Ever asked yourself, “Why am I so tired?” Here are four reasons you might be tired and four ingredients that can help.
The question ‘Why am I so tired?’ is common among individuals with low energy levels. Sleep is a complex and dynamic process that is vital for good health and to avoid feeling tired. Quality sleep is necessary to detoxify the brain, boost metabolism, immune function, and mood, and reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, or depression.
Reduction in sleep quality may be due to stress, illness, old age, obesity, chronic pain, and drugs. Common symptoms of sleep deprivation include fatigue, frustration, and poor physical and mental function. Most sleep disorders can be effectively managed using hypnotic medication, such as benzodiazepine, and cognitive-behavioural therapy. However, herbal and natural drugs are becoming more popular in the self-diagnosed treatment of sleep disorders.
1. Insomnia – Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder affecting millions of people (around 10-15% of the general population). Insomnia is thought to result from an elevated state of alertness called hyperarousal. Iron deficiency is a common cause of insomnia and is easily diagnosable using a blood test. Difficulties with initiating or maintaining sleep can lead to a reduced quality of life.
Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate (P5P) is a derivative of vitamin B6. P5P is an organic cofactor in approximately 200 biochemical reactions of the central nervous system, such as the metabolism of amino acids and the synthesis of nucleic acids and neurotransmitters. A decrease in vitamin B6 levels results in downregulation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin synthesis, leading to disordered sleep and lowered alertness, mood, and energy. Therefore, P5P can be used to induce sleep and relaxation in individuals with repeated insomnia.
2. Decreased sleep quality – Chamomile
Quality sleep leaves you feeling energetic, alert, and fit after sleeping. Sleep quality is worsened when sleep is fragmented, short, or decreased because of medical conditions, such as sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common sleep complaint that occurs due to repeated upper airway obstruction. Symptoms include daytime sleepiness, headaches, joint pain, irritability, and memory impairment.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is the most widely used herbal product for sleep disturbances. The flavonoid constituent apigenin is believed to produce a sedative effect through GABA receptor regulation. Studies have found chamomile to alleviate sleep quality problems and depressive symptoms, as well as promote relaxation and sedation.
3. Anxiety – Valerian root
There is an overlap between insomnia and mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Anxiety disorders are present in 17.2% of the population of the United States. They include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Valerian is derived from the Valeriana officinalis plant and is a widely available herbal supplement for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. The herb has a similar mechanism of action to benzodiazepine drugs since it uses its active valerenic acid to activate GABA receptors. Valerian root has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and sedative properties; it is a popular product for anxiety reduction since it is safe, cost-effective, and has no known side effects.
4. Unregulated sleep cycles – Melatonin
Sleep cycles must be regulated in order to fall asleep and wake up at conventional times. Melatonin is a key hormone in the regulation of the natural sleep-wake cycle, which is naturally produced in the body from serotonin by the pineal gland. Melatonin is known as the ‘hormone of darkness’ because its production increases at night when light is low.
Sleep disturbances negatively affect the rhythms of melatonin. In old age, there is a reduction in the concentrations of circulating melatonin, as well as a delay in its time of secretion. This is consistent with the fact that rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep becomes reduced with increasing age. Melatonin administration has direct, sleep-promoting effects – it helps improve sleep quality and increases total sleep time. Melatonin has also been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
Treating insomnia is crucial in the prevention of its undesirable symptoms, including tiredness, excessive sleepiness, and a lack of energy. A dietary supplement containing these four herbal ingredients may be effective in treating individuals who ask themselves ‘why am I so tired?’ on a regular basis. Please consult a doctor if you are suffering from lack of sleep or if you feel abnormally tired during the day.
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