its very important to not use led screens at least an hour before bed, rather go onto dimmer and more red lighting, the brain uses blue/white light as a signaller of daytime for the adjustment of the circadian rhythm
non-REM sleep cools the brain, REM sleep heats it up
in the “ deep ” phase of the sleep cycle, the brain is literally “ torn down ” for maintenance and repair and to wake up in the middle of it is very disruptive, so naps should be 25 minutes or less or longer than an hour and a half, its called ‘ sleep inertia ’
“ sleeping in the lateral, or side position, as compared to sleeping on one’s back or stomach, may more effectively remove brain waste and prove to be an important practice to help reduce the chances of developing alzheimer’s, parkinson’s and other neurological diseases ”
jason and andrew discuss sleep schedules
sleep problems need several answers, metafolin /methyltetrahydrofolate /dietary folate and attention to light colour and the circadian rhythm are significant planks, but others are needed !
its important to understand that the normal supplement “ folic acid ” is not the same as folate, and now unfortunately manufacturers may be required to call “ folic acid ” folate, which doubles the confusion
i used to have 20ml a day of cabernet sauvignon in cooking, that helped, but not worth the candle really and i seemed not to think so clearly, so i have pretty much dropped it
once every day or two i will sleep for two hours during the day
also one needs the diet etc “ right ” to reduce the inflammatory heft !
pot is not an answer !
some oils are problematic later than post breakfast
white/red/blue light needs always to be taken into account for the circadian rhythm
what to do on waking up !
if your circadian rhythm is messed up , you can use blue/white light (perceived as day) and red (perceived as night/dark) to help synchronize it !
i use a red led headlamp , it works particularly well because red led light is very pure
the cheaper led headlamps have 3x AAA alkaline batteries in which you want to replace with rechargeable NiMh, they are a lot less costly in the long run and also have a slightly lower voltage so the lamps run a bit dimmer which is what you want
when your rhythm is really out of whack i find its best to sleep when tired, there is a rhythm through the day of increased wakefulness and increase sleepiness alternating
two three hour sleeps works well, there's new research showing that in fact two separate sleep periods can be better than one long period
if you can't get to sleep because you feel “ wired ” , i find folapro (the L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate form of folate) works really well taken early in the day
the problem of moonlight
interestingly men may be susceptible to this and women not
sleep is strongly to do with brain function and a lot of finesse is required with the various pieces that need to be put in place, there is the who_knows message board if you would like to discuss what to do
interestingly poor sleep can lead to schizophrenia, it's really important to understand that not enough sleep damages the brain, it's not some benign reversible problem and has huge implications for children and teenagers !
the lack of adequate REM sleep in children and babies is a huge emerging issue !
interestingly its not only the brain that has a problem with misfolded proteins but also the pancreas !
the repair or elimination of misfolded proteins occurs during sleep !
i fidn a simple and very effective aid is a rounded teaspoon of taurine daily, one should also be taking vitamins D and Mk-7
zinc is possibly methylating though to a lesser extent than folapro/metafolin/tetrahydrofolate
metafolin is a really good knockdown for "wired" type insomnia
b6/P5P i am experimenting with again as they are supposed to facilitate the conversion of glutamate to GABA
two sleeps a day can work really well to and pay attention to the circadian rhythm and light colour !!!!
interestingly shitake and oyster (must be cooked !) mushrooms irridated with broadband uvb to make D2 are very soporific because the large amounts of D2 convert a significant amount of homocysteine to cysteine : o)
a quarter to half a tablet of folapro/L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate decrements homocysteine and unwires which is a great sleep assist and useful introduction to what can be done!
