That is why it is no surprise to say sleep problems affect people around the globe. Individual studies report sleep issues with a prevalence of anywhere from 1.6% all the way to a staggering 56%. It isn't just falling asleep, but insomnia comes in different flavours. You may fall asleep faster than you can count the sheep, but then you wake in the early hours of the night and can't fall back to sleep. Adding to those woes is that sleep issues seem to be accelerating in certain populations and countries.
This statement should frighten each of us due to the numerous detrimental effects of sleep deprivation. Over the decades, issues with hitting snooze on our lives have been connected with everything from heart and lung disease to osteoporosis and physical disability. One prominent trial known as the Sleep Heart Study found those suffering from chronic poor sleep had a 29% higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The lack of sleep also forces your body to compensate with dangerous microsleeps throughout the day. This is why different advocacy groups compare driving while tired to driving while drunk. One poorly timed microsleep could send you to the eternal sleep.
That is only a handful of physical conditions before we consider the host of mental health issues associated with sleep loss including depression and psychiatric episodes. Chronic sleep restriction may increase suicide risk amongst adolescents and lead to more irritability and moodiness.
This is where herbal remedies such as Valerian, otherwise known as Valeriana officinalis, come in handy. The use of the herb dates back to the times of ancient Greeks and Romans. Dioskurides, the Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist made use of the herb in the treatment of various conditions as published in his Materia Medica around 60 AD. As our understanding of the plants properties evolved, individuals began to take note of its powerful antispasmodic and sedative properties.
As technology evolved, we came to more fully understand the active constituents and mechanism of the herb. It seems to modulate an inhibitory neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA which results in its soothing and sleepy effects. There are many sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals including benzodiazepines and barbiturates, but individuals may become dependent on these medications with some even leading to amnesia or hang-over like effects. An assessment report by the European Medicines Agency notes that Valerian root, "does not exhibit typical undesirable effects observed with conventional treatment of sleep and mood disorders."
The true power of A.Vogel Deep Sleep product is found in a combination of herbs as opposed to relying solely on Valerian. The added herb is hops (Humulus lupulus), which when combined have been shown to be far more potent than taking either on their own. In a clinical study of the valerian and hops product, 44 patients with insomnia experienced deeper levels of sleep and slept an additional 38 minutes compared to those given a placebo. Hops contain humulones and lupulones such as xanthohumol. amongst other components, which has been shown to be responsible for the sedative, antimicrobial and antiproliferative effects. For some, the combination may not be the most appealing taste wise, so consider adding a bit of honey to sweeten the tincture or dilute it in a glass of water.
When it comes to sleep, quality and quantity are important! A 12-hour sleep with no REM cycle can leave you feeling as tired as you were before your head hit the pillow.
So next time you find yourself staring at the clock, reach for clinically-supported herbs to help put you to bed.