Do You Typically Get Less Than 6 Hours Sleep a Night?
If so, You are One of the Millions Whose
Health is At Risk Due to Lack of Sleep
Did you know that Insomnia is considered to be an epidemic of our modern world?
And what if you could improve your sleep – naturally – with a supplement considered to be “essential” to our health anyway? Would that be of interest to you?
I will be telling you all about the latest research which shows this to be the case, but first, consider the impact of insomnia on our lives, jobs, families and country.
The Frightening Impact of a Sleep-Deprived Nation
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA: “Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Epidemic.”
Because insufficient sleep is directly linked to:
- Motor vehicle collisions causing death and injury
- Industrial disasters
- Medical and other occupational errors
- It costs the nations’ health systems BILLIONS each year
- Approximately 10 million people in the US need prescription sleep aids every night
According to the Great British Sleep Survey, which interviewed 11,129 adults, of those who had trouble sleeping they saw their lack of sleep as the cause of:
- 93% low energy levels
- 83% mood problems
- 77% problems concentrating
- 64% being less productive at work
- 55% relationship difficulties
According to the Daily Mail – just a few days ago (9th August 2015):
The Risk of Early Death in the Over 40’s Is Increased by 12% Due to Lack of Sleep
People who sleep for less than 6 hours a night (which accounts for more than 1/3 of the general population) are 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who sleep for 6 – 8 hours.
(Interestingly, “more is not better”, as results also showed that those who get more than 8 hours are even more (30%) likely to die prematurely!)
There is a well-documented connection between insufficient sleep and increased risk of chronic, “lifestyle” diseases, such as:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart Disease
Although these correlations have long been recognised, it has not been understood why. New research may shine a light on a very plausible explanation:
Insufficient Sleep Actually Changes Your DNA -
A study from the University of Surrey in the UK showed that a lack of sleep has a direct effect on the activity of over 700 genes in our bodies.
Since DNA is actually the “instructions” for cells as they function and reproduce, any changes due to lack of sleep (or anything else) will affect all the replicating cells and therefore how the body functions as a whole.
The study analysed the blood of 26 people. During the first week of the study, the participants were only allowed to sleep UP TO 6 hours a night. During the second week, they were allowed to sleep an average of 8.5 hours.
When the blood samples were compared, the activity of hundreds of genes - 711 to be exact - were shown to have been dramatically affected. Everything from the immune system, to our stress response and inflammation levels.
What was most disturbing was that – after a week of insufficient sleep – the change in genetic activity was 7 times greater. This shows a cumulative effect of insomnia… even after as little as a week. 7 days = 7 times. Coincidence?
Prof Colin Smith, from the University of Surrey, concluded that: “Clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state.”
Without it, all kinds of damage appears to occur, which may explain why lack of sleep is linked to so many diverse and seemingly unrelated diseases.
Considering, as the researchers noted, that many people get even LESS sleep than those in the study, there are even greater implications on our health.
Plus Lack of Sleep Makes Us Fatter
With over 50% the population overweight or obese, this is a highly relevant health concern.
There is a direct correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity, with insomniacs being 27% more likely to become overweight or obese than people who sleep well.
Lack of sleep upsets the delicate balance of the hormones, which regulate our appetites and metabolism. Leptin and Ghrelin are particularly affected, which regulate our appetites and give us the “stop eating now, you’re full” signal – or not, as the case may be!
They also affect the melatonin (sleep hormone) levels which are directly related to the quality and quantity of our sleep. This was shown in a recent study in which healthy children were given Omega-3 supplements to see the effect on their sleep problems, and the results were astounding!
But we’ll come onto that in just a bit….
Britons Face Serious Health Risks as Over
Half the Over-40’s Fail to Get Enough Sleep
More than half – precisely 51.3% – of those over the age of 40 qualify as “insomniacs”. A quarter of those have suffered for over 11 years.
We have seen conclusive proof that persistent poor sleep elevates the risk of developing many chronic illnesses – the 2 greatest areas of concern being diabetes and depression.
For a country with a National Health Service, such as the UK, the implications are glaring and terrifying. The NHS needs to take immediate action to reduce insomnia – and it appears that they may actually be doing so.
The Daily Mail tells us that the Government is launching a new campaign to target sleep in the over 40’s.
Historically, there is a lack of research within this particular age bracket; it is thought that the middle aged (40 – 60) are often neglected as research tends to focus more on children and the elderly.
But biologically, this is the optimal time for intervention, as the body is still receptive and capable of regeneration.
Experts agree that physical and cognitive decline are NOT inevitable. Indeed it is thought that only 20-30% of what we consider “ageing” is actually biological; the majority instead is due to “deterioration”, which can be actively managed or prevented by lifestyle choices.
If lack of sleep can change 711 different genes in just one week, then just imagine the positive impact on our genes if we get enough sleep!
This new campaign is aimed at addressing the situation holistically, encouraging adults in mid-life to make seven lifestyle changes –
- stopping smoking
- reducing alcohol consumption
- taking more exercise
- improving diet
- reducing stress
- improving sleep
- checking for common signs and symptoms of disease
And this is a fantastic step in the right direction.