L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate being a methylator also reduces the rigidity of the circadian rhythm, an important benefit for shift workers !
iodine has a complex effect on sleep (don't take it too late in the day as being a strong thyroid hormone promoter it can also make for very short sleeping times)
msm taken say about 8 hours before bed can help with sleep by leaving one a bit exhausted, but this should only be done occasionally
similarly Nestlé's baking cocoa in a hot milk drink in the morning is a very strong long lasting stimulant but has worn off by late afternoon or early evening leaving one a bit crashed and ready to go to bed !
if there's too much iodine, more lithium may be needed to counterbalance it
also fruit/whey? sugars at the right time as they enable the absorption of branched chain animo acids into the muscle leaving tryptophan free to go through the blood brain barrier with less competition
chromium promotes T4 to T3 conversion, hence too much may make for thyroidal hyper and limited sleep
however chromium is great for reducing blood sugar issues and metabolizing fat and reducing weight !
you have to be cautious with evening primrose oil as it can cause disturbed sleep, i find i can cope with an “ eye Q ” capsule once every three days but a female friend takes it daily
you can get an intereaction between a lot of topical iodine and a lot of chromium making for high thyroid and broken, short sleep
supplementation for sleep is a summative thing, any one component missing can give issues
i find that if i go without milk or yogurt too long i have trouble with sleep, needed at least once every three or four days?
maybe it's the branched chain amino acids in the whey portion?
“ branched chain amino acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitters, the chemicals released by neurons in the brain ”
if anything i eat too much cheese
fat is also very helpful for sleep, but like milk its a balance between its soporific effects and migraine for me.
milk also i think promotes viruses or rather misaligns the anti-viral immune system somehow
large amounts of folate from fruits and vegs (raspberries, avocado and home grown lettuce are high in folate, possibly gooseberries also) are also soporific
canola oil is problematic ?
the antioxidants TBHQ, BHA, BHT which can be added to vegetable oils, especially for cooking and commercial deep frying, interfere with sleep !
separate beds for better sleep !
all the bodies metabolic cycles and immune system response are strongly synchronised to the circadian rhythm, working all night with white light really stuffs things up
white LED bulbs suppress melatonin 5 times more than exposure to the light of high pressure sodium bulbs (orange-yellow)
these modern led backlit computer screens look like bright daylight to the circadian rhythm so you really have to a have a regular time by which they are switched off and allow another hour and a half under red light
melanopsin and screens
It's the blue light blocking your production of melatonin (blue light hits your optic nerve and shuts down production of it)
After wearing these glasses 3-4 hrs before bed I fall asleep instantly and sleep the whole night through, its unbelievable
I spent the last 10 years taking ages to get to bed and waking 5-7 times a night. It's been life changing for me !
Also, ignore people saying to get apps on your phone or computer that turn the screen yellow/orange, these apps are useless
You need total blockage of all blue wavelength, also you need no external light entering into your bedroom while you sleep, that goes for alarm clocks etc
Block out the blue and at sleep time keep the room pitch black. Even better at night use all red light bulbs
I should also mention, on waking I sit in front of a daylight box for 15-30 mins to kick my body clock into gear. Daylight hitting the optic nerve sets you up for a good wake and produces serotonin. If its sunny out I just go out side and read in the sun for 10-15mins ”
the circadian clock drives the production of melatonin by the pineal gland, which in addition to its direct effect on the brain, also promotes sleep through the homeostatic pathway of stimulating adenosine production
the circadian rhythm is particularly important to long term health, for instance women doing shift work have higher rates of breast cancer because of the biochemical desynchronization and lower melatonin levels that come from the disrupted circadian rhythms
did you know the skull has sutures which can guide sunlight down into the brain, the red and near infrared components of which have a healing and growth promotion effect as well as the blue/turquoise/white component possibly having an effect on receptors that help synchronise the circadian rhythm ?
i think that people vary considerably in the rigidity of their body clocks, some having very fixed clocks which means they can never do any sort of night shift work and others have more flexible “nomad style” clocks which allow for sleeping twice in a day !
if you are doing night shift work it pays to generally keep the light levels low (ideally red ) so that more melatonin is made i think !
why discos, clubs and night concerts cause more hearing damage than loud noise during the day !
