though growth hormone is released while we sleep, it is not clear whether sleep can be promoted by increasing the production of this hormone.
Grape seed extract and vitamin E are included in Sleep N Restore because of their strong antioxidant effect.
One example of the polyphenol antioxidants in grape seed extract is resveratrol.
Antioxidants can improve general health by mopping up harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species. By reducing the oxidative stress placed on the body, they preserve the normal functions of the body.
By preventing tissue damage and cell death, antioxidants ensure that sleep is not disturbed by physical and emotional pain caused by oxidative damage to the different organ-systems of the body.
The melatonin and valerian in Sleep N Restore are classic sleep aid supplements. They are also the primary ingredients responsible for the sedative effect of the supplement. However, the contributions of the other active ingredients of Sleep N Restore are modest at best.
There is no strong evidence to suggest that antioxidants are useful in sleep supplements.
Therefore, although the antioxidants in Sleep N Restore are good for your health, they are unlikely to improve your sleep. This suggests that the antioxidants are simply filler ingredients.
Ingredients such as calcium and L-glutamine have even lesser significance than the antioxidants. The evidence to support their sedative effects are far from established. In fact, the argument for L-glutamine in this formulation is very weak.
All of this does not mean that Sleep N Restore is ineffective. However, it means that there are better natural sleep supplements in the market. Therefore, you should choose a sleep aid with more ingredients to help you sleep better.
However, there are definitely pros to choosing Sleep N Restore. First, it is produced by an established brand in the natural supplement market.
Secondly, it is affordable enough for you to try out (although there is no return policy). Lastly, past users find Sleep N Restore safe and with very few side effects.
But how did those users rate the efficacy of Sleep N Restore? Actual users actually rate this supplement higher than independent reviewers. A survey of users shows that 6 out of 10 users find it effective. Some users do report that they need higher doses after a while to get the same restful sleep they once got from the supplement.
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