But one of the most important considerations seems to be going unnoticed:
Recent research suggests that Omega-3 could be highly effective in helping you enjoy a good night’s sleep. With such significant results, shouldn’t we add “supplement with Omega-3″ to the list of lifestyle changes above?
Proven to Help Children Sleep
In a ground-breaking study of sleep problems in otherwise healthy children, Omega 3 from Marine Algae was proven to drastically improve:
- Increased time of sleep – an extra hour per night!
- Reduced bedtime resistance
- Reduced Parasomnias (sleep disorders including abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions and dreams that occur at any point in the sleep cycle)
- Reduced sleep disturbance
- Plus a whopping reduction of 7 fewer waking episodes
The positive effect of Omega 3 on sleep disturbances in kids with behavioural difficulties has been studied and proven in the past.
However, this NEW study conducted at Oxford University is the first to test the effects of Omega-3 on sleep disturbances in HEALTHY children.
The study observed 395 children between the ages of 7 and 9. One group were given 600mg per day of Marine Algae Omega-3; the other group were given a placebo.
In just 4 months, results were so significant that the study was published in the Journal of Sleep Research.
And Omega-3 is something we should all be taking anyway!
It seems Professor Paul Montgomery, lead study author, agrees. In his own words, he concludes that the study shows “yet another benefit of higher levels of Omega-3 DHA in the diet.”
A Better Night’s Sleep for the Whole Family
As discussed, the research has not extended out specifically to adult sleep patterns yet.
However, because DHA (a specific type of Omega-3) appears to have a direct effect on melatonin levels (the hormone that regulates sleep), it is considered that these sleep-inducing effects will be enjoyed by everyone.
As Professor Montgomery says, “Various substances made within the body from Omega-3… fatty acids have long been known to play key roles in the regulation of sleep.”
Lower DHA has been linked to lower levels of melatonin, which fits with the findings of this new study: that sleep problems are greater in children with lower levels of DHA.
Although there is an agreed need for further specific studies on this, Prof Maretha Opperman says, “There are… strong indications that omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in (brain function).”
It is a well known fact that up to 97% of the brain is made up of Omega-3 fatty acids. As such a major component of the actual physical structure of the brain and nervous system, Omega-3 has been proven extensively to have significant effects on all things to do with the brain:
Since 90% of people with clinical anxiety and depression also suffer with insomnia, and Prof Montgomery suggests he wouldn’t be surprised if they were linked.
Omega 3 is More than “Essential“; it’s Life-Changing!
Omega-3 has been extensively studied and documented to help over 60 different health conditions; it is a vital component for our overall health.
It is always best to try and get nutrients from a food source as it’s how the body is designed for maximum absorption of nutrients.
So this means that – if you like fish and you don’t mind the risk of mercury build up (caution: pregnant women are encouraged NOT to eat fish anymore), then 2 – 3 servings of FATTY FISH (such as salmon or swordfish) per week are recommend intake levels.
The above study for sleep disturbances in children showed Omega-3 to be effective at much higher doses than the normal recommendation of 250 mg per day. The study used 600 mg DHA in a combined supplement with EPA.
No natural food product (e.g. fish) contains such high amounts of DHA. Indeed, even the strongest capsules of Omega-3 will contain a combination of DHA and EPA, and with a ratio of 1.5:1, so it’s important to be sure of exactly what you are taking.
NuIQue Marine Algae – the same source as used in this study – contains 187 mg pure DHA per dose of 2 vegecaps.
Marine Algae is one of the most concentrated, purest forms of Omega-3 in its natural ratio of DHA and EPA.
The beauty of algae is it is chemically identical to the Omega-3 in fish and krill oils. Indeed, it is the very SOURCE of those oils, as it is the starting point on the food chain, upon which all the fish feed.
Plus it is 100% sustainable and eco-friendly.
- No over-fishing
- No killing
- No damage to delicate eco-systems
If you could get the identical composition and ALL the health benefits of fish/krill oil from a pure, organically grown, natural source, why would you choose anything else?
There are other things you can do to improve your sleep:
- Routine - According to behaivoural experts, routine is extremely important in “training” the body to sleep. This means going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time in the morning.
- Avoid stimulants -
- Large meals
- Energy drinks
- TV / video games (stimulate the brain)
- Limit drinking anything for the 2 hours before bed (especially for those with active bladders and/or prostate problems)
- Avoid state-altering substances
- Alcohol (for some, alcohol may induce sleep quickly but it’s generally a poor quality sleep)
- Drugs - prescription or recreational (taking your prescriptions before bed may be affecting your sleep). I remember reading once that taking thyroxine at night increased its levels in the blood. So I did. And didn’t sleep a wink! Back to taking it in the mornings!! If you must take prescriptions later in the day, try to do so earlier; I generally try not to take anything after 6:00 PM.
As you can see, sleep is possibly one of the most important elements of our health, longevity and quality of life. Act now to ensure your health and that of your family by taking a high quality, Marine Algae Omega-3 supplement. In the Western world, over 90% of us are deficient in it so it makes sense from all angles.
All the best to you and your health