low brain-derived neurotrophic factor !
interestingly this study found that people (ed. swedish) who worked night shifts from ages 16 to 20 had double the chance of developing MS !
i think jet lag also disrupts immune system function creating windows of infectious vulnerability !
social jetlag !
white/blue light is what synchronises the circadian rhythm, so if i am up late i switch to a red light which doesn't upset the rhythm, but don't use the computer in the “red light” time because of the bright light from it !
bright light at night stimulates the brain's limbic system when it should be resting !
a very good video explanation by the researcher
what i actually use is a little led and just have it by the bed
you can switch between white and red
travelling and finding your way around strange rooms in the dark
the cheaper led s have 3x AAA alkaline batteries in which you want to replace with rechargeable NiMh, the are a lot less costly in the long run and also have a slightly lower voltage so the lamps run a bit dimmer which is what you want
the way to maximise circadian rhythm adjustment according this study is to get the blue light as early in the morning as possible and not in the evening and don't get up in the dark if possible
build a cd spectrometer
the retinal rods are also involved in setting the circadian rhythm, so since rods are not sensitive to color, then low light levels are also significant !
the rods are also involved in setting the circadian rhythm at high light intensities !
imo looking at a bright moon for any length of time can disrupt the circadian rhythm tho moonlight on landscape is not bright enough !
this study says 5 lux (by comparison full moon moonlight is .25 lux) at night causes depression in siberian hamsters
a discussion and research on red light, cones, rods, rods having higher oxygen consumption in the dark, night vision
blue light also improves mood which one notices up here where i live, some days can have very blue clear skies, others can be completely grey
“ blue light not only increased responses to emotional stimuli in the "voice area" of the brain and in the hippocampus, which is important for memory processes, but also led to a tighter interaction between the voice area, the amygdala, which is a key area in emotion regulation, and the hypothalamus, which is essential for biological rhythms regulation by light.” study
i wonder if africans have the same response to blue light ?
african eyes do appear to be a bit different physiologically, like they have way higher glaucoma rates which may be due to a more active immune system in the eyes !
monocyte migration ?
i wonder wether more blue light is a summer signal and the brain switches to a higher metabolic rate and regrows from it's winter downsizing ?
a european evolutionary adaptation ?
the yellowing of the eye lens with aging (and accelerated by diabetes, smoking and circulation issues) disrupts the circadian rhythm by reducing the amount of blue light hitting the retina study
lithium is really essential to promote serotonin, GABA and hence sleepiness
without strontium and lithium carbonate i might have to go on an ssri
if you are overtired then you need melatonin to 'reset' the the brain oxidation pathways it addresses and antioxidises, as even if you sleep when overtired, without the antioxidising by melatonin, you won't wake refreshed
generally if you are making adequate melatonin you will wake a bit groggy from it, waking bright and alert is a sign of not enough melatonin being made
sleeping in two shifts like 6 hours and 2 hours can suit
recent research (2007/8) has underscored the value of a nap for resorative purposes for the brain, improving memory and processing
it massively helps to get half or an hours sleep during the day if the night sleep is too short
but its important to have a regular daily clock because genes modulate and synchronise together in a daily rhythm, this synchronicity is especially important for the immune sytem
sometimes i accidently fall asleep without turning the room light off, and i think the amount of light getting through the eyelids reduces the amount of melatonin made and makes for poorer/shorter sleep
the body clock shifts forwards fifty minutes each day, that is, you will want to go to bed fifty minutes later and wake up fifty minutes later each day so you need to think in terms of a time to be in bed and not just when one feels tired
ganglion cells in the eye specifically detect sky-blue light, if there is a blue sky when you wake, going outside for a short while may help set the circadian clock
just remember that the wavelengths in the blue sky are very energetic and destructive to the eye though
however, glances at a white sky (probably has more blue than blue only sky), if available, will be of significant help in resetting the circadian clock, but make sure you have some lutein in your diet (spinach, silverbeet/kale) as an ocular anti-oxidant scavenger
the effect of different fats and oils is important
fresh sheep/lamb fat promotes cell melatonin binding and is a great sleep promoter
eating lamb regularly is important for going to, and maintaining sustained sleep
something that can help surprisingly well is to eat some fresh lamb fat a little while before bed
lamb can make some people migrainy - part and parcel of its serotonin promotion
omegas 6's (safflower oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil) cause quite a strong brain excitation about five hours after taking as they reduce cell melatonin binding ability, so need to be taken about breakfast time or soon after, tho this can be relaxed if the oil is with or soon after a big meal for some reason !
