Health

Catching zzz’s with zeal: supplements that support sleep

If you have occasional sleep disturbances, supplements like magnesium or the ayurvedic plant ashwagandha may help your sleep routine. While it's important to consult with your doctor before taking supplements that could interact with other medication, this is the lowdown on supplements known for their potential to promote restful sleep.

By Citro partner Vitable

Here’s a fun fact —  human beings need to spend a third of their lives sleeping, because it is an important part of our daily routine.

From affecting brain function to disease resistance, decreasing risk of disorders, mood enhancement, to pretty much maintaining all activities of the body, sleep is the catalyst that keeps it all together. 

Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive, dormant part of our daily lives.

Today, we understand that our brains remain active during sleep, and that sleep and nutrition is essential keeping our brains and bodies healthy. 

Most of us know that herbal teas can help settle us into a good night’s sleep - chamomile tea is a great example.

In situations where our diet is inadequate, supplements are another way to support better sleep, including: 

  • Magnesium: Magnesium is essential for overall health and may improve sleep quality. It helps relax muscles and nerves, making it easier to unwind before bedtime.
  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is used in traditional Ayurvedic healing as a herb that may help reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to sleep problems.

But first, a little about how the body regulates sleep

The body has 2 biological mechanisms that tell the body it needs to sleep. 

  1. Circadian rhythms control your timing of sleep and cause you to be sleepy at night as well as your tendency to wake in the morning without an alarm, in tune with your body clock. This is best described by the feeling of increased energy in the morning while under the daylight and sleepiness at night especially after we turn the lights off.
  2. Sleep-wake homeostasis is the body’s internal sleep tracker. The homeostatic sleep drive reminds the body to sleep after a certain time and regulates sleep intensity. This sleep drive gets stronger every hour you are awake and causes you to sleep longer and more deeply after a period of sleep deprivation.

It’s recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night, but duration alone doesn’t always give you an accurate answer as to your sleep quality. 

Some of the factors to help you determine sleep quality include:

  • Sleep continuity without waking episodes — relates to how fast you fall asleep and how uninterrupted the sleep is
  • Sleep timing — sleep within what the circadian rhythm dictates
  • Sleepiness — sleep satisfaction or how refreshed you feel upon waking

These indicators will help gauge if you are experiencing good sleep on a daily basis or not. If you don’t think you’re getting a good night’s sleep, it might be time to make some lifestyle changes.

Extra sleep support using ashwagandha

Sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind. If you need a little extra support to get a good night’s sleep, you may want to consider a supplement.

Ashwagandha has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine to help promote restful sleep by improving quality and sleep onset latency.

You can ensure the body receives sufficient nutrients through a well-balanced and healthy diet plan. Supplementation can help you achieve your daily requirements of these nutrients when paired with a well-rounded diet. Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic (Indian) and Chinese medicine as a natural remedy for sleep, stress and overall vitality.

Ashwagandha’s herbal substance aids in reducing the time taken to sleep and promotes better sleep quality. It naturally contains alkaloids that act as a sedative and help in reducing sleep deprivation effects.

Ashwagandha also contains the active sleep-inducing component triethylene glycol in its leaves. This component was seen to induce significant non-REM sleep, as well as slight changes to REM sleep.

Magnesium and sleep: What’s the connection?

Magnesium plays a key role in sleep regulation. It can be sourced from different foods such as green vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, but can also be added to your diet through supplements like Vitable's Magnesium Night Powder.

People with low levels of magnesium often experience insomnia, restless sleep, or wake frequently during the night.

Magnesium helps you attain deeper, restorative sleep by maintaining the GABA neurotransmitter — which is responsible for reducing nerve activity. This helps to make the body feel more relaxed, leading to better sleep.

Magnesium also helps to reduce disturbed or restless sleep — it has been used to treat involuntary limb movements, which can prevent you from having uninterrupted sleep. It acts as a muscle relaxant that blocks calcium-related contractions and improves the quality of sleep.

Studies have also shown that magnesium supplementation improved the quality of sleep, where indicators such as sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleepiness or awakeness, and sleep onset latency (how fast one is able to sleep) improved in test subjects after using magnesium supplements.

Apart from sleep, Vitable's Magnesium Night Powder also helps with muscle health and stress adaptation by regulating stress response in the body.

