Sleep disorders are extremely prevalent all over the world. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published an article specifically about insomnia in March of 2014(1).
The organization estimated that about 30% of young adults suffer from transitory episodes of insomnia. Approximately 10% of them experiences habitual insomnia no less than 3 days each week!
Consequences of Sleep Loss
The physiological changes caused by sleep loss can result in serious complication and disease. Some of these include a propensity in obesity, diabetes, and cardiac conditions. Psychological risks involve immunodeficiency, depression, and severe lethargy.
Sleep loss causes a reduction in:
- Glucose Tolerance
- Appetite Suppression Hormones
- Cognitive Functions
- Behavioral Alertness
- Concentration & Focus
It causes an increase in:
- Appetite Stimulation Hormones
- Risks for Obesity
- Negative Coronary Events
- Cognitive Confusion
- Misjudgments Resulting in Injury
- Inflammatory Markers
- Cortisol/Stress Hormone
- Sympathetic Activation
Delicious Help from Nature
A sleep study conducted by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California-San Diego showed that potassium supplementation could be a potential treatment for sleep disorders (2). It is said to increase the efficiency of sleep in the human body.
The Department Of Pharmacology at M.S Ramaiah Medical College published another trial in which they observed the physiological effects of cinnamon on various systems (3).
It was found that cinnamon counteracts many of the negative aspects associated with sleep deprivation.
Cinnamon extract has been proven to reduce insulin resistance as well as increase glucose use by the brain. This is good news for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease respectively.
It also has microbial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties among many other medicinal benefits.
The components of cinnamon have been documented as being both lipid lowering and cardio protective.
Chamomile has been used for its multi-medicinal values since ancient times. It is perhaps one the oldest herbs to have been documented for its benefits (4).
There have been numerous studies to test these health claims. Subjects who simply inhaled its pleasant smell in studies experienced noticeable decrease in stress levels.
It was found to deliver benzodiazepine mimicking actions for patients who ingested an extract of chamomile.
How To Make Your Own ‘Sweet Dreams’ Tonic
- 3 cups of filtered or spring water
- 1 organic banana peeled and sliced (rich in potassium)
- 2 tablespoons of dried, organic chamomile flowers
- 1/8 teaspoon of organic, powdered cinnamon
- In a saucepan bring the water to a boil and add the banana.
- Let it sit for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
- Add the organic chamomile flowers and allow to steep for at least 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture in a tea cup.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon.
The best results are delivered by drinking this tonic approximately one hour before retiring to bed.
Adding Cherry To The Recipe
A trial conducted by the School of Life Sciences at the Northumbria University demonstrated the effectiveness of tart cherry juice to promote sleep.
Cherries contain high concentrations of melatonin (5). This phytochemical is a critical molecule of the sleep-wake cycle regulation within the human body. Significant elevations of melatonin in subjects was observed after they drank tart cherry juice every day for 1 week.
The above recipe may be altered by reducing the water at the beginning of the preparation to 2 cups. Once the tonic has been prepared add 1 cup of organic tart cherry juice. The yield results will be the same; however, the benefits are significantly increased.