evening primrose oil seems to suit female hormones but i find it doesn't take much EPO for me to have trouble to go to sleep
olive oil which is high oleic acid (one of the omega 9's) needs to be at least two hours before going to bed
oleic acid seems to strongly promote sleep if used over several days, this is particularly noticable with high oleic acid sunflower oil !
camellia tea tree oil which also high oleic, has the fatty acid composition
Palmitic acid (C16:0) 6 -12 %
Stearic acid (C18:0) 1.5 - 3.0 %
Oleic acid (C18:1) 70 - 85 %
Linoleic acid (C18:2) 5 - 10 %
seems to have some sleeplessness heft if used on the evening meal, maybe it has some fat soluble stimulant in?
i do find that milk every day or so helps with sleep for some reason, i drink goats milk or A2 cows milk as these are less migrainy, there's something in the milk that makes for better sleep that's not in cheese, probably the branched chaim amino acids in the whey !
i drink the milk warm and take a houston's peptizyde enzyme afterwards or heat the milk to 82C and let it cool to say 67C and stir in a peptizyde which separates the milk into curds and whey and just drink the whey with maybe a teaspoon of curds and discard the curds
there should be a reasonable gap between eating and bedtime
baths and showers before bed, especially baths are physically stimulating, they may have an equivalency of going for a jog, though a quick shower to wash off the sweat before bed seems to be ok
metafolin /folapro can be extremely helpful
metafolin which is the form of folate in the blood, promotes SAMe which promotes GABA binding as well as reducing homocysteine which gives a double banger effect in helping sleep
GABA is as important as serotonin/melatonin for sleep
neither GABA nor SAMe are successful as supplements, the best way is to go the indirect route of 1/8th to a 1/2 a tablet of folapro a day
see about folate, folapro and metafolin on my “other supplements” page
and a B multi a bit of a while before bed can also help with some people
duck eggs over too many days can reduce the ability of cells to bind melatonin, duck eggs have unbalanced brain fatty acids and need balancing up with fish oil
hen eggs are much better balanced
half a tablet of folapro for several days makes me so sleepy i can hardly stand during the day
lithium as per the lithium page on the compendium i use for serotonin
be very careful of how often and the amount of evening primrose oil (EPO) taken, as it is strongly neurally stimulatory
fish oil is also neurally stimulatory, but is ok if taken early in the day and well away from bed time
the stimulatory effect of EPO unfortunately seems to carry over at least 24 hours
too much B-12 close to bed or just plain too much can be an issue to
the effect of skin applied and oral iodine is variable depending on how well your thyroid is functioning, i had a miraculous recovery of thyroid function after three weeks of about 50mg of msm daily and have had to cut right back on the amount of iodine i apply.
msm can also adversely affect sleep and because it mobilises heavy metals, is dangerous to take with amalgam fillings in
melatonin binding is the other half of the sleep equation and the other day i had been without sheep fat (only using beef fat) or any milk at all for two weeks and that coupled with eating a lot of duck eggs and also two drops of iodine tincture one night left me awake until about 4 am and no matter how much melatonin i took, it didn't have much effect
that is the cell binding of melatonin was low
getting some lamb chops the next day and eating the fat seemed to fix that
also i think milk has something in that promotes cell melatonin binding
fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland and inhibits melatonin production which reduces sleep and also makes for early onset of puberty in girls
it only takes surprisingly small amounts of fluoride to affect sleep
it is good for the teeth but unfortunately is a strong enzyme depressant
you have to be careful of store bought mineral water in australasia as this is just town water and likely has fluoride whereas spring water is actually from springs and should be without fluoride
adequate sleep is essential for forming memories and poor sleep damages the brain !