Start sleeping better with Magnesium Night Powder

Magnesium and sleep go hand in hand to support your health goals, so it’s ideal to take magnesium before bed. Vitable’s Magnesium Night Powder can supplement your diet to give you the sleep you truly deserve.

This quality blend includes natural Passionflower extract and glutamine to maintain and support healthy sleeping patterns. It’s also naturally-flavoured with Summer Berries to make it extra delicious!

Vitable also offers monthly vitamin subscription boxes. All you have to do is complete a short online quiz, and you’ll get a vitamin combination personalised to your unique health needs (from over 1.2 million possible combinations) — how amazing is that!

Get home-compostable daily packs delivered straight to your doorstep monthly for fuss-free ease in getting your vitamin intake sorted. 

Get your custom vitamin packs today so you can start having the best sleep you’ve ever had.

*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet. The information on this page is general information and should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Do not use the information found on this page as a substitute for professional health care advice. The Vitable quiz is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Terms & Conditions apply. When using this discount you will be signed up to a monthly flexible subscription. Edit or cancel at any time in your online account.

References:

American Sleep Association. What is Sleep and Why is It Important? Published on https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/what-is-sleep/. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

Aakash K. Patel, Vamsi Reddy, John F. Araujo. Physiology, Sleep Stages. NCBI. Updated April 22, 2022 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526132/. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

Eric Suni, John DeBanto. How Sleep Works. Sleep Foundation. Updated Oct 23, 2020 on https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Sleep, Learning and Memory. Published Dec 18, 2007 on http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

NIH. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. Published on https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

NIH. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. Published on https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How Much Sleep Do I Need? Published on https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

Danielle Pacheco. “Exercise and Sleep”. Sleep Foundation. Published Jan 22, 2021 on https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/exercise-and-sleep. Accessed on Oct 27, 2021.

Mayo Clinic. Sleep Disorders. Published on https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20354018. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.

Sleep.Org. How Sleep Works. Published Mar 12, 2021 on https://www.sleep.org/how-sleep-works/. Accessed Oct13, 2021.

Christopher E. Kline, Ph.D. “The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement”. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Published Nov1, 2015 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341978/. Accessed on Oct 27, 2021.

Kumar, A., Kalonia, H.. Protective effect of Withania somnifera Dunal on the behavioral and biochemical alterations in sleep-disturbed mice. Indian Journal of experimental biology, Published 2017 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17585686. Accessed Oct 27, 2021

Sleep Health Foundation. Asleep on the job: Costs of inadequate sleep in Australia. Published August 2017 on https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/files/Asleep_on_the_job/Asleep_on_the_Job_SHF_report-WEB_small.pdf. Accessed November 1, 2021

Kumar, A., Kalonia, H. Effects of Withania somnifera on Sleep-Wake cycle in Sleep-Disturbed Rats: Possible GABAergic Mechanism. Published November 2008 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3040882/ . Accessed Nov 24, 2021

The Sleep Health Foundation. (2019). Re-Awakening the Nation. Published on: https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/component/content/article.html?id=76

The Sleep Foundation (2019). What is Insomnia? | National Sleep Foundation. Published on: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-insomnia.

Harvard Health. (2019). Insomnia: Restoring restful sleep - Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/insomnia-restoring-restful-sleep

Kripke, D., Garfinkel, L., Wingard, D., Klauber, M. and Marler, M. (2002). Mortality Associated With Sleep Duration and Insomnia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59(2), p.131.

Sanassi, L. (2014). Seasonal affective disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, 27(2), pp.18-22.

Tuunainen, A., Kripke, D. and Endo, T. (2004). Light therapy for non-seasonal depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Halperin, D. (2014). Environmental noise and sleep disturbances: A threat to health?. Sleep Science, 7(4), pp.209-212.

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Waye, K., Clow, A., Edwards, S., Hucklebridge, F. and Rylander, R. (2003). Effects of nighttime low frequency noise on the cortisol response to awakening and subjective sleep quality. Life Sciences, 72(8), pp.863-875.

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Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J. and Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Buman, M. and King, A. (2010). Exercise as a Treatment to Enhance Sleep. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 4(6), pp.500-514.

 

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