Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sleep Deprivation & Alzheimer's Plaques

Okay, I didn't plan to be doing a series on sleep deprivation and health but that's the theme that I keep landing on of late. Could it be that I'm in Europe for my a birthday week getaway with friends and am 8 hours ahead of my normal schedule? Maybe.

Regardless, here's another reason to get enough sleep: chronic sleep deprivation is correlated with earlier and more frequent Alzheimer's plaques in a mouse study!

My dad's mother died of Alzheimer's and it was unbelievably sad to watch her watching her own mind disappear. So Alzheimer's in the news tends to get my attention, as much as I don't really want to think about this disease having descended on someone so close to me.

The Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis (a big genetics research powerhouse) reported that while Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are often linked to sleep disruptions, the new research is the first to show that chronic sleep loss can lead to these diseases.

Depriving mice of sleep generated a 25% increase in brain amyloid beta levels, and it only took 3 weeks for amyloid plaque deposits to accelerate.

Okay, anyone starting to believe you just might need more sleep than you thought to maintain your brain as well as your immune system? I hope so.

If you're having trouble falling asleep, then our Melatonin may be a good thing to add to your supplements cabinet. Inexpensive and valuable as an antioxidant, melatonin helps with sleep (melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, is produced by tryptophan).

Another product our older customers swear by is our Amino Enhancer, which includes GABA, another ingredient that supports rest (it inhibits "excitability" in the nervous system) and also "slow wave" sleep.

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