“ [..] we find that the biochemical changes are simply not happening in the neurons of animals that are awake. and when the animal goes to sleep it's like you’ve thrown a switch, and all of a sudden, everything is turned on that's necessary for making synaptic changes that form the basis of memory formation, it's very striking
[..] to our amazement, we found that these enzymes never really turned on until the animal had a chance to sleep. as soon as the animal had a chance to sleep, we saw all the machinery of memory start to engage. equally important was the demonstration that inhibition of these enzymes in the sleeping brain completely prevented the normal reorganization of the cortex.”
basically the circadian rhythm is synchronised by white and blue light through receptors in the retina and also possibly full spectrum sunlight through the skull and skull sutures
the more brown the light is the less it has this effect and in fact you can use red light to work under and the eye won't think it's daylight, but rather dark from a circadian rhythm point of view !
all the newest research is showing if you mess the circadian rhythm you mess the brain, BMI , immune system and health VERY VERY seriously !
depressives have an out of phase, mashed body clock at the level of gene activity inside their brain cells !
the synchronisation of the circadian rhythm happens via the blue light in sunlight hitting non-visual photoreceptors in the retina and also i think very importantly, strong, full spectrum sunlight on the skull sutures and skull and also possibly the full length of the spinal cord and testicles, all of which have non-visual photoreceptors in !
be careful, blue light is highly energetic and can be damaging to the eye !
overcast days have a lower absolute level of blue light but a relatively higher proportion of blue compared to other wavelengths than clear sky days!
in other words you still get reasonable circadian rhythm synchronisation from overcast daylight, provided the light is not too dull !
caffeine at night delays the circadian clock, a double espresso 3 hours before bedtime induces a 40 minute time delay in internal clock
“ the study also showed that bright light alone and bright light combined with caffeine induced circadian phase delays in the test subjects of about 85 minutes and 105 minutes respectively ”
there are light sensitive circadian clocks in a variety of tissues and independent cells in vertebrates article
whole body exposure to sun or uv may be a circadian synchronising mechanism in its own right
chronic transmeridian flights increase deficits in memory and learning along with atrophy in the brain's temporal lobe
jet lag decreases neurogenesis in the hippocampus study
i think jet lag also disrupts immune system function creating windows of infectious vulnerability !
social jetlag !
if you have an operation allow for full recovery before flying through significant time zone changes since you will have a low resistance to infection when you arrive and for four or five days after
fetal health and development requires that the womb and mother's body clocks are well synchronized !
“constant light rapidly resets circadian clock” (chen seo et al)
“travel and irregular work hours disrupt people's circadian rhythms, and returning to an appropriate schedule can take days. chen et al. now report that exposure to constant light can rapidly reset the circadian clock. unlike constant darkness, in which circadian rhythms persist, constant light abolishes circadian rhythms. constant light desynchronizes the activity of suprachiasmatic nuclear neurons that regulate peripheral rhythms and activity. as a result, animals are active for brief epochs throughout a 24 h period. when chen et al. moved mice from constant light to constant darkness, the circadian behavioral and cellular protein rhythms were restored. mice immediately became active, and remained active for several hours before entering an extended rest. the timing of activity onset was constant after the second day of total darkness. transfer to darkness after 28 h of constant light produced a 12 h phase shift—a phase reversal that normally takes 5 d.”
from the study above, it may pay to be in light as long as possible in the intial stages of shifting the circadian rythm, being in the dark but awake is counterproductive
the secret with realigning the circadian clock/jet lag is that the alignment is driven through special purpose photoreceptors in the eye study (1 meg pdf download)
from the above study i would take the wavelength range of 420 to 530 nm and peaking at 481nm as useful
this is violet going into cyan and green
480nm has a touch of cyan in, the deepest blue of the sky is about 476.5nm
looking at a white sky or clouds is of major help in resetting or orienting the circadian clock, i think this gives maximal burden in the wavelengths of interest, a blue or white-blue sky also has an effect
white is all colours at approximately equal intensity, so gives the useful wavelengths
make sure you have some lutein in your diet (spinach, silverbeet/kale) as an ocular anti-oxidant scavenger though
don't look at the sky for more than 6 seconds at a time, that glarey white or blue is damaging to the retina.
unfortunately blue is a high energy wavelength that is strongly associated with age related macular degeneration, presumably because it can penetrate to the retina in significant energies
my cyan page explaining how to set colours on the computer screen for the best circadian rhythm effect !
f.lux "dark room" mode is also a good example of modulating screen light !
MRM melatonin is very helpful with jetlag, it crosses the blood brain barrier more readily than other forms of melatonin and the brain is where you want it :o)
you can move the hours you go to sleep at forward or backwards about 2 hours a day, to go backwards is more difficult and requires shifting the clock with a reasonable amount of looking at a blue sky during the day
in actual fact sleep patterns that follow the normal 50 minute roll forward of the body clock may be optimal for health if impractical study
this study showed that in sweden from 1987 to 2006, for the week after the spring daylight saving time shift of getting up earlier there was a 5 percent increase in heart attacks , with a 6 percent bump on monday and wednesday and a 10 percent increase on tuesday.
In the week after the autumn shift back to getting up later, the number of heart attacks was about the same, except on monday, which had a 5 percent decrease.
this pattern of rolling the starting/waking time for sleep forward each day may be optimal for cardiac health because it avoids the trauma of a daily "little" reverse shift reset of the body clock
“ travelers frequently report experiencing a significantly slower jet lag recovery after an eastward versus westward flight ”
traveling east is the same as going from standard to summer time, the sun rises earlier and vice versa of course east to west you wake up later which rolls the body clock forward which is from practical experience a much easier adjustment !
my lcd monitor is 27 inch, so is quite big and i set some of my backgrounds to cyan so i get the circadian clock stimulation, i spent so many hours in front of it
my august 2013 updated computer and monitor use advice :o)
since it helps set the circadian rhythm timing, i try not to work too late on it
the brightness needs to be turned down, there is a balance point between lowish brightness, contrast and minimum hum, unfortunately the lower the brightness, the worse the hum on this monitor, otherwise it is excellent
it makes sense that disrupted circadian rhythms would have a deleterious effect on pregnancy !
“ there is a food-related clock which can supersede the light-based master clock that serves as the body’s primary timekeeper
a single cycle of starvation followed by refeeding turns on the clock, so that it effectively overrides the suprachiasmatic nucleus and hijacks all of the circadian rhythms onto a new time zone that corresponds with food availability
when food is scarce, the feeding clock overrides the master clock, keeping animals awake until they find food
a period of fasting with no food at all for about 16 hours is enough to engage this new clock ”
“ a single three-hour exposure to blue-enriched light in the evening acutely impacted hunger and glucose metabolism ”
alcohol is not a food, but this seems a good place to mention that according to this research , alcohol inducts sleepiness by temporarily increasing adenosine shifting the sleep homoestasis which then rebounds with disruptive early waking !
what i find, because i use alcohol in my cooking, (up to 40ml of cabernet sauvignon per day, no more ! ) is it can be useful for helping going to sleep a while after a meal during the day if one is especially needy of more sleep !
however alcohol close to evening bedtime is disruptive
longer term i have noticed that this use of alcohol in cooking has really improved the overall quality and length of my sleep !
blind humans lacking rods and cones retain normal responses to non-visual effects of light
“ mammals have an additional light-sensitive photoreceptor (ed. non-rod, non-cone) in the retinal ganglion cell layer that is directly sensitive to light and is primarily responsible for mediating these responses. These cells are most sensitive to short-wavelength light with a peak sensitivity at ~480 nm, in the visible blue light range ”
blue/uva light acts on retinal photoreceptors . . . that is the relatively high energy portion of the visible spectrum, blue, violet going to uva, what comes from a clear deep blue sky especially, not so good for the eyes btw
“ the implantation of blue light-filtering intraocular lens at the time of cataract surgery increases macular pigment, which affords protection against the development and/or progression of age-related macular degeneration
[..] since prolonged exposure to blue light is harmful to the retina, increased levels of macular pigment are considered a strong surrogate marker for protection against the processes that cause age-related blindness, including AMD ”
“ blue light from digital devices and the sun transforms vital molecules in the eye’s retina into cell killers ”
the lens is a very important source of glutathione in the eye !
the case against blue blocking intraocular lenses
the BCD is not keen on grapes because of their strongly biofilm feeding sugars, but this article elucidates the AMD issues with aging well !
“ the macula is a yellow spot of about five millimeters diameter on the retina. As we age, levels of the pigments in the macula decrease naturally, thereby increasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The yellow color is due to the content of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which we derive from the diet.
these compounds are the only carotenoids capable of filtering the harmful blue light than can damage cells in the eye, the rods and the cones.
a thin macular pigment can allow the blue light through and destroy the cells.
maintaining high levels of both carotenoids, and therefore the macular pigment, is a valid approach to maintaining eye health and reducing the risk of AMD.
in 1994, dr johanna seddon reported a link between the intake of carotenoid-rich food, particularly dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, and a significant reduction in AMD ”
another mechanism for over-excitation of the brain is too little GABA
B6 really makes me dream more and helps with sleep
"Organisms synthesize GABA from glutamate using the enzyme L-glutamic acid decarboxylase and pyridoxal phosphate as a cofactor. It is worth noting that this process converts the principal excitatory neurotransmitter (glutamate) into the principal inhibitory one (GABA)."
the compendium is generally stimulatory but i have always had trouble sleeping, i have tried p5p, seemed to be a bit variable in effect as it is easily destroyed by stomach acid, might be worth trying again
re the study below, i don't recommend drugs for sleep, they do not give a refreshing quality sleep and are an extreme last resort
Results indicate that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the most common inhibitory transmitter in the brain, is reduced by nearly 30 percent in individuals who have been suffering from primary insomnia for more than six months. These findings suggest that primary insomnia is a manifestation of a neurobiological state of hyperarousal, which is present during both waking and sleep at physiological and cognitive levels.
"GABA is reduced in the brain of individuals with insomnia, suggesting overactivity is present not only at the level of excessive thoughts and emotions, but can also be detected at the level of the nervous system," said principal investigator Dr. John Winkelman of Brigham and Women's Hospital, which is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.
GABA decreases overall activity in many brain areas, helping the brain to "shut down." Having a "racing mind" and an inability to shut down at night is a common complaint of people with primary insomnia.
Chronic insomnia, or symptoms that last for at least a month, affects about 10 percent of all adults in industrialized countries and is the most common sleep disorder. Most often insomnia is a "comorbid" disorder, present with another medical illness, mental disorder or sleep disorder, or associated with certain medications or substances. Approximately 25 percent of people suffering from insomnia are considered to have primary insomnia, which is defined as a difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep in the absence of coexisting conditions.
According to Winkelman, the recognition that primary insomnia is associated with a specific neurochemical deficiency helps validate the often misunderstood complaint of insomnia.
"Recognition that insomnia has manifestations in the brain may increase the legitimacy of those who have insomnia and report substantial daytime consequences," he said. "Insomnia is not just a phenomenon observed at night, but has daytime consequences for energy, concentration and mood."
This preliminary study included 16 participants (eight men and eight women) who were screened to be free of medical and sleep disorders, as well as anxiety and mood disorders, and who were not taking prescription medication. Ages ranged from 25 to 55 years. Researchers recruited people who had difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep with resulting daytime distress or dysfunction for a period of at least six months. The average duration of participants' symptoms was 10 years. Objective data were collected by actigraphy and overnight polysomnography. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was used to non-invasively determine GABA levels. For statistical comparison the study included a well-matched control group consisting of seven women and nine men.
Significant correlations were found between GABA levels and both subjective and objective sleep measures after adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI) and gender. In subjects with primary insomnia, sleep continuity, as measured by minutes of wake after sleep onset (WASO) on sleep study, was strongly associated with GABA levels.
According to the study, reductions in brain GABA levels also have been observed with 1H-MRS in major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety disorders. Primary insomnia shares many features with anxiety and depressive disorders, including sleep disturbance, elevation in anxiety, and impairments in concentration and energy. In addition, primary insomnia is an important risk factor for incident mood and anxiety disorders. The study raises the possibility that GABA deficiencies seen in people with mood and anxiety disorders may be based on disturbances in sleep.
The study also reports that many of the hypnotic medications that are most effective in treating insomnia are benzodiazepine receptor antagonists (BzRAs), which increase activity at the GABA neurons.
“An imaging study suggests why some are resilient and others vulnerable to sleep deprivation
After staying awake all night, those who are genetically vulnerable to sleep loss showed reduced brain activity, while those who are genetically resilient showed expanded brain activity, the study found. The findings help explain individual differences in the ability to compensate for lack of sleep.
Previous research showed that the PERIOD3 (PER3) gene predicts how people will respond to sleep deprivation. People carry either long or short variants of the gene. Those with the short PER3 variant are resilient to sleep loss — they perform well on cognitive tasks after sleep deprivation. However, those with the long PER3 variant are vulnerable — they show deficits in cognitive performance after sleep deprivation. Now the new study explains why.
The authors imaged study participants while they did a working memory task that requires attention and cognitive control — also called executive function. The researchers imaged each participant four times: the night before and the morning after a good night's sleep, and the night before and morning after a sleepless night.
They found that the resilient, short gene variant group compensated for sleep loss by “recruiting” extra brain structures. In addition to brain structures normally activated by the cognitive task, these participants showed increased activity in other frontal, temporal, and subcortical brain structures after a sleepless night.
In contrast, after a sleepless night, vulnerable participants, the long PER3 group, showed reduced activity in brain structures normally activated by the task. These participants also showed reduced brain activity in one brain structure — the right posterior inferior frontal gyrus — after a normal waking day. These data are consistent with previous research suggesting that people with the long gene variant perform better on executive tasks earlier, but not later, in the day.
“ Our study uncovers some of the networks underlying individual differences in sleep loss vulnerability and shows for the first time how genetic differences in brain activity associate with cognitive performance and fatigue ”
“ LAN (light at night) harms production of melatonin, a hormone that is released from the pineal gland during the dark part of the 24h cycle and which is linked to the body's cyclical night-day activity and seasonality
when this hormone is suppressed, the occurrence of prostate and breast cancer rises ”
my comment :
what that study shows is that supplemental melatonin is extraodinarily effective against prostate ( and breast? ) cancer dampening the tumour size to the lowest level of any of the groups tested
the trumpets would be blasting new cancer miracle cure if that was a drug, but no, the authors and media just tuck it away quietly
“ The size of tumor in mice exposed to long days but treated with melatonin was only 0.62 cubic cm. on average ”
it's better to phase in bedtime by an extended period of dim light beforehand study
you can really feel bright white lights graunch the circadian rhythm out of one's normal sleeping time
looking to long at a full moon too long i think upsets the circadian rhythm
relaxed and feeling with
what a bummer
“ just as thinking burns energy, stopping a thought burns energy — like stopping a truck on a downhill slope
maybe this explains why it is so tiring to relax and think about nothing